For the record – week 8

Week 8

Philly -3.5 @ Jags (in UK)

A matchup of 2017 goliaths who have provided few meaningful wins, and plenty of disappointment. Each team started well with big early season wins. The Eagles beat the Falcone on their banner-raising season opener, while the Jaguars managed to beat the Patriots in week two. Since then both have been huge disappointments, managing wins only against the league’s lesser lights. This week they travel to London, where games often seem to get sloppy. Given the desperation of both these teams, I’d expect it to be a close and ugly matchup, with the Jaguars tightening things up enough to keep it close and cover.

IN DYNASTY TERMS

Sigh. My belief in Keelan Cole gets costlier by the week. Perhaps a full rollout of Carlos Hyde will help uncork him over the top but patience is wearing thin.

I’m still stashing shares of Darren Sproles as the Eagles will eventually find their footing, and need help out of the backfield to do so.

@ Bears -7.5 vs. Jets

Todd Bowles deserves more credit than he gets. He is two years removed from what seemed to be his certain dismissal as head coach. Over that period he has managed to find modest success with a very modest roster. One hopes he will be given the time and players to make this team truly matter. Bowles praise aside, this week his rookie QB travels to Chicago to keep pace with an explosive offense, in the face of an aggressive defense. This seems too tall an order for Darnold and Bowles at this stage. Bears to cover.

IN DYNASTY TERMS

Eli McGuire is on his way back and I suspect he will claim a significant role by mid-November.

Kevin White has a pulse and should anything happen to the prematurely anointed Taylor Gabriel or the increasingly average looking Allen Robinson, who’s to say he can’t surprise us all. It speaks volumes that White is the name I’m drawn to here as the other assets are out of bargain price range: Trubisky, Gabriel, Cohen and Burton are all too expensive for me. Struggling Jordan Howard appears to be a value trap that you don’t want to own. If you don’t already own a Bear, perhaps it’s best to sit them out all together.

@ Bengals -4.5 vs. Buccs

I continue to believe the Bengals are getting far more respect than they deserve. The point spread has narrowed over the week, after starting at 6, but even 4.5 seems generous. The TB defense made strides last week versus Cleveland and I don’t consider the Bengals to be a much greater challenge. Buccs to cover.

IN DYNASTY TERMS

I continue to think the Bengals, and more importantly Tyler Boyd and Joe Mixon are overhyped, overvalued assets. I’d be looking to sell both. Gio is coming back and Watson will steal enough touches to matter and both of those issues will cap Mixon’s ceiling. Boyd on the other hand is a player who has enjoyed a few weeks, has enjoyed some fancy stats love, but is destined for a pull back. Because he has become a popular name at this stage in the season, I’d look to trade him for a name I prefer longer-term.

Chris Godwin and Peyton Barber still have value. I’d also load up on OJ Howard as a dynasty tight end, and pay through the nose for him.

@ Lions -3.5 vs. Seattle

I remain a believer that Russell Wilson can overcome his weak supporting cast and archaic coaching staff. Detroit has done well against great teams and crapped the bed versus weak ones. I suspect Wilson pops at some point this season and playing on the fast track in Detroit is a good place to get his rushing yard numbers up. I expect a fun game, one of Seattle’s first this season.

IN DYNASTY TERMS

For dynasty I’m buying all Seahawks in this order: Russell Wilson, Doug Baldwin, Tyler Lockett, CJ Prosise, Chris Carson. I’ve heard the Lockett touchdown regression talk and realize the fall off is coming for those points. I suspect he’ll start replacing them though, this year or next, with yards.

As for the Lions, Golladay is too expensive, Keryon just spiked and only Marvin Jones and Golden Tate may be discounted.

@ Chiefs -10.5 vs. Broncos

The Broncos defense has awoken from its slumber but the sledding gets harder on the road in K.C. where the Chiefs have kept rookie phenom protected and upright. 10.5 is plenty of points for a divisional game, but the trend favours the Chiefs. Denver has had a rough week with the Chad Kelly news and now is contending with various trade rumours. In the road environment, with that sort of cloud over the team, it is hard to imagine Case Keenum holding his own in a road shootout.

IN DYNASTY TERMS

I’ve heard plenty of calls by season-long commentators suggesting Pat Mahomes is a “sell high” at his current lofty price. This is a nice play for season long leagues, I agree. In dynasty terms, however, I think you obviously want to buy him, Tyreek Hill, Sammy Watkins and Travis Kelce, even at their lofty current values.

@ Steelers -9.5 vs. Browns

The Steelers are coming off a bye and have had an extra week to prepare for the increasingly disorganized Browns organization. While 9.5 points is a lot for a Steelers team that has been underwhelming, this feels like the week they put it all together and Antonio Brown’s light finally shines. Steelers to cover as the coaching staff rumblings grow louder in Cleveland.

IN DYNASTY TERMS

I’ll beat a dead horse and suggest you look to acquire Njoku and Chubb and also add that I have zero interest in Mayfield or Calloway, who I believe are destined to have mid-range career ceilings, in a league drowning in similar talents at their respective positions.

I’d sell any Antonio Brown rally between now and next season. The name recognition is high but the talent is only going to appear more diluted as new names emerge or improve. He may have above market alpha to sell and net you a big catch. I’d also bet the Steelers part with him sooner than we expect. For heir apparent reasons I am a buyer of Juju and James Washington.

Washington -1.5 @ Giants

Here’s a game I hope isn’t aired in my region. Both are quarterbacked by underwhelming pivots and coached by dullards. It’s a coin flip as to who pulls this one out, but I’ll side with Washington.

IN DYNASTY TERMS

Pass.

Ravens -2.5 @ Carolina

Here are two teams who may end up being very good, but they’ve had enough missteps this season that they could also fade dramatically down the stretch. I suspect this could be one of the more exciting games of the week. Panthers to cover.

IN DYANSTY TERMS

The Ravens have not solved their RB issues and Kenneth Dixon is a few weeks from returning. He’s been a horrible disappointment, but given that the Ravens are desperate enough to try out Jamaal Charles this week, it’s fair to assume Dixon will get another good long look from week 11 and beyond. He was good in his brief appearances early this season, if he stays healthy once back you may have something for the next year.

Colts -3.5 @ Raiders

This appears to be an easy one. If the word on the street is to be believed, the Raiders are in disarray and are likely still reeling from the Cooper trade and Carr controversy. Let’s not forget the Khalil Mack drama that opened the season. One would have to imagine the morale in Oakland isn’t sky high as players wonder about job security and the organizations master plan (if there is one). In come the Colts, a team where things all seem to be coming up roses of late: Luck appears healthy, Mack is popping, the defense is getting healthier and the head coach is emerging as this year’s darling. Colts to blow the doors off them.

IN DYANSTY TERMS

Deon Cain is on the IR and if you have space to acquire him now – do it. He will be on everyone’s offseason sleeper list and you might as well beat them to the punch, particularly if you are rebuilding.

@ Cards -0.5 vs. 49ers

I’m enthusiastic about the long-term prospects for Byron Leftwich, but Rome was not built in a day and he will take some time to find his legs. Kyle Shanahan, on the other hand, has been rolling with the many punches he has absorbed this season, and it’s fair to assume he has enough fire power to overcome this reset Arizona squad. 49ers to win.

IN DYNASTY TERMS

This is a buffet of young guys who may or may not matter for years to come. For dynasty purposes we should all be piling out plates with Kittle, Kirk and Pettis, while nibbling at Goodwin and the injured McKinnon. I see no alpha-value in Josh Rosen in the near-term, but a few years down the road when he is regularly facing Shanahan, Nagy and whoever is coaching Seattle, 6 times a year, the prospects for garbage time yards are rich. That said, buying garbage time yards tells you a lot about how I feel about him versus his divisional peers.

@ Rams -9.5 vs. Packers

Yes, the Rams are wonderful. Yes, they are at home. Yes, the Packers have some injuries and yes, they are still coached by Mike McCarthy, but with all of those cards in the deck stacked against him, I can’t see any way that Aaron Rodgers allows his team to get blown out. This seems like the kind of game he reminds everyone he is AARON MOTHER FUCKING RODGERS and does crazy Aaron Rodgers things while the play by play announcers climax simultaneously before collapsing into each other’s arms. Packers to cover, and maybe even win in some batshit crazy fashion we’ll meme for 2 weeks or more.

IN DYNASTY TERMS

It’s hard to imagine any Ram being affordable. Josh Reynolds as a long-term stash.

As for the Packers, I’m taking a wait and see approach on the RBs and rookie receivers.

Saints -0.5 @ Vikings

A defense looking to finds its way versus an offensive line doing the same. Two pretty great coaches. Several great receivers and running backs. One above average QB. One hall of fame QB. Brees to cover.

IN DYANSTY TERMS

Buy all the Kamara they will sell at any price. Sell all of the Michael Thomas and Adam Thielen they will buy at a premium. Buy all of the Tre’quan Smith you can get on the cheap, ditto Stefon Diggs, ditto the falling knife that is Dalvin Cook.

Pats -14.5 @ Bills

This looks like trouble. The Pats haven’t really thumped anyone this season save for the Dolphins at home. Next week they have a huge matchup versus Aaron Rodgers and the Packers. This has the feel of an old school Bill Belichick “do just enough to win” games. I expect a vanilla ground and pound game that will have us reminded of all of the lower end depth chart players on the Pats with names like James Develin getting mentioned on waiver wire podcasts. Meanwhile, for this Bills this game is a measuring stick. This will be their Super Bowl. The fans will be in rabid Pats-hating mode and the defense may be inspired enough to keep the Pats vanilla version offense at bay. Either that or New England will kick the holy hell out of them. My money is the Bills keep it close and cove.

IN DYANSTY TERMS

Probably the last chance to buy Sony Michel. The injury history narrative will get a nice walk around the block and it may give you a chance to get him at a reasonable price. Get him while you can, he won’t be there long.

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