Fantasy Football Fillers Week 8

Photo by Shane McVan

With six more teams off this week on a bye and important players such as Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Doug Martin and Indianapolis Colts receiver T.Y. Hilton out with injuries, starting the right players may come as a challenge. Below are players that can help fill the void of key athletes missing this week.


Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan has been nothing short of perfection this year and is one of the lead candidates for the league’s Most Valuable Player (MVP). Last week against the Green Bay Packers, he lost his tight end Jacob Tamme who accounted for the team’s second most touchdowns. Rookie tight end Austin Hooper is set to fill in and see an expanded role. Ryan has looked to the tight end often and Hooper serves a strong option in the red zone where Ryan has delivered 10 of his 19 passing touchdowns this season. The Falcons have allowed the most receiving touchdowns this year while the Buccaneers have allowed the ninth most so it will likely be a high scoring game. Pick Hooper up and start him this week on primetime football against Tampa.

The Jaguars were embarrassed last week on the ground allowing 214 rushing yards and two touchdowns to the Tennessee Titans. This week they face the Kansas City Chiefs who are without their starting running back Jamaal Charles who is on injured reserve. Second string running back Spencer Ware is in the concussion protocol. Charcandrick West is filling in this week and will likely see a large workload with quarterback Alex Smith out with a head injury. The Jaguars are allowing the seventh most rushing touchdowns and the twelfth most rushing yards this season which bodes well for West this week.

New York Jets receiver Quincy Enunwa has capitalized in the past few games with usual starter Eric Decker missing the remainder of the season due to an injury. Over the past two weeks Enunwa has had over 166 yards and consecutive scores in back to back weeks. This week he faces a Miami Dolphins secondary who have the eleventh most points per game to receivers.


Indianapolis Colts running back Frank Gore has had six double-digit games in the past seven weeks, but he faces his toughest task of the season in the Packers. The Packers rank first in the NFL in yards, yards per carry, and rushing touchdowns. Gore should be placed on the bench this week.

The rule of thumb is to always start your Monday night players, but this week is a prime example of a Monday night matchup to stay away from. The Seattle Seahawks have been shutting down opposing quarterbacks, and frankly any position for that matter, ranking first in the NFL in touchdowns allowed. Taylor won’t be able to utilize his versatility on the ground either thanks to the Seahawks’ defense, which ranks fifth in rushing yards allowed.

In the 26 times New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning has faced the Philadelphia Eagles, he has thrown two or more touchdowns only six times with an average of over one interception per game. In the past five meetings against the Eagles he has accounted for only three passing touchdowns. Over the course of his career he has not played his best game and will likely struggle against the Eagles once more this Sunday.