Rank's 11 Week 8 sleepers: It's Devontae Booker's time

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We should take some time to pour one out for C.J. Anderson. Oh, he's fine. And he's still really good at football. But his time as a lead running back is over. Not that we didn't see this coming. (This is the part of the story where I would link back to a column where I called Devontae Booker as a thing. But by doing so, I would also unearth some bold predictions that included Keenan Allen having 12 touchdowns [all right, he's injured], Antonio Brown having 20 [I still believe] and worse, Kamar Aiken with 10 [not happening].)

Ah hell, I've already mentioned most of the stupid predictions, so here it is in all of its glory. Feel free to alert the folks at Cold Takes Exposed because I definitely whiffed on more than a few of these.

That site has zinged me before. Well, it was my stupid take, so it's not like it really did anything. I will say, the one they got me on was my belief Pete Carroll would not take the Seattle job. Which was a doozy. Carroll obviously was going to take that gig once USC got into trouble.

And speaking of USC, it was on the field of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum last year where Booker's final season with the Utes ended when he injured his knee. I remember that game. I had a wedding to go to (congrats Jim and Michele, it's been a year!) and I was watching the game when Booker went down. I know this really doesn't add much to the story. But I thought I would add it just to illustrate that I was a big fan of Booker back in the day.

But we are getting off point. As I'm known to do. I feel like what most people would want to know is what do we do with Booker going forward. I'm a huge fan. The Broncos have easily moved past the Falcons as the most annoying running back stable in the NFL. In that both runners are great and would be highly successful as a lead back. But such is life in the NFL.

I do like that the Broncos runners have a younger quarterback than the Falcons duo. That means Denver will try to establish the run more than the Falcons. Although Gary Kubiak came out flinging on Monday night to set the tone against the Texans. But I do believe the Broncos will try to establish the run some more as the season grinds on. Which means both guys can be started in the RB2-flex range.

Look, it's not ideal. I wish we were back in the days when Arian Foster used to run the ball like 351 times in a season. Those days are gone. And it's weird to now talk about Foster in the past tense. It seems like just a few years ago I heard Maurice Jones-Drew say he was a sleeper running back. (All right, I didn't hear him say it. But it's what gave rise to MJD as a fantasy analyst, so we will always think Arian for that.)

So start Booker this week against the Chargers. It's a really nice matchup against a team that has given up a lot of yards on the ground this season. And when Andy Janovich steals a touchdown, you can gripe and moan. But that's the way it is in fantasy football now.

Rank's 11 Sleepers, Week 7


QB: Alex Smith, Kansas City Chiefs
RB: Chris Thompson, Washington Redskins
RB: Rob Kelley, Washington Redskins (stash)
WR: Cordarrelle Patterson, Minnesota Vikings
WR: Ty Montgomery, Green Bay Packers
WR: Jamison Crowder, Washington Redskins
WR: Seth Roberts, Oakland Raiders
TE: Jack Doyle, Indianapolis Colts
TE: C.J. Fiedorowicz, Houston Texans (The Doyle Rules)
K: Josh Lambo, San Diego Chargers
D/ST: Oakland Raiders

Alex Smith, QB, Kansas City Chiefs

I always feel a little awkward recommending Smith. It seems every time he has a great matchup he ends up letting you down, just like each new Kevin James sitcom. Just kidding, nobody has any expectations for a Kevin James sitcom. Though I do feel bad about making fun of him because I hear he's a nice guy. Smith took a decent matchup last week against the Saints and had 17.26 points. Which isn't bad. But this week against the Colts, he's just as likely to have eight points handing it off to Spencer Ware all day as much as he could have 20. But if you like the matchup, he's worth a start. Trust me, though, if you ask me on Saturday, I'll probably have Dak Prescott on my team.

Chris Thompson, RB, Washington Redskins

I entered the season with a Zero-Matt Jones strategy and I'll admit I was chagrined a little bit as he had some success in recent weeks. But then the fumbles started to happen. You can have some faith in guys who have bad days. But the fumbles are a different story. Thompson took the rock in the second half, and he might not look back. Robert Kelley might be a great stash in deeper leagues, too. He's lurking.

Seth Roberts, WR, Oakland Raiders

The one thing I love about Derek Carr as an NFL quarterback is that he looks for the open guy. The thing I hate about him as a fantasy enthusiast is that I drafted Amari Cooper. It's all good though. I love the matchup this week against the Buccaneers. I'm looking at a shootout. But one of the guys who could really benefit here is Roberts. He was second on the team with nine targets last week and he's really dependable around the red zone where teams key on Cooper for sure, but are also focused a lot on Michael Crabtree.

Jack Doyle, TE, Indianapolis Colts

Quick, who is the No. 2 tight end in fantasy football? Wrong. It's Martellus Bennett. Doyle is No. 3. Look, it would have been stupid to just give you the answer right off the bat. I needed to see if you were paying attention. And Andrew Luck has certainly paid attention to Doyle this season. (That was a pretty quality pivot right there.) He's become a tight end you can't ignore anymore, especially with the lack of options in Indianapolis. Now, it's true Donte Moncrief has returned to practice. But even if he is ready to go this week, it might take him some time to get back into the swing of things, which means Doyle will continue to be a nice option.

Be sure to watch "Fantasy and Friends" at 6 p.m. ET on NFL Network, Monday-Wednesday and Friday. (Sorry, the Thursday night game preempts us. But you can be a part of the show by going to NFL.com/fantasyandfriends. Also follow Adam Rank on Twitter @adamrank.


Follow Adam Rank on Twitter @adamrank

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