Scott Engel is in his 12th year as the official Fantasy Football writer and analyst for Seahawks.com. He is an inaugural member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association's Hall of Fame. Scott is a four-time FSWA award winner and a 13-time nominee. You can find more of his fantasy football analysis at The Game Day and lineup rankings on RotoBaller.com.
After fantasy football players dealt with the major challenges of six teams being on byes in Week 7, we get a full schedule of games in Week 8. Yet there are still tough lineup determinations to consider and needed planning moves must be executed for the weeks ahead.
With more complete rosters of players available, start/sit decisions between two good options can become difficult to call. Carefully perusing the fantasy football waiver wire for players who can help you during the upcoming weeks is also essential.
We provide some players to go with when faced with close decisions. I also feature some possible free agent pickups that may still be available after initial waiver runs, and have the potential to supply improved fantasy output in the weeks ahead.
Analysis leans to Point-Per-Reception (PPR) formats.
The Saints are fourth-best in Fantasy Points Per game allowed to RBs. Taylor and Zack Moss also evenly shared the RB snaps in Week 7, each playing on 50 percent. But as impressive as Moss has been, Taylor has seen his snap counts increase from 17 to 42 to 50 percent over his first three games played in 2023. His playing time will continue to progressively increase, and Taylor had 110 scrimmage yards and rushed for a TD against a highly regarded Browns defense (second in the AFC in rushing yards allowed) last week.
Taylor is a proven star, so do not consider reserving him based on the matchup and his shared workload over the last few weeks. His snap count percentages should rise every week, and players of his caliber can often overcome perceived challenging matchups.
The Baltimore RB situation was a pure split in Week 7, as Justice Hill and Edwards each played on 50 percent of the snaps. While Hill can help fantasy players in deeper leagues with an occasional TD, Edwards, who is now in his fifth year with the Ravens, is coming off his best performance of the season heading into a good matchup. In a big win over the Lions in Week 7, Edwards rushed for 64 yards and a TD on 14 carries, and also busted loose for an 80-yard TD reception.
The Cardinals rank 30th in rushing yards allowed to RBs over the past four weeks and Edwards is a quality flex option for Week 8. The 6-foot-1, 238-pounder can make the most of his touches again this week.
The former Ram is progressing to the point where he might become the No. 1 RB for the Vikings soon, or possibly be very productive in a timeshare situation at minimum. In a rousing Week 7 win over the 49ers, Akers totaled 61 scrimmage yards on 12 touches. He has now played four games with Minnesota and in Week 8 Akers faces the Packers, who rank 30th in Fantasy Points Per Game allowed to RBs. The fantasy arrow is pointing up on Akers, and if he is not available on waivers in your league, consider trading for him if RB depth is needed.
The New Orleans running back rushed for 14 yards on five carries in his Week 7 return from a hamstring injury. Alvin Kamara is performing at a high level right now, and Taysom Hill will always loom as a threat to score near the goal line. But as Williams works back into optimum playing form, he should share at least a decent amount of work with Kamara, and he could emerge as a primary short-yardage runner for the Saints.
We cannot forget Williams rushed for 17 TDs last season so he may become worthy of flex consideration in the upcoming weeks. This week, New Orleans faces the Colts, who have allowed an AFC-high 10 rushing TDs to RBs, so we might see Williams find the end zone for the first time as a Saint.
The Bears are without starting QB Justin Fields, but undrafted rookie Tyson Bagent did an admirable job of keeping the offense operating at respectable levels in a win over Las Vegas in Week 7. Moore has often stood out in the past when playing with some less-decorated QBs. He has been held under 60 receiving yards in the past two weeks, yet Moore has an exploitable matchup ahead. The Chargers allow the most FFPG to WRs, so start the Bears' top pass-catcher with confidence in Week 8.
If you need a WR streamer or flex type for Week 8, you should consider Doubs. The Vikings rank 30th in yardage allowed to WRs. The second-year Green Bay WR caught his third TD pass of the season in Week 7. Doubs is a deeper play for Week 8, yet he is one that can pay off in a good matchup. He is a regular TD threat and can go over 90 receiving yards for the first time since Week 4.
Odell Beckham Jr.
The three-time Pro Bowler had his best game with the Ravens in Week 7, catching five of seven targets for 49 yards. In the last two games, Beckham has long receptions of 32 and 20 yards. In Week 8, Baltimore faces Arizona, which has allowed the most FFPG to WRs over the past four weeks. Lamar Jackson passed for 357 yards in Week 7, and as he continues to throw with much confidence, Beckham's fantasy production can improve in the weeks ahead. Add him as a speculative pickup before a possible quality fantasy outing against the Cardinals.
I have been mentioning the explosive Giants rookie since the preseason, and soon, the fantasy window to add him for promising production may close. Hyatt totaled 75 receiving yards on two receptions in Week 7. Before the 2023 draft, he drew scouting comparisons to former Eagles highlight-maker DeSean Jackson. Hyatt has played on over 70 percent of the Giants' snap counts over the past two games, and he is likely going to get more downfield playmaking opportunities over the next few games, so pick him up now.
WATCH LIST: Jake Bobo
The 6-foot-4, 207-pounder has become a quick fan favorite, while also making his early career case to stick in Seahawks lore with other impactful undrafted free agents such as Doug Baldwin, Dave Krieg, and Mack Strong. In Week 7, Bobo caught four passes for 61 yards and his second career TD, as he played a larger role in the offense. In any future weeks when he is projected to see increased opportunities in the passing game, the rookie from UCLA can be considered as a streamer for fantasy leaguers who are looking for a deeper play.
I started Bobo in two 14-team leagues in Week 7 and he provided quality fantasy totals. In some leagues, where the free agent list becomes very thin, keep Bobo on your radar.
Quarterbacks And Tight Ends
The Lions will bounce back at home after a big loss to Baltimore behind their QB. As I have detailed before, Goff delivers his best fantasy output when working at Ford Field. Since the 2022 season, Goff has thrown 30 of his 40 TD passes in home games. Las Vegas allowed three offensive TDs to Chicago last week and will be vulnerable to higher offensive output from the Lions.
Make sure to check your fantasy football waiver wire to see if the Arizona QB is still available. Murray might make his return from a knee injury by Week 10, and he can be a significant add for your playoff drive. In 11 games last season, Murray averaged 18.9 FFPG, which ranked seventh among regular starters.
The Las Vegas rookie had the best game of his NFL career in Week 6, catching five passes for 75 yards. If you stream TEs, consider starting Mayer in Week 8. The Lions have allowed the most receiving yards to the position among NFC teams. Mayer has shown off his tackle-breaking and yardage-after-the-catch abilities at times and can display more of his potential this week.
Now in his second year, the Arizona TE was targeted six times in Week 7 and he has totaled 11 targets over the past two weeks. The 23-year-old should become more of a fixture in the Arizona passing game with Zach Ertz (quadriceps) now on injured reserve. The nearing return of Murray can further boost McBride's outlook for the upcoming weeks.
For more fantasy football analysis from Scott Engel, visit The Game Day during the 2023 fantasy football season.
The Seahawks and Browns face off on Sunday, Oct. 29, 2023. Kickoff is set for 1:05 p.m. PT. Take a look back through history at the Seahawks' matchups against the Browns.