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Things I Learned in Fantasy Football: Week 8

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Takeaways from Week 8 as told through @MarcasG's tweets.

Talk about a swing and a miss. Going into the week, we didn't expect Ty Johnson to handle the same number of touches the Lions had previously given to Kerryon Johnson. In that respect, J.D. McKissic and Tra Carson were always going to be in the mix to an extent. What caught everyone by surprise was Carson getting the start and ending up with more touches than Johnson. That went counter to what we saw last week when Ty Johnson took the majority of the snaps after Kerryon went down with a season-ending knee injury. This thoroughly clouds the issue heading into next week's game against the Oakland Raiders. The matchup is average at best to begin with and with three backs seeing a fairly even snap share (plus Paul Perkins, to boot) it's hard to trust starting any of them.

Mixon had offered next to nothing for fantasy managers for the bulk of the season. After last week's four scrimmage yard performance, yours truly made the case to drop him on an episode of NFL Fantasy Live. What else could you really do with a guy lacking touches and playing behind a bad offensive line in an attack that was the NFL's most pass-happy? Well, it appears that Mixon heard your frustrations and put up his most productive fantasy outing of the season. If it makes you feel better, some of that was inflated by Mixon's four catches (for a paltry 11 yards) and a touchdown. Your process of avoiding him against the Rams was the right one. But for once, Mixon prevailed.

We probably shouldn't be surprised that Latavius Murray has been such a standout over the past two weeks considering his track record. He was a top 25 RB in 2017 despite not being the Vikings starter in the first four games. Before that, he was a top 15 RB in back-to-back seasons with the Raiders. Of course, there was a stretch last season when he took over for the injured Dalvin Cook and scored five touchdowns in five games. The point is, Murray was already considered a solid handcuff to Alvin Kamara with a little standalone value. That value went through the roof with Kamara injured. Now the hope is that after the bye in Week 9 that Sean Payton sees fit to not completely eliminate Murray from the rotation.

Cooper Kupp is very good, and the Rams throw him the ball a lot, and you should be happy to have him on your fantasy team. If you don't have him on your fantasy team, you should wonder why that is and try to fix that situation. But if he is on your fantasy team, you should not give him up under nearly any circumstances. Send tweet.

The rookie running back class hadn't lived up to expectations to start the season. Some of it had to do with head-scratching usage by the respective coaches. A lot of that changed in Week 8. Devin Singletary was reintegrated back into the passing game with his first targets since Week 1 -- one of which led to a touchdown. Miles Sanders was carving up the Bills' defense as both a runner and a receiver before a shoulder injury sidelined him for the game. But the biggest winner was David Montgomery, who had a season-high 31 touches for 147 total yards and a touchdown. Count this as a reminder that Montgomery has an incredibly favorable schedule down the stretch and as long as Matt Nagy remembers that he has a talented running back on his team, Monty is worth making a play for.

We had a good feeling about a Jets tight end. We just didn't have the right one. Then again, we didn't expect Herndon's return from suspension to be held up by a lingering hamstring injury. We also didn't think Griffin would see that much work since he hadn't exactly been a target monster this season. But the good news is that this bolsters the point that Sam Darnold does like throwing to his tight ends, which is promising for whenever Herndon comes back. Maybe Week 9?

On a day when the Niners blew out the Panthers, Coleman's snaps and touches were off from where they had been previously. But, man, was he ever efficient with the opportunities he did get. How does 118 yards and four touchdowns work? Pretty well, I would think. The bigger takeaway is that Coleman has truly asserted himself as the main back in Kyle Shanahan's offense. He's dominating the snaps and touches while -- most importantly -- getting the touches near the goal line. Playing in one of the most run-heavy offenses in the league, Coleman is an easy RB2 for the remainder of the season.

This isn't a simple "start your studs" analysis. For instance, I wasn't big on starting Odell Beckham, Jr. this week. It's also not likely that you were going to sit McCaffrey, but there was plenty of trepidation about how much the Panthers running back would perform against one of the NFL's best defenses. In this case, McCaffrey's volume of touches were going to win out. The hope was that he could find a big play or two within those touches. He did. And the fantasy world rejoiced.

Wait...what?


* Darrell Henderson led the Rams in touches (13) and had more targets than Robert Woods.

* Latavius Murray had a game-high 12 targets and had his first career TD reception.

* Austin Hooper has had four or more catches in every game this season.

* Zach Ertz's last two games: 10 targets, four receptions, 58 yards, zero touchdowns.

* Melvin Gordon still has not reached 50 scrimmage yards in a game this year.

* J.D. McKissic had three catches ... for two yards.

* DaeSean Hamilton was outsnapped by Fred Brown.

And one for the road...


Marcas Grant is a fantasy analyst for NFL.com and a man who thinks buying two cartons of ice cream was the worst best idea ever. Send him your dessert struggles or fantasy football questions via Twitter @MarcasG. If you read all of that, congrats. Follow him on Facebook, and Instagram.

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