Week 8 is done and over with. There were plenty of high scoring games and some were so high we probably won't see another barrage of fantasy scoring quite like that in some time. Eli Manning and Drew Brees combined for 11 touchdowns in a game that ended up looking like the final score of a men's college basketball game rather than a football game. In this column, we look back on our best calls leading up to Week 8 based on our podcasts and articles from the previous week.
1. Todd Gurley vs. San Francisco (hit)
Analysis: We mentioned Gurley as a prime steak player in our "Steak and side dish" article. If you haven't been reading it, it means that Gurley was one of our main centerpiece players and somebody you should've had in all of your lineups aside from a few just in case a freak injury occurs. Gurley didn't disappoint, as he was the top fantasy running back (barring a better one in tonight's Carolina/Indianapolis game) with 20 rushes for 133 yards and a touchdown. He also added 3 catches for 13 yards. The great thing about Gurley is St. Louis is winning games by using him a ton in the offense (20 rushes today) and Nick Foles isn't the kind of quarterback who can really take over a game. So Gurley has the best of both worlds. He's a talented player plus he's being given a tremendous opportunity to lead a team, an opportunity that's resulting in wins which should keep the coaches utilizing Gurley as their main guy.
2. Le'Veon Bell (miss but there's a catch)
Analysis: Bell was easily on pace to break 100 yards and be one of the better backs in fantasy this week but unfortunately was carted off the field with a knee injury in the second quarter. It's tragic because the Steelers had just gotten Ben Roethlisberger back from injury and looked like a team that could become the powerhouse offense it once was when they had a competent quarterback in the driver seat. Still, Bell finishes with 10 rushes for 45 yards (4.5 yards per carry) plus 2 catches for 13 yards. It's likely he didn't completely kill your DFS or standard league lineup so long as you had some other people go off.
3. Justin Forsett (miss)
Analysis: Forsett finished with 17 carries for 69 yards plus 4 catches for 28 yards. It wasn't a terrible performance, but you expected a lot more considering the Ravens were at home, favored to win against the lowly Chargers and were also dealt a cupcake matchup against a very weak San Diego run defense.
4. Marshawn Lynch at Dallas (miss)
Analysis: We consider a miss anywhere below the Top 10 and Lynch just wasn't a fantastic fantasy option this week. He finished with 21 carries for 27 yards and zero touchdowns. It's like squeezing blood out of a rock when it comes to scoring for the Seahawks this season, and their struggles will likely continue as long as their offensive line stays intact. Dallas was far from an elite run defense, giving up the third-most points to running backs this season.
5. Charcandrick West (hit)
Analysis: We liked West much more than Darren McFadden this week due to his potential for a high volume of carries and a plus-matchup. He ended up finishing as third-best running back in fantasy for Week 8 with 97 rush yards and a touchdown to go along with 4 catches for 25 yards. He wasn't one our 'must play' backs but he was once we wanted in a few of our lineups and he didn't disappoint.
6. Devonta Freeman (hit)
Analysis: Bad games are just not in Freeman's wheelhouse anymore. Even though it was looking like he was on his way to an average day running the ball, the Falcons got their offense going late to come back against the Buccaneers and Freeman accumulated enough stats to be a Top 10 fantasy back once again. Despite not scoring a touchdown, Freeman ended up with 88 rushing yards to go along with 6 receptions for 43 yards. He's quickly becoming the most dynamic fantasy threat this season.
So there you have it. We learned a few things from this week. One, Gurley is what makes St. Louis successful as of right now. It'll be tough not to start him going forward but bad matchups can always make us think twice. Two, injuries are a killer but you still made a wise choice starting Bell against Cincinnati. Lastly, Freeman is the MVP of Fantasy Football's first half of 2015.