Fantasy Week 8: San Diego to provide weekly bolts

As the first half of the season comes to a conclusion the top fantasy performers are clear. With some favorable matchups in week eight, however, there are a few players primed for games above their salary level.

Likewise, there are a few high-salary players destined for a slow weekend.

Coming off the best performance of his young career, Jameis Winston now faces and Atlanta Falcons defense allowing the seventh-most pass yards per game.

After torching a worthy Washington pass D, Winston should have a repeat performance trying to keep up with an explosive Falcon offensive machine.

And with a salary among the bottom of the league’s starters — $6,600 – the Buccaneer signal caller is a great start.

At a significantly higher salary — $8,500 – one of fantasy’s highest scoring quarterbacks, Philip Rivers, matches up with a porous Baltimore pass D. Expect a monster day from the Chargers and Rivers.

After averaging nearly six yards per carry in a backfield devoid of consistency a week ago, Tennessee Titans RB Antonio Andrews likely earned more carries.

Facing a Houston Texans D who was embarrassed by a less-than-impressive Miami Dolphins running game last Sunday, Andrews’ 15 or so carries should yield more than 100 yards and at least one score.

At a salary of $5,300, putting Andrews at your RB2 position allows you to save salary for the wide receiver position.

Being an elite-caliber multi-use running back, and with Julio Jones still hobbled by a hamstring injury, Atlanta Falcons’ Devonta Freeman is an obvious play. Even with his position-high $9,100 salary.

The Pittsburgh Steelers are one of the NFL’s worst pass defenses. The Cincinnati Bengals are one of the NFL’s best passing offenses.

Expect AJ Green to post his normal big game versus his AFC North rivals, but fellow Bengal wideout Marvin Jones will have a lot of open space as the Steelers double down on Green.

At $5,400, Jones is one of this weeks’ top sleeper picks.

In the same game, Ben Roethlisberger is on schedule to make his return to the field, making Antonio Brown a favorite to post a massive number.

The Indianapolis Colts are one of what seems to be countless defensive teams who have given up on covering tight ends.

With Rob Gronkowski having already played on Thursday Night Football, Carolina Panther Greg Olsen is set to be the highest fantasy scoring tight end on the week.

San Francisco 49ers’ Vernon Davis is also worth consideration – he is long overdue for finding pay dirt.

At a salary of $4,600, Chicago Bears kicker Robbie Gould is among the safer plays. Gould, one of the league’s most accurate kickers, will get his opportunities as the Bears face a Minnesota Vikings defense that has kept opponents out of the end zone.

In a play that wouldn’t have made sense a year ago, and even less sense the year before, an underrated Green Bay Packers defense faces a struggling Denver Broncos offense.

Peyton Manning’s throws all season have looked like poor punts, meaning that HaHa Clinton-Dix will have opportunities to take advantage of his ball-hawking nature.

Based on recent success, St. Louis running back Todd Gurley is a fashionable play. Against a the 49ers, though, his is set to end. Be careful not to waste $8,100 on a running back that doesn’t reach the 10-point threshold.

The Buccaneers have been among the best defenses against the pass this season, and Freeman has been the linchpin of the “Dirty Bird” attack.

Couple the two with Jones’ health struggles and his weekly position-high salary of $9,200, Jones is a better pass than play this week.