It's Week 8 and there are only two teams on a bye this week, the Chargers and Chiefs. However, managers still have to deal with underperforming players and injuries as we continue the push toward the playoffs.
Here are five players that carry big risk for Week 8. Remember, these are player fades not player sits. If you have to start these players, fill your roster with a mix of high-upside and safe-floor options to minimize the potential hit to your overall fantasy score.
Jeff Wilson, Jr. - RB San Francisco 49ers
The writing was on the wall for Jeff Wilson even before the blockbuster trade for Christian McCaffrey to the 49ers last week. After four consecutive games of double-digit carries between Weeks 2 through 5, Wilson had back-to-back outings of only seven carries and failed to find the end zone. He also lost a fumble in Week 6 against the Falcons and rushed for just 25 yards.
It may seem obvious that managers should sit Wilson but with injuries and bye weeks, it could be difficult to bench a warm body on the field. The 49ers are taking on the Los Angeles Rams who have allowed the third-fewest yards to running backs and only two touchdowns to the position. The Rams are also coming off of a bye and looking to resurrect their season after a disappointing start.
Kenyan Drake - RB Baltimore Ravens
Once again, the running back situation in Baltimore is a complete mess. The much-anticipated return of J.K. Dobbins was cut short after he reaggravated his knee injury. The surgery to help speed up the healing process will keep him out for four to six weeks and managers have to scramble to fill in the void.
Kenyan Drake was a popular waiver wire pickup after he posted 119 rushing yards and a touchdown. Unfortunately, that sparkle quickly faded once Gus Edwards returned healthy to the starting roster. Edwards rushed just five more times than Drake (16 to 11 attempts) but he turned those 16 touches into 66 yards and two touchdowns while Drake managed only five yards. You read that correctly. Five yards on 11 attempts against the Browns who have been gashed on the ground by running backs.
The Ravens travel to Florida to take on the limping Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Their vaunted run defense has struggled over the last few weeks, but if there is going to be a ground game, the touches will likely go to Edwards or Lamar Jackson will simply keep it himself. Drake will be purely touchdown dependent and avoided on a Thursday night matchup.
Brandon Aiyuk - WR San Francisco 49ers
Not only are the Rams tough on opposing running backs, but they have been stout against wide receivers as well. They have averaged 20.37 points to the position over the last four weeks and just 3.7 in Week 6. For reference, the Colts have allowed the fewest with 19.73 and the Chiefs the most with 45.68. They have yet to allow over 1000 yards to receivers this season.
Brandon Aiyuk has seen season-high totals in targets over the last two weeks with 11 in both Week 6 and Week 7 with 83 and 82 yards respectively. That includes two touchdowns in Week 6 against the Falcons. Aiyuk's upside in this matchup against the Rams will be capped with Jimmy Garoppolo facing Aaron Donald across the line of scrimmage.
Romeo Doubs - WR Green Bay Packers
Not only has Romeo Doubs been disappointing, but the entirety of the Green Bay offense has been gross. Aaron Rodgers has been struggling to make a connection with his receivers and that is translating to missed opportunities on the field. Doubs has been a bust since Week 4 and has yet to find the end zone since then. He didn't catch a single one of his four targets last week against the Washington Commanders.
The Packers will face the Buffalo Bills this week in Buffalo. While Rodgers may have to pepper Doubs with targets out of necessity, it's impossible to trust in the young receiver. The Bills have allowed just 891 yards and four touchdowns to receivers this season.
Dawson Knox - TE Buffalo Bills
Speaking of the Bills, let's stick with the same game. While Green Bay has been anemic on offense, its defense has tried its best to keep them in the game. That has been especially true against opposing tight ends. The Packers are second-best against the position having allowed just 173 yards on 19 receptions. They have yet to allow a touchdown to a tight end.
Josh Allen has plenty of options in the passing game aside from Dawson Knox. This game has the potential to turn into a runaway for the Bills with Stefon Diggs and Gabe Davis gobbling up targets as well as Allen and Devin Singletary exploiting the Packers' weakness against the run.