This Week 8 Monday Night Football contest got us to the halfway point of the 2020 fantasy football season for most season-long leagues, even if it was a game stocked with defense but low on big plays or big performances. The longest play of the night went for 30 yards, and no player had more than 74 yards rushing or receiving. To keep things interesting from a fantasy perspective, we did see changes in how the running backs on both teams were used, which will have fantasy implications going forward.
As always, this collection of fantasy reactions will include snap counts for skill players on each team, along with notes on players who saw their fantasy stocks rise or fall during the action.
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||New York Giants|
|Mike Evans – 63 snaps||Darius Slayton – 68 snaps|
|Scotty Miller – 53 snaps||Sterling Shepard – 52 snaps|
|Jaydon Mickens – 44 snaps||Golden Tate – 38 snaps|
|Tyler Johnson – 35 snaps||Austin Mack – 10 snaps|
|Justin Watson – 5 snaps|
|Rob Gronkowski – 50 snaps||Evan Engram – 61 snaps|
|Cameron Brate – 12 snaps||Kaden Smith – 42 snaps|
|Tanner Hudson – 3 snaps||Levine Toilolo – 21 snaps|
|Antony Auclair – 3 snaps|
|Leonard Fournette – 51 snaps||Wayne Gallman – 32 snaps|
|Ronald Jones – 17 snaps||Alfred Morris – 21 snaps|
|Dion Lewis – 21 snaps|
|Total – 69 snaps||Total – 74 snaps|
Winner: WR Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Evans was the winner in this one, even if he didn’t have the best game by his standards. He caught five of the seven passes thrown his way for 55 yards and a touchdown.
The seventh-year wideout faced cornerback James Bradberry for a lot of the game, a matchup he's not unfamiliar with given Bradberry's Carolina roots, so to help avoid the matchup, Evans was used in the slot more often than he usually is. Three of his five catches came from the slot, but his touchdown came against Bradberry — the first touchdown the first-year Giant has allowed since Week 1. Evans should be able to find more success in future weeks when he’s not being tracked by a great cornerback.
Loser: RB Ronald Jones, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Jones' fantasy value took another hit in this game after having a first-quarter fumble that helped lead to the Giants' first touchdown of the game. Jones played in just over half of the early-down snaps last week, with Leonard Fournette playing the rest of the early downs and all of the third downs.
Jones was down to playing just 30% of the early downs this week, and he once again failed to see the field at all on third down. And to make matters worse, Fournette handled most of the goal-line work for the second week in a row.
Jones ended up with seven carries for 23 yards and four catches for another 23 yards. Unless he can get more of the early-down snaps back — or somehow get the goal-line snaps — Jones just isn’t startable anymore. Conversely, this game helps Fournette’s value for the rest of the season, and fantasy managers can feel more confident starting him going forward.
Player To Cut: RB Wayne Gallman, New York Giants
With Devonta Freeman missing this game, Gallman should have generated some value by getting the vast majority of carries. Instead, the Giants activated Alfred Morris off the practice squad earlier in the day, and Morris ended up getting eight carries compared to Gallman’s 12.
Gallman’s fantasy value for this game was saved with a touchdown, but knowing that the best Gallman can do is split the carries — even when there are injuries — makes it hard to ever trust Gallman even in a good matchup. It would take a very desperate situation to start him again, so he can go back to waivers. While it was good to see Morris back at the age of 31, he can also be left on the waiver wire.
Sell High: TE Evan Engram, New York Giants
Engram had the best receiving game among all of the Giants, with 61 receiving yards on five catches. It took 42 pass attempts for Engram to get that many yards, but it was still his second-best game of the season.
With the number of tight ends who underperformed this past week, it’s probably the highest Engram’s value will be. The fourth-year tight end still doesn’t have a touchdown this season, and there is no indication the Giants will get to the red zone often enough for Engram to have much touchdown value over the rest of the season. If you can get anything for Engram instead of dropping him, you should pull the trigger.