NFL

5 Essential Fantasy Football Must-Plays in Week 8

The 2019 season is about to hit the midway point, which should give you a strong feeling of where your fantasy football team stands. The push towards the playoffs is ramping up, which heightens the importance of making the right selections for your starting lineup. If you missed our suggestions for the wavier wire this week, here are five options that you should start without any hesitation.

5. Steelers D/ST

ESPN: 10.1 PTS

The Steelers have quietly possessed one of the most productive defenses in the league over the last few weeks with three straight double-digit fantasy point outings. They are coming fresh off a bye week with a matchup against arguably the worst team in the league in the Miami Dolphins in Week 8.

Miami is allowing the opposing defense to tally 15.7 fantasy points per contest, which is 9.5 points more than the league average this season. They have given up double-digit opponents to opposing defenses/special teams through each of the first six games played. The Steelers should continue that trend and could have the best performance of the week among their group.

4. John Brown

ESPN: 10.9 PTS

Through the first seven weeks of the season, Brown has snuck up as one of the most dependable wide receivers in fantasy football. He has tallied at least 7.5 points in each contest while reaching double-digit scoring in four out of the first six games played.

In a run-heavy offense for the resurgent Bills, Brown has been a highly reliable option that fantasy owners can start with confidence. It should be even more the case this week against a battered Philadelphia Eagles secondary.

The Eagles have been the worst team in the league against opposing wide receivers in fantasy, giving up 38.4 points per contest, which 10.6 points more than the league average. It has seen that number top more than 20 points in all but one game this season. Brown will fall in line with that trend, putting up yet another strong outing that could possibly be one of his best of the year.

3. Leonard Fournette

ESPN: 17.9 PTS

Heading into the 2019 season, Fournette had made it clear that he was out to prove that he’s one of the league’s best running back. He has showcased that ability through the first seven weeks of the 2019 season as he has been one of the most productive players at his position.

Fournette has tallied double-digit fantasy point outings in each of the last five games, including a pair of 20-point performances. Fournette has a favorable matchup this week against the New York Jets, who rank 27th against opposing running backs, giving up 24.8 points per contest with opponents tallying more than 20 points four times.

Fournette made our list last week as one of the top fantasy options with a prime matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals. Although he didn’t score a touchdown, it saw him torch them for 131 rushing yards. He will be in line for another huge performance leading the charge offensively for the Jaguars in a must-win at home.

2. Saquon Barkley

ESPN: 17.6 PTS

Following weeks of anticipation, Barkley made his return to the field this past Sunday. He immediately made an impact in fantasy as he tallied 17.0 points behind 72 rushing yards with a touchdown along with three catches for eight receiving yards.

It wasn’t a standout performance by any means, but it does demonstrate Barkley’s tremendous ability to rack up. He will have a chance to build off that outing with a matchup against the Detroit Lions in Week 8. The Lions are 31st in the league against opposing running backs, giving up 28.4 points per contest.

It has seen them allow more than 20 points in each game and are coming off the Minnesota Vikings torching them for 37.1 points with 169 rushing yards and two touchdowns. All this sets the table for what should be a strong outing from Barkley on Sunday afternoon.

1. Russell Wilson

ESPN: 22.6 PTS

Throughout much of his career, Wilson has been a highly consistent option at quarterback in fantasy football.

That has certainly been the case this season as he has notched at least 14.3 points in each of the first seven games played. Wilson is coming off a tough outing against the Baltimore Ravens, but he should be lined up for a huge outing facing the Atlanta Falcons defense.

The Falcons secondary has been lit up by just about every opposing quarterback this year, ranking last in the league in fantasy. They have allowed north of 20 points in each of their last five straight games and Wilson will be no different in Week 8 adding to his MVP candidacy.