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FFL: Week 8 | NFL: Week 8

Bengals-Eagles Preview

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Philadelphia Eagles' Carson Wentz passes during the first half of an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Rams, Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Laurence Kesterson)


Philadelphia Eagles' Miles Sanders (26) runs past Los Angeles Rams' Troy Hill (22) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Laurence Kesterson)


Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins (85) breaks a tackle from Cleveland Browns cornerback Tavierre Thomas (20) during the second half of an NFL football game Thursday, Sept. 17, 2020, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)


Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Mike Thomas celebrates after scoring a 4-yard touchdown during the second half of the team's NFL football game against the Cleveland Browns, Thursday, Sept. 17, 2020, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)


PHILADELPHIA (AP) The Philadelphia Eagles are dealing with adversity far earlier than usual. The Cincinnati Bengals are right where they've been for a while.

One of the teams should earn their first win Sunday - unless they tie - when the Bengals visit the Eagles.

An 0-2 start for the first time in five years with a difficult schedule upcoming has Philadelphia in a desperate spot in September. They've been in dire positions the past two Decembers and ended up in the playoffs.

''I think adversity hits in many different ways,'' Eagles coach Doug Pederson said. ''It's just a matter of how all the guys respond, how the coaches respond. And I think from a coaching standpoint, we've got to react positively to everything and get the guys going.''

The Bengals are looking to avoid their third 0-3 start in four years. They haven't had a winning season since 2015.

''Everybody's itching for the first win, and it's time to get that win,'' rookie quarterback Joe Burrow said. ''Everybody feels it in the building. There's some urgency.''

RUN OVER

The Bengals finished last against the run in 2019, allowing 149 yards per game. They overhauled the defense with an eye on stopping the run, but have been even worse in the first two games. The Chargers ran for 155 yards in an opening 16-13 win, and the Browns piled up 215 on the ground, putting it away with a fourth-quarter touchdown drive that consisted of all runs. They've been missing tackle Geno Atkins, sidelined both games with a shoulder injury, but it's much more than just the line. There have been missed tackles all around that turned short gains into long runs.

''We've struggled to stop the run, so you don't get that many attempts to get after the quarterback,'' end Carl Lawson said. ''Missed tackling is a big thing.''

CRITICIZING CARSON

Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz has struggled, tossing multiple picks in consecutive games for the first time in his career. Play-calling, inexperienced receivers and blocking in Week 1 have contributed to his inconsistency. But Pederson was critical of his franchise quarterback and fickle fans have piled on in Philadelphia.

''I'm not going to change anything drastically, by any means, it's just being smart and we'll be just fine,'' Wentz said. ''I'm confident in myself that I'll be just fine, and we'll take care of business.''

UP FRONT

Both teams have been plagued by injuries on the offensive line. For Cincinnati, Jonah Williams started at left tackle after missing his rookie season with a shoulder injury and has struggled at times. Right guard Xavier Su'a-Filo went on injured reserve after suffering an ankle injury in the opener. The lack of cohesion has left Burrow under steady pressure and left little room for Joe Mixon to run. Against the Browns, he was limited to 46 yards on 16 carries.

''We want to be more efficient in the run,'' center Trey Hopkins said. ''The way our games have gone, we've not always been in position to run the ball in some instances. In some instances we weren't very efficient at all. We weren't good enough. We weren't playing up to our standards.''

The Eagles lost left tackle Andre Dillard for the season in training camp. They lost three-time Pro Bowl right guard Brandon Brooks in June. Three-time Pro Bowl right tackle Lane Johnson missed Week 1. Left guard Isaac Seumalo will miss a few weeks with a knee injury.

HITTING THE ROAD

This is the Bengals' first game outside Ohio. They lost at home to the Chargers with no fans in Week 1 and lost at Cleveland - 250 miles north - in front of 6,000 fans last Thursday.

''It's certainly not the same as going on the road and having trouble with your communications,'' Bengals coach Zac Taylor said. ''I think that's the biggest thing of going on the road, having to work with silent cadence and all the communication stuff that comes with it. Obviously that's not really an issue when you're playing in an empty stadium or with 6,000 people.''

GOING DEEP

Burrow hasn't connected on many longer passes - he was 0-for-5 on deep throws in Week 1 - and that's a point of emphasis for the Bengals. Both the Chargers and Browns played deep coverage to try to make Burrow throw a lot of short stuff, which he did very well.

Wentz hit Jalen Reagor on a 55-yard play in Week 1, but didn't throw long last week. Reagor is out several weeks with a thumb injury.

Player Notes
Frank Gore Oct 31 12:50pm ET

New York Jets running back Frank Gore (hand) is listed as questionable to play in Week 8 against the Chiefs. Gore was limited in practice on both Wednesday and Friday but sat out on Thursday. You really shouldn't trust anyone in this atrocious Jets offense not named Jamison Crowder, and he's not expected to play this Sunday. The 37-year-old Gore is now dealing with an injury and has been splitting repetitions with rookie La'Mical Perine recently, further cratering his fantasy value. In what will likely be a blowout loss to the defending Super Bowl champions this weekend, trusting any of Gang Green's runners would be foolish. Gore is an RB4/flex that shouldn't be trusted in 12-team leagues if he's active.

From RotoBaller

Mike Evans Oct 31 12:50pm ET

Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans should see an increased target share without teammate Chris Godwin (finger) in Week 8. Evans has averaged nine targets per game in three starts without a healthy Godwin and has delivered WR2 numbers or better in all three of those contests. The matchup will be tough this week- he'll go up against a familiar foe in James Bradberry, who has been playing phenomenal football for New York. Still, Evans will get plenty of looks from Brady and has a good chance of finding the end zone in Week 8. Start him as a high-end WR2 this week who could very well finish among the top-12 at his position.

From RotoBaller

Leonard Fournette Oct 31 12:40pm ET

Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Leonard Fournette gets the Giants in Week 8 fresh off of leading his team's backfield in touches. Fournette played a season-high 56 percent of the snaps en route to 97 scrimmage yards on 17 touches back in Week 7. He'll face a Giants Defense that has allowed the 10th-most fantasy points to opposing halfbacks, including the fifth-most receiving yards. Tampa Bay is likely to operate with a lead, though Fournette seems to have the trust of the coaching staff as the third-down back. Expect a near-even split in touches with Ronald Jones II, with the former Jaguar handling much of the receiving work. He's a good flex play with RB2 upside, particularly in PPR formats.

From RotoBaller

Adam Shaheen Oct 31 12:40pm ET

Miami Dolphins tight end Adam Shaheen (shoulder) is listed as questionable for Week 8 against the Rams. Shaheen was a limited participant in practice all week, so he has a good shot at playing this Sunday. Just signed to a two-year extension worth up to $7.85 million this week, the 26-year-old has scored in each of his last two games. He had his best performance of the season in Week 6, catching all three of his targets for 51 yards and the score. But Shaheen has just seven targets and five catches for 58 yards in six games this year and remains behind Mike Gesicki in the tight end pecking order in Miami. Shaheen shouldn't be considered for starting fantasy lineups in Week 8.

From RotoBaller

Ronald Jones II Oct 31 12:30pm ET

Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Ronald Jones II gets a good matchup against the Giants on Monday Night Football. Jones II ran wild in the absence of Leonard Fournette, picking up over 100 yards rushing in three consecutive games while handling at least 20 touches in each contest. However, Fournette returned healthy last week and out-touched Jones II 17-14, as the latter saw a huge dip in his snap percentage. Still, it appears that the 23-year-old will retain his early-down role for the time being, with head coach Bruce Arians referring to Fournette as more of his "nickel" back. With Tampa Bay projected to be in the lead against the Giants, Jones II will likely get his chances on the ground, making him a low-to-mid RB2.

From RotoBaller

Tyler Higbee Oct 31 12:30pm ET

Los Angeles Rams tight end Tyler Higbee (hand) is listed as questionable for Week 8 against the Dolphins. Higbee was limited in practice all week, so he has a good chance to play this weekend after being a late scratch last in Week 7. Gerald Everett won't be a TE2 streamer if Higbee returns, which is looking more likely. Aside from his five-catch, 54-yard, three-touchdown performance in Week 2 against the Eagles, Higbee hasn't done a whole lot for his fantasy managers. He'll be a low-end TE2 if he returns on Sunday against Miami, one of two teams that have yet to allow a touchdown to a tight end in 2020.

From RotoBaller

John Ross Oct 31 12:20pm ET

Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver John Ross III has made it known that he wants out of Cincinnati. Ross replied bluntly to a local sports reporter on Thursday on his feelings at this point in the season in his fourth NFL campaign. "It's not a secret that I have requested a trade," Ross wrote. "Trade me if this how y'all feel. I'm healthy and eager to play. I know I can be productive. It's hard to love something when your (sic) not actually participating in it. Believe me, its (sic) not football that I don't like." Ross has world-class speed but has struggled through injuries and has caught only 51 passes for 733 yards and 10 touchdowns in three-plus seasons. He played 56 snaps in the season-opener but has since played 29 snaps and was inactive in Week 7 with an illness. The 24-year-old should be on the waiver wire in all single-year formats, but he could find his way back to fantasy relevance if he's traded and lands in a promising situation.

From RotoBaller

Michael Pittman Jr. Oct 31 12:10pm ET

The Indianapolis Colts activated rookie wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. (leg) from Injured Reserve on Saturday and waived receiver Daurice Fountain in a corresponding move. Pittman played in three games before suffering his leg injury, which required surgery. The second-round selection out of USC caught nine of his 12 targets for 73 yards in his three games before being sidelined. The 23-year-old is a big-bodied receiver than can succeed on contested catches and in the red zone, and he should immediately return to a role alongside T.Y. Hilton and Zach Pascal. However, Indy's slow-paced, run-first offense hasn't had the kind of passing volume under quarterback Philip Rivers to make any one receiver particularly attractive in fantasy this year. But Pittman's upside makes him a must-stash in dynasty/keeper leagues, and he's worth a pickup in deeper leagues as well for depth.

From RotoBaller

Dallas Goedert Oct 31 12:00pm ET

The Philadelphia Eagles are expected to activate tight end Dallas Goedert (ankle) from Injured Reserve for the Sunday night game against the division-rival Cowboys, according to sources. It's a bit of a surprise, as most expected Goedert to return closer to Week 10, but apparently he impressed the coaches and medical staff during practice this week. The Eagles could choose to limit his snaps, especially after Richard Rodgers impressed in last week's win over the Giants, but the 25-year-old Goedert should at least be considered a low-end TE1 this weekend against a Cowboys Defense that hasn't really been able to stop much of anything this year. They've given up the 10th-most fantasy points per game to opposing tight ends. Goedert's return should also make Rodgers a less appealing tight end streamer.

From RotoBaller

Jalen Reagor Oct 31 12:00pm ET

The Philadelphia Eagles are activating rookie wide receiver Jalen Reagor (thumb), offensive lineman Jason Peters, linebacker T.J. Edwards and safety Rudy Ford from Injured Reserve on Saturday. Reagor will return for the Sunday night game against the Cowboys for the first time since suffering a thumb injury in Week 2 that required surgery. The first-round pick should be a starter this weekend, but he'll be a risky flex option in deeper leagues because of the possibility that he has his snaps limited in his first game back. The matchup against Dallas is an excellent one, too, as the Cowboys have allowed the fourth-most fantasy points per game to wideouts in 2020. Travis Fulgham still remains Philly's highest-upside pass-catcher, though.

From RotoBaller

Denver Broncos Oct 31 11:50am ET

The Denver Broncos Defense will face a rising young star in Chargers rookie quarterback Justin Herbert in their Week 8 divisional matchup. Herbert has 12 touchdowns, three interceptions and a 108.1 QB rating in five games, and the Broncos D has allowed a QB rating of 92.5 this year. They'll be looking to limit the big play after surrendering six passing plays of at least 16 yards to the Chiefs in Week 7. Entering Week 8, Denver's six takeaways were tied for 24th in the league, their three interceptions tied for 23rd and their minus-eight differential 31st. The Broncos have actually been decent at limiting big plays by their opponents this year despite not having their top playmakers available because of injury, but their lack of turnovers has made them a low-upside streaming unit for fantasy managers. They are tied for eighth in the league with 18 sacks, so perhaps they can get to Herbert early and often and force him into mistakes.

From RotoBaller

Brandon McManus Oct 31 11:40am ET

Denver Broncos kicker Brandon McManus never had a chance to deliver for fantasy managers in Week 7 against the Chiefs in snowy conditions. A week after being the hero with six made field goals against the Patriots, McManus made one field goal and went 1-for-2 on extra points. In a Broncos offense that has been below-average through six games in 2020, the 29-year-old's six field-goal performance in Week 6 is looking like an outlier. While there should be more opportunities against the division-rival Chargers this Sunday -- the Bolts allow the ninth-most fantasy points per game to opposing kickers -- McManus is merely a streaming consideration for those in 14-team leagues this weekend.

From RotoBaller

Albert Okwuegbunam Oct 31 11:30am ET

Denver Broncos rookie tight end Albert Okwuegbunam has emerged in the last two weeks as quarterback Drew Lock's favorite target. Okwuegbunam made his NFL debut in Week 6 when Noah Fant (ankle) was sidelined, and he led the squad in receiving last week, catching all seven of his targets for 60 yards. He has 13 targets the last two weeks, showing the chemistry that he has with Lock from their days at Missouri. However, Fant ran more routes than the rookie last week and is getting closer to full health, which could spell trouble for Albert O. The 22-year-old is certainly intriguing, but the presence of Fant will cap his upside. If receiver Tim Patrick (hamstring) doesn't play against the Chargers this Sunday, Okwuegbunam will be an upside TE2.

From RotoBaller

Noah Fant Oct 31 11:20am ET

Denver Broncos tight end Noah Fant (ankle) was taken off the final Week 8 injury report and is good to go for Sunday's game against the division-rival Chargers. Fant was limited in practice on Wednesday, but he got in full practices both Thursday and Friday. The second-year tight end missed Week 6 because of the injury, but he returned last weekend and disappointed with a season-low three receptions for 38 yards. The good news is he was tied for the team lead with seven targets, but rookie tight end Albert Okwuegbunam out-produced him and has become a favorite target of quarterback Drew Lock. That's a concern, but Fant is getting closer to full health and could see a healthy amount of targets if receiver Tim Patrick (hamstring) can't play. The Chargers also allow the 11th-most fantasy points per game to opposing tight ends, so Fant has clear top-10 tight end upside this week despite the emergence of Albert O.

From RotoBaller

Tom Brady Oct 31 11:10am ET

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady is on a roll heading into a Week 8 matchup with the Giants. After a slow start to the season, Brady has now thrown for 1,454 passing yards with 15 touchdowns and just one interception in his last five contests. The Giants have been a pleasant surprise against opposing quarterbacks for fantasy this year, though they've slipped a bit, allowing at least 250 passing yards and two touchdowns to each of the last two signal-callers they've faced. Brady can be started as a solid QB1 against New York on Monday Night Football.

From RotoBaller

KJ Hamler Oct 31 11:00am ET

Denver Broncos rookie wide receiver K.J. Hamler returned last week after missing a month with a hamstring injury, but he didn't do much in the 43-16 blowout loss to the Chiefs, catching two of his three targets for 24 yards. He also ran the ball once for 10 yards. Hamler saw seven targets in the Week 2 loss to Pittsburgh, but he just hasn't been involved enough in Denver's spotty passing attack to warrant fantasy attention in any single-year fantasy formats. In his four games, the second-round pick has caught eight of his 15 targets for 102 yards. The Penn State alum could find himself in a bigger role this Sunday against the Chargers if Tim Patrick (hamstring) is ruled out, but even then he'd be a desperation dart throw as a flex in deep leagues.

From RotoBaller

Jerry Jeudy Oct 31 10:50am ET

Denver Broncos rookie wide receiver Jerry Jeudy showed up on the team's Week 8 injury report with a shoulder injury, but he practiced in full all week and is good to go for Sunday against the Chargers. An impressive route-runner with very quick feet, Jeudy's potential hasn't manifested itself yet through six games. He's seen only 13 targets in the last three games combined and has just six catches over that span. Jeudy had two grabs for a season-low 20 yards in the blowout loss to Kansas City last week and has seen his fantasy stock drop considerably in recent weeks. The 21-year-old has been tough to trust as a flex in Denver's inconsistent offense, but he has rebound potential this week against the Chargers if Tim Patrick (hamstring) cannot play. Jeudy will be an upside WR3/flex if Patrick is inactive.

From RotoBaller

Giovani Bernard Oct 31 10:40am ET

Cincinnati Bengals running back Giovani Bernard will once again have an expanded role. With Joe Mixon (foot) out of the equation against the Titans, his second-straight absence, the veteran will serve as the top option out of the backfield against a Tennessee team looking to rebound from its first loss of the year. Bernard filled in admirably in Week 7 against the Cleveland Browns, finishing with 37 yards off 13 carries while also catching all five of his targets for 59 yards and a touchdown. Although Cincy's offensive line is banged up, Bernard should still be considered a starting option on Sunday, especially in PPR formats, as he may get plenty of looks from rookie signal-caller Joe Burrow.

From RotoBaller

Tim Patrick Oct 30 11:10pm ET

Denver Broncos wide receiver Tim Patrick (hamstring) missed practice all week but is considered questionable for Week 8 against the Chargers. Patrick has been the team's most reliable fantasy receiver so far in 2020 in what has been an inconsistent offense, seeing at least four targets in each game while going over 100 yards receiving in both Weeks 4 and 6. But a full week of missed practices doesn't bode well for his availability in this divisional matchup. As of right now, you should have other options in place. If Patrick is inactive, Jerry Jeudy, K.J. Hamler and DaeSean Hamilton would likely be the team's top three receivers. Check back on Sunday for the official inactives to see if Patrick is suiting up.

From RotoBaller

Phillip Lindsay Oct 30 11:00pm ET

Denver Broncos running back Phillip Lindsay (concussion) is listed as questionable for Week 8 against the Chargers. Lindsay did not practice on Wednesday, but he got in limited action both Thursday and Friday, at least giving him a chance to be cleared before Sunday's game. The 26-year-old was more effective than Melvin Gordon in Week 7 against the Chiefs before suffering a head injury, toting the rock nine times for 79 yards (8.78 yards per attempt). He's sporting a 5.2 yard-per-carry average in 2020, but Lindsay can't shake the injury bug, playing in just one full game to this point. If he's active against the Bolts, he'll once again be sharing touches with Gordon, making him a risky RB3/flex for this weekend.

From RotoBaller