It was a so-so return for the Week 7 fantasy sleepers; Brian Robinson Jr. returned RB2 value, and the Raiders used a defensive touchdown to finish as DST8. Those are singles, sure, but sometimes getting on base is enough. Greg Dulcich also made the TE12 cutline, if that matters to you.
Sleeper, of course, is a nebulous term. Use whatever definition works for you. Likewise, this column is whatever you want it to be. Perhaps it helps you make a start/sit call this week or a DFS decision. Maybe you apply the information to an over/under prop. Perhaps you’ll add a player to your fantasy bench as depth, but won't deploy him this week.
Let’s see what Week 8 has for us.
QB Daniel Jones at Seattle
I'm not sure if Jones is more sleeper or obvious pick at this point, but let's work through this. He's been a Top 10 quarterback in two of his past four starts, and it's been on the strength of his rushing chops and rushing-touchdown equity. And perhaps the Giants are starting to find some wideouts they can trust; Wan'Dale Robinson was effective early in Week 7 before a minor injury, and Darius Slayton has popped in two of three games. You're welcome to consider either for your sleeper page.
Jones has been aggressively added this week but he’s currently starting in just 41 percent of Yahoo leagues. Against a Seattle defense that’s giving up 7.8 YPA and a 95.9 passer rating, I’m happy to dial up Jones in Week 8, including in DFS at $27.
RB Khalil Herbert at Dallas
The Bears still view David Montgomery as their featured back, but the mix was interesting in the blowout win at New England. Montgomery saw 56 percent of the snaps and logged 15 carries, while Herbert played 41 percent of the time and had 13 touches. Montgomery wasn't bad on the ground (15-62-1), but Montgomery's work went for 87 yards and a touchdown. For the year, Montgomery averages 4.0 a rush. Herbert's at 6.2.
There's an X-factor to all this, as quarterback Justin Fields is getting more proactive work as a runner. But perhaps the Fields involvement merely improves the overall buoyancy of the offense. I suspect the Bears will keep using Herbert regularly as a secondary back, and his snap share could climb even higher this week. And although Dallas is a nasty opponent on paper, at least we can take solace in the fact that Dallas ranks much better in pass defense (first, per DVOA) than it does in rush defense (12th). Herbert's arrow is pointed in the right direction.
WR Kalif Raymond vs. Miami
Things look dire with the Lions right now, but last week's loss at Dallas wasn't as bad as it might initially seem. Yardage was close to even, but Detroit gave the game away with five turnovers, including the first fumble of Jamaal Williams' career (at the goal line, no less). Time to head home and regroup.
Raymond has been involved in three straight games, catching 13-of-18 targets for 158 yards. We know D.J. Chark won't be available, and Amon-Ra St. Brown remains in limbo. Even if the Sun God is welcomed back, Raymond looks more interesting than Josh Reynolds. And Miami offers a funnel defense, ranking seventh in DVOA rushing defense, but just 25th in DVOA pass defense. Raymond is a reasonable DFS punt play at just $13.
TE Harrison Bryant vs. Cincinnati
It's a shame to see David Njoku get hurt, on his way to a career year in Cleveland. But Bryant is here to take a sad song and make it better.
Bryant offers some pedigree (he won the 2019 Mackey Award, given to college’s best tight end) and Jacoby Brissett tends to lock in on his tight ends. Cincinnati’s an average matchup, ranking middle of the pack in seam coverage. Bryant’s already collected six pro touchdowns on his 59 receptions, and he’s set to start for about a month while Njoku’s ankle heals. Bryant is rostered in just six percent of Yahoo leagues, a surprisingly low number when you consider how shallow this position currently is.