NFL Week 8: Optimal Flex Plays

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We made it! Week 7 came and went, and hopefully, most of your fantasy teams were able to withstand the bye week struggle. Week 8 will be a much lighter week for us, as only the Ravens and Raiders are on a bye. Last week, players in this column like Chase Edmonds, James Conner, and Rashod Bateman were able to have decent outings and provide solid flex value. You should be able to do more than scrounge for crumbs in the flex spot since most of your studs return to the lineup. Still, with several injuries and players like Davante Adams set to sit -- he landed on the Covid list, the flex position will continue to be important. Here I’ll discuss which player could put you over the hump in Week 8.

Jerry Jeudy

This is a return I've personally been waiting for. In Week 1, Jeudy was targeted early and often by Teddy Bridgewater. Jeudy was able to rack up a quick six catches for 72 yards before suffering an ankle injury that sidelined him for several weeks. The on-field chemistry and rapport he and Bridgewater built during the offseason was evident. The Broncos offense got off to a nice start against some bad teams going 3-0 but has been tough to watch since. Jeudy should provide an instant spark as they face the Washington Football Team, who have the second-worst defense against receivers in fantasy. Jeudy likely is not your WR2 out of the gate fresh off of the injury, but the opportunity is there for him to succeed as your flex. Cortland Sutton will obviously be a factor, but as long as Bridgewater is in at quarterback -- Drew Lock isn’t good -- I love Jeudy.

Zack Moss

Moss returns off of his bye week after having not done much in Week 6 against the Titans. Moss hasn’t reached the end zone since Week 4 vs. the Texans, which was a plus matchup. Week 8 is another plus matchup. The Dolphins will trot out the sixth-worst fantasy defense when it comes to running backs. In Week 7, Cordarrelle Paterson was able to score a touchdown against the Dolphins defense. While Moss hasn’t scored in a while and does split touches with Devin Singletary, his chances for a solid game are high in Week 8. Play Moss in your flex this week unless you have other bona fide options.

Kenneth Gainwell

Due to a Miles Sanders ankle injury, Gainwell is likely the top waiver priority in most fantasy leagues. He gets most of his bread and butter in the passing game. Gainwell took eight targets and turned them into four receptions for 41 yards and a touchdown. He should see a lot more opportunity in Week 8 since Sanders looks unlikely to play. This chance comes at a great time since he and the Eagles face the Lions, the fourth-worst team against running backs in fantasy football. The chance is always there for Jalen Hurts to vulture touchdowns, but the matchup and projected touches are too good to pass up.

Marquez Callaway

I was wary of throwing Callaway in this column last week and my intuition was correct (this time). He posted three catches for 32 yards on seven targets. Well, why do I have him here when he faces the Bucs in Week 8? The Bucs still boast one of the league's most atrocious secondaries. The Bucs had success against a Bears offense in Week 7 that couldn’t block for Justin Fields. Callaway is still seeing looks from Jameis Winston and they’ll need to throw to stay in the game. If you’re in a tough spot at the flex this week, give Callaway a look.

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Kadarius Toney

The Chiefs are going to absolutely smoke the Giants on Monday Night Football in Week 8. Patrick Mahomes is upset after getting smacked by the Titans, and someone will be the brunt of his anger. This will be good for Toney and his fantasy prospects should he return -- he got in some work during practice on Wednesday. Even though Daniel Jones will turn the ball over, he will find Toney, who has been the most electric receiver on the Giants in 2021 (funny considering they have a $72 million player at the same position). The Chiefs defense is still not good and they will certainly have trouble with a player of Toney’s skillset. AJ Brown lit up the Chiefs’ secondary in Week 7 with an eight-catch, 133-yard performance. Play Toney with confidence if he is good to go, but monitor his situation as he plays on Monday.

Randall Cobb

Aaron Rodgers and the Packers have been dealt a massive blow ahead of their Thursday night game against the Cardinals. All-world receiver Davante Adams and starter Allen Lazard have been placed on the Covid list. Cobb isn’t a guy you’d love to start right now, but Rodgers trusts him. Robert Tonyan and Marquez Valdes-Scantling could also be worth a look. If the Packers offense has any chance, one of these guys will have to step up. My money would be on the guy who has the most history and moments with the QB.