🧩 Solving Week 8's Biggest Riddles

Trade drama & QB confusion...

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R.I.P. Matthew Perry…

In today’s Fantasy Life Newsletter presented by LG Channels:

  • 2 Big Question Marks for the Titans

  • Morning Download: Brock Purdy somehow clears protocol

  • Bets from the Group Chat: Climbing the ladder.

  • Updates on Colts and Browns RB injuries

  • Hidden Gems: A backup QB making an impact.

  • It’s 10/29. Take it away Peter Overzet…

The Titans are a weird team.

They made an effort to keep the playoff dreams alive this year by bringing in DeAndre Hopkins and seeing if Ryan Tannehill had a swan song in him, but those aspirations are now looking naïve with the team sitting at 2-4.

As they enter their Week 8 matchup—a revenge game for their former offensive coordinator (Arthur Smith) and TE (Jonnu Smith)—Tannehill won’t be available and the trade deadline looms (4 pm ET on Halloween).

The weirdness doesn’t end there, though. Let’s try to unpack two bizarre situations unfolding around the team…

✈️ Derrick Henry on the move?

It would make logical sense for the Titans to move on from the 29-year-old Pro Bowl RB. Rookie Tyjae Spears has looked electric in limited run and there’s no reason to maroon the King in a bad situation during the twilight of his career.

Or at least that’s what the headlines are passing along. If you read the second line of the report, it literally contradicts the impetus of the piece:

“This doesn't mean he won't be traded by Tuesday's 4 p.m. ET deadline -- the Titans simply told Henry they don't intend to move him.”

What?!

If we read between the lines, this is likely code speak for, “We would like to move Henry, but we haven’t gotten an offer that intrigues us yet.”

We currently have Henry listed as a high-end RB2 for today’s game vs. the Falcons.

I hadn’t been considering him much in daily fantasy contests, but there’s some intrigue here with a potential “trade audition” narrative at play, and the team needing to establish it on the ground without a serviceable QB. Speaking of which…

🤢 A QB by committee?

With Tannehill out this week, the Titans announced that Will Levis will start at QB…but also that Malik Willis will be involved?

What’s the old saying, “If you have two QBs you don’t have one”?

Neither Willis or Levis have impressed when they’ve seen the field, so it probably doesn’t matter much either way, but it is bizarre that the team won’t just commit to a starter.

Lmao. That looks like the face of a man who doesn’t believe he’ll be losing any work.

So to summarize:

  1. The Titans are not trading Henry but would still consider trading Henry

  2. The Titans are starting Levis but will consider mixing in Willis

Got it.

🛠️ Everything you need for Week 8

Read on for more info in the Morning Download, including updates on Brock Purdy, David Montgomery, and Jalen Ramsey.

For everything else you need for Week 8—including our Inactives page, which will update shortly after 11:30 am ET with all of the relevant status updates—you can get to your destination with a mere click of a button.

See our suite of tools to get you ready for today’s slate below:

Rankings
Inactives
Game Hub
Free Bets
Projections
Start Sit
Utilization Report
UD Picks
Morning Download

The NFL landscape is constantly changing, with players’ statuses getting frequent updates throughout the week. Unfortunately, that includes Saturday.

If you were doing something better than following the NFL during the weekend – lucky you – let’s get you caught up on everything you might have missed courtesy of Matt LaMarca...

Staying on top of the news is half the battle in the NFL. If you have more information than your leaguemates – and can make more informed decisions – you’re setting yourself up for success.

Let’s dive into three of the biggest developments you may have missed on Saturday.

😲 Brock Purdy Clears Protocol

It seemed like a real longshot that Purdy would be able to suit up after entering the concussion protocol following the team’s loss to the Vikings in Week 7. No player had yet to clear the protocol the same week that they entered, so it was looking like Sam Darnold could make his first start for the 49ers.

However, Purdy officially cleared the protocol on Saturday, so he’s good to go vs. the Bengals. What remains to be seen is how effective he’ll be for the 49ers and fantasy owners.

Purdy was phenomenal to start the year, ranking first in most efficiency metrics and entering the MVP conversation. However, with Deebo Samuel out or banged up for the past two weeks, Purdy has come crashing back to reality. He’s 18th in EPA + CPOE over the past two weeks, and he’s averaged less than 12 fantasy points per game.

Can you trust Purdy this week against a frisky Bengals’ defense? Our experts are still updating their rankings for Week 8, with Dwain McFarland putting Purdy at QB13. That puts him right on the borderline for one-QB leagues.

Personally, I’d prefer to go with another option if possible. With all 32 teams in action – and in leagues where you drafted Purdy as your second quarterback – I’d lean towards benching him for Week 8.

🚑️ David Montgomery Remains Out

Monty is officially a no-go for Monday Night Football, which means it’s Jahmyr Gibbs season once again. In two games without Montgomery this season, Gibbs has averaged right around 100 scrimmage yards per game. He was extremely busy as a receiver in last week’s blowout loss vs. the Ravens, and he found the endzone for the first time as a professional.

Gibbs likely won’t need to catch nine passes vs. the Raiders, but he should see plenty of work as a runner. The Raiders are 31st in defensive EPA/rush, and Gibbs has averaged a healthy 4.9 yards per attempt this season.

Gibbs vaults into RB1 territory for Week 8, owning the No. 5 slot in our Week 8 RB rankings.

The only downside is the likely absence of Frank Ragnow, who has started all seven games at center. He’s third at the position in Pro Football Focus grade, so the Lions’ rushing attack might be a little less potent than usual.

🌴 Jalen Ramsey Suits Up in Miami

Ramsey will play for the first time as a Dolphin, and he has the potential to change the narrative with Miami completely. So far this season, the Dolphins have been a team that can score plenty of points but is also capable of giving them all back on defense. That might not be the case with Ramsey rejoining Xavien Howard at cornerback.

Fantasy owners don’t want to hear this, but the defense improving would be terrible for the offense. You’re obviously not benching any of the Dolphins’ studs, but it’s something to monitor moving forward. Perhaps looking to sell high on someone like Raheem Mostert might not be the worst idea in the world.

📺 Fantasy Life on LG Channels LIVE TODAY at 11:00 am EST!

Get all of your last-minute news from the best in the business!!

Golden Tate, Kendall Valenzuela, and Ian Hartitz get you ready for all of the day's action on Fantasy Showtime Live exclusively on LG Channels!

When: TODAY at 11:00am EST

Who: The Fantasy Life team of Golden Tate, Kendall Valenzuela & Ian Hartitz

Why: Because they are going to get you ready to win your dominate your fantasy matchups before kick-off including:

  • Stars on the Trading Block

  • Tough Calls: Roschon or D’Onta?

  • Ian's Bold Prediction

  • 3 to Flex

Bets from the Group Chat

This is where Geoff elicits as much information as he can from my Fantasy Life colleagues about their leans for this week. It’s really a selfish endeavor as he’ll probably be using some of their plays to offset his own losers.

Welcome to Week 8 of Bets from the Group Chat.

If you’re tailing our group parlays from this segment, we’re now 1-1 after just missing out on the Buccaneers -2.5 last week. Overall, the plays are 5-1.

  • Week 6 recap: +543 

  • Week 7 recap +721 

Despite the loss you would be up a solid 4.43 units if you were tailing us with a unit allocation to date. This week, we’re back for more and have another parlay AND a ladder bet for Week 8.

Bets from the Group Chat

🤝 Bets From the Group Chat – GROUP PARLAY

  • Bet until: +9.5 (-120)

I don’t know if I will have the stones to bet the Cardinals but I have to admit, that is where I am leaning as well.

It’s a tough spot for Baltimore (traveling West, coming off huge win) and Lamar Jackson is just 19-28 ATS for his career as a favorite of -3.0 or more.

  • Bet until: +105

Freedman has found the terrible towel hidden deep inside his closet (under all his Cowboys garb) and is waving it frantically for the world to see. The Steelers won for him last week and he gave us some great trends that make the Steelers appealing again for Week 8:

“This is a classic spot to back Steelers HC Mike Tomlin (per Action Network):

Tomin at home: 75-62-4 ATS (7.1% ROI)

Tomlin as underdog: 57-31-4 ATS (25.7% ROI)

Tomlin as home underdog: 18-5-3 ATS (46.8% ROI)”

I wrote about Akers a little on twitter (X) this week myself. He had his highest snap rate of the year last week (39%) and his route rate doubled over Week 6 (27%), while Alexander Mattison’s declined.

The Packers have allowed 8th most receptions and 9th most receiving yards to opposing RBs.

😈 Week 8 group parlay: +666 (BetMGM)

Group Parlay

🪜 Week 8 Ladder Bet

Ladder bets are where you spread your unit allocation over different milestones.

The idea is to give yourself a better chance at hitting some bigger payouts while maintaining some exposure to the higher probability outcome lines as well. You can learn more about ladder betting strategy here.

The Week 8 ladder target is below.

💪 DK Metcalf, WR - Seahawks

  • over 51.5 yards -110 (BetMGM)

  • 75+ yards +230 (BetMGM)

  • 100+ yards +540 (BetMGM)

  • Play to: 75+ yards (+215) / 100+ yards (+500)

He faces a Cleveland secondary who is coming off its worst game of the season where they allowed 12.5 yards per attempt and three different Colts WRs to go for 50+ yards (Downs 125, Pittman 83, Pierce 53).

Playing into our thesis is also the fact that Tyler Lockett is banged up (questionable - hamstring), which could mean more targets for Metcalf.

Metcalf has hit 100+ yards in four games with Geno Smith (17.4% hit rate) and the implied probability on +540 odds (100+ yards) is right around 15%, so there is a little bit of value showing.

Ultimately, I think the circumstances have created a nice explosion spot for Metcalf. I already played him over on his regular line early in the week but playing for the big payouts through 75+ and 100+ yards is very warranted.

Watercooler

🐴 Keep an eye on the Colts backfield today. It could be the JT show.

🗺️ Is the Earth flat? A.J. Brown weighs in.

👀 10 Names to Watch Ahead of the 2023 NFL Trade Deadline. Things could get fun on Tuesday.

❄️ It’s going to be cold in Denver today. I don’t blame Taylor for not attending this one.

💪 Could Jerome Ford actually play today? Iron man.

😆 Teaching your parents to play fantasy football. Who is Ben Mason?!

🚑️ The Texans lose a WR for the next 2-3 weeks. Ouch.

Hidden Gems

Everyone knows the best plays. Jalen Hurts, Christian McCaffrey, Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce. But what about the sleepers no one else is on? Those are the guys that can vault you to the top of the leaderboard. In this weekly piece, Pete will go treasure hunting for Hidden Gems that you can draft in Battle Royale contests on Underdog Fantasy and in DFS contests.

With no byes in Week 8, this slate is packed with good plays.

We don’t have any marquee games with totals over 50, but we do have a handful of teams projected to score 25+ (Cowboys, Dolphins, Eagles, Ravens, Chiefs) and a few games with sneaky shootout potential (Colts/Saints, Vikings/Packers).

Because there are so many good plays available, it’s an especially great week to “scroll the eff down” and find the players who aren’t being drafted in every contest.

Below, I’ve identified two intriguing QB/WR stacks, as well as a couple RBs and TEs I love for contests in Week 8.

Hidden Gems

💎 QB: Gardner Minshew (ADP: 36), WR: Josh Downs (ADP: 35.7)

In case you haven’t noticed, the Colts are partaking in some wild games right now. They combined for 77 points last week vs. the Browns. The week before they combined for 57 points with the Jags. And now they are back at home facing off vs. a Saints defense that just gave up 31 points to the Jags.

Gardner Minshew, who is the QB13 on Underdog currently, is going undrafted in virtually every Battle Royale draft despite throwing for 300+ yards in both of his previous games. The Colts definitely want to be run-heavy, but they are playing so fast (fifth in average play-clock seconds, per Pat Thorman) that there is plenty of room for success through the air.

Best of all, Minshew has legitimate weapons in the passing attack that can speed up the game. Jonathan Taylor is a big play waiting to happen and Michael Pittman took a pass 75 yards to the house last week, but Josh Downs is my favorite way to stack up Minshew.

Over the last three weeks, Downs has been a consistent target earner, while also flashing a downfield skill set (his aDOT jumped to 15.83 in Week 7 and he accounted for 45% of the team’s air yards):

Josh Downs

Despite finishing as the WR4 last week, Downs is going undrafted in most contests and has an arguably higher/floor ceiling combo than Pittman, who gets drafted ahead of him.

There are all kinds of fun ways to attack this game (Taylor, while not sneaky, is one of my favorite clicks and I also think this is a great bounce-back spot for Chris Olave on the other side), but the Minshew/Downs stack offers tournament-winning potential at its current price (re: free).

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