In what has become a theme, the tight end position lacks any stable fantasy production, but several quarterbacks offer strong projections in all fantasy league formats. Rookie Trevor Lawrence has the potential to secure a QB1 spot in Week 8, while Carson Wentz is almost sure to do so.
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Trevor Lawrence, Jacksonville Jaguars | 41% rostered
Lawrence isn’t anybody’s idea of a stable QB1, but he has been much more consistent over the past three weeks than in Weeks 1-3: The rookie’s 58.3 fantasy points rank 14th at the position from Weeks 4-6.
Lawrence is heating up, and that’s a major positive with a subpar Seattle defense on deck — the Seahawks have allowed the eighth-highest passer rating (112.0) and sixth-highest EPA per play (0.064). There’s a reason this defense ranks 18th in fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks. Only one of their last four opponents failed to score double-digit fantasy points.
Carson Wentz, Indianapolis Colts | 37% rostered
Wentz continues to close in on a potential QB1 ranking, currently slotting as the QB14 on the season. He has become one of the more consistent threats at the position, scoring double-digit points in all but one game this year and topping 20 points twice in the past three games. Wentz appears more comfortable in the Colts offense, and his new weapons should allow a good chance to finish among the top-12 quarterbacks in scoring against the shaky Tennessee Titans defense in Week 8.
Titans defense vs. QBs | 2021
|Fantasy Points Allowed (Rank)|
|Week 1||33.5 (32nd)|
|Week 2||23.3 (24th)|
|Week 3||7.7 (4th)|
|Week 4||17.6 (12th)|
|Week 5||21.7 (23rd)|
|Week 6||28.7 (32nd)|
|Week 7||11.4 (15th)|
It would be a shock if Wentz doesn’t produce a great result against a defense that has just one top-10 finish against quarterbacks in fantasy points allowed.
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Daniel Jones, New York Giants | 28% rostered
Jones’ season has been a whirlwind. Looking at the earlier part of the season, he was the QB8 through the first four weeks. His 93.2 fantasy points came on the back of some strong rushing performances prior to a brutal two-week stretch in Weeks 5 and 6. Jones rebounded, though, scoring 17.5 points against a good Carolina Panthers defense this past week.
He now gets one of the best matchups of Week 8, taking on a sieve of a defense in the Kansas City Chiefs. They’ve been nothing short of terrible, allowing the most rushing yards (241) and rushing TDs (4) to quarterbacks. The Chiefs have been just as bad in pass coverage, giving up the third-highest yards per attempt figure (8.58 a pop) and the highest EPA per play (0.141).
Jonnu Smith, New England Patriots | 38% rostered
This week's tight end streaming options demonstrate how barren the tight end landscape is. Yet, bye weeks and injuries will force many to consider names this deep down the rankings.
Smith has only run 22 routes since Week 5, registering a horrific 23.7% routes run per dropback. There isn’t enough usage here for a TE1 finish, but Smith still hauled in two of his five targets for 52 yards this past week. It’s clear Hunter Henry is the tight end to roster in New England, but both guys will have a shot to perform against a Los Angeles Chargers defense that is 31st in points allowed to the position this season. Both Smith and Henry come into this game with legit touchdown upside — the Chargers have allowed five scores to tight ends through seven weeks.
Evan Engram, New York Giants | 31% rostered
The Giants are one of the worst offenses to target for streaming options, but Engram’s 15.6% target share is third on the team since Week 6. There is always intrigue in stacking players, and Jones and Engram have a strong floor against a bad Kansas City defense. This stack has legitimate matchup-winning upside, though there may be some limit to their ceiling with Kenny Golladay, Kadarius Toney and Sterling Shepard potentially returning to the field.
C.J. Uzomah, Cincinnati Bengals | 19% rostered
Uzomah isn’t utilized enough to be a consistent TE1 and fantasy starter, but he has an absurd 92.9% catch rate and five touchdowns since Week 4. Sometimes, the best bet is to take a player who is productive in a great offense. A 10.9% target share isn’t bad, especially when taking on a poor New York Jets team.
The Jets have been passable on defense as a whole, but they have allowed 28.6% of passing plays to tight ends to be explosive passes of 15-plus yards. That’s the fourth-highest mark among defenses. They also rank worse than average in EPA per play (0.215) against tight ends. Uzomah is worth betting on during a productive streak.
C.J. Uzomah | 2021
|Fantasy Points Scored (Rank)|
|Week 4||26.5 (1st)|
|Week 5||3.6 (37th)|
|Week 6||10.5 (15th)|
|Week 7||24.1 (1st)|
Pittsburgh Steelers D/ST | 52% rostered
The Steelers defense should be rostered in more leagues — they're currently ranked 15th in scoring on the season despite already missing a week with a bye. Pittsburgh's 6.83 points per game ranks 10th.
T.J. WATT IS CLUTCH ????pic.twitter.com/H2T8SaiMFw
— PFF PIT Steelers (@PFF_Steelers) October 18, 2021
They get a divisional rival in the Cleveland Browns who are starting backup quarterback Case Keenum in Week 8. While the Browns did OK without Baker Mayfield last week, their passing game was 16th in passing yards per attempt at 6.03 and 15th in passer rating at 90.3. They won’t be able to rely on their running game as much against a Pittsburgh defense that ranks inside the top-10 in rushing yards allowed. It is also tied for the fewest rushing touchdowns conceded.
Washington Football Team D/ST | 34% rostered
Washington’s 29.0 fantasy points on the season is not an acceptable figure for a defense with this much talent, but it could improve upon its ranking this week against the Broncos. Denver ranks 30th in passing yards per attempt, 32nd in explosive pass percentage and 21st in EPA per play over the past four weeks. The Broncos have only scored eight touchdowns over that time frame.
Cincinnati Bengals D/ST | 17% rostered
The Bengals have been one of the most underrated teams this season, but that won’t last much longer. They’ve been as good on the defensive side of the ball as their offensive counterparts, scoring the 15th-most fantasy points on the season.
They don’t need any help, but their matchup against a struggling Jets team with a backup quarterback in Mike White should do the trick. New York's 22 sacks allowed on the year is the seventh-most in the league, and it also leads the league in interceptions thrown with 11 this season. The Bengals have a top-five floor and could be the most productive defense in Week 8.