Wide Receivers: JuJu Smith-Schuster, Pittsburgh Steelers- $8,000; Demaryius Thomas, Denver Broncos- $6,300 & Jordy Nelson, Oakland Raiders- $5,300
This week’s most expensive wide receiver in my lineup is Smith-Schuster. Compared to the entire position group, he is the fifth highest priced wideout in Week 8. The second-year receiver leads the Steelers with 42 receptions and 561 yards. He also leads the team with eight catches for 20+ yards.
Smith-Schuster recored his fourth 100+ receiving yard performance last week against the Cincinnati Bengals. He has reached double digit fantasy points in every game, except against the Baltimore Ravens.
Pittsburgh takes on the Cleveland Browns for the second time this season. In their first meeting, Smith-Schuster caught five passes for 119 yards. The Browns have allowed receivers to catch 102 passes, tied for fourth most in the NFL, and have given up 1,369 yards, third most in the league.
Mike Evans and Tyrell Williams each posted 100+ yards on the Browns’ defense in consecutive weeks. Cleveland’s biggest challenge in Week 8 is figuring out how to contain Smith-Schuster, Antonio Brown and James Conner.
Trade rumors are swirling around Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas’ name, but that shouldn’t be a reason to keep him out of your lineup. Thomas has amassed 33 catches for 372 yards and three scores. Even though he doesn’t lead the team in receptions or yards, he is tied with Emmanuel Sanders with the most touchdowns.
There is no denying Thomas’ production has declined, but his Week 8 matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs is a great opportunity for Thomas to have a breakout performance. Receivers have totaled 103 receptions, 1,255 yards, six touchdowns and 216 fantasy points. On average, they are giving up 30.9 fantasy points per game to receivers, 11th most in the NFL.
Another receiver who isn’t as effective as he once was is Nelson. But, similar to Thomas, he has potential to have a big Week 8. Nelson leads the team with three touchdowns and has recorded 22 receptions for 323 yards this season. The veteran wideout has scored in three of his last four games.
The Oakland Raiders are in in complete disarray and traded receiver Amari Cooper to the Dallas Cowboys. With the departure of Cooper, that should mean more opportunities for Nelson, who was already outperforming Cooper this season.
Oakland takes on Indianapolis on Sunday at the Oakland Alameda Coliseum. The Colts have yielded 95 receptions, 1,100 and seven touchdowns to the position group. Bottom line, the Raiders may not win the game, but Derek Carr will need to throw to somebody and that person is Nelson.