Happy Halloween fantasy fans and friends. Mid-fall is here, the chill in the air, and the fun of dressing up in costumes to do the trick-or-treat thing. We all love a good dress up and a nice chance at make believe, kind of like the way we have all been dressing up our fantasy teams the last few weeks.
Yes even scarier than ghost and goblins has been the severe rash of injuries that has hit the NFL teams and is killing most fantasy teams. In a quick look at the list of players down or possibly down we see names that have been reliable such as Willis McGahee of Denver, Jahvid Best of Detroit, Tim Hightower of Washington, Earnest Graham of Tampa and now the likes of Darren McFadden in Oakland and Mark Ingram in New Orleans possibly missing time with injury. Yes the waiver wire is getting thin, but not because of a fight for talent, but a fight for back ups and who is left.
So as the NFL reaches its mid-season point, the time has come to get real serious and maybe even a little daring with your team. The time has come to dust off some bench players and give them a chance or grab all the back ups you can fit on your roster, like water during a potential hurricane. Stock up, because this looks like a season in which the best waiver moves may win it all. Hey, how many of you pulled one out last week on the strength of DeMarco Murray alone? So with all that said, here is my Start and Sit round up for week 8. Wish you all good luck, and a fun and safe Halloween!
Ryan Fitzpatrick, Bills vs. Redskins: People of Toronto, here is your chance to see some good ol’ fashioned American football. We regret to say it will be the slumping Redskins, but if you are a Bills fan, go with Fitz. The Skins defense has been beaten by Mike Vick and Cam Newton over the last 2 weeks, and the offense is not keeping games close. Fitz should have a nice week here.
Cam Newton, Panthers vs. Vikings: He has been really good with both his arm and his feet so we see no problem here. The Vikes have not been very good on the road, but new QB Christian Ponder appears to have the offense busy, so Newton will need to be active.
Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers vs. Patriots: Still the quality big game QB, Big Ben and company come into this week in a game dubbed as the ” AFC Championship Preview”. The verdict is still out on this Pats defense, and Ben has done good things this year. The run game is banged up too, so it should be a nice shoot out between 2 of the top winning active QBs today.
Matt Schaub, Texans vs. Jaguars: I still think the Jags do enough on pass defense to not trust opposing QBs. Last week they did a number on Joe Flacco, so the Texans will be better served using the legs of Arian Foster here.
Tim Tebow, Broncos vs. Lions: Outside of his 5 good minutes last week, Tebow showed very little to get us all amped up about his passing skills. Still very much a work in progress, he is hard to trust against a pretty good Lions front line. He can run and make it interesting, but there has to be better options this week.
Philip Rivers, Chargers at Chiefs: What is going on with Rivers is anyone’s guess, but he is not the go to guy he has been over the last few seasons. The Chiefs racked up 6 INTs last week, and are finding ways to the ball, but the run defense is not all that special, so if the Chargers get it going, it should be on the ground.
Ahmad Bradshaw, Giants vs. Dolphins: With the status of Brandon Jacobs still in the air, Bradshaw is the bread and butter here. He had a great week 2 weeks ago with 3 TDs and over 100 yards, and now come the weak Dolphins. Bradshaw does have the skill, he just needs the touches.
Chris Johnson, Titans vs. Colts: Yes I will be the first to admit that Johnson has been brutal this year, but in the past he has torched the Colts. Indy has very little going for them right now, so this may be the game that Johnson begins to find his nitch again. He may not have the 200 yard games in him yet, but he should produce here.
Pierre Thomas, Saints at Rams: Rookie Mark Ingram his hurting and Darren Sproles is more the pass catcher, so Thomas may get some quality looks here. The Rams run defense got smoked by Dallas last week, and the Saints handle the ball better than Dallas. I know Thomas has not brought much to the table this year, but in the days of injured players and question marks everywhere, this may be a great sneak play.
Dolphins RBs at Giants: I like Daniel Thomas, but this is just a jumbled mess with no direction. Reggie Bush and Thomas as well as Lex Hilliard are good for a nice gain or 2, but none of these guys are striking gold, so avoid them if at all possible.
Ryan Torain, Redskins at Bills: Skins coach Mike Shanahan always keeps us guessing with who he likes at RB, and this week should be no exception. Tim Hightower is out for the year, so there is room for Torain, but I also like Roy Helu, and he may get a chance too. As always, one slip and you’re in Shanahan’s dog house, so you really have no idea who to trust here yet.
Alfonso Smith, Cardinals at Ravens: Despite the injury to Beanie Wells, this is not the best week to use Smith. Yes he is young, and could be a nice asset, but the Ravens defense should be plenty hyped for this one after a lousy performance last week against the Jags. Wait to see who does what in Arizona before making your decision.
Braylon Edwards, 49ers vs. Browns: He may not play because of an injury, but Edwards if healthy can be ready for this one. At one point he was looking like a certain star in Cleveland, then before we knew it, it was all over. Edwards does still have some skill, and you know he wants this game badly. This is a great sneak play here, but worth a shot.
Mike Wallace, Steelers vs. Patriots: In a big game against a possible poor secondary, Wallace could explode here. He is one of the fastest players in the league and at home the Steelers always turn it up a notch. Expect good things from Wallace, and possibly even a pair of TDs.
Dwayne Bowe, Chiefs vs. Chargers: How can you not like the Chiefs main option this week after watching what Plaxico Burress did to this defense last week. The Chiefs are finding themselves on offense and Bowe has been the top TD threat over the last season plus. If Plax can do what he did, Bowe can go flat out nuts.
Brandon Marshall, Dolphins vs. Giants: As I said earlier, this offense stinks, period.
Broncos WRs vs. Lions: With Tebow at QB, no one really knows who will be the lead guy here. He mixed in everyone, so you can’t trust any WR to take the lead, at least not yet.
Reggie Wayne, Colts at Titans: Wayne is lost without Manning, as are the Colts. The Titans have good corners so you will need to look elsewhere, again.
Roy Helu, RB, Redskins: As mentioned earlier we never know who Shanahan will use. If it is Helu, he is well worth a look. He has good speed and good running power, plus youth on his side.
Jabar Gaffney, WR, Redskins: Another Redskin? Perhaps, but this is the main guy at WR,so if you need a boost he could be it.
Knowshon Moreno, RB, Broncos: In most leagues he was well forgotten about, but now with Willis MacGahee down for a few weeks he will become the lead back again. Moreno has value because of his good hands and he does run well.
Christian Ponder, QB, Vikings: There is very little left at QB, so if you need a move Ponder is as good as possible. He showed nice work in his first full start last week, and the schedule is not brutal over the next few weeks, so he may be worth a shot.
So here is the scoop for week 8. Time to be aggressive and go get ’em. Good luck owners.
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