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Fantasy football: Perfect lineup for Week 8

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I must be perfect... or else.

NFL: Minnesota Vikings at Tennessee Titans Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

I couldn’t be more disappointed in myself. Durst, John Otto, the rest of the Limp Bizkit family of musicians, none of that energy resulted in putting together a perfect lineup in Week 7. In fact, it was one of my biggest failures to date: Odell Beckham Jr. wasn’t even the best Beckham in fantasy last week, Allen Robinson continues to experience one of the worst regressions in fantasy football of recent memory and Jamaal Charles literally had one carry for no yards. There’s more bad to speak of, but I learned a lot about what it means to put together a fantasy football lineup. For instance, you should never assemble a lineup while consuming solely Limp Bizkit music for a 48-hour window; it just filled me up with a lot of unwarranted angst and clouded my better judgment.

But that’s all in the past... The amount of self-restraint I just employed to not make one last Limp Bizkit reference was zen-like. Okay, that’s it, Bizkit is dead to me. It’s now a part of the past, like it belongs to many of you. From here on out, it’s my way.

Quarterback

Jameis Winston at $7,400

Winston made short work of the San Francisco defense last week, throwing for 269 yards, three touchdowns and turning the ball over only once on an interception in the first half. This week, Winston gets another defense that has struggled so far this season against quarterbacks in fantasy: the Oakland Raiders. Oakland has put together back-to-back weeks of keeping opposing quarterbacks well below the league average amount of fantasy points surrendered, but those two quarterbacks were Alex Smith and Blake Bortles: not exactly the gold standard when it comes to fantasy quarterbacks. Winston is rather cheap and has great upside this week playing at home.

Running backs

DeMarco Murray at $8,300

Devontae Booker at $5,600

Here’s the situation in front of DeMarco Murray tonight against Jacksonville: the Jaguars are in the midst of not an identity crisis, but a trying to figure out what it means to be a football team. It’s bad. It’s not a good situation in Jacksonville when we have already marked off this space on our bingo charts for the 2016-2017 season.

Jacksonville’s run defense has been just a shade below average, ranked 18th in yards allowed, and they’ve even been slightly above average in the amount of fantasy points allowed to opposing running backs: 18.9 FPts versus the 20.7 league average. However, I’d be willing to say that Jaguars have yet to face a running back quite like Murray this season, and I think he’s primed for a big performance on the granddaddy of them all—”Thursday Night Football.”

Devontae Booker, with the injury to Denver’s starter C.J. Anderson, is going to get the bulk of the carries in the Broncos’ matchup against a San Diego rush defense that has been hemorrhaging fantasy points to opposing running backs—27.5 FPts, or a full 6.8 more fantasy points than the league average. Booker is cheap and intriguing because of his situation and matchup, so this week is the chance to benefit from him in DFS.

Wide receivers

Larry Fitzgerald at $7,000

Mike Evans at $7,900

A.J. Green at $8,500

The Cardinals will head to Carolina this week to play a Panthers defense that has really missed Josh Norman: Carolina is ranked 26th in pass defense, and giving up the third most net yards gained per pass attempt (7.8). After the devastating... err... tie against the Seahawks last Sunday night, Arizona will be looking to put more points on the board than just six, and I don’t trust many more people to do that more than I do Bruce Arians. Arizona’s identity has shifted, becoming more run-oriented on offense, but I think the Cardinals open up the game trying to move the ball down the field early through the air. Fitzgerald is still getting a steady diet of targets—10 per game—and is assuredly going to be a part of the Cardinals success on Sunday.

Mike Evans is a great option in this perfect lineup I’m curating here because you’re stacking him with Jameis, and if you have faith in the quarterback having a big day, you have to figure his number one target is going to have a day too. As I pointed out earlier when talking about the expectations for Winston this week, the Raiders defense has played better the last couple of weeks, but much of that can be attributed to the pair of lackluster offenses they played. Evans had a great game—the best game he’s had all year from a fantasy standpoint—last week against an equally bad 49ers defense. Remember, Oakland is giving up the most net yards gained per pass attempt (8.0) and has given up 166 receptions, good for the 10th most in the league.

I don’t have much to say for A.J. Green that can’t be said with this:

Tight end

Travis Kelce at $5,700

Of course the joke here would have been to put yet another tight end the Lions are facing, but in the words of the great wearer of mascot heads, not so fast, my friend! The Colts have struggled mightily with keeping tight ends in check and Travis Kelce looks to be the latest beneficiary of a matchup with Indianapolis. Ranked 27th against opposing tight ends in fantasy, the Colts have given up big back-to-back weeks to Delanie Walker and... C.J. Fiedorowicz.

Since the coming off of the bye in Week 5, Kelce has struggled to return to the form that had him among the top five tight ends. A matchup with this Colts defense could be just what he needs to get off the schneid.

Kicker

Dan Bailey at $4,700

A kicker. Just a kicker and his kicks, and all of it inside a dome.

Defense

Tennessee Titans at $4,500

While the Titans defense hasn’t been especially good—or even really average for that matter—they get the benefit of playing against the Jaguars and Blake Bortles aka The Interception Machine. The value is here even if the talent to produce fantasy points hasn’t been for much of the season.

**

So here’s the deal. If you paid attention to the sub-header above that image of DeMarco Murray at the top of this page, I said I needed to be “perfect... or else.” If my lineup is not absolutely perfect this week, meaning that every single player isn’t the best option(s) at that position, Pride Of Detroit will be having a contest in Week 9 to see who can put together a better lineup than me, the fantasy guru. With the election right around the corner, let’s just say that the prize could be... presidential in its very essence.

Stay tuned in to Pride Of Detroit and on Twitter—@PrideOfDetroit—and my own personal account, @Ryan_POD, for more details.