Week 8 fantasy football winners and losers

As we do each week, we recap the week’s winners and losers from a fantasy perspective, complete with applicable game and historical data. Check back after the conclusion of the 1 and 4 p.m. ET (and, when applicable, Sunday Night Football) games for our picks of the week’s best and worst.

Winners

Jack Doyle, TE, Indianapolis Colts: Your 1 p.m. ET game block leader in fantasy points was … Jack Doyle?! Believe it, as the Colts’ starting tight end managed 30.1 using PPR scoring, easily eclipsing his previous career high (22.8, set in 2016 Week 7). Doyle was started in 20.6 percent of ESPN leagues, his highest rate since Week 3’s 42.0 percent.

LeSean McCoy, RB, Buffalo Bills: Captain Consistency was at it again on Sunday. McCoy scored 29.3 PPR fantasy points, giving him a seventh consecutive double-digit score to begin the season. It was the 104th double-digit performance in his nine-year, 124-game NFL career, the 43rd game worth 20-plus and the 21st game worth 25-plus. What’s more, he averaged 5.6 yards per carry, an encouraging sign considering he entered the week with a mere 3.4 average this season, well beneath his 4.6 career mark in the category. McCoy remains one of the most reliable running backs in the game, and his schedule during the next six weeks is a dream: @NYJ, NO, @LAC, @KC, NE, IND.

Robby Anderson, WR. New York Jets: He set a new career high with 22.5 PPR fantasy points, catching all six of his targets in the process. Anderson was started in 16.3 percent of ESPN leagues, his highest rate in any of his 24 career games. With matchups against the Buffalo Bills and Tampa Bay Buccaneers the next two weeks, Anderson could have upcoming WR3 value.

Jerick McKinnon, RB, Minnesota Vikings: For the fourth time in his past nine regular-season games, McKinnon exceeded the 20-point PPR fantasy plateau, his 26.2 in fact falling just four-tenths of a point shy of his personal best set three weeks ago (26.6, Week 5). It was quite the rebound for the running back, who struggled to the tune of 8.7 points in Week 7. McKinnon, who was started in 71.3 percent of ESPN leagues on Sunday morning, has now averaged 21.6 PPR fantasy points and 19.8 touches in his past four games. Latavius Murray, by comparison, has averaged 8.5 and 17.0 during that same time span. Incidentally, McKinnon’s score fell fewer than two points shy of setting a new running back record for a game played in London, and his 26.2 rank third, behind only LaDainian Tomlinson’s 28.0 in 2008 Week 8 and Matt Forte’s 26.3 in 2011 Week 7.

Zach Ertz, TE, Philadelphia Eagles: Though four other tight ends from the 1 p.m. ET game block managed to outscore him, Ertz’s 13.4 PPR fantasy points gave him an eighth consecutive game in double digits to begin the season. He’s only the third tight end since 1960 to score in double digits in each of his team’s first eight games, joining Kellen Winslow, who scored in each of the Cleveland Browns’ first 11 in 2007, and Ozzie Newsome, who scored in each of the Browns’ first 10 in 1981.

DeAndre Washington, RB, Oakland Raiders: The winner of the Raiders’ running back-by-committee battle on Sunday, a game Marshawn Lynch missed due to suspension, was Washington, whose 20.8 PPR fantasy points easily exceeded Jalen Richard’s 8.6. Washington outpaced Richard in terms of both total touches (14-10) and starting percentage in ESPN leagues (27.0 to 18.0 percent), but it’s unclear whether his performance will be enough to earn him a larger role when Lynch returns to action in Week 9. Washington is still worth keeping stashed in PPR formats, where his 27 targets in eight games gives him a chance at helping teams out of the flex spot in a pinch.

Losers

Jameis Winston, QB, Buccaneers: An AC joint sprain in his right shoulder caused him to chip in only limited practices on Wednesday and Thursday, but Winston put in a full Friday session and was cleared to play on Sunday. Unfortunately, his performance hinted he played at less than full strength, as he scored 3.70 fantasy points, his worst single-game score in any of the 38 career games in which he played at least 50 snaps — he had 2.44 in Week 6, when he played 15 snaps before leaving with the same injury, the only time he scored worse or played fewer snaps. Winston next faces the New Orleans Saints, once a great matchup for a quarterback but now a defense that has limited opposing quarterbacks to a combined 50.64 fantasy points in its past five games.

Latavius Murray, RB, Vikings: Where McKinnon succeeded, Murray disappointed, converting his 19 carries and 20 total touches into just 5.7 PPR fantasy points on Sunday. With it, Murray has now averaged 3.2 yards per carry this season, a significant drop-off from his 4.1 career mark. He might soon begin to see his opportunities dwindle, and he’s highly unlikely to be started again in as many as the 46.7 percent of ESPN leagues that he was on Sunday.

Hunter Henry, TE, Los Angeles Chargers: Much more than 1.1 non-PPR and 3.1 PPR fantasy points was expected from Henry on Sunday, considering he entered the week riding a streak of three straight double-digit PPR performances, during which he played 56 (Week 5), 54 (Week 6) and 44 snaps (Week 7). Henry was started in 68.6 percent of ESPN leagues, sixth-highest among tight ends.

Devin Funchess, WR, Carolina Panthers: Entering Week 8, no team had allowed more fantasy points to opposing wide receivers than the Buccaneers, who had surrendered an average of 44.4 per game. Funchess was unfortunately unable to capitalize, turning his six targets into 3.1 PPR fantasy points, his worst single-game score all season. Though his 50.3 percent start rate in ESPN leagues paled in comparison to Kelvin Benjamin’s 76.0 percent, that still made Funchess one of the 25 most-started wide receivers of the week. Benjamin had 12.9 PPR fantasy points on seven targets, the third consecutive week he scored more between the two.

Mike Gillislee, RB, New England Patriots: For the sixth consecutive week, Gillislee was held beneath six fantasy points, his 3.4 giving him a grand total of 22.1 during that time span. Worse yet, Dion Lewis received the team’s only rushing attempt within 10 yards of the goal line, and Tom Brady targeted Rob Gronkowski on the team’s only play within three yards of the goal line, confirming that Gillislee is no longer the first read when the team is in scoring position. Gillislee, who is owned in 76.0 percent of ESPN leagues, can be freely dropped in 10-team formats.

Pierre Garcon, WR, San Francisco 49ers: Though a neck injury that cost him most of the game’s second half contributed, Garcon’s 3.7 PPR fantasy points on four targets was a rather disappointing outcome considering the strength of his matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles. It was easily the worst single-game score in his eight games this season. Garcon’s status — his was a neck injury apparently suffered when he collided with Eagles coach Ken Flajole late in the second quarter — will need to be closely monitored heading into Week 9.

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