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Fantasy Football

Michael F. Florio's Week 8 fantasy football sleepers

Brandon Aiyuk is coming off arguably his best game of the season with six catches for 115 yards (17.5 fantasy points). He also posted a season-high 28 percent target share in Week 7. It couldn't have come at a better time as he has a huge opportunity to build off of it this week against the Seattle Seahawks. On the season, Seattle has allowed over 60 fantasy PPG to WRs, while no other team is allowing over 50 fantasy PPG to the position. Seattle is also giving up a league-high 280 receiving yards per game to wide receivers alone, while no other team is even allowing 225 per game.

Aiyuk is playing well and coming into a great matchup but if you are still not convinced, his teammate WR Deebo Samuel is out this week due to a hamstring injury. That should only lead to more opportunity going Aiyuk's way in a matchup where the Niners will have to put up points to keep up with Russell Wilson and the Seahawks offense. Aiyuk, who is normally just more of a flex option, comes in as a WR2 with upside for me this week.

Here are more Week 8 sleepers!

Jimmy Garoppolo, QB, San Francisco 49ers

I liked Aiyuk, so no surprise that I like his QB this week. Jimmy Garoppolo is facing the Seahawks who have allowed the second-most fantasy PPG to QBs at 26.42. That includes nearly 374 passing yards game, which again is by far the most allowed in the NFL. Seattle has also allowed over 20 fantasy points to every QB they have faced this season not named Kirk Cousins. This is a prime matchup for Garoppolo, who has been playing well himself, throwing for 268 and 277 yards in the past two weeks, his two highs of the season. He has also thrown for multiple passing TDs in three of the five games. Jimmy G is one of the top streaming options this week.

Baker Mayfield, QB, Cleveland Browns

Baker Mayfield is coming off a career day putting up 29.78 fantasy points and five touchdowns, both the most in his three years with the Browns. He's also scored 15-plus fantasy points in each of his last four games, which isn't a high ceiling, but it is a safe floor. He does have a chance to showcase his upside again this week against Las Vegas. The Raiders have allowed the fourth-most fantasy PPG to QBs this season (22.97). Early on this season, the Raiders looked like a tough matchup for QBs, but in the last three weeks, they've allowed 25.42, 29.70 and 36.86 fantasy points to QBs. Mayfield may not put up nearly 40 fantasy points, but over 20 is within reach.

JaMycal Hasty, RB, San Francisco 49ers

JaMycal Hasty appeared in this column last week and, for much of the game last week, looked like he may not even see the field. Unfortunately, Jeff Wilson left with an ankle injury and he now joins Raheem Mostert on IR. Tevin Coleman is also on IR, but he has been designated to return, which means he can be activated at any point in the next three weeks. With the Niners backs all banged up, it was Hasty, not Jerick McKinnon, that was used down the stretch in Week 7. He has now seen nine carries in two straight games and has a chance to see double digits for the first time this season against Seattle. The Seahawks have been vulnerable in the passing game and tough against the run, but Hasty is a potential starting RB that you can nab off the waiver wire. Those opportunities are rare, so grab him while you can. He is a borderline Rb2 with upside, given that he will be running in Kyle Shanahan's system.

J.K. Dobbins, RB, Baltimore Ravens

Mark Ingram is dealing with an ankle sprain and has yet to practice this week. The Ravens backfield has been a three-headed mess for fantasy purposes this year, with only Ingram topping 15 fantasy points just once this season. But if Ingram, who leads this backfield with nine touches per game, is out this week, it'll mean more work for J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards. I lean more towards Dobbins being the biggest benefactor for fantasy between the two as he is already the back that the Ravens use the most in the passing game. On the season, he has 14 targets, while the other two combined just have eight. He also leads the trio with two goal-line carries. It is a tough matchup against the Steelers, who have allowed the fewest fantasy PPG to RBs. The state of RB is not great right now, so if you are in need of a plug and play off the waiver wire, Dobbins is a name for you.

Le'Veon Bell, RB, Kansas City Chiefs

Who doesn't love a revenge game? But even better, who doesn't love a "you cut me two weeks ago" revenge game? This is going to be a fun matchup! And before anyone panics, I still think this is Clyde Edwards-Helaire's backfield, as Le'Veon Bell played 33 percent of the snaps and did not run a route in Week 7. But it was his first game, in the snow and was a blow out, so take it as you will. But this is a positive matchup as the Jets have allowed the seventh-most fantasy PPG to RBs this season (27.63). This could become a game where the Chiefs are playing with a multi-score lead and could be running the ball a bunch in the second half. I expect Bell to see a good amount of those carries. I also would not be surprised if the Chiefs allowed at least a goal-line touch to go his way this week.

La'Mical Perine, RB, New York Jets

La'Mical Perine led the Jets backfield playing 67 percent of the snaps last week against the Bills. He split carries with Frank Gore, seeing 11 rush attempts each, but Perine was used in the passing game, seeing all three of the Jets RB targets and the only goal-line look, finding the endzone. He finished with nearly 14 fantasy points and his arrow is pointing up. This week, the Jets face the Chiefs, who have a very strong secondary. I expect the Jets to try to establish the run early on in this matchup. And if the Chiefs offense does what it does and the Jets are chasing points, it will be Perine, not Gore, that gets those targets. He is a upside flex option this week.

Rashard Higgins, WR, Cleveland Browns

Odell Beckham sadly tore his ACL in Week 7 and will be out for the rest of the season. In his absence last week, it was Rashard Higgins that led the Browns with six catches and 110 yards. He also tied Jarvis Landry for a team lead with six targets. The volume could once again lead to a lot of yards this week, as the Raiders are giving up nearly 180 receiving yards per game to WRs this season, the eighth-most in the NFL. Donovan Peoples-Jones is an explosive field stretcher who is a deep league sleeper in his own right.

Nelson Agholor, WR, Las Vegas Raiders

Nelson Agholor looked like a deep pass specialist in Weeks 4-5, but that changed last week. Agholor, or "Swagholor" as the cool kids call him, saw nine targets, tying Darren Waller for the team lead. He caught five of them for a team-high 107 yards and a touchdown. He finished with a season high 21.7 fantasy points, his third straight game with over 14 fantasy points. This week, he faces a Browns defense that has given up 48.71 fantasy PPG to WRs this season, the second-most in the league. That includes 210 receiving yards per game to the position, the third-most in the NFL. The uptick in volume paired with the favorable matchup has Agholor as a borderline WR3 this week.

Richard Rodgers, TE, Philadelphia Eagles

Carson Wentz is averaging over 11 passes per game to tight ends, the most in the NFL this season. That is to be expected when he has Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert, but it even continued with the duo sidelined. Last week, Richard Rodgers stepped in and saw eight targets, finishing with six catches and a team-high 85 receiving yards. This week, he faces a Cowboys defense that allows plenty of points to everyone. On the season, they have allowed 14.8 fantasy PPG to tight ends, the 10th most in the league. With the Eagles still really banged up and the Cowboys being a favorable matchup, Rodgers is a sneaky TE1 this week.

Rams DEF

The Rams defense has been the strength of their team this season. They are allowing just 17.7 PPG this season, the second-fewest in the NFL. They've picked up 24 sacks this season, which puts them in a tie for the third-most in the NFL. This stout defense will be going up against Tua Tagovailoa, who will be making his first start. The future looks bright in Miami, but a QB's first start against Aaron Donald, Jalen Ramsey and this defense? That is a scary first matchup! The Rams defense is in a prime spot to put up fantasy points this week.

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