It's the greatest time of the year.
We have a full slate of NFL games here in Week 8 but that's not all... oh no, my friend. October is the greatest month in sports for a reason. Not only do we have some prime matchups in the NFL this week, but the NBA and NHL are both back, college football returns for another week of highlights and upsets, and we have a World Series showdown between the Diamondbacks and Rangers!
It seriously doesn't get any better than that if you're a sports fan. And what better way to celebrate such a great month than with a couple of winners! Can Dameon Pierce take advantage of a soft Panthers defense? Will Tyreek Hill continue to dominate in a divisional game against the Pats? Can Breece Hall get into the end zone this week?
Liz and I are here to take care of you, so let's get to it!
Daniel: This matchup is dream scenario for Hall for multiple reasons. First, he's clearly the guy in this backfield. This isn't a split with Dalvin Cook -- over the last three games, Hall has 42 touches, Cook has 10. Not only is he the guy, but he's averaging 6.5 yards per carry! That is ridiculous! Add to that a Giants defense that allows 137 rushing yards per game, 6th most in the NFL! They're allowing carries to average 5.0 yards per carry, which marries nicely with Hall's aforementioned ability to move the ball on the ground. And a quick bonus nugget, the Giants are allowing 1.4 TDs per game to RBs, 3rd most in the NFL.
Dameon Pierce OVER 53.5 rushing yards (at Carolina)
Liz: Fantasy managers have been waiting for Pierce to go off, but the second-year back has underwhelmed, averaging under 47 rushing yards per contest (RB27). Despite touching the ball nearly 18 times per week, Pierce has struggled with efficiency (3.4 YPT, RB53), largely because he's seeing a stacked box 33% of the time. This week, however, I like his chances of getting loose for some big gains. Coming off a bye with fresh legs, Pierce figures to find some holes against a Panthers run defense that's allowed the most yards post contact per rush (2.65).
Terry McLaurin OVER 55.5 receiving yards (vs. Philadelphia)
Liz: Spooky Season demands an appearance from Scary Terry! McLaurin has cleared the above line in three of his last four games. While his overall production has underwhelmed (only one TD on the season), the Commandeers No. 1 WR has averaged 5.3 catches (WR15) and 61.7 yards (WR21) per game. He also tends to crush when facing Philly. As Mike Clay points out in this week's Shadow Report, McLaurin has cleared 85 yards in each of his last three meetings against the Eagles (including Week 4 of this season). Meanwhile, Philadelphia's banged up secondary has struggled to contain opposing wideouts, allowing the fourth-most receiving yards over the past four weeks. Give me a 5-60-1 stat line for McLaurin in Sunday's divisional matchup.
Tyreek Hill OVER 91.5 receiving yards (vs. Patriots)
Daniel: This needs to be the week that Dameon Pierce gets on track, Liz. It's the perfect matchup -- I'm speaking it into existence with you. For my WR prop I'm going to start tracking Tyreek Hill and his battle to hit 2,000 receiving yards this season. He's currently averaging 128.9 yards per game which, if he were to keep up that pace over a full season, would hit 2,190 receiving yards. Okay, first off, that's incredible. It's unreal that someone could put up Madden numbers like that, even in today's NFL. Second, the line isn't 128.9 yards, it's 91.5 and that number is much different from a betting perspective. Even so, these Dolphins played the Patriots in Week 2 and Tyreek had his worst game of the season, going 5 for 40 and a touchdown. Don't think that Tyreek has forgotten that. I know he's been dealing with a hip injury that caused him to miss practice this week, and we all know this is a good Patriots secondary; they're allowing the 8th fewest yards to wide receivers this year. Add to that the likelihood that Jaylen Waddle gets a few more looks this week and that's pushing me to go with the under here.
Michael Mayer OVER 21.5 receiving yards (at Detroit)
Daniel: Liz, my fantasy team would love that Scary Terry stat line. Sign me up for 17FP! I'm going to unfortunately go against my own team here, and even though it doesn't feel good, I feel pretty good about this line. Tight ends against the Lions are averaging 6.1 receptions (3rd most) and 62.7 receiving yards (4th most) this season. They also give up the 6th most YAC to TEs, in part because of Aaron Glenn's heavy man scheme. I know that Mayer hasn't been the focal point of this offense, but he's seen a big jump in usage over the last three weeks -- two targets through the first four games compared to 13 targets in the last three games. One of the ways to move the ball against Detroit is by attacking the middle of the field with your tight end. Trust me -- I see it every week.
Liz: Who knew the key to unlocking Waller was starting Tyrod Taylor under center?! Waller managed a season-best 7-98-1 stat line in the Giants win over the Commandeers last Sunday. The Battle of New York figures to be equally ugly (O/U 35.5) in Week 8. Yet, Waller should remain Taylor's No. 1 target. I like his chances of converting against the Jets. NYJ has a stout defense up front and behind, but they can be had over the middle of the field, allowing the most fantasy points and an average of over 55 yards per game to opposing TEs. Waller's hamstring issue is, of course, a concern, but I'm bullish given the line.