8 Fantasy Football Sleepers for Week 8
Sleeper is an ambiguous term. For the purpose of this article, we'll define it as anyone on fewer than half of Yahoo! rosters. Typically, I'll actually aim to feature players on fewer than 40 percent of rosters.
Don't worry, deep-league gamers, this article is intended to help folks in leagues of all shapes and sizes. With that in mind, I'm following my predecessor's lead, including honorable mentions. If the featured players are already rostered in your league, the honorable mentions should provide you with players to consider filling in for an injured starter or a player on a bye -- or for whatever other reason you're diving into the free-agent pool.
While this article is primarily written through a season-long lens, sleepers are certainly viable as daily fantasy punts in certain builds, too. Keep that in mind when you're looking for cash-game savings or trying to gain cheap leverage in tournaments. That's why you'll see every player's FanDuel salary listed next to their Yahoo! roster percentage.
Let's get to it.
Whether it's Winston or Andy Dalton (4% | $7,100) who winds up starting, they'll be in a really good spot. Vegas has allowed the most fantasy points per game to quarterbacks (23.8), and our model is pretty into Winston, projecting him for 16.1 FanDuel points and ranking him as the main slate's QB10.
Getting back one or both of Jarvis Landry and Michael Thomas would help, but even without those two, the Saints' aerial attack should have success in this spot. I prefer Jameis over Dalton, but either is capable of a big game in Week 8.
P.J. Walker (4% | $6,400) - This is a deep-league call; I wouldn't suggest using Walker in DFS. But I don't mind him as a QB2 play this week in two-quarterback formats.
The Carolina Panthers loosened the leash on Walker in Week 7 after barely letting him toss the ball downfield in Week 6. It resulted in the Panthers' biggest win of the season -- a game in which Walker finished with 177 passing yards and two scores.
This week, Carolina gets an indoor game at the Atlanta Falcons. Atlanta's secondary was short-handed going into Week 7, playing without Dee Alford and Casey Hayward, and then A.J. Terrell got hurt mid-game. It resulted in Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals' passing game going nuclear.
Walker isn't Burrow, but he can deliver a fine QB2 performance this week, especially if Atlanta is still depleted in the secondary.
For the year, Herbert has 464 rushing yards on 75 carries while David Montgomery has produced 308 rushing yards on 78 attempts. While Montgomery has done more in the passing game, Herbert has been an impactful pass-catcher when given opportunities, hauling in six of seven targets for 62 yards and a tuddie.
In Week 7, Montgomery played 56% of the snaps, and Herbert was in on 41% of the plays. As long as that kind of split holds true, it'll be tough for Herbert to have a breakout week, but the roles could change any given week if Herbert keeps outproducing Montgomery. Bears coach Matt Eberflus has already said he's willing to ride the hot hand.
Chicago has a tough one at the Dallas Cowboys in Week 8. The Bears are 9.5-point road 'dogs, which could lead to additional pass-game volume for both Bears backs.
While I think Herbert surpasses Montgomery eventually, it's always tough finding production from low-rostered backs, and Herbert just showed us on Monday night that he can put up numbers even as the number-two in a timeshare. I consider Herbert a flex play for Week 8.
Rachaad White (30% | $5,400) - Leonard Fournette has had a really good role for most of 2022, but he hasn't been very productive, averaging only 3.5 yards per carry. With how brutal the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are on offense right now, it's not out of the question that we start to see more of White.
White got solid run in Week 7, logging a 44% snap rate, compared to Fournette's 60% clip. It's the most White has played in a game this season.
There's no guarantee White's role grows for this Thursday's game against the Baltimore Ravens. But if you're in a pinch, White can be a flex play in PPR formats, and he's a decent dart throw for the single-game slate.
It's another great matchup for the Cowboys' offense. Dallas sports a 26.0-point implied total as a 9.5-point home favorite. Chicago's D is a middle-of-the-road unit, ranking 17th by our schedule-adjusted metrics.
Ideally in DFS, we could get exposure to Dallas' offense through their run game, but with Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard in a timeshare, it's not an appealing situation. I will be rolling the dice on Gallup, who might slip through the cracks a bit due to his dud last week. Even in that donut, both of Gallup's looks were downfield targets, and his average target depth was 22.7. Clearly, we want more than two targets, but Gallup's downfield volume gives him big-play ability.
Gallup has logged a 24% air yards share and 17% target share over four games since coming back from injury. With Dak Prescott now having a week under his belt, the Cowboys' passing game could crush in this spot, and I want pieces of it. Gallup is a salary-saving way to get in on the action.
K.J. Osborn (4% | $5,300) - One of the best fantasy environments of Week 8 is the Minnesota Vikings-Arizona Cardinals game. I like using Osborn as a low-salary and contrarian way to get exposure to it.
The game boasts a 48.5-point total and 3.5-point spread, making it ideal for stacking. Guys like Justin Jefferson, Dalvin Cook, Kyler Murray and DeAndre Hopkins all figure to be popular targets. Osborn won't be chalky, but he checks some boxes.
Osborn has played 74% of the Vikings' offensive snaps this season, and he posted snap rates of 84% and 82% in Weeks 4 and 5. He should be out there plenty, and if Jefferson sees a lot of Byron Murphy, it could push more looks Osborn's way.
Irv Smith Jr. (51% | $5,000) - Some of what I just said about Osborn can also be said for Smith.
The Vikings' tight end is another economical way to get a piece of the Vikings-Cardinals affair, and it's a plum spot for him. Arizona has allowed the second-most half-PPR points per game to tight ends (16.9). Juwan Johnson just got to them for two touchdowns in Week 7.
Smith is the best tight end streamer for season-long leagues, and he's plenty viable as a low-salary option in DFS.
Harrison Bryant (4% | $4,800) - With David Njoku expected to miss some time, Bryant should step into more snaps and targets than what he's been getting. Of course, it's not a lock Bryant assumes all of Njoku's role, but Njoku had a pretty sweet thing going, amassing an 18% target share while playing the second-most snaps on the team.
Bryant already has six total looks across the past two games, and he has deep-league appeal this week if you're in a tough spot at tight end.