Hello, week 8. In many leagues, this means you’re now in the second half of the season. For most of you with 3-4 records, there’s still a chance you could reach the playoffs. This is the time where your choices will take you all the way, or leave you in the running for the sacko. Now this is also a heavy bye week, with Pittsburgh, NY Giants, Miami, Baltimore, San Fran & LA out (though I seriously doubt you were starting anyone in LA). Like most of you, I’m having a tough time filling my line-up this week, so my flex options are pretty important. All the players I’m suggesting this week have the potential to have a big week. Whether it’s based on their matchup or based on their team’s depth due to injury, each one would be a good choice to fill in at flex.
Chris Thompson RB WAS
Washington and Cincinnati are in London this Sunday, I could see this being a high scoring game. Defensive opponents to Washington have averaged only 3.7 points this season and rank 12th in pass rush defense this season. Washington’s offensive weapons have been juggled in rankings a lot recently. So this week is no exception.
Matt Jones has been ruled out Sunday with a knee injury and Jordan Reed expects to start after recovering from a concussion. Reed had a successful practice across the pond in London, so things are looking bright for him. However a healthy option you should look to is Chris Thompson. He saw an opportunity last week after Matt Jones fumbled near the goal line and he capitalized. Seeing 59% of the team’s total snaps last week, Thompson had 73 yards for 12 attempts and 40 yards receiving on 7 receptions. Jones has been ruled out this week with a knee injury, solidifying Thompson’s start value.
Ty Montgomery RB/WR GB
Green Bay travels to Atlanta where they have allowed the second-most receptions to running backs this season. This will come in handy to Aaron Rodgers who has not looked like himself lately. I for one hope Jordy Nelson has a better game this week, but it’s Ty Montgomery’s flex potential that I think is most interesting here.
Montgomery has been the subject of a lot of discussions this week. ESPN’s decision to move him to a combo WR/RB designation has many cheering, and rightfully so. This season has been no stranger to injuries & busts, having all of us looking for depth. Now I’m not saying Montgomery will bring in 20 points this week, but he will have volume and his play-making ability raises his ceiling. Montgomery saw 69% of the team’s total snaps, had 19 touches in week 7 for 60 rushing yards and 66 receiving yards. With Rodgers clear confidence in him and a friendly matchup, this makes him a must start flex option.
Brandon LaFell WR CIN
Away in London, again I think this has the potential to be a high-scoring game. Josh Norman is coming back from a concussion and so far looks likely to start given that he made the international flight. If/when he does he’ll be covering AJ Green. Though Norman has not had an especially impressive season, the coverage will open up Brandon LaFell.
LaFell seems to have hit a stride with the Bengals offense recently. He’s had four touchdowns in the last 3 games, and last week he saw 93% of the team’s total snaps. LaFell is also leading the team in routes run this season. All of that should give you the confidence you need to start him at flex, especially in PPR formats.
Jamison Crowder WR WAS
Bengals have allowed 5th most passing yards to opposing QBs this season. Kirk Cousins has had 38 pass attempts per game this season. With that combo, you should expect healthy receiving numbers for Washington receivers.
So which of Washington’s receivers should you trust? DeSean Jackson has been playing with a lingering shoulder issue and I suspect this will continue to hold him back. Washington has a week 9 bye and would be smart to limit his usage this week. Pierre Garcon has had an inability to break off big plays and inconsistent usage lowers his value. Next in line, Jamison Crowder. Last week Crowder had 7 receptions for 108 yards and he saw 75% of the total snaps. He also now leads the Redskins in receiving yards. Crowder is great flex play this week with a high ceiling.
Matt Asiata RB MIN
Minnesota running backs. That’s been a fun subject this season hasn’t it. After AP’s injury, we’ve all been back and forth on who would see the lion’s share of rushing work, McKinnon or Asiata. As of right now, McKinnon is dealing with an ankle injury. Though he was out of his walking boot Friday, he did not practice. Even if McKinnon is cleared to start, I don’t see him taking a big workload. Minnesota’s already had their bye so they will need to play him conservatively if they want to make it through the season. Asiata is a great flex start here.
Asiata saw 75% of the team’s snaps last week. Though Chicago is 7th against the run, Asiata will have volume here in both the passing game and backfield. Asiata is also likely to see a healthy boost in the passing game due to the limited options. Aside from Diggs, it’s slim pickings and Cordarrelle Patterson was out Friday with a concussion and will not play this Monday.
Jacquizz Rodgers RB TB
Tampa Bay is facing a friendly matchup at home against Oakland this week. How friendly you might ask? Oakland’s defense has allowed the third-most rushing yards this season. So it’ safe to say whoever is leading the backfield of an opposing team will be able to rush successfully on them.
Meanwhile, in the Tampa Bay backfield, Doug Martin has suffered a setback during his recovery from a hamstring injury. Earlier this season it was thought that Sims would be the backup to own here however with Sims on IR, Jacquizz Rodgers is left to fill those shoes. So far, Rodgers has been doing quite well with the starting job. In each of his last 2 games he’s had over 100 rushing yards and last week saw 68% of the team’s total snaps. As the number RB1, Rodgers has a ridiculous amount of volume at his fingertips. He’s a solid flex start with this healthy matchup.