Week 8 is one of the toughest where byes are concerned. Fantasy teams are working without LeVeon Bell, Jay Ajayi, Todd Gurley, Antonio Brown, Jarvis Landry, Odell Beckham Jr., etc. With such limited choices, there are going to be tough decisions, but help is on the way. Here are some lightly owned players that may be able to bridge the gap until those studs are back in the mix.
Ryan Fitzpatrick NYJ 12.4% owned
So far this season, Fitzpatrick has been almost impossibly bad. The Browns defense has been equally unimpressive versus opposing passers. This is a case of an incredibly stoppable force meeting a tremendously movable object. Just based on the talent level of Brandon Marshall and Quincy Enuwa, I am giving the edge to Fitz in this futile affair. This may be the last time that a Jets quarterback should be started this season, but with so many teams on a bye somebody should be running Fitzpatrick out for week 8.
Matt Asiata MIN 30% owned
Given his recent production when sharing carries, Asiata should be owned in more leagues than he is. With that being said, it looks like he should have the backfield just about to himself in week 8. This uninspiring plodder has managed to put up quasi-usable fantasy totals for the last three weeks. Now he will face a Bears defense that is decent against the run but will wear down late. The Vikings should be up in the second half, which should lead to some clock-killing Asiata time.
Rob Kelley WAS 1.1% owned
The sample size for Kelley in 2016 is negligibly small, but he should see a fair amount of work on Sunday. Matt Jones is probably not going to play in this game and Chris Thompson is listed as the backup. More than likely Thompson is still going to get the passing down work, but Kelley will still see enough carries to be worth a flex. If you have Thompson, he should be worth a flex spot too, but I prefer Kelley this week. While the Bengals are not terrible against the run, there are worse ways to go than volume in a major bye week.
If You're Desperate
Dwayne Washington DET 10.1% owned
On the whole I’m not a huge believer in Washington, but he has a good situation for week 8. The Texans are not good against the run and will be facing a Lions team almost at full strength on offense. Theo Riddick’s return takes away from Washington to an extent, but there is still a chance for goal line carries and that means serious value. For teams struggling with bye weeks, Washington is a reasonable one week stopgap.
Ty Montgomery GB 29.5% owned
How this guy is still a sleeper candidate is beyond me with how much play he has gotten on fantasy sites, Twitter, etc. Nevertheless, he is still owned in less than 30 percent of leagues. The Packers have a great matchup at Atlanta this week, particularly for Montgomery. The Falcons have allowed the most catches out of the backfield in the league and Montgomery sees many of his targets…out of the backfield. It should be another very productive game for the hybrid, especially in PPR formats.
Brandon LaFell CIN 13.9% owned
It seems like a safe bet that Josh Norman is going to be busy with A.J. Green in this game. That means that LaFell should be free to continue filling the old Marvin Jones role for the Bengals. He has scored in three straight games and made 14 receptions over that period. Unless Cincy completely dominates with the run, expect LaFell to get in on the action once again.
This is not me putting my seal of approval on both of these players. They are both listed because Patterson is in the concussion protocol, but if he plays Patterson is my choice. In the absence of Patterson, Thielen should see more targets and he has been on the same page with Bradford lately. Whether or not that translates to production in a middling offense is what makes them both sleepers.
C.J. Fiedorowicz HOU 10.2% owned
A regular in the waiver wire adds column, Fiedorowicz is still available in just about every league. Now is the time to be starting this lightly owned tight end sleeper, however. The Texans are facing a weak Lions defense that will be playing without Darius Slay. That means that DeAndre Hopkins is going to run roughshod and every else will have more space to work with. This is a matchup that even Brock Osweiler should be able to take advantage of, but if anyone can screw it up it would be Brock.