Six points with David Dorey

Six points with David Dorey

Fantasy football player analysis tips and advice

Six points with David Dorey

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Barreling into Week 8, we’re waiting to see that other trades are going to happen as the NFL seems much more willing to swap mistakes extra players and that impacts both teams’ depth charts. We’re at the point in the season where certain players are not having a slow start, it is just a bad year. Injuries are still mixing up weekly lineup options if not reshuffling fantasy rosters as players drain onto the “Big IR” that still lasts for the rest of the season.

We’re not only hitting mid-season with trades, but this is the start of when losing teams start to take a longer look at their players (maybe coaches too) for a depth chart shake up. It never makes sense when a team is continually disappointing to just keep doing the same thing and hope it starts working. So coaches, especially those on a hot seat, need to look like they are still trying to find that magical mixture of players that equates to a win.

Oh, and don’t forget, we get another London game (DEN vs. JAC) at the crack of dawn on Sunday. Bloody Hell.

Six things I’m thinking about for Week 8:

1.) Incoming! – We all love to see a bomb arcing toward a receiver racing downfield. More so if they are in our starting lineups. Here are the top receivers that gained at least 40 yards on a reception.

JuJu Smith-Schuster is a slight surprise since he’s tied for No. 16 with 34 catches on the year along with Jaylen Waddle. Tyreek Hill is right behind with three deep catches, but his 57 receptions lead the NFL.  It is also very encouraging to see Chris Olave, Gabriel Davis, and Tyler Boyd among the league leaders despite being the No. 2 receiver for their own team. That bodes well for Boyd stepping up to fill in for Ja’Marr Chase who will miss a batch of weeks.

2.)  QB Sam Ehlinger (IND) – Not unprecedented, but rare when a team opts to send the starting quarterback to the third-string with no intention of using him again. And Ehlinger leap-frogs Nick Foles as the No. 1 so the 3-3-1 Colts think the future starts now with their sixth-round pick of 2021. He’s been seasoning on the bench for a season and a half, so he’s not exactly a rookie thrown to the wolves. When the offense works as designed, they won’t want him throwing a lot of passes.

It is reasonable to expect some hiccups and struggles. But the two things to watch on Sunday are how often the 6-1, 222-pound ex-Texas quarterback runs the ball and who he targets when he passes.  He ran for up to 663 yards and 16 touchdowns for the Longhorns. And his passing trends will differ from what Matt Ryan did. This comes right when Parris Campbell is finally starting to come on in his fourth season. Michael Pittman Jr. is the most talented but most covered. Is the rookie Jelani Woods going to become more involved since rookies often like 6-7 receivers near the line of scrimmage?

3.) WR Darnell Mooney (CHI) – The third-year wideout turned in a breakout year in 2021 with 1,055 yards on 81 catches but he started the season with three games under 25 yards. He still has yet to score, but his stats have improved even if Justin Fields is still stuck at sub-200 yard efforts.  But he’s worth tracking because it looks better for him lately. He notched 94 yards on four catches at the Giants in Week 4 and snared seven passes for 68 yards in his only home game since Week 3.

This week in Dallas will be challenging given the Cowboys defense at home is very good. But right after, the Bears play weaker secondaries of the Dolphins, Lions, Falcons. His best games of 2021 were with Andy Dalton, but Justin Fields is making progress connecting with Mooney in the last month. If they can show any connection in Dallas, the coming month should be much better.

4.) RB Michael CarterJames Robinson (JAC) – All injuries are unwelcomed in the NFL, but snuffing out a rookie that was breaking out as a top player in his position is extra painful. Breece Hall left and for a moment it was 2021 again with Michael Carter as the No. 1 back. And he may continue to be just that. But the backfield is key to the Jets four-game winning streak since Zach Wilson shows no signs of becoming the next, uh, Joe Flacco.  Notable is that Carter (5-8, 201 pounds) isn’t up to the beating of a primary rusher which is why Hall was drafted. Now 5-9, 220-pound Robinson makes up the other half of the offense.

Robinson was a surprise returning from a torn Achilles tendon and was effective for the initial three weeks. But he faded and was outplayed by Travis Etienne. That move was a surprise since Robinson was in the final year of his rookie contract and only cost $547K this year. It’s worth tracking this weekend not just for what the two backs do, but if they do not have success, then Zach Wilson is going to have to throw more than 25 passes per game and then, maybe, Garrett Wilson and even Elijah Moore can see more passes. Wilson in particular was impressive to start the year. Maybe Wilson will have to throw more to him. The loss of Hall couldn’t have been timed worse with the next four weeks facing the Patriots, Bills, bye, and then at the Patriots.

5.)  WR Tyler Boyd (CIN) – – The  loss of Ja’Marr Chase for  4-6 weeks is a major hit for the Bengals who already have a lesser rushing offense than last year. So Tyler Boyd must come up big to keep the offense on track. The Bengals are on a two-game winning streak and Boyd just logged eight catches for 155 yards and a score versus the Falcons last week. He’s up to the task and is a must-start for however long Chase is out. Boyd topped 1,000 yards twice before Chase showed up.

Michael Thomas is the most likely to move into a No. 3 role but the sixth-year wideout has never been more than depth and never caught more than 13 passes in any season. Hayden Hurst is the one that could see a healthy uptick in targets and he’s already been thrown at least seven passes in half of his games. The passes are going to go somewhere. Joe Mixon is also worth watching since he’s already getting three or four receptions. Losing Chase for a month or more will have an impact, but other players will benefit.

6.)   WR Kadarius Toney (KC) – Spinning through Twitter, I read an interesting take on the Toney trade to the Chiefs. It was then lost in the flotsam and jetsam in the river of tweets, but it basically said that Toney would only have two possibilities in Kansas City – a star or a complete bust with nothing in between. He’s been considered an attitude problem and an amazing talent that needs constant supervision and discipline. Every new receiver in Kansas City has gone through plenty of hype and optimism. Toney takes his turn now.

The 1.20 pick of last year played in just 12 of 24 games so far. He’s been on a Giants team that desperately needed wide receivers to step up but did little to help in his ten games played last year. His one big game came in Week 5 when he posted ten catches for 189 yards in the loss at Dallas. He was ejected from that game for punching a defender.  This will be one of the more exciting players to track because he’s landed in a great offense with an opening for someone to step up. And yet he seems to be carrying a lot of baggage for a player that hasn’t really done anything in a season and a half. Just when JuJu Smith-Schuster was looking reliable…

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