Fantasy Football Week 8 Sleepers: Raheem Mostert, Jalen Richard ready for bigger roles

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Week 8 could be fun for sleeper running backs due to all the injuries at the position, as well as the bye weeks. Some of these guys could help you win your matchup this week.

We're already down Ezekiel Elliott, Melvin Gordon, Austin Ekeler, Tevin Coleman, Ito Smith, Derrick Henry and Dion Lewis because of the bye. And some of the injuries we're dealing with include Sony Michel (knee), LeSean McCoy (concussion), Matt Breida (ankle), Royce Freeman (ankle), Marshawn Lynch (groin), Bilal Powell (neck), Theo Riddick (knee), Dalvin Cook (hamstring), Leonard Fournette (hamstring), Chris Thompson (ribs), Giovani Bernard (knee), Darren Sproles (hamstring), and Peyton Barber (undisclosed).

You might be scrambling to find a starting option or someone to play at the flex. And some guys that could help you this week include Raheem Mostert, Jalen Richard, Kenjon Barner and Devontae Booker.

It might seem risky to trust these running backs. But you might not have a choice. And as you'll read below, they might not be as bad as you think.

Quarterbacks
17.2 projected points
Baker Mayfield Cleveland Browns QB
He just scored a season-high 24 Fantasy points at Tampa in Week 7, and the Steelers have allowed all but one quarterback to score at least 21 Fantasy points this year, which was Ryan in Week 5. Mayfield isn't likely going to have a huge game against Pittsburgh, but he remains a good streaming option in this matchup.
18.0 projected points
Joe Flacco Baltimore Ravens QB
Flacco doesn't typically play well on the road, but he does have at least 21 Fantasy points in two of four games away from Baltimore this year. He's at Carolina this week, and the Panthers have allowed five quarterbacks in a row to score at least 18 Fantasy points, with three scoring at least 22 points. Flacco can be a useful starting option in two-quarterback and super-flex leagues.
17.4 projected points
Derek Carr Oakland Raiders QB
Even without Amari Cooper, who was traded to Dallas, Carr should be fine with his revamped receiving corps. And it's a good matchup in Week 8 against the Colts. Indianapolis has allowed three of the past four opposing quarterbacks to score at least 21 Fantasy points, with the lone exception being Derek Anderson in Week 7. Carr only has one game with more than 17 Fantasy points this year, but he can still be useful in two-quarterback or super-flex leagues.
Running backs
2.7 projected points
Raheem Mostert San Francisco 49ers RB
If Breida (ankle) is out this week as expected, then look for Mostert's projected points to rise. And consider Mostert a must-start option against the Cardinals , who allow the most Fantasy points to opposing running backs. Mostert can even be a flex option if Breida plays. In the past two games against Green Bay and the Rams , Mostert has 19 carries for 146 yards, as well as four catches for 19 yards.
6.2 projected points
Chris Ivory Buffalo Bills RB
If McCoy (concussion) is out, look at Ivory as at least a flex option against the Patriots , who have allowed eight running backs to either score or gain at least 90 total yards this season. In two games this year where McCoy was either out or left early — Week 3 at Minnesota and last week at Indianapolis — Ivory had at least 13 PPR points, with more than 100 total yards and three catches in each outing.
9.7 projected points
Jalen Richard Oakland Raiders RB
Richard and Doug Martin will now lead Oakland's backfield with Marshawn Lynch (groin) on injured reserve, and I like Richard better, especially in PPR. He has scored at least 11 PPR points in four of six games, and he already has 31 catches for 253 yards on 37 targets. He doesn't have more than five carries in any game this year, and he's never been above nine carries in a game in his three-year career, but his role should expand now. Indianapolis has already allowed six running backs to either score or gain at least 90 total yards this year, and the Colts are tied for second in the NFL in receptions allowed to running backs with 49.
5.1 projected points
Kenjon Barner New England Patriots RB
We'll see what happens with Sony Michel (knee) and his availability for Week 8 at Buffalo, but if he's out as expected, Barner could have an expanded role in tandem with James White , who is a must-start running back in all leagues. With Michel getting hurt in Week 7 at Chicago, Barner had 10 carries for 36 yards. He's worth using as flex option this week against the Bills , who allow the 11th most Fantasy points to opposing running backs this year.
10.3 projected points
T.J. Yeldon Jacksonville Jaguars RB
Yeldon is going to lose playing time and touches this week against the Eagles with Carlos Hyde expected to make his Jaguars debut. But I still like Yeldon as the best running back in this game, especially PPR. The Eagles are tough to run on, and they've only allowed two running backs to score this season with Tevin Coleman in Week 1 and Saquon Barkley in Week 6. But Philadelphia has allowed the fourth-most receptions to running backs this season with 47, and Yeldon has three receiving touchdowns in his past four games, with four touchdown receptions on the season. He also has 30 catches on the year, and don't be afraid of Yeldon this week with Hyde playing.
12.1 projected points
Nyheim Hines Indianapolis Colts RB
Hines has struggled the past two games with Marlon Mack back, but Mack (ankle) is hurt once again. In his past two games, Hines was held to eight carries for 61 yards, along with only three catches for 16 yards on three targets, against the Jets and Bills. His workload will increase with Mack banged up, and hopefully Andrew Luck leans on him more in the passing game. The Raiders have allowed seven running backs to either score or gain at least 100 total yards this season, so Hines is a sneaky play with Mack hurt.
7.5 projected points
Devontae Booker Denver Broncos RB
Booker gets a slight boost in value with Freeman likely out in Week 8 at Kansas City. Phillip Lindsay has the chance to be a star with Freeman hurt, but Booker will get an increased workload. He's already scored at least nine PPR points in two of his past five games, and he could be a flex option in deeper leagues. The Chiefs have allowed 11 running backs to either score or gain at least 90 total yards this year.
Wide receivers
10.4 projected points
Geronimo Allison Green Bay Packers WR
I'm expecting Allison to play this week after being out since Week 4 with a concussion/hamstring injury. Prior to getting hurt, Allison had at least 12 PPR points in all four games he played this year, and he should be in that range again this week. This game is expected to be high scoring (Las Vegas has the over/under at 56.5 points), and all the main options in Green Bay's passing attack are worth using, especially if Allison is healthy.
9.6 projected points
Tre'Quan Smith New Orleans Saints WR
Smith played 73 percent of the snaps in Week 7 at Baltimore, but he managed just three catches for 44 yards on six targets. He's a Hail Mary play against Minnesota, but he should avoid Xavier Rhodes, which could mean some shots down the field from Drew Brees. He's probably better suited for daily leagues than seasonal formats, but Smith should be added in all leagues in case he starts to take off soon as the No. 2 receiver opposite Michael Thomas.
9.1 projected points
Chester Rogers Indianapolis Colts WR
Andrew Luck only attempted 23 passes in Week 7 against Buffalo, but Rogers was tied for second in targets with four, matching the total of T.Y. Hilton, just behind Eric Ebron (seven). He tied Hilton in receptions with four and led the team in receiving yards with 40. It's not impressive, but it does show Rogers isn't going away now that Hilton is back. And Ryan Grant (ankle) is also hurt. Rogers can still be a No. 3 Fantasy receiver, especially in PPR, in Week 8 at Oakland.
11.5 projected points
Chris Godwin Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR
Godwin didn't score in Week 7 against Cleveland, and he finished with minimal production with five catches for 59 yards on six targets, but I'm still sticking with him this week against the Bengals. Cincinnati has allowed at least two receivers to score at least 11 PPR points in three of the past four games against Atlanta in Week 4, Pittsburgh in Week 6 and Kansas City last week. Godwin will obviously be competing with Mike Evans and DeSean Jackson for targets, but I still like Godwin as a high-end No. 3 Fantasy receiver in this matchup.
8.0 projected points
Martavis Bryant Oakland Raiders WR
Bryant has yet to have a big game with the Raiders, but there's a nice opportunity now with Cooper traded to Dallas. His playing time and production should rise, and he's worth a flier this week against the Colts. He actually has a good track record against Indianapolis if you're into historical trends, with 12 catches for 239 yards and three touchdowns in three career games against the Colts when he was with the Steelers. I like Jordy Nelson this week, and Indianapolis has allowed a pair of receivers to score three times this season (A.J. Green and John Ross in Week 1, DeAndre Hopkins and Will Fuller in Week 4 and Josh Gordon and Cordarrelle Patterson in Week 5). Hopefully, the Raiders will follow suit in Week 8.
Tight ends
10.3 projected points
Vance McDonald Pittsburgh Steelers TE
McDonald had a solid game prior to Pittsburgh's bye in Week 7 with seven catches for 68 yards on eight targets at Cincinnati in Week 6. He's now scored at least nine PPR points in three of his past four games, including two outings with at least 13 points. He has only one game with more than five targets, but he should be useful as a low-end starting option in Week 8 against the Browns. In Week 1, with McDonald out due to injury, Jesse James had nine PPR points at Cleveland.
7.3 projected points
Benjamin Watson New Orleans Saints TE
Watson had a breakout game at Baltimore in Week 7 with six catches for 43 yards and a touchdown on six targets, his first touchdown with the Saints this year. Hopefully, this is a sign of things to come, and he does have at least 12 PPR points in two of his past four games. He has a favorable matchup in Week 8 against Minnesota since the Vikings have allowed at least 11 PPR points to a tight end in three games in a row, including two touchdowns over that span.
5.9 projected points
Chris Herndon New York Jets TE
In deeper leagues, Herndon is worth streaming based on his production over the past two games against Indianapolis and Minnesota. In those games, he has six catches for 98 yards and two touchdowns on nine targets, with at least 13 PPR points in each outing. The Jets are in need of reliable weapons in the passing game, and Herndon seems to be becoming a go-to option for quarterback Sam Darnold.

So who should you sit and start? And what shocking QB could win you Week 8?Visit SportsLine now to get Fantasy football rankings for every single position, and see which shocking QB finishes in the top 5 this week, all from the model that out-performed experts big time last season.  

Senior Fantasy Writer

Jamey Eisenberg has been a Senior Fantasy Writer for CBS Sports since 2006 with a focus on Fantasy Football. A University of Florida grad (class of '98), Jamey got his start in the newspaper business and... Full Bio

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