With injuries tearing apart the NFL landscape — as they’re wont to do by Week 8 every year — sleepers are becoming more and more important for fantasy football owners. Finding values in year-long leagues and NFL DFS contests is crucial, especially with bye weeks in full swing. This week, the Falcons, Chargers, Cowboys, and Titans are all off, and that will thin out the player pool a bit. Thankfully, there are some solid options on the waiver wire, such Raheem Mostert, Kenjon Barner, and Tre’Quan Smith, who could serve as potential streamers and sleepers for fantasy teams everywhere.
Last week, our sleepers struggled a bit to back up our predictions. Dion Lewis and Mitchell Trubisky performed fairly well — and the Colts defense also was excellent — but aside from that, our top picks were mostly middling options. Sometimes, a bad week just happens. This week, we’ll try to do a lot more to find better options who could really break out.
Week 8 Rankings:
Quarterback | Running Back | Wide Receiver | Tight End | D/ST | Kicker
As always, don’t get too caught up in our sleeper picks and start them over an established option. If you a top performer on a hunch that he’ll have a rough week, you’ll probably end up on our “How You’ll Lose” list for Week 8. That said, it is better to roll with a potential sleeper instead of a potential bust, so make sure you do your research to find the proper fantasy option for your lineup.
With that said, here are our top sleeper picks for NFL Week 8. Try to include some of these guys in all formats, especially DFS.
WEEK 8 PPR RANKINGS: Running back | Wide receiver | Tight end
Week 8 fantasy sleepers: Running backs
Raheem Mostert, 49ers @ Cardinals (Jacob Camenker). With Matt Breida still nursing a sore ankle and Alfred Morris falling out of favor in the 49ers running back rotation, so there could be a big role to be had for Mostert. The Cardinals have allowed the most fantasy points per game (FPPG) to RBs this season at 29.23. If Mostert gets a good chunk of the available carries, he could be in for a huge game in the desert, even if Breida is active.
Jalen Richard, Raiders vs. Colts (Vinnie Iyer). Game flow and role line up well for the hot pickup of the week in the wake of Marshawn Lynch landing on IR.
Kenjon Barner, Patriots @ Bills (Matt Lutovsky). With Sony Michel (knee) likely out for Monday night’s game against the Pats, Barner could see a heavy workload. The Pats figure to be sitting on a lead in the second half, which means more Barner than James White to run the clock out. Considering the Bills are allowing 97.4 rushing yards per game to RBs (and a shade under a touchdown per game), we like Barner to make good use of the high volume.
Full Week 8 RB rankings
WEEK 8 DFS CASH LINEUPS: Yahoo | FanDuel | DraftKings
Week 8 fantasy football sleepers: Quarterbacks
Mitchell Trubisky, Bears vs. Jets (Camenker). Trubisky is taking on a Jets team that was without three of their top five defensive backs last week. He also has been doing damage with his legs recently, totaling 81 yards and a score on the ground against the Patriots. He should take advantage of his abilities in a great home matchup.
Baker Mayfield, Browns @ Steelers (Iyer). He probably won’t be pretty again on the road against a good pass rush, but he’ll be gritty enough with the right weapons to exploit the weaknesses of the Steelers.
Case Keenum, Broncos @ Chiefs (Lutovsky). What are the odds the Chiefs defense shuts down a QB twice in the same season? Many will try to tell you that Keenum struggling against the Chiefs a few weeks ago in Denver is a sign he’ll stink in Kansas City, but we’re playing the Law of Averages (and, you know the season-long stats for KC’s mediocre pass defense) and expecting a solid performance from a guy who averaged 345.5 passing yards and a two TDs in Weeks 5 and 6 before coasting in a blowout last week.
Full Week 8 QB rankings
MORE WEEK 8 DFS: Values | Stacks | Lineup Builder
Week 8 fantasy football sleepers: Wide receivers
Jordy Nelson, Raiders vs. Colts (Camenker). Amari Cooper is now gone, and that leaves Jordy Nelson as the No. 1 receiver in the Raiders offense. The Colts have been solid against receivers this year, but that shouldn’t stop Nelson from seeing a bunch of targets. If he can reach the end zone, then he could work his way into WR2 territory.
Tre’Quan Smith, Saints @ Vikings (Iyer). Minnesota’s secondary is banged up and may be without Xavier Rhodes. The attention will go to stopping Michael Thomas first, so Smith could find some open space.
Donte Moncrief, Jaguars vs. Eagles (Lutovsky). Moncrief has seen double-digit targets in two of the past three weeks, and the Eagles have been burned by wide receivers most of the year (seventh-most FPPG allowed). Between Blake Bortles’ problems, the Eagles being perceived as a bad matchup, and the game being in London, most fantasy owners will shy away, but this is a good spot for Moncrief.
Full Week 8 WR rankings
Week 8 fantasy football sleepers: Tight ends
C.J. Uzomah, Bengals vs. Buccaneers (Camenker). The Buccaneers have allowed the most FPPG to TEs this year, and Uzomah caught a TD in the Bengals’ embarrassing loss to the Chiefs. He’s a great streaming option this week and may be a sure-fire TE1 the rest of the year if he can continue to see targets from Andy Dalton. If all goes well, he soon won’t even qualify for the sleepers list.
Vance McDonald, Steelers vs. Browns (Iyer). The Steelers should look to get him involved after the bye and he’s in a solid enough matchup.
Ben Watson, Saints @ Vikings (Lutovsky). Watson is coming off his best game (six catches for 43 yards and a TD), so hopefully we’re not chasing points here. The Vikings have struggled against TEs this season (seventh-most FPPG allowed), and with Ted Ginn out, there are more targets to go around in the Saints high-powered offense.
Full Week 8 TE rankings
WEEK 8 DFS GPP LINEUPS: Yahoo | FanDuel | DraftKings
Week 8 fantasy sleepers: Defenses
Washington Redskins @ Giants (Camenker). The Giants have looked dreadful in protection of Eli Manning. The Redskins should be able to put a lot of heat on him and use their third-best run defense to contain Saquon Barkley. That makes them a potential top play that many won’t consider.
Kansas City Chefs vs. Broncos (Iyer). They’re starting to make the plays feeding off their offense and playing with big leads feeding off their home crowd.
Full Week 8 D/ST rankings
Arizona Cardinals vs. 49ers (Lutovsky). This pick is almost too obvious, especially after the Cardinals ripped the Niners for five takeaways and a defensive TD a couple weeks ago and the Rams ripped the Niners for seven sacks and four turnovers last week. We’ll take the bait and bet on Arizona at home.
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