Overtime Presenter & NFL Reporter
NFL Fantasy: Patrick Mahomes, Teddy Bridgewater among 'trick or treat' player pickups for Week Eight
Hannah Wilkes helps you navigate your way through the 2021 season in her weekly column; watch NFL Overtime with Hannah and Josh Denzel, as well as guests Phoebe Schecter and Kay Adams, Thursday from 9pm on Sky Sports NFL
Last Updated: 28/10/21 10:22am
Sky Sports' NFL Fantasy Football guru Hannah Wilkes helps you navigate your way through the 2021 season in her weekly column, with this week a Halloween special as she runs through some trick or treat players pickup options...
Bill Belichick may profess that "football season starts after Thanksgiving" but in my (relatively) humble opinion it starts when the clocks change.
That one extra-special Sunday where the games start over here at 5pm and 8pm (and I invariably miss kickoff but don't bail out of the late game at halftime - swings and roundabouts), we can all cosy up on the sofa with a pile of snacks and, this year at least, have a half-open window to throw sweets out to any local trick or treaters.
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Add to the mix the looming trade deadline (for real football, check your league settings for Fantasy), a Green Bay Packers side heading to the unbeaten Arizona Cardinals with its WR1 & WR2 on the COVID-19 list, and the Cincinnati Bengals sitting proudly atop of the AFC, and we're once again in for a week of high drama on and off the field.
As it's Halloween, and I'm a sucker for a theme, I thought I'd take a look at some tricks (bad) and treats (good) as we head into the eighth week of the 2021 NFL season.
Can we take a moment to enjoy and appreciate the sheer number of trick plays we saw in Week Seven?
Derrick Henry and Kendrick Bourne throwing touchdowns; the Detroit Lions special teams literally emptying the playbook on the Los Angeles Rams with an onside kick, two fake punts and then suddenly a 10-point lead; the New York Giants getting in on 'the Philly Special' action a week after the Bills renamed it the Buffalo Special; this level of creative play calling is beyond fun to watch and is leaving us spoilt for choice when it comes to picking our Plays Of The Week on NFL Overtime.
One more note on Kendrick Bourne: I find myself repeatedly looking at him as a Fantasy option in my deeper leagues. I've not claimed the wide receiver at the time of writing but he's looking like an increasingly good pickup as the New England Patriots find some flow.
I think it's safe to say that the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers tricked us all with their 3-0 starts to the season.
Frankly, I'm kind of mad at the lot of them. Both teams now sit on 3-4 with the Panthers horrendous 25-3 loss to the Giants proving definitively that they simply don't have an offense without Christian McCaffery. Remember that hot minute when we all thought Sam Darnold had been reborn? Good times.
Denver, meanwhile, have a defense that, while decent and sitting fifth in the NFL, simply isn't able to make up for the offensive struggles. It's frustrating because the pieces are almost there; Melvin Gordon and Javonte Williams are one of the most productive RB pairings in the league, Courtland Sutton is the league's number 10 ranked receiver and Noah Fant is trending in the right direction at tight end. It comes down to the quarterback though, and Teddy Bridgewater simply doesn't appear to be the spark they need. And, unfortunately. neither is Drew Lock.
That said... with Denver set for a Week Eight matchup against the Washington Football Team, who rank last in pass defense, maybe Teddy B et al will get right? Or at least score you some fantasy points.
The Patriots at the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday evening (8.05pm, Sunday, Sky Sports NFL).
Two young quarterbacks, with Pats rookie Mac Jones increasingly fun to watch, at Sofi Stadium as the Chargers look to bounce back after that humiliating loss to the Baltimore Ravens. Sign. Me. Up.
Bill Belichick had his Patriots team put up a fifty-burger on the New York Jets last week purely for fun. We likely won't be seeing that again in L.A. this weekend but we will see Justin Herbert and a Chargers offense, which was so fun to watch through five weeks, look to get right against a defensive genius who shut them out last December.
From a Fantasy perspective, you could do a lot worse than keeping Damien Harris in your lineup against the Chargers' bottom-ranked rush defense. And maybe proceed with caution regarding Herbert et al due to the aforementioned shutout. A lot has changed between then and now but that's surely on young Justin's mind…
This nugget gave me some serious pause when I saw it on Monday. Per NFL Research, Patrick Mahomes is tied with Zach Wilson for most interceptions thrown through the first seven weeks of the 2021 season. Yikes!
Join Hannah Wilkes and Josh Denzel, with Phoebe Schecter and Kay Adams, on NFL Overtime, Thursday at 9pm on Sky Sports NFL.