Tonight’s Thursday Night Football contest featured the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the Buffalo Bills. Fantasy football managers are laser-focused on starting their Week 8 matchups off on the right foot. What are our key observations on Khalil Shakir, Trey Palmer, Mike Evans, and others.

Fantasy Observations From Thursday Night Football

Khalil Shakir, WR, Buffalo Bills

The Bills opened the game going extremely pass-heavy, but it wasn’t Stefon Diggs who was the apple of Josh Allen’s eye. Instead, sophomore slot man Khalil Shakir set a season high in receiving yards on the first drive with three catches for 39 yards. His previous high came back in Week 1 when he caught all four of his targets for 35 yards.

Shakir’s big night continued when he caught another bomb on the Bills’ second drive after the play broke down. He led the game with 69 receiving yards at the end of the first quarter.

As often happens with hot starts from ancillary players, Shakir’s production halted to close out the first half leaving him with the 4-69 line at halftime.

Shakir wound up catching two more passes in the second half, finishing with a game-high 92 receiving yards. There’s no need to pick him up in fantasy, as this was almost certainly an outlier and a product of the Bucs taking away Stefon Diggs. But it was impressive nonetheless.

Trey Palmer, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

It’s been the night of WR3s so far. Shakir is leading the Bills in receiving, and Trey Palmer appears to have a stranglehold on the Bucs’ WR3 job. He’s playing every snap in three-receiver sets and even some in two-receiver sets.

Palmer caught two passes for 15 yards early in the game but finished with just one more catch for six yards.

At this point, fantasy managers don’t really need to concern themselves with Palmer. As long as Mike Evans and Chris Godwin are healthy, Palmer is not going to be a fantasy starter. But it’s good to know that if anything were to happen to one of them, he would be the proper pickup.

Mike Evans, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Fantasy managers don’t need me (or anyone else) to tell them that Mike Evans is an every-week fantasy starter. But the first half was not kind to those who started him.

Despite the Bucs moving the ball reasonably well, Evans has not been involved at all. He caught just one of his three targets, while Baker Mayfield locked in on Chris Godwin as his primary option.

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There’s nothing to fear with Evans. He’s out there. He’s healthy. This happens to every receiver on occasion. Even if he doesn’t pick it up later in the game, Evans will remain a must-start WR2 going forward.

Evans wound up salvaging his day with a late touchdown grab that bounced off the defender. He will be just fine going forward.

Dalton Kincaid, TE, Buffalo Bills

One thing we absolutely love to see is what’s happening with Dalton Kincaid. With Dawson Knox on IR, Kincaid finally has the Bills’ TE1 job to himself. He saw four targets in the first half, catching two of them for 25 yards and a touchdown.

Most importantly, Kincaid played every snap in which there was a tight end on the field. It is clear that what was once a timeshare now belongs entirely to Kincaid. He’s looking like a fantasy TE1 going forward.

Even when Knox returns, there’s no guarantee he will get his job back. The rookie is more talented and was drafted to be the Bills’ long-term answer at tight end. So far, he’s looking the part.

Kincaid continued his ascent in the second half. He finished with 5 catches for 65 yards and the aforementioned touchdown. It would be a major upset if he didn’t end up as a top five TE on the week. Those of you who stashed him for the first half of the season or grabbed him off waivers this week are now one of the select few teams in your league with a trustworthy weekly starter at fantasy’s worst position.

Looking to make a trade in your fantasy league? Having trouble deciding who to start and who to sit? Setting DFS lineups? Check out PFN’s Free Fantasy Football Trade Analyzer, Start/Sit Optimizer, and DFS Lineup Optimizer to help you make the right decision!

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