Fantasy is a speculative game. Predict the future, and you look like a genius. Don't, and you're painfully human. Gazing into the crystal ball, here's our view on 10 intriguing over/unders for Week 8.
LeSean McCoy, fresh off the bye and his first 100-yard game of the season, combined yards against a stingy Arizona D 84.5.
Dalton – OVER. McCoy is off to a horrible start to the year by his standards, as he’s averaged 3.6 YPC (0.5 worse than his next lowest mark that he set during his rookie campaign) to go along with a career-low 4.6 yards-per-catch. Despite that, he’s still averaged 82.7 yards from scrimmage. Arizona is tough against the run, but Philly is coming off a bye, and McCoy is bound to improve moving forward.
Scott – OVER. A bye week doesn't cure everyone's ailments, but I like that McCoy and the Philly offensive line come into this matchup refreshed, and I have faith in Chip Kelly's scheming and preparation. I'm not ready to give up the ghost with McCoy.
Brad – UNDER. Over Arizona's last 11 home games, rushers have tallied a hideous 3.09 yards per carry. And only four have found the end zone. McCoy looked classically spry against the Giants prior to the Eagles bye, but I'm expecting a very mundane effort this week in hostile territory. Think 70-80 total yards and no touchdowns.
Same game, same name. Pick a Matt: Stafford (vs. Atl) or Ryan (vs. Det)?
Andy – STAFFORD. This isn't even close. Ryan is facing a defense that allows the fewest fantasy points to opposing QBs, and Stafford is facing ... well, the Falcons. They can't really stop anything.
Brandon – STAFFORD. The schedule says it's a home game for Atlanta, but that's meaningless since the game is more than 4,000 miles away from the city of Atlanta. And, road games (especially against a defense as stout as Detroit) haven't exactly worked out well in recent seasons for Matt Ryan (20 INTs in his past 12 road games). Even without Megatron, Stafford should be able to outperform Ryan facing an Atlanta defense allowing a league-high 8.5 Yards per Pass Attempt (YPA).
Dalton – STAFFORD. Both quarterbacks have typically played worse on the road, but this is a neutral site in London. Stafford could very well be without Calvin Johnson yet again, but his defense has allowed the fewest fantasy points to opposing QBs this season, whereas, Atlanta has yielded an NFL-high 8.8 YPA (the next highest is Tampa Bay at 8.4).
What rookie WR outside Kelvin Benjamin and Sammy Watkins has the BEST Week 8: Mike Evans (vs. Min), Brandin Cooks (vs. GB), Allen Robinson (vs. Mia), Donte Moncrief (at Pit) or Martavis Bryant (vs. Ind)?
Brandon – COOKS. I'll take the guy in the game with the highest O/U line of Week 8 (55). That said, if Reggie Wayne (elbow) does end up sitting this week out, I have a strong feeling we'll see a breakout game from MONCRIEF, who has subtly slid past the zombified Hakeem Nicks on the depth chart.
Dalton – EVANS. He’s seen 22 targets over the past three weeks and scored in each of his past two games. He faces a Minnesota secondary this week that has allowed nine touchdowns to opposing wide receivers this season, which is tied for the fifth-most in football. Evans was also selected higher than any of these other options in the NFL Draft, probably for a good reason.
Brad – EVANS. It may be a surprise to some, but, no, the Tampa wide receiver and yours truly are not related, a rather remarkable admission considering the uncanny similarities. In all seriousness, Big Mike has a great shot at a standout week. Minnesota's secondary is mediocre at best. It's allowed seven WR touchdowns since Week 4. Anticipate a modest yardage total for Evans, but 10-plus fantasy points are in my fearless forecast.
Scott – It has to be EVANS, but I'd like to use my space wondering why COOKS is so beloved throughout the fantasy industry. He's 48th in Yahoo scoring, hasn't spiked since Week 1, and averages a mediocre 8.2 yards a grab and 46 receiving yards a game. At some point, August love letters need to be thrown into the trash can.
Andy – Welp, I'll accept Scott's ridicule here and stick with COOKS, thanks. I'm really supposed to trash-can a Saints receiver who's averaging 7.5 targets per game? OK. I'll gladly buy low on Cooks, if anyone is selling. Don't fall into the trap of thinking that last week's results represent the full worth of a player.
Owen Daniels, matched against an overly generous Bengals D that's struggled versus TEs, standard league fantasy points in Cincy 8.9.
Dalton – OVER. Daniels turned nine targets into just 58 yards last week, but he did reach the end zone. And nearly double-digit looks is encouraging. Moreover, the Bengals have allowed the most fantasy points to opposing tight ends in the NFL. In fact, Cincy has yielded 609 yards to the position this season; the next two worst teams have given up 541 and 455, and each of those have played one more game.
Andy – UNDER. I can appreciate the matchup, but we're still talking about the third/fourth option in Baltimore's passing game. I'm not going to bank on a touchdown or 90 receiving yards here.
Scott – UNDER. This is basically a score-or-no-score question, and Daniels no longer deserves the benefit of the doubt (even with a juicy matchup on the docket). He's rarely the primary target in this offense.
(Ed. Note: And now we have a mid-Friday answer; Daniels had his knee scoped and is out indefinitely. And so it goes.)
Andy – OVER. Let's not forget that Ingram was the No. 5 running back in our game when he suffered the early-season injury. He's facing a user-friendly Green Bay run defense this week, playing in the dome.
Scott – I'm going to say OVER because I expect Ingram to get a handful of goal-line chances. But I'd also like to sing the praises of Travaris Cadet as a sneaky PPR flier. He isn't used much in the rushing game, but he's posted a handy 15-129-1 line (on 20 targets) through the last three weeks. I've rostered him in a few deeper pools.
Dalton – OVER. Pierre Thomas is out, and Khiry Robinson might very well be as well. Green Bay has been a middling run defense, and this game’s over/under of 56 points is one of the highest you’ll ever see.
Percy Prediction (Snaps, touches, total yards, tds). Fearlessly forecast the new Jets (vs. Buf) line in his New York debut.
Brad – 18 snaps, 3 touches, 19 total yards, 0 tds
Andy – 24 snaps, four offensive touches, 42 yards, no spikes. Mid-season trades rarely boost fantasy value. Keep Harvin benched for this one.
Brandon – 23 snaps, 5 touches, 55 yards, 0 TDs
Scott – I was the Harvin apologist in this week's Dissenting Opinions, so I'm busting into this question. I'm only giving Harvin 30 snaps, but I think they'll manufacture touches for him. Call it 2-21 on the ground, 3-50 in the air, and a 40 percent chance at a touchdown (if I have to be binary about it, make it a zero in the final column).
Brandon – MASON. Robinson's big effort last week was more of an indictment of the Browns defense, which is just awful vs. the run. Miami is an entirely different beast (3.7 YPC allowed) and I expect the Jags' running game to curl back up into the fetal position once again. I don't expect Mason to go wild in KC, but he's a decisive, physical runner and he should have at least a modicum of success against a Chiefs defense allowing 5.3 YPC to opposing backs.
Dalton – ROBINSON. For one thing, he’s available as a WR for those in a bye crunch. Neither have great matchups, but Miami has allowed four touchdown runs to opposing backs while Kansas City has ceded zero (one of only two teams in the NFL yet to do so), and Robinson is at home.
Brad – MASON. Don't pay any attention to Jeff Fisher's "week-to-week" nonsense. Mason will continue to be his lead horse until he either fumbles away the gig or continuously blows blocking assignments. The War Eagle is a billion times more explosive than Zac Stacy and possesses more juke compared to Benny Cunningham. Against a KC front yielding 5.28 yards per carry to RBs, he's a good bet for 80 and a touch.
Bryce Brown, the subject of much debate this week, total touches against the Jets 12.5.
Dalton – UNDER. I like Brown (aside from his past fumbling issues), and Anthony Dixon was almost certainly ahead of him on the depth chart simply because he’s a better special teams player. However, Brown doesn’t have a single touch this year, so it’s a bit of a stretch to expect him to be given 13 right out of the gate while facing a tough Jets run defense.
Brad – OVER. 'Boobie' Dixon will get first crack to spearhead the two-man committee, but by the second half, I fully expect Brown to establish his superiority. Fumbling problems have plagued him in the past, but he's far more talented than Dixon. Roughly 15 touches, 70-90 total yards and a score are quite possible for the ex-Eagle this week versus a struggling Jets run D.
Scott – That's a good number, as I was thinking something in the 13 range. I'll give Brown the OVER nod, as I think he's the better receiver here, and also the more explosive player.
BOLD PREDICTION. The one quarterback under 50-percent started in Yahoo leagues that has the best chance to finish with 20-plus standard fantasy points in Week 8 is ____________.
Brad – ALEX SMITH. St. Louis is sorrowful against the pass, giving up a multi-TD tosser in every game this season. Smith, who leads the league in accuracy percentage, isn't one to chuck it 40-plus times, but on roughly 28-32 attempts, he's a strong candidate for 250 combined yards and 2-3 touchdowns.
Scott – RYAN TANNEHILL isn't even owned in 50 percent of Yahoo leagues; let's get that number fixed. He's thrown for multiple scores in four of six starts (and hasn't posted a bagel yet) and he's scrambled for 132 yards over his last three games. It's amazing what a player can do with an improved scheme and offensive line.
Brandon – RYAN TANNEHILL. He's on a roll right now, averaging 266.3 passing yards and 2.0 TD passes in his past three games. And his average of 44 rushing yards in that span is the fantasy equivalent of an extra TD pass. And this week, he gets a Jacksonville defense that is allowing 299.7 passing yards to opposing QBs, and that's even after Charlie Whitehurst and Brian Hoyer have helped to bring that number down over the past two games.
Top-Five Buys. Your best bets (versus the spread or over/unders) for Week 8.
Andy – 1) CHI +6 at NE, 2) CAR +5 vs. SEA, 3) HOU -3 at TEN, 4) DET-ATL under 46.5, 5) ARI -2.5 vs. PHI
Brandon – 1) PHI (+2.5) vs. Ari 2) UNDER 55 GB/NO 3) HOU (-3) at Ten 4) CIN (+1) vs. Bal 5) KC (-7) vs. StL
Dalton – 1) ARI (-2.5) vs. Phi 2) CAR (+5) vs. Sea 3) HOU (-3) at Ten 4) CHI (+6) at N.E. 5) CIN (+1) vs. Bal
Scott – 1) Raiders +7, 2) Bears +6, 3) Jets-Bills under 40, 4) Lions-Falcons under 46.5, 5) Redskins-Cowboys under 50.
Brad – 1) Ari (-2.5) vs. Phi), 2) Cin (+1) vs. Bal, 3) UNDER 50 Wash/Dal, 4) Pit (+3) vs. Ind), 5) OVER 43.5 Cle/Oak
Want to bull rush Brad? Find him on Twitter. Also, check out the Yahoo! Fantasy and Rotoworld crew every Tuesday-Thursday on 'Fantasy Football Live' starting at 6:30 PM ET on NBC Sports Network (Find channel here). Additionally, tune into 'FFL' radio on Yahoo! Sports Radio Sundays at 9 AM ET.