Welcome Fantasy friends and foes to the Week 8 Stock Up/Stock Down.
After a short hiatus, I’m back doing what I enjoy, and that is discussing Fantasy Football. Thanks for having me back. Enough about me, let’s get to it.
Can you believe we reached the half-point of the Fantasy Football regular season? How is your team holding up?
Discover whose stock is up and which players have seen their stock plummet as we head into the weekend with the 2021 Fantasy Football Week 8 Stock Up/Stock Down.
2021 Fantasy Football Week 8 Stock Up/Stock Down
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Joe Burrow, QB, Cincinnati Bengals
Joe Burrow had to prove that he was fully recovered from the horrific knee injury he suffered last season. However, the early results seemed to indicate he was progressing well, and now it is safe to say that he has proven that those concerns should disappear.
Burrow currently sits at QB8 and has thrown for multiple touchdowns in each game this season. In addition, his elite chemistry with former teammate and rookie wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase has vaulted Burrow into another fantasy hemisphere.
The Bengals’ offensive line has improved since allowing five sacks in each of the first two games. Their defense has dramatically improved so that the pass attempt volume might take a hit, but the big-play ability of this offense will overshadow those limitations. Nevertheless, things are looking brighter in Cincinnati, and Burrow is ready and able to lead the team.
Khalil Herbert, RB, Chicago Bears
The former sixth-round pick was a hit in training camp and opened some eyes on the Chicago Bears’ offensive staff. Herbert has taken full advantage of his opportunity in the Bears backfield. He was forced into the starting lineup with starter David Montgomery out with a sprained knee and Damien Williams on the COVID list.
In his first NFL start, Herbert gained 97 yards with a score and followed up that impressive performance with 133 all-purpose yards against the top-ranked Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense. He has been one of the few bright spots in a struggling Bears offense.
Herbert is averaging 5.3 yards per rush, but it is tough to gauge his long-term value with Montgomery due back in a few weeks. However, the Bears will be forced to find a role for Herbert, who has significantly impacted a meager Bears offense.
Ja’Marr Chase, WR, Cincinnati Bengals
I know that this selection is more than obvious, but what the rookie wideout is doing simply can not be ignored. How many are Cincinnati Bengals fans still complaining that the Bengals selected Ja’Marr Chase over Oregon tackle Penei Sewell?
Chase produced 201 receiving yards in the Bengals’ dismantling of the Baltimore Ravens in Week 7. He became the only player in NFL history to have more than 700 receiving yards in the first seven games of his career.
Chase is a dominant force, and the chemistry he shares with quarterback Joe Burrow is unbelievable. The sky is the limit for this duo. Chase is on his way to winning the Offensive Rookie of the Year and will be on plenty of fantasy championship rosters this season.
Mike Gesecki, TE, Miami Dolphins
With injuries to seemingly the entire wide receiver room in Miami, Mike Gesicki has the primary weapon in the Dolphins offense. Over his past five games, he has been averaging seven receptions and 77.2 receiving yards while scoring two touchdowns.
Gesicki is currently sitting at TE3 on the season, and he has developed fantastic chemistry with quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. Since Tua’s return, Gesicki has the most receiving yards (200) and 17 targets (fourth-most among TEs) in the two games.
Look for the Dolphins to continue to be a pass-heavy team with a defense that has allowed the second-most points this season. As a result, Gesicki should see plenty of targets and is an elite fantasy asset in a weak position.
Justin Fields, QB, Chicago Bears
To say that Justin Fields has been a disappointment is a vast understatement. Nevertheless, fantasy managers and Chicago Bears fans were excited when the Bears moved up and selected the former Ohio State Buckeye quarterback with the eleventh overall selection in the 2021 NFL Draft.
Having a quarterback who produces in the running game is a cheat code in fantasy football, and Fields seems to be destined to be the franchise quarterback that the Bears and fantasy managers alike were clamoring for. Unfortunately, however, the initial results have been problematic.
We have witnessed some minimal flashes, but the rest is concerning. Fields look overwhelmed and don’t appear to be ready to play now. Through five starts, he is 2-3 and has completed 57.3 % of his pass attempts for 163.2 yards per game and 6.2 yards per attempt. He has thrown for only two touchdowns while throwing six interceptions.
The coaching staff has to assume some of the blame for the lack of development. Head Coach Matt Nagy doesn’t put Fields in the best position to move the offense and produce points. Nagy will probably be the first head coach fired this season, and deservedly so. While Fields has a lot to improve upon, there is no faith in the current Bears coaching staff to get him there.
Mike Davis, RB, Atlanta Falcons
Mike Davis was a popular sleeper pick coming into this season, and he has been quite a disappointment for fantasy managers. Davis is currently the RB40 and has yet to surpass 53 rushing yards in a contest this season. Only averaging a paltry 3.1 yards per attempt, the former Gamecock has scored only one touchdown this season.
Davis capitalized on producing a solid fantasy season filling in for Christian McCaffrey last year, making 600+ yards and six touchdowns and took off to Atlanta. He was brought in to be the bell cow back in the Falcons offense, but someone forgot to tell Cordarrelle Patterson. Patterson is currently the RB9 this season, and he continues to out touch and outplay Davis. As a result, Patterson is now the RB1 in the Falcons offense while Davis has taken a back seat. To add more misery to the situation, Davis limped off the field on Sunday, and the severity of the injury is unknown. However, I’m not sure how much it matters with Patterson consistently outproducing Davis.
Tyler Lockett, WR, Seattle Seahawks
In typical Tyler Lockett fashion, Lockett had a few blowup games to get everyone excited, and then, unfortunately, reality kicks in. In this case, it is not all Lockett’s doing, of course, with his all-world quarterback Russell Wilson forced to undergo surgery to repair his fractured finger on this throwing hand.
Lockett kicked off the 2021 season with two excellent fantasy outputs. In Game 1, the Seahawks wideout caught four passes on five targets for 100 yards and two scores against the Indianapolis Colts. He followed that dynamite performance by annihilating the Tennessee Titans in Week 2 with eight receptions on 11 targets and 178 yards, and one touchdown. Both weekly performances placed Lockett in the top six among wideouts for fantasy points for the first two weeks of this season.
However, Lockett has failed to topple ten fantasy points and has not scored a touchdown since Week 2. In the two weeks with Geno Smith behind center, Locketts has produced only two catches in consecutive weeks and has not surpassed 35 receiving yards. The Seahawks offense looks pathetic with Smith not passing for more than 205 yards in his three games as a starter, all Seahawks losses.
Russell Wilson is not expected back until Week 10 at the earliest, and that isn’t soon enough for the 12s or the fantasy faithful who roster Seahawks. The return of Wilson should make it less painful to start Lockett, but until then, it’s hard to have any faith in any Seahawk, especially Tyler Lockett.
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