If you want to feel all warm and fuzzy about the players who are carrying you into the playoffs, then this is not the article for you. If you feel like you need to connect over shared pain and experiences like the fantasy support group you never knew you needed, then you have come to the right place. We have some can’t miss rookies who are currently missing, once future stars who may have burned too bright, and trusty studs that are becoming hard to trust in my Week 8 Dynasty Fallers.
Jared Goff, QB
Jared Goff has been a bit of a rollercoaster through the first half of the 2020 season. His stats this year certainly are not all bad. He has thrown for 300+ yards in three of his eight games played, 2+ touchdowns in 5 of his eight games played, and has even added a couple rushing scores this year. Despite all of that, he still ranks outside the top 20 in QB scoring average based off of ESPN standard scoring. Most of that is because of his play as of late. In weeks 6 & 7 he threw for 4 touchdowns compared to just one interception but averaged just 209 yards passing over those two games. While those games were about as average as quarterback stats get, week 8 is where Goff really drew criticism for his performance. The Rams put forth a thoroughly disappointing showing in a game they were favored over the Dolphins as Goff accounted for four turnovers on the day. Sean McVay’s offense will keep fantasy managers from giving up on Goff completely, but Goff continues to give the talking heads reasons to doubt him.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire, RB
CEH shareholders knew that Le’Veon Bell coming to town could be detrimental to CEH’s performance week in and week out. From a football sense, Bell’s signing made all the sense in the world. CEH had not performed poorly in his rookie season but he did show some issues on the goal line and in pass protection that Bell was more than capable of handling. However, the early impact may have been more than people had braced for. A combination of Bell’s arrival, the strengths of the defenses they were playing, and game script has led to extremely quiet performances by Edwards-Helaire in the two weeks since Bell entered the fold. In the first 6 weeks of the season, CEH handled an average 21+ touches per game. Since Bell came to town, CEH has handled 9 touches in both of the previous two games and only 14 carries combined between the two weeks. This offense runs through Patrick Mahomes, so CEH was always going to have off weeks with or without Bell (at least that’s what hindsight seems to be screaming). Let us just hope that he trends back toward low RB1 numbers this season and away from the below-average RB2 numbers he has posted of late.
Jonathan Taylor, RB
Week 8 is apparently the week of the rookie running back fallers. While I think CEH is looking at a bit of a fall from grace for merely the remainder of 2020 (unless Bell gets re-signed), with Jonathan Taylor there is starting to be legitimate cause for concern. Jonathan Taylor has been wildly mediocre over his last 5 games, averaging just 13 carries for 53 yards per game. Last week against the Lions was a low point for Taylor, as not only did he average just 2 yards per tote but he was severely outplayed by Jordan Wilkins (20/89/1). Taylor was supposed to be an upper-echelon runner coming out of Wisconsin with the ability to carry a true workhorse role. Instead, he is losing work every week to Nyheim Hines and now, Jordan Wilkins. It is hard to skirt around the fact that he has been disappointing outside of his lone 100 yard game in week 2. I have maintained that all rookies have every excuse to stumble in 2020 due to the lack of offseason to truly acclimate to playing this game as a professional. I suspect that this is a rough patch amidst mostly sustained success for Taylor (as well as CEH) but Taylor is not giving the rookie year return that many expected after Marlon Mack went down.
Diontae Johnson, WR
Diontae Johnson is somehow managing a season where he is a dynasty riser one week and a faller the next and seems to want to rinse and repeat. Diontae has had a couple of games that allude to him being a dynasty superstar in the making. Over the span of 3 non-consecutive weeks (weeks 1, 2, and 7) he has lines of 23/229/3 on 38 targets. Over the rest of the season, he has 2 catches for 4 yards on 6 targets. Most of the latter stat line is due to sustaining injuries partway into games and leaving fantasy managers crossing their fingers that he might return to the field. In half of the games he has played he has either left periodically or been ruled out for the remainder of the game. If you can only get a drive, a quarter, or even a half of him on the field he becomes a liability to your lineups every week. I love his talent and his monster target numbers during games he has started and finished make him seem like a no-brainer weekly start, but until you can start relying on him to be playing during the fourth quarter you might want to leave him on your bench.
Michael Thomas, WR
This is a guy you probably should have looked to sell in the offseason if you could have. He was so absurdly good last year that it was always going to be tough for him to have a repeat performance. Alvin Kamara wasn’t his typical self for much of last year and Manny Sanders was supposed to provide the Saints with a legitimate threat opposite Thomas for the first time since Brandin Cooks left town. However, Thomas was still going to be an elite option at the position no matter what, right? Well here we are, almost halfway through the season and Thomas has 3 catches for 17 yards. Last year, that was a typical drive for the Saints WR1. I rarely include players in my fallers for sustaining an injury but Thomas is stringing together some absences and driving fantasy managers straight into a padded room. At first it was a high ankle sprain, and he was going to miss some time. Then he was on the cusp of entering the Saints lineup before he punched a teammate during practice and was suspended for a game. The next week in practice he injured his hamstring. If he had just sustained a seven week injury and was nearing a return he would probably be a stock that is trending up as we allegedly approach his return, but this rope-a-dope he is displaying has been beyond frustrating for fantasy managers. Every week it seems as though you might be on the cusp of deploying him in our starting lineups only to have that dissipate before the weekend arrives. If he comes back and picks up where he left off in 2019 it will be like the first 8 weeks never happened, but if not he will enter the offseason with his lowest market value since his rookie year.
Mike Gesicki, TE
I was extremely high on Gesicki all offseason. I thought his strong end to 2019 was going to catapult him to become a major weapon in Miami’s offense. The pecking order for the Dolphins targets seems like it’s still unsettled and that is only exacerbated now that the Dolphins are breaking in Tua, but I am losing faith that Gesicki is going to even be in consideration for a large target share. Gesicki has more than 3 targets in less than half of his games this year. He averages 4.5 targets/game but over a third of his targets came during week 2, a huge outlier in comparison to the rest of his stat lines. In more than half of his games played he has not recorded more than a single catch culminating in 1 catch for 8 yards over his last two games combined. He is a very athletic tight end and should be a mismatch nightmare in the passing game but it is yet to translate to catches, yards, and touchdowns this year.
That is a wrap for week 8 dynasty fallers but make sure you stay on the lookout for all of our new dynasty content that is dropping weekly.