Welcome to FedEx Air and Ground fantasy analysis. Each week, we'll highlight some favorable quarterback plays and a few running backs that could prove valuable for fantasy owners based on matchups, projected game flow, and most essentially, talent. With Week 7 in the books and another sample of fantasy points against data to work with, here are a few options to keep your eye on Week 8. These players might just win your week.
Jameis Winston has been inconsistent this season to say the least. He's put up three games with over 20 fantasy points and hasn't had greater than 16 in any of his others, with a rock-bottom of 4.62 points in Week 2 when he threw four interceptions and lost a fumble in Arizona. But ever since the Bucs made a concerted effort to limit his pass attempts per game post-Week 4, Winston has been producing more effectively and efficiently. He's thrown four touchdown passes in his last two games with just a single pick, and owns a 105.4 average passer rating dating back to Week 5.
Last week the matchup against San Francisco was about as good as it gets, other than the fact that it was a road game, and Winston went off for 20.66 fantasy points on just 30 passing attempts. The Buccaneers have another juicy matchup on tap against the Raiders, and Winston should be able to take advantage once again.
Oakland's defense remains one of the worst in the league this season. The unit is allowing 430.4 total yards per game with 400-plus given up in five of seven contests so far. The team also ranks dead last in the NFL in passing yards per game allowed (302.1). That's good news for fantasy owners looking for an edge this week at the quarterback position.
In contrast to Tampa Bay's game against San Francisco, the Raiders actually have a potent offense, which should keep things interesting in this game. If Oakland can either get out to an early lead or at least keep pace with the Buccaneers, this game could turn into a fantasy bonanza on both sides of the ball. Winston is in an ideal spot to produce once again for his fantasy owners, and despite his inconsistency this year, he's trending up.
Now that we have a three-game sample size of numbers to look at from Tom Brady, I think it's safe to conclude that he is indeed still good at throwing footballs. Since he returned in Week 5, the Patriots boast the second-highest total and scoring offense in the league. And that's mostly because Brady is playing out of his mind, with marks that, if they held up all season, would be career highs for him in completion percentage (75.2), passing yards per game (334.7), TD-to-INT ratio (eight-to-zero) and passer rating (132.6).
Brady has also been perfect on throws of 20-plus air yards to Rob Gronkowski and Martellus Bennett this season, with a 100 percent completion rate on all five passes of that nature to his tight ends. He also owns the highest completion percentage (77.8) and passer rating (158.3) in the entire NFL when throwing balls of 20-plus air yards this season.
All of those real-life stats are cool, but what does it mean from a fantasy perspective? Well, Tom Brady ranks as fantasy's QB6 over the last four weeks, and he's only played in THREE games. He's averaged 25.02 fantasy points per game, with his season low of 18.18 points last week in Pittsburgh. He's on the road again this week in Buffalo but don't let that scare you. The Bills just let Miami shred them for 454 total yards a week ago, granted Jay Ajayi was responsible for nearly half of those yards himself. We fully expect Brady to keep his hot start rolling this week, so have no fear if he's your QB1.
The laundry list of running backs who have owned Indianapolis this season gets longer with each passing week. Last week it was DeMarco Murray who had the honor of roasting the Colts defense for 127 total yards and a touchdown. The week prior, Lamar Miller had his breakthrough game of the season with two scores and 178 total yards. This is a trend people. The Colts run defense is bad. So no matter who the running back is that you own, if they're facing the Colts, you start them. Indy's defense has also allowed a league-worst four receiving touchdowns to running backs as well.
With Jamaal Charles slowly making his way back from a knee injury, Ware has become a true workhorse back with 18.3 touches per game and an average of 7.1 scrimmage yards per touch, second in the NFL to Tevin Coleman (7.2). He has also compiled 100-plus scrimmage yards in four of six games this year.
With Charles posing virtually no threat to his teammate's workload, Ware will be a sure-fire RB1 going forward, and has RB1 overall potential in Week 8 against the Colts.
Michael is seeing a workhorse-type of volume out of the Seahawks backfield with 19-plus touches in each of the last four games, it'd make sense for Seattle to load him up again and let him put the offense on his shoulders.
Russell Wilson is clearly not 100 percent healthy as he plays through knee and ankle injuries and his lack of production bears that out as he's on pace for just 88 rushing yards, a career-low 13 passing touchdowns and a career-low 94.3 passer rating. Seattle needs something to spark the offense, especially against the high-scoring offense of New Orleans, so who better to lean on than the newly woke C-Mike?
Yes, his efficiency is down the last three weeks (3.4 ypc) compared to his first three games (5.2 ypc) but Seattle would be remiss to not attack the Saints weak defense with a heavy dose of the run. Two of Seattle's last three games were against tough run defenses in the Jets and Cardinals, so cut C-Woke some slack.
The Awakening tour rolls into New Orleans on Sunday, and Michael should be able to find his way into the end zone a few times at the least. Even if he doesn't put up a huge yardage total, it's hard to see a scenario where he doesn't score against a defense that's averaging two touchdowns to running backs per game. And as fantasy owners, that's all we really care about, right? RIGHT?! Stay woke, and keep the faith with Michael in Week 8.
A fantasy preview you can count on. Just like FedEx Ground -- fast and affordable shipping you can count on.