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IBM Smart Lineup Decisions for NFL Week 8

D'Andre Swift looks ahead at more carries in the Detroit Lions game plan this week. Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Fantasy football is an emotional game and that's a large part in why we love it. But "love" isn't the only emotion that comes with this game ... the flip side is just as strong of an emotion. What if I told you that it was possible to take the emotion out of the decision making while retaining the sheer joy that comes with watching the games every week? That's where IBM Insights comes in, as they use Watson AI to break down all of the content you're consuming and then some. And by "some", I mean every inch of the interwebs. Below are the highlights for NFL Week 8 - good and bad. Now all you have to do is avoid the bust players and watch the points pile up!


Quarterback

Jared Goff, Los Angeles Rams at Miami Dolphins

Think the Rams win this game (3.5-point road favorites)? Goff has completed 72.6% of his passes in Los Angeles' past three victories, a level of accuracy that should pay off against a Miami defense that is allowing nearly 11 yards per completion this season. This game will come down to which line you trust more ... the Dolphins' defensive line that creates pressure at the third highest rate or the Rams' offensive line that is top-10 at preventing pressure for the third straight season. You feeling lucky?

Watson's Insight: Goff's ceiling is 43.7% higher than his ESPN projection this week, the second highest rate at the position this weekend.

Running Back

D'Andre Swift, Detroit Lions vs Indianapolis Colts

Word out of Detroit is that they want to get the rookie more involved and with four scores over the past three games, who can blame them? The work in the receiving game (three-plus catches in five of six games) elevates his floor, and with Adrian Peterson averaging under 3.5 yards per carry in not one, not two, not three, but four straight games ... yea, there's room for immediate role growth.

Watson's Insight: Swift's floor is 80.6% of his ESPN projection, the highest rate at the position this week.

James Conner, Pittsburgh Steelers at Baltimore Ravens

Conner has at least four targets or a rushing touchdown in every game this season. The Steelers rank ninth in running back yards gained per carry before first contact, giving Conner a nice floor in a matchup that most managers are going to worry about.

Watson's Insight: Despite the seemingly tough matchup, Conner's boom percentage is more than twice his bust percentage, far-and-away the best ratio at the position.

Wide Receiver

A.J. Green, Cincinnati Bengals vs. Tennessee Titans

Green ranks third in the NFL with 120.3 air yards per game this season and that should not be overlooked in a matchup against a Titans defense that allows deep touchdown passes at the sixth highest rate (allowing a touchdown on 11.6% of deep passes).

Watson's Insight: Green is projected as WR26 this week, but he owns the eighth highest ceiling at the position.

Tight End

Rob Gronkowski, Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New York Giants

Without Chris Godwin this week, Gronk figures to draw more attention and that's less than ideal. In the three games this season without the star receiver, Gronk has totaled a mere four receptions. He ranked outside the top-10 at the position in percentage of drop backs in which he ran a route last week, making him a thinner play than you might assume on Monday night.

Watson's Insight: Gronkowski's 19.9% bust percentage is the highest among the top-20 projected tight ends this week.

Trade Assistant with IBM Watson brought to you in partnership with ESPN