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Fantasy Masters Predictions for Week 8 in the NFL
Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) throws during the third quarter on Sunday, Oct. 11, 2015, at Coliseum in Oakland, Calif. (Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group/TNS)

Miami Dolphins (3-3) @ New England Patriots (6-0) – Thursday Oct 29 @ 7:25 p.m. CST


Tyler’s Pick: New England Patriots


Why: The Dolphins will be riding high after demolishing the Texans, but New England secured a key divisional win against the Jets, arguably the best defensive team in the league, without injured running back Dion Lewis. Miami’s offense has been explosive the last two weeks, but the Patriots should be able to contain them, and New England’s offense has been firing on all cylinders this season.


Charlie’s Pick: Miami Dolphins


Why: Coming off a hot week, Ryan Tannehill and company will look to keep on rolling Thursday night against a stout New England defense. New England looked shaky last week against a good Jets defense, dropping several balls and making key mistakes. If Miami can keep their offense hot, they stand a chance against a team that looked fallible last week in a close win over New York.


Fantasy Impact: Both of these teams are on fire coming into this game. For New England, quarterback Tom Brady, wide receiver Julian Edelman, tight end Rob Gronkowski, and running back Dion Lewis are all must-starts and guaranteed to put up double digits this week. Wide receivers Danny Amendola and Brandon LaFell are solid plays in deeper leagues since they both see a lot of targets, and Amendola is coming off of one of his best games in years. For Miami, quarterback Ryan Tannehill, running back Lamar Miller, and wide receiver Jarvis Landry are all studs who should put up a lot of points against a New England defense that can be hurt on the ground and through the air. Receiver Rishard Matthews is a solid flex pick but can be inconsistent.


Cincinnati Bengals (6-0) @ Pittsburgh Steelers (4-3) – Sunday Nov 1 @ 12 p.m. CST


Tyler’s Pick: Cincinnati Bengals


Why: Pittsburgh will be dangerous with the return of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, and his presence should help both wide receiver Antonio Brown and running back Le’Veon Bell. However, the Steelers have a porous secondary, and Cincinnati’s Andy Dalton has been on fire to start off the year. Star receiver AJ Green and tight end Tyler Eifert should have field days against a Pittsburgh defense that has been abused through the air this year.


Charlie’s Pick: Pittsburgh Steelers


Why: The return of Big Ben should do wonders for the Pittsburgh offense, allowing them to control time of possession against a team that has looked explosive on offense this season. The Steelers boast a sneakily solid run defense and should be able to slow the likes of Gio Bernard and Jeremy Hill.


Fantasy Impact: Cincinnati has a lot of talented offensive players, none more so than the trio of Dalton, Green, and Eifert. All three are top-tier players and should demolish a Pittsburgh secondary that hasn’t shown any signs of being able to deal with talented passing attacks. Running backs Gio Bernard and Jeremy Hill are risky starts due to workload inconsistencies and Pittsburgh’s above-average run defense. Receiver Marvin Jones is a good flex or WR2 start as he tends to get a decent amount of targets when teams double-cover Green. Pittsburgh features a lot of offensive firepower as well, and the return of Roethlisberger will just make this team more dangerous. The Bengals have a good defense, but Bell and Brown are generational stars who should never be sat, and no defense has shown that they can stop either of them yet. Martavis Bryant is a safe play at wide receiver since he has scored a touchdown in basically every game that he’s played in his career thus far, and he tends to see a lot of one and one matchups that he can exploit as a result of how talented Brown is. Roethlisberger is nothing more than a mediocre quarterback this week since he’s coming off a major injury and will be shaking off the rust.


Green Bay Packers (6-0) @ Denver Broncos (6-0) – Sunday Nov 1 @ 7:30 p.m. CST


Tyler’s Pick: Green Bay Packers


Why: Green Bay is elite on both sides of the ball, and their domination this season as proved it. Denver has one of the top two or three defenses in the league and should be able to keep the game close, but their offense has been lackluster. Denver’s luck will finally run out against a seasoned team that is more than capable of matching the Broncos’ prowess on offense and defense.


Charlie’s Pick: Denver Broncos


Why: Both teams have struggled to run the ball effectively this year and the Broncos boast a top tier defense with multiple shutdown man corners in Chris Harris Jr. and Aqib Talib. The Green Bay defense is strong, but has more weakness than Denver’s. In the end, this game will come down to who can sling the ball more effectively and I have my money on Peyton Manning, Emmanuel Sanders, and Demaryius Thomas being able to beat the Packers defense more than Aaron Rodgers can pick apart the dominant Broncos defense.
Fantasy Impact: This is a game chock full of talent on both sides of the ball. Denver’s defense has been dominant, so Green Bay finally meets it’s match. Aaron Rodgers might not be the best play this week if you have other options, but any of his receivers could be productive. Randall Cobb should get a lot of usage over the middle, while James Jones and Davante Adams pose as good WR2/flex plays. Green Bay’s rushers have been average this year and have a tough matchup in Denver. Eddie Lacy’s size might help him against a smaller Denver front, but he hasn’t done much this year to warrant must play status. Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders remain must play players and Peyton Manning could have a nice day if he tries to keep up with the Packers in the situation where they get down early. On the flipside, Ronnie Hillman could have a big day if the score remains close and the Broncos try to control the ball and keep Green Bay’s offense off the field. A lot of the production in this matchup will depend on game flow, but regardless anyone in either offense is likely worth a start this week as their is a high upside for scoring.

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