Start/Bench--Week 8

 

Start 
Spencer Brown, RB-UAB at Charlotte
Brown’s workload has recently increased, totaling 57 carries for 335 yards and two touchdowns in the past two games.  Brown has also been consistent in finding the endzone, scoring a touchdown in five of six games this year.  On Saturday, expect more of the same against a Charlotte defense that is giving up over 180 rushing yards and two touchdowns per game on the ground this year.

 

Arkeel Newsome, RB-Connecticut vs Tulsa
Two weeks ago against Memphis, Newsome rushed for 114 yards and two touchdowns, and last week at Temple, Newsome carried the ball 18 times for 56 yards in a 28-24 win.  This week, the Huskies host Tulsa, who have the worst rushing defense in the nation, allowing 319 yards per game on the ground.  Now, Tulsa did limit Houston to 146 yards yards on the ground in last week’s 45-17 win, so there are signs of life coming from their defense.  However, the reward and value are much greater than the risk and Newsome should be given strong consideration as a Flex option this week.   
 
Alexander Mattison, RB-Boise State vs Wyoming
It’s been a tale of two seasons for Mattison since the Broncos’ Week 5 bye.  In Weeks 1-4, the sophomore running back totaled 166 rushing yards and two touchdowns.  In the past two games, Mattison has a total of 246 rushing yards and three touchdowns.  Whatever was the early-season issue, it seems Mattison has found his legs and fantasy owners should continue to ride his momentum into a Week 8 matchup against a Wyoming defense that allows over 175 yards per game on the ground.

 

LJ Scott, Michigan State vs Indiana
We didn’t have lofty expectations for Scott entering the 2017 season, so it was no surprise that he only totaled 214 rushing yards through the first six weeks of the season.  However, last week against Minnesota, Scott rushed for a career-high 194 yards in a 30-27 win.  We like riding waves of momentum when the matchup is favorable, so don’t be surprised to see the Spartans feed Scott the ball early and often against an Indiana defense that gave up 271 yards on the ground last week against Michigan.  NOTE--Scott was arrested Wednesday for driving with a suspended license, but is still expected to play.  Whether there will be any disciplinary action taken on gameday is unknown, so starting Scott comes with some risk.
Bench
Caleb Evans, QB-UL Monroe at South Alabama
Evans has accounted for at least four touchdowns in two of the Warhawks’ past four games.  However, he has been incredibly inconsistent, accounting for only one touchdown in those other two matchups.  Last week, Evans was pulled for Garrett Smith, a move coaches made as an attempt to jumpstart the offense against Georgia State.  Evans remains the starter, but his inconsistencies can be incredibly costly at this point of the season, so fantasy owners should look for a much safer option at quarterback in Week 8.

 

Ty Johnson, RB-Maryland at Wisconsin
After opening the 2017 season with two straight 100-yard games, Johnson has failed to reach the 60-yard mark in three of Maryland last four games.  In the Terrapins’ three wins this year, Johnson has rushed for a total of 386 yards.  In the teams’ three losses, Johnson has rushed for a total of 102 yards.  If his correlation of wins-to-rushing yards holds true, Johnson is a Week 8 Bench against a Wisconsin team that is a 24.5-point favorite and boasts one of the nation’s top ranked defenses. 
 
John Kelly, RB-Tennessee at Alabama
How do you bench a guy that is getting 21 touches per game?  Easy.  When Tennessee is a five-touchdown underdog at Alabama.  The good news for Kelly’s fantasy owners is that the Vols have a handful of favorable matchups just around the corner.

 

Damarea Crockett, RB-Missouri vs Idaho
Many fantasy owners that were considering dropping Crockett earlier in the year held onto the sophomore running back given the Tigers’ mid-season matchups against Idaho and Connecticut.  Unfortunately, it seems as if Crockett is battling a shoulder ailment and his status for this week’s game against the Vandals is in question.  The risk to start Crocket this week, in our opinion, is greater than the reward. 
 
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