Last Chance Saloon for Greg Dulcich Waiver Hopes

Denver Broncos TE Greg Dulcich
Denver Broncos TE Greg Dulcich
Photo: USA Today Sports Images

NFL Week 8 - After another crazy week in the NFL when even Kyle Pitts had a big day, there are plenty of takeaways, and plenty of them revolve around tight ends too. With six teams heading into bye weeks, let's wrap up Week 8 for all the teams who played.

Arizona Cardinals

The signs of life for this Cardinals team might be tinged with a hint of sadness thinking about what could have been if Marquise Brown had stayed healthy. In Brown's absence, Kyler Murray has relied heavily upon DeAndre Hopkins who reached 800 career catches on Sunday and celebrated with an incredible one-handed catch. Brown is a natural burner who was forced into a near-line-of-scrimmage role, and whilst he was a target hog, it never felt like he was hitting his peak. If Brown can make a return sooner rather than later, perhaps this offense can truly explode with him utilized downfield. For now, Rondale Moore is the clear WR2, with only Hopkins' usage exceeding Moore's. If you're in need of a receiver to cover during bye weeks, Moore faces matchups with the Seahawks and Rams in the coming weeks.

Atlanta Falcons

For the first time since Week 1, Marcus Mariota had 20 completions in a game, even if it did take overtime to get to that poin. Hopefully, this crazy game gave Arthur Smith a little more faith in his offense's passing game, and going forward we might see a little more of it. Mariota hit season-highs in passing yardage (253) and touchdowns (three) which in turn benefitted his tight end, Kyle Pitts, who also set a season-high in PPR points (21.5). Unfortunately for fantasy managers, there still isn't enough volume for Drake London to also be relevant, and it has now been five consecutive weeks since London scored double-digit points. London is an interesting buy-low candidate in dynasty leagues if you're rebuilding for next year, when the Falcons should have a new quarterback.

Baltimore Ravens

The Ravens had a clear plan against the Buccaneers: throw the ball in the first half against a banged-up secondary to spread them out, and then run the ball down their throats. The first part of this plan didn't look particularly great as the offense stuttered and lost Rashod Bateman, Mark Andrews, and Gus Edwards, but in the second half Lamar Jackson turned in a vintage performance, completing all eight throws, including two touchdowns, as the offense put up 204 rushing yards on a Buccaneers defense that used to be stout against the run. The Ravens offensive line is dominating, and it should be no surprise if the Ravens continue to run the ball well from here out. With the news that Bateman will miss a few weeks, the Ravens may have no other choice.

Buffalo Bills

Rumors persist that the Bills are looking to add a top running back if possible via trade, and whilst it's always great to see super teams built before our eyes, it feels a little unnecessary for a team that is getting solid production from Devin Singletary, who ranks seventh in success rate, and rookie James Cook just had his most productive game that didn't rely on garbage time. Year after year we see rookies make leaps after the bye week, and it would be nice to see the Bills give Cook a chance to establish himself now before they might find themselves in a situation in January when they need it. Next up for the Bills is a trip to the Jets. If Cook is on waivers, he's an interesting stash going forward.

Carolina Panthers

P.J. Walker looked beyond Tim Tebow's levels of bad for much of this game, but then produced quite possibly the best throw of the NFL season to take the game to overtime. Despite the quarterback situation being turbulent at best, DJ Moore has three touchdowns through eight games, and with two more would set a career high. Without Christian McCaffrey and Robbie Anderson, Moore is the main beneficiary with 28 targets in his last three games. Second-year wideout Terrace Marshall set a career-high in targets with nine and had more receiving yardage than he had accumulated in his last 15 appearances. In deep leagues, Marshall is worth a speculative add in case he can recover some of the form that captured people's imagination leading up to the 2021 draft.

Chicago Bears

Over the first four weeks of the season, Justin Fields was averaging 117.8 passing yards per game along with 0.5 passing touchdowns and 36.8 rushing yards, which made him the QB30 in that period. Since then Fields has improved to 182.0 passing yards per game, 1.3 passing touchdowns, and 69.3 rushing yards. Fields is the QB2 since the start of Week 5. Fields isn't quite out of the woods yet as the Bears continue to tear down this team, but if he can keep this up he should still be the starter in Chicago next year.

Cincinnati Bengals

Joe Mixon now has six games this year where he's averaged less than 3.5 yards per carry. In PPR formats Mixon is staying alive with receptions, with seven against the Browns, taking his season total to 34, which is 7 more than he had in the entirety of 2021. Amongst running backs with 50 or more carries Mixon ranks dead last in yards after contact (2.0) and only Brian Robinson and Cam Akers have worse yards per carry than Mixon's 3.3. The Bengals face Carolina and then head into a Week 10 bye. If Mixon can't start improving soon it doesn't feel outlandish to suggest the team might look away from Mixon more often.

Cleveland Browns

In 2021 Amari Cooper had four games of 70 or more receiving yards with the Dallas Cowboys. Through eight games with the Cleveland Browns Cooper has five such games and is thriving. Cooper is still just 28 years old and looks set to be a reliable fantasy asset for the rest of the season. Kareem Hunt saw his highest workload in five weeks, and whether that was part of the game plan or deliberately putting Hunt in the shop window ahead of Tuesday's trade deadline will remain to be seen. Either way, a more involved Hunt will be good for fantasy purposes and if Hunt stays with the Browns he'll face a Miami Dolphins defense in Week 10 that ranks 26th in defense DVOA against running backs in the receiving game.

Dallas Cowboys

For quite some time now Tony Pollard detractors would tell you that he couldn't hold up with a similar workload to Ezekiel Elliott, but now that argument will hold a little less weight after Pollard rushed 14 times for 131 yards and three touchdowns on a Bears defense that struggles with the run at the best of times. Pollard has looked more explosive than Elliott all year and ranks sixth in DVOA against Elliott's 16th, but Jerry Jones' sunk cost fallacy will no doubt keep Elliott seeing the majority of snaps for now. On a day when much of the attention was on Justin Fields' rushing ability, it was good to see Dak Prescott also have a rushing touchdown, his first since Week 9 of 2021. In Prescott's first three seasons he averaged six rushing touchdowns before it dropped off to three per year since. It would help Prescott's fantasy value somewhat if he was able to score a few more.

Denver Broncos

The Broncos got a much-needed win in London in a game that the Jaguars probably should have done better in. Greg Dulcich has been fantastic ever since he made his debut in Week 6 and now has scored 36.2 PPR points in those three games, which makes him the TE3 in that period. If Dulcich is still on your waivers, it could be your last chance to grab him. Courtland Sutton was kept quiet with a single catch on four targets, but with a friendly matchup against the Titans after the Broncos' bye week, fantasy managers should keep the faith, for now at least.

Detroit Lions

Another tight end quietly having a nice season is T.J. Hockenson, who ranks fourth at the position in PPR points as well as in points per game metrics. Hockenson is seeing less volume than he has in previous years—his receptions per game are down to 3.7, below his career average of 4.0—but he is finding ways to stay alive by either scoring touchdowns or totting up yardage, and he ranks fifth in effective yards.

Green Bay Packers

Aaron Rodgers is borderline unplayable in single-quarterback fantasy leagues right now. In a game when the Packers trailed constantly, Rodgers passed for his third-lowest total yardage of the season (203) and in eight games Rodgers has yet to hit 250 passing yards. Believing in Rodgers at this point is believing in his ability to create the magic he could with Davante Adams, but the truth is that Adams is elsewhere and Rodgers ranks 28th in QBR (38.3). Perhaps luckily for Rodgers, he lands a get-right spot in Week 9 against the Detroit Lions who rank dead last in pass defense DVOA.

Houston Texans

The Texans are a mess and things don't look to be improving any time soon. Rumors are swirling that star left tackle Laremy Tunsil may be available for trade, along with receiver Brandin Cooks. If Tunsil is traded, it's likely everyone on this offense takes a big hit both in NFL terms and fantasy. Davis Mills completed 72.0% of his passes in 2021 from a clean pocket but that figure is already down to 67.1% this year; removing his left tackle would no doubt see him perform even worse. Cooks' outlook, though, would likely improve if he was traded, and if you have him on a dynasty roster it might represent a nice chance to sell in the coming days.

Indianapolis Colts

Jonathan Taylor left the game deep in the fourth quarter with a banged-up ankle, and the injury news will perhaps be a blessing for fantasy managers who might be spared the decision of whether to start Taylor or not in Week 9. Taylor has played at least 55% of snaps in six games but has just one touchdown on the season, along with three single-digit PPR performances. Since Week 1 Taylor's weekly fantasy finishes are 37, 23, 56, 20, and 43. That kind of production is replaceable elsewhere, but it would take a brave manager to sit last year's RB1. If Taylor is healthy for Week 9, he will face a New England defense that ranks 26th in run defense DVOA.

Jacksonville Jaguars

In Weeks 1 through 3, Christian Kirk was the PPR WR6 and looked set to win leagues, but since then Kirk ranks as the PPR WR35 and fantasy managers have had plenty of headaches regarding starting him. Kirk was always going to have a tough matchup with the Broncos defense that ranks first against the pass, but better times are coming and he's an interesting buy-low candidate as the Jaguars are set to take on the 31st-ranked defense in DVOA (Raiders), the 25th (Chiefs), 12th, (Ravens) and 32nd (Lions).

Las Vegas Raiders

It's rather hard to have much to consider for fantasy football when the Raiders didn't cross midfield until there were just 3 minutes and 15 seconds remaining in the game. This was as big an abject failure as we have seen from the Raiders in a season that has been a complete letdown. The Saints took away the threat of Josh Jacobs and it left the Raiders unable to produce anything. In the coming weeks, the Raiders face the Colts and Jaguars in games that could well shape their offseason and who gets to keep their jobs.

Los Angeles Rams

Wherefore art thou offense? The Rams defense has taken plenty of abuse this year and it deserves it, but the offense is straight-up putrid right now. In 2021 the Rams ranked fourth in offense DVOA, now they rank 23rd. The running game is abject and since Week 5 the running backs have combined to average 2.7 yards per carry. The only rays of hope are that Allen Robinson is finally showing some signs of life. In the first five weeks, Robinson had a 12.0% target share and averaged 5.7 PPR points per game, since then Robinson has seen a 20.6% target share and is averaging 13.9 points per game.

Miami Dolphins

I expected Tua Tagovailoa to have a strong game in a get-right spot, and he exceeded my expectations, throwing more than one touchdown for just the second time this season as he threw for 382 yards, the second-most of his career. Tagovailoa's throwing motion might look like it requires more effort than any other quarterback to throw deep, but the team is cooking and Jaylen Waddle and Tyreek Hill are breaking records, even if they occasionally have to catch under-thrown balls. Chase Edmonds is earning the 16th most amongst running backs in average salary per year, but the team has all but thrown the towel in on him. Since the Week 1 game when Edmonds touched the ball 16 times, he now averages 5.1 touches per game and hasn't rushed for more than 33 yards. If for any reason you were holding onto hope with Edmonds, then his next fixture against the Bears' 28th ranked rushing defense should be your last stand.

Minnesota Vikings

The Vikings keep on rolling and the offense keeps on doing enough to keep Justin Jefferson and Dalvin Cook in the top tiers of their position, but outside of that things are pretty thin. Adam Thielen averaged 1.0 touchdowns per game in 2020 and 0.8 in 2021, but so far this season that has dropped to 0.3 and his fantasy value is struggling. Irv Smith Jr. was supposed to be set for a breakout year, but he ranks 37th in DYAR amongst tight ends and now faces missing time with a high-ankle sprain. If you're desperate for a streaming tight end to replace Smith, you can safely pass up Johnny Mundt, who scored his first career touchdown on Sunday in his sixth year in the league.

New England Patriots

In 2021 it was noteworthy that Mac Jones looked after the ball well for a rookie quarterback, and he had eight games without an interception. So far in 2022 Jones has turned the ball over in every game he has playhed. Outside of Rhamondre Stevenson and Jakobi Meyers at a stretch, nobody in New England is fantasy-worthy. Tyquan Thornton started brightly with five targets in Week 6 but has just two catches since. Hunter Henry briefly spiked in production when Jonnu Smith missed Week 6 but neither has been able to produce when both have been healthy. Damien Harris was a touchdown machine in 2021 but now seems to be firmly behind Stevenson in the pecking order and will be a risky start going forward. The Patriots rank 24th in offensive DVOA and it might take more than a game against Zach Wilson to sort themselves out. Next up, Sam Ehlinger.

New Orleans Saints

Alvin Kamara has been more productive in games with Andy Dalton at quarterback rather than Jameis Winston, and that trend continued with Kamara's biggest fantasy performance since 2020. Mark Ingram left the game with a knee injury and looks set to miss several weeks, which should only further inflate Kamara's value going forward. Juwan Johnson continues to have a nice season; despite a quiet game against the Raiders he has more catches than Kyle Pitts, Dawson Knox, or Hunter Henry. In Week 9 the Saints welcome the Ravens into New Orleans and at times this year, the Ravens have struggled with tight ends, ranking 21st in defense against the position. Johnson is in play as a streamer.

New York Giants

Some of the sparkles fell off the Giants as they traveled across the country to take on the Seahawks, whose improving defense held Daniel Jones to his worst fantasy performance of the season. Before this week's 9.0 fantasy points, Jones had scored double-digit points in seven consecutive games for the first time in his four-year career, so perhaps it's worth taking a moment to consider how much more reliable Jones has been in general along with the fact that Jones has thrown just two interceptions in eight games. The Giants head into the bye week in a good spot, they just need to help their quarterback out a little more with some pass-catchers.

New York Jets

This felt like the game when the tide fully turned on Zach Wilson. Were it not for three interceptions and a 48.8% completion rate, perhaps the Jets could have walked away with a win against a lackluster Patriots team. The Jets now face the Bills defense which ranks top-five in both passing and rush defense DVOA. If you're willing to start anyone against them then I can only wish you luck.

Philadelphia Eagles

All of the signs seemed to point towards a big Devonta Smith game with Pittsburgh ranking better against WR1s than WR2s in DVOA, but A.J. Brown did not care what the stats said, he was due an eruption game and he delivered. The worry with the Eagles still remains that they might not be pushed as much as we would like for fantasy matchups. Against the Steelers, they were so in control with deep passing plays that Miles Sanders only rushed the ball nine times for 78 yards and a touchdown before he and other starters were pulled from the game, preventing them from any garbage-time opportunities. These are problems for the rich, though, and Thursday night's game against the Texans might provide more opportunities for Sanders as he faces the league's worst rushing defense in DVOA.

Pittsburgh Steelers

The Steelers have a multitude of problems, none of which are new to us by this point in the season. Offensive coordinator Matt Canada has been feeling the heat and dialed up a creative play call to have Chase Claypool throw a touchdown, but that was as good as it got for a team that looks devoid of leaders. Najee Harris is a problem at the moment, particularly as his understudy, Jaylen Warren, is running more efficiently, and that isn't the kind of thing that should happen to a first-round talent. The Steelers have enough good people in charge that they should right the ship in time, and I would be tempted to throw out some buy-low offers for the receivers in dynasty formats.

San Francisco 49ers

Jimmy Garoppolo seems to be playing with more freedom than in 2021 and whether that's from not having Trey Lance on the bench, or perhaps Kyle Shanahan trusting him more, the team is benefiting from it. The Niners are also benefiting from the trade for Christian McCaffrey, who is displaying the type of ceiling performances that made him a better choice at the 1.01 in fantasy drafts if you were willing to accept that predicting injuries is a difficult task. Brandon Aiyuk leads the team in receiving touchdowns (four), receptions (38), and receiving yards (483), and ranks sixth in DYAR.

Seattle Seahawks

Fantasy managers are still reeling from the rollercoaster ride of a week when DK Metcalf was potentially out for the rest of the season, then it was walked back to just a couple of weeks, and then Metcalf was out there not just drawing coverage but putting up his fourth game of 17 or more PPR points this season. Metcalf isn't exploding weekly, but he is consistent and only 14 wide receivers have more targets than him. If you would have offered that to dynasty managers before the start of the season I feel like most would have been happy.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Much of the Buccaneers offense is hard to project of late, and whilst Chris Godwin and Mike Evans have stayed reliable, Leonard Fournette is harder to project. Fournette has failed to go over 35 rushing yards in 50% of his games this year and whilst Fournette's work in the receiving game is keeping him alive, Rachaad White has averaged 3.6 targets over the last five weeks and is clearly eating into Fournette's workload.

Tennessee Titans

Many Ls have been taken on Derrick Henry on this site and elsewhere this week, as well as this month, last year, and the year before, and I'm beginning to wonder if there's a way to make the pain stop, other than pronouncing Henry the 1.01 in 2023. Malik Willis showed that he's not ready for the starter's job in Tennessee, throwing the ball just 10 times for 55 yards, and Ryan Tannehill should feel a little relieved that his seat is unlikely to heat up anytime soon. Outside of Henry, it's very difficult to consider any of the Titans player's fantasy-viable.

Washington Commanders

Taylor Heinicke has been a positive force for Terry McLaurin, who has also been able to capitalize on rookie Jahan Dotson missing time. McLaurin has had his best two fantasy performances this year with Heinicke at quarterback, and it should come as no surprise that his production is coming at the cost of Curtis Samuel, who no longer can rely on the many checkdowns that Carson Wentz sent his way. Samuel started the season with 30 targets in three games but now has seen it drop down to 17 in his last three games. Samuel is a fine play in weeks like the coming one when your rosters are stretched to the limit, but until Wentz returns it's unlikely to be big returns from him. J.D. McKissic has lost his passing-down work to Antonio Gibson, who might be the only running back worth starting in the near future, despite his grave being dug many times this year.


4 comments, Last at 01 Nov 2022, 5:32pm

#1 by peterplaysbass // Nov 01, 2022 - 3:35pm

I wonder how valuable Hockenson could become as a Viking

Points: 0

#2 by Tom Strachan // Nov 01, 2022 - 3:41pm

I think he'll definitely see an increase in his value. Kirk Cousins has had success targeting the TE position and I'd bet on the Vikings offense over the Lions. Feels good!

Points: 0

#3 by Akim // Nov 01, 2022 - 3:49pm

What's with all the whilst?  You picking up bad habits with a side gig writing for Victorian Quarterly?  Thou couldst do better.

Points: 0

#4 by Tom Strachan // Nov 01, 2022 - 5:32pm

Whilst I appreciate your point… I must point out that I am actually English. 

Points: 0

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