Week 8 Fantasy Preview: Browns @ Seahawks

  • Cleveland Browns (4-2) @ Seattle Seahawks (4-2) Best Lines Available

    Browns (+167) @ Seahawks (-192): O/U 38.0/38.5 (-105/-110)
    Browns +3.5 (-105), Seahawks +3.5 (-110)

    Writer’s Record:
    Bet: 17-15 +4.94u
    Lean: 7-5 +2.73u

    The Browns snaked out a win against the Colts last week as their typically vaunted defense was pushed around by Gardner Minshew II. Meanwhile, the Seahawks made short work of a pesky Cardinals team with a knack for staying around in games. Both teams find themselves at 4-2 and just out of first place in their respective divisions. The Browns success has not been reliant on Deshaun Watson, but he is set to miss another game, leaving the Seahawks slightly favored at home.

    Main Storylines to Watch

    Can the Browns’ receivers find value with PJ Walker? Last week saw a pitiful 183 total passing yards for the Browns in a game where they scored 39(!) points… That alone would cover the over for the Week 8 matchup. Even in a game where points are flying on the board, none of the receiving options caught a TD all game and Elijah Moore topped the charts with 59 points.

    Is Jaxon Smith-Njigba here to stay? JSN saw his first valuable fantasy game last week with DK Metcalf (ribs) held out. Metcalf is expected to return after participating in practice, so will the window close as quickly as it opened? Furthermore, does fellow rookie Jake Bobo have a role carved out as well?

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    Cleveland Browns


    PJ Walker: As noted earlier, Deshaun Watson will be absent from Week 8 in Seattle, so we ride with Walker once again. The young QB has yet to top 200 yards in his two contests this year and is without a TD. To go with that, he has also contributed three picks and yet the Browns are 2-0 with him calling signals. Unfortunately the fantasy value is bleak against a Seahawks defense that all of a sudden seems among the best.


    Jerome Ford: Ford (ankle) missed practice on Wednesday after being seen with a walking boot after Week 7’s contest. His status is certainly up in the air at this point and if he is able to go, he faces a Seahawks defense that has stymied RB production all year.

    Kareem Hunt: Unfortunately, Hunt (thigh) could also be in jeopardy for Week 8, but seems to be trending in the right direction unlike Ford. Most likely, it will be Hunt and Pierre Strong splitting work. Hunt should be the lead back in this one, but the injury situation needs to be monitored thoroughly over the weekend. Hunt has been fortunate in finding TDs lately, but otherwise has not been remarkably efficient or productive.

    Pierre Strong: Not much has been seen from Strong so far with his season high of eight carries coming last week in Indianapolis. He broke off a 40 yard run earlier this year against Tennessee in a blowout win, so he is capable of making plays, however the Seahawks do not typically allow big gains in the run game. Worth noting, one of Seattle’s best run defenders, Uchenna Nwosu (pec), was just lost for the year so the defense could feel a little different with Frank Clark brought in to replace him.


    Amari Cooper: All of the Browns’ passing options struggled in Week 7 and it will be hard to start them now. PJ Walker does not bring a safe floor to any of these guys, and while Cooper is the WR1, he was targeted similarly to Elijah Moore and David Njoku. Perhaps the Browns look to get him more involved, but the young CB duo in Seattle has been effective at limiting top options. This matchup could be one to avoid in favor of a streamer with a plus matchup.

    Elijah Moore: Moore led the team in receiving with 59 yards last week, so Walker is certainly looking his way. He could find himself open matched up against LBs, but depending how the Browns elect to use him, it will be feast or famine, with the latter significantly more likely. He is a bit of a desperation play for managers in a tough spot.


    David Njoku: Njoku led the team in targets last week and its possible he does again. The weakest part of the pass defense of the Seahawks is routes over the middle with LBs in coverage and Njoku provides a safety net for Walker. The upside is not super high, but Njoku could be a PPR machine this week and draws some interest as a start.

    Seattle Seahawks


    Geno Smith: While Gardner Minshew II performed much stronger than expected against the Browns, I expect them to bounce back against Geno Smith. Smith has made some mistakes the past couple weeks, throwing three picks over the two game span. He was able to find the end zone twice last week, but points will be hard to come by in this matchup and it could be a good week to stream rather than roll with the veteran QB. He will, however, have DK Metcalf back in the lineup barring a setback and the rookie tandem of Jake Bobo and Jaxon Smith-Njigba played well last week.


    Kenneth Walker III: Walker had been pumping out TDs until last week, but found his season high in yardage to make up for the lack of scores. Walker has been as consistent as they come and with his bye week already out of the way, he is a top back to own in fantasy ROS. The Browns defense had been elite at limiting the run game until Jonathan Taylor took them for 75 yards and a score, not to mention Minshew posting two TDs on the ground as well. Walker should still be started unless you have a great streamer to take his place, but expectations should be subdued compared to most weeks. UPDATE: Ken Walker III (calf) has been missing practice and it seems his status is genuinely in jeopardy. If he is unable to go, the Seattle RB room is likely without much value unless Charbonnet can have a breakout game.

    Zach Charbonnet: Charbonnet (hamstring) was back at practice on Wednesday and should suit up on Sunday, but the rookie has yet to have any fantasy impact. This is his big opportunity to make a difference if KWIII is unable to play after missing practice both Wednesday and Thursday. The matchup is certainly not in his favor but if he is truly healthy and the hamstring holds up, Charbonnet will see a high workload. A start here is quite risky, but is looking better than it would have with Walker healthy.


    DK Metcalf: Metcalf has been struggling with a plethora of injuries stemming from a big hit he took to the ribs in Week 1. Hopefully, a week off has him right as he returned to practice Wednesday after missing a full game for the first time in his career. The start to the season for Metcalf has been slow and this game will not be a great bounce back opportunity, especially if he is still hurting. While the Seahawks love having more depth at receiver than ever before, it means more mouths to feed when we look for fantasy production.

    Tyler Lockett: Lockett has been dealing with a hamstring issue but returned to practice on Thursday and it seems he will play. He was quiet last week in what projected to be a good game without Metcalf, making way for the rookies to produce. Lockett has had a couple big weeks, but like in the past, Lockett is boom or bust but usually finishes the year high overall. He is part of the low floor high ceiling crew that can be started depending on roster construction, but this week’s matchup will be tougher than most.

    Jaxon Smith-Njigba: JSN finally had a good game and found the end zone for the first time in his young career against Arizona. His uptick in volume and different usage came with DK Metcalf out, so it is not guaranteed he will be able to replicate this performance. Rookies typically play much better later in the season, so he is certainly worth a bench spot, but starting him in a tough matchup is not advised. If Lockett and DK are still slowed by injuries, JSN could see another solid workload.

    Jake Bobo: The UDFA receiver also found a TD last week and an uptick in volume as he caught four of five targets for 61 yards. Bobo’s main skillset is his exceptional run blocking, which helps him earn a ton of snaps for the Seahawks. While he is a big-bodied red zone threat, playing TD roulette with him will not be worth your time in fantasy unless he continues to see a decent target share. His situation should be monitored, but the WR room is crowded in Seattle.


    Noah Fant, Colby Parkinson, Will Dissly: The TE carousel in Seattle is the same it has been all year. Dissly is mostly used for blocking, then Parkinson and Fant combine for a decent pass catching experience. Overall, there is no fantasy value to be had here.

    Betting Insight

    PLEASE NOTE: This is intended for entertainment purposes. This is not intended as gambling advice. If you are looking for gambling advice from professionals, please sign up for the SportsEthos WagerPass. These are the thoughts of our fantasy football division experts, and some are sure to be better than others.

    Surely the Browns defense will not give up 38 points again this week and this one will be the ugly, defense forward game we all love. Maybe a little sarcasm in there somewhere, but with the over/under hovering around 38 points, Vegas also thinks this one will be a tight, low scoring game and i tend to agree. I also like rolling with the rookie to have another productive day with Metcalf, Lockett and Walker all banged up.

    BET: Cleveland Browns +3.5 (-105) 1.05u to win 1u (FanDuel)
    BET: Under 38.5 (-105) 1.05u to win 1u (FanDuel)
    BET: PJ Walker UNDER 197.5 Passing Yards (-114) 1.14u to win 1u (FanDuel)
    BET: Jaxon Smith-Njigba OVER 35.5 Receiving yards (-114) 1.14u to win 1u (FanDuel)


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