Move on to Green-er Pastures

A.J. Green will face a Colts defense that is amongst the lowest in pressure rate so the star receiver should have plenty of time to get open on Sunday. Check out daily fantasy expert Ricky Sanders’ recommended plays to help you fill out your roster for Week 8 NFL contests.

Cam Newton, Panthers, $11,500 – The Buccaneers rank 31st in passing defensive according to Football Outsiders’ defense-adjusted value over average (DVOA) metric but it does not take an advanced metric to personify how terrible they are. Hell, they have allowed 295 yards passing per game which is the third most behind only the Patriots and Colts. Furthermore, Tyrod Taylor just lit this defense up for 268 yards passing, one passing touchdown (TD) and 53 rushing yards (two yards shy of his season-high). Cam Newton is a similar talent in the sense that he can beat defenses with his legs but he possesses significantly more upside (mostly because his receiving core is significantly better). Kelvin Benjamin draws a matchup against Vernon Hargreaves which should result in a big game from the team’s number one wide receiver (WR). When targeted this year, Hargreaves has yielded a 116.3 quarterback (QB) rating (according to Pro Football Focus (PFF)) and has been burned for 404 yards receiving. He is one of a handful of subpar corners in this secondary so Newton should bounce back in a big way after 211 yards and zero TDs last week.

Le’Veon Bell, Steelers, $17,300 – Over the course of the last two weeks alone, Le’Veon Ball has touched the ball 72 times! Yes, 72! That means he has averaged 36.0 touches per week which is absurd especially for a player who is as insanely talented as Bell. The Lions are not an overly enticing matchup by any means but Bell simply cannot be faded if touching the ball this many times. It literally is that simple. Bell is averaging 4.0 yards per carry (YPC) this season so 30-plus rushes once again should put him easily over the 100-yard plateau (which earns a bonus on FantasyDraft). Bell is the safest play in the league and this week is no different, especially on the road where Ben Roethlisberger is typically less effective.

Jalen Richard, Raiders, $8,900 – On Tuesday, Marshawn Lynch will have an appeal heard on his suspension but he is expected to miss one game after bumping a line judge in last week’s game. Assuming Lynch is out, Jalen Richard and DeAndre Washington are expected to split the load in a game where the team is listed as 2.5-point underdogs. Essentially, the game is expected to remain close which plays more favorably to Richard’s skill set as the explosive back than it does to Washington (the receiving back). Whereas Washington has only averaged 2.3 YPC this year, Richard as averaged 4.5 YPC on nearly double the touches. The Bills matchup is not anything special but value is difficult to come by. After Lynch left last week’s game, Richard finished with nine rushes for 31 yards and four catches for 45 yards. He should possess a safe enough floor to be worth every penny of this price tag.

A.J. Green, Bengals, $15,800 – The Colts rank 27th in passing DVOA so there is no reason to fear the matchup for A.J. Green against either Vontae Davis or Rashaan Melvin (amidst his best season as a professional). The Colts have only produced 13.0 sacks through seven games and they have allowed the 10th highest passer rating. Dalton has been under pressure at the 10th lowest rate in the league but he has only posted an 87.2 QB rating with a clean pocket. When Dalton is given time, Green, one of the best receivers in his team, can use his combination of size and speed to get open. The team has yet to face a true number one wide receiver (WR) who does not play out of the slot (Larry Fitzgerald, Doug Baldwin) other than maybe Pierre Garcon who torched them for eight receptions (RECs) and 94 yards. In other words, Melvin’s grade is skewed because he has faced mediocre talents, and he should get burned by a star wideout like Green.

Alshon Jeffery, Eagles, $12,000 – Thus far, Alshon Jeffery has faced individual matchups against Josh Norman, Marcus Peters, Janoris Jenkins, Casey Hayward and Patrick Peterson so that would explain his “down” season. Admittedly, Jeffery’s two REC, 37-yard performance on Monday Night was disappointing but Carson Wentz is arguably playing better than any other QB in the league. Although Pro Bowl left tackle (LT) Jason Peters left Monday’s game with an injury, the remaining members of the offensive line are still solid. Wentz leads the NFL in TD passes and he has now thrown at least three TDs in three straight games. If Wentz continues to play at this elite level, passes will inevitably head Jeffery’s way, beginning with his Week 8 matchup against the 49ers. Opposing number one wide receivers (WRs) have had a field day against San Francisco; they rank 23rd in DVOA and Rashard Robinson has graded outside the top 100 at the cornerback (CB) position, per PFF. In fact, none of the 49ers’ corners have graded inside the top 85 at the position so Jeffery should dominate any individual matchup. Dez Bryant scored against this team last week so there is no reason to believe Jeffery will not possess similar sort of upside in this spot.

Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Jets, $8,500 – Heading into this week, Austin Seferian-Jenkins had been targeted thrice in the red zone over the course of the last two weeks and had scored a TD in each game during that span. On Sunday, Seferian-Jenkins once again found the end zone and he is officially a true TE1 for fantasy purposes. Whenever the team gets in close to the end zone, Seferian-Jenkins becomes the first read for Josh McCown mostly because he is 6’6”, 258 lbs. with solid hands. Every week, reports surface with the team gushing over the talent of their starting tight end (TE). In Week 8, the Jets will match up against a Falcons team that has yielded the 10th most fantasy points to TEs and ranks 19th in DVOA versus the position. At only 6’0”, safety Keanu Neal, who typically guards TEs on the Falcons, does not stand much of a chance against this physical monster (especially in the red zone). At an extremely affordable cost compared to his recent production, Seferian-Jenkins is startable in all formats.

Cincinnati Bengals Defense, $6,400 – Only eight teams have produced more sacks than the Bengals to this point and Jacoby Brissett has been under pressure at the fourth highest rate (40.2-percent) of any QB. No team has allowed more fantasy points to opposing defenses than the Colts mostly because Brissett has been sacked a league-worst 29 times and he has thrown seven interceptions (only one while under pressure). Andrew Luck may not return this year so the team will be forced to continue to ride Brissett despite all his shortcomings. The Bengals opened as 10.0-point favorites in one of the projected lowest scoring games of the week so all the stars aligned for this defense.  

Ricky Sanders

Ricky Sanders

Ricky Sanders is a fantasy sports expert with over 15 years of playing experience. After starting several freelance fantasy sports blogs, Ricky moved up in the fantasy industry when he joined Going9 Baseball. He wrote fantasy baseball content and had a weekly radio spot on the site’s SiriusXM Satellite Radio show. Shortly thereafter, in early 2013, Ricky joined RotoExperts as a three-sport fantasy contributor, eventually becoming one of the site’s lead basketball writers. While writing for RotoExperts, Ricky was introduced to daily fantasy sports and immediately fell in love. With help from some of his mentors, some of the best DFS players in the world, he honed his skills and became the daily fantasy expert he is today. When RotoExperts created a daily-focused website called, Ricky was brought on as one of the main contributors. He still makes frequent appearances on the RotoExperts SiriusXM Radio show and on the FNTSY Sports Television Network, talking daily fantasy sports. He also continues to write for a few DFS content sites: RotoCurve and The Fantasy Fix. Ricky is a proud and active member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association. He has agreed to be a writer and representative for the FantasyDraft brand and serves as an ambassador to the site. He has no more access to the site than the typical user. Don’t hesitate to contact Ricky with questions on Twitter @RSandersDFS.

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