Fantasy Fallout: Week 8 Review

By Matt Rogers
PSDC Fantasy Football Expert

nfl_fantasy_fallout

Damn son, Week 8 was rough. I was lucky to escape with a 4-2 record. I have to admit, one of those wins was a surprise. I had chalked up a loss entering the weekend because I was playing a couple backups at RB due to injury and byes. Then low and behold, Matt Stafford and that beast named Megatron went off. Instead of losing, I scored the most points of the weekend and took over first place in that league.

By the time the curtains fell on Monday night, five of my teams sat in playoff contention. Unfortunately, my weak team took another loss and is damn near done at 3-5. My best players are lost to injury and it is a low activity league. So there is no salvation for that team. It makes it easier to figure out which league to withdraw from next year. My 4-4 team isn’t far behind. Another loss there and I’m on the way out.

Anyway, that’s enough about my success or lack thereof. Week one of the bye week gauntlet is in the books. I hope you found some gems to lead you through. Now we have another killer week with six teams out of action. As with last week, this will either sink some teams further into depression, or allow them to steal a win against a shorthanded team and keep hope alive. Surely the trade deadline looms in your league. This is your best chance to make a move or two if you plan to do anything this year.

MOST VALUABLE PLAYERS

Even though we had a pair of QBs throw for five TDs and an emerging secondary WR haul in an unprecedented four TDs, I have to tip my hat to the guy who had more receiving yards than damn near every team in the league this weekend. Calvin Johnson is a complete and total beast. I really want to thank Dez Bryant for lighting a fire under this guy. It greatly helped my fantasy team this weekend.

Sean Lee continues to make his case for Defensive Player of the Year and is now the leading IDP scorer in the league. Here is a scary thought. Lee is doing all of this without having even gotten to the QB. He is a tackling machine that may be the best cover LB in the game at this point. He has four INTs and six passes defended and his next opponent is coming with another weak passing attack. You may salivate now.

Here is your Week 8 MVP Team.

Offensive Player

Fan Pts

% Owned

Drew Brees NO – QB

38.23

100%

Andy Dalton Cin – QB

36.63

76%

Marvin Jones Cin – WR

34.13

23%

Calvin Johnson Det – WR

29.43

100%

Darren McFadden Oak – RB

17.70

94%

Andre Ellington Ari – RB

17.30

53%

Jimmy Graham NO – TE

15.22

100%

Defensive Player

Fan Pts

% Owned

DeAngelo Hall Was – CB

19.87

25%

Adam Jones Cin – CB

19.53

28%

Sean Lee Dal – LB

19.47

88%

Dan Skuta SF – LB

16.57

0%

Craig Robertson Cle – LB

13.00

3%

Derrick Johnson KC – LB

13.00

63%

Bruce Irvin Sea – LB,DE

16.77

2%


MISSING IN ACTION
 

I promise I’m not cutting and pasting this, although I could just as easily. Tom Brady underwhelmed again, this time against Miami. I guess this really isn’t too bad since he doubled last week’s output. His numbers could have been better if he had played in the first half. Next week he gets the Steelers in Foxboro. Keep hope alive, Brady fans. The pendulum should swing your way soon.

While Cincinnati was drilling the Jets, somebody forgot to tell Carlos Dunlap there was a game going on. Getting points from the DL continues to be a crapshoot this year. Dunlap failed to get it done this week but should still owned in just about every league. I may bench him against Miami next week, but I have no plan to drop him in the leagues where I own him.

Here are the rest of the guys that didn’t show up in Week 8.

Offensive Player

Fan Pts

% Owned

Tom Brady NE – QB

7.23

99%

Matt Ryan Atl – QB

6.39

99%

Eric Decker Den – WR

4.80

98%

Marques Colston NO – WR

1.95

96%

Marshawn Lynch Sea – RB

2.05

100%

Darren Sproles NO – RB

2.70

95%

Jason Witten Dal – TE

1.50

99%

Defensive Player

Fan Pts

% Owned

Patrick Peterson Ari – CB

2.98

73%

Eric Berry KC – S

4.00

44%

Terence Newman Cin – CB

3.00

43%

James Laurinaitis StL – LB

2.50

72%

Justin Houston KC – LB

3.00

59%

Tamba Hali KC – LB

2.00

52%

Carlos Dunlap Cin – DE

0.50

37%


Bye Week Blues

There is another messy 6-team bye week ahead. This is the counterpunch to last week’s jab.

Bye Teams: Denver, Detroit, NY Giants, Arizona, San Francisco, Jacksonville

OFFENSE:

Quarterbacks:

Clearly, if you have either Manning brother or Matt Stafford, you get to find out how good your back up plan is this weekend. If you have Colin Kaepernick, enjoy winning without him. If you have Carson Palmer or Chad Henne as your starter then you need to go sit in the corner. Seriously, go, you’re in timeout.

Terrelle Pryor seems to be getting better and more comfortable each week. This week he faces Philly who ranks 31st in overall and pass defense. Granted, the Raiders may be running with the lead for most of the game.  Pryor looks like a great play this weekend. 

Jake Locker is actually have a really good year. He lost a couple weeks to injury but came back sooner than expected. He is averaging 17.33 points per game and has a decent, but not great, matchup against the Rams this weekend. Locker borders on a guy worth trading for. So add him now if you can.

Christian Ponder or Josh Freemen or Matt Cassell, hell, I don’t know who is starting for the Vikings. I do know they play the Cowboys who rank dead last in overall and passing defense. I normally wouldn’t recommend any Vikings’ QB, but I think Tim Tebow could pass for 300 yards right handed against Dallas at this point. Seriously, how can this defense be this bad?

That is all of the semi-good news I have for those of you looking for a QB this weekend. Unfortunately, there is a lot of bad news for you to consider.

Ryan Tannehill plays against the Bengals this weekend and their defense is freaking awesome. Do I need to describe how good they are or has everyone figured it out by now?

Geno Smith is coming off an ass whipping at the hands of those previously mentioned Bengals to face the Saints. I don’t know how many of you watched the Saints dismantle the Bills this weekend, but Rob Ryan’s boys are just plain damn nasty.

Ben Roethlisberger faces New England this weekend. Although the Patriots defense only ranks 24th overall, they are fifth against the pass and their DL is viscous. This may be the game where Big Ben gets knocked out. He will certainly be running for his life.

I think you guys get the point. This is lining up to be a bad weekend for QBs around the league.

Running Backs:

Knowshon Moreno, Frank Gore, Reggie Bush/Joique Bell and MJD owners will be scrapping this week. The Giants plan to spend the bye week hunting the next old dude to bring out of retirement. This break should allow Rashad Mendenhall to get healthy for Arizona, but he may have already lost his job to the youngster, Andre Ellington.

Friends, I have bad news. I have no help to offer here. The RB ranks are thin, and I have no help to offer. You have to be creative. Last week, I ended up starting Joseph Randle and Kendall Hunter together in one league because all of my guys were hurt or on a bye. It worked because DeMarco Murray didn’t return and San Francisco beat up Jacksonville bad enough for Hunter to get some touches. Tashard Choice was on my radar as well and he would have served his purpose had I opted for him.

This week will be much of the same. You have to dig deep and take a chance. I expect Cincinnati to kick the crap out of New York. That may lead to some kick return points from Marcus Thigpen. It may take that type of thinking for you to find a RB that can give you 3-4 this week while the big boys are out of action.

Wide Receivers:

Megatron knew he had the week off. So he went ahead and racked up enough passing yards in Week 8 to tide you over. All Broncos receivers and Victor Cruz owners will be looking for help this week. Larry Fitzgerald will spend the week trying to convince himself and everyone else that he is happy Arizona didn’t trade him. Bolden and Blackmon owners should spend the week trying to trade these guys.

Marvin Jones blew my mind and broke my heart last week. I had him early in the week but dropped him due to injury reports. Then he catches four TDs. Seriously? Was he channeling Jerry Rice or something? Jeez, it may take him the next three games to match that 34.13 point output, but I think you have to give him a shot. As teams continue to try and take away AJ Green, Jones will have plenty of targets.

Percy Harvin in on the brink of returning and Sidney Rice just tore his ACL. So if it isn’t already too late, now is the time to grab Harvin and see if he can make Seattle’s passing game relevant. Even with Harvin’s return, the Rice injury makes Doug Baldwin worth a look. I still hate Seattle’s pass offense.

Kenny Stills turned in a great Torrey Smith impersonation this weekend. It may not be sustainable but there is clearly something wrong with Marques Colston. So you have to consider Stills, especially with the New York Jets up next. I mean did you see what Dalton and Jones did to them last week?

The Vikings play the Cowboys who rank last in overall and passing defense. Play any Vikings receiver.

The Raiders play the Eagles who rank next to last in overall and pass defense. Play any Raiders receiver.

Tight End:

I apologize to all the brothers I misled prior to the season regarding Vernon Davis. I was wrong. He’s a stud and only one of four TEs playing at an elite level. One of the others is the rookie super freak from Denver, Julius Thomas. There are no other TEs of major relativity missing action this weekend.

I have no advice regarding the tight end position. Jimmy Graham, Jordan Cameron, Julius Thomas and Vernon Davis all average 10.98-14.29 points per game. Every other active TE of note averages less than 8.00 points a game. TE is a crap shoot outside of the top four guys.

DEFENSE:

Defensive Backs:

Alright people, we have five of the Top 25 scoring DBs out of action this week: Duke Ihenacho (7th), Antrel Rolle (14th), Prince Amakumara (16th), Eric Reid (17th) and Chris Harris Jr. (25th). The pickings may be a bit thin, but there are a few guys that can help you out.

Tashaun Gipson ranks 10th in DB scoring but is still only owned in 6% of yahoo leagues. The Browns have a division dogfight lined up with Baltimore this weekend that should offer plenty of action.

Brandon Carr ranks 13th but is only owned in 9% of leagues thanks to being out with injury last week. If he returns to action, he is worth a look.

Aaron Williams ranks 21st but is only owned in 6% of leagues. Buffalo plays Kansas City this week. So that’s a tough matchup, but he should still produce solid numbers.

Buster Skrine is another Browns’ DB still being overlooked. He ranks 22nd in DB scoring but is only owned in 12% of Yahoo leagues.

Linebackers:

The Linebacker corps is going to me missing major players this week. Six players ranking in the Top 25 for LB scoring, including four in the Top 10, are all out this week due to byes. Add to that the recent losses of Lance Briggs and Brian Cushing and you have a fun week ahead. A lot of guys will have to look deep to find some LB scoring help this weekend.

Mychal Kendricks (17th) is the only Top 25 scoring LB that is owned in less than 15% of yahoo leagues. He should be the easiest pick up to make. Of course, there is no guarantee he and the Eagles can do any better job against Oakland this week than Pittsburgh did in Week 8.

Mike Mohamed is slated to start in place of injured Brian Cushing. I fully expect the Colts to test this part of the Texans’ defense to see how well they can hold up with Cush out. So Mohamed, Joe Mays and Darryl Sharpton could all be in line for an uptick in IDP scoring.

Khaseem Greene will bring his one career tackle to the Bears defense as a replacement for Lance Briggs. Much like Mohamed, I would expect him to be tested regularly this weekend and possibly contribute a fair amount of fantasy points.

Defensive Linemen:

Calais Campbell leads all defensive linemen in scoring and will be sorely missed this week. Likewise, Shaun Phillips had come on strong for Denver lately, rising to 16th in DL scoring. Their owners will have to scramble for a quality replacement this week.

Bruce Irvin has emerged as a straight up beast the past few weeks for Seattle. He hasn’t cracked the Top 25 in overall scoring yet, but has risen to the top of the list in per game average at 6.94. He is only owned in 3% of yahoo leagues. If you grab him now, you could have a star the rest of the way.

Kyle Williams deserves strong consideration. While teams hunt ways to stop his line mate, Mario Williams, Kyle has climbed the scoring ranks to 10th, just a half point behind Mario. Buffalo has a tough match up with Kansas City this week, but Kyle is only owned in 6% of yahoo leagues. So he is available.

FATMAN’S FOLLIES

I am going to bag on the Indianapolis Colts this week. Don’t get me wrong. I think they are a great young team that could go further into the playoffs than some folks expect. An AFC title game is not out of the question. However, that doesn’t matter. This is about fantasy football.

First of all, here is a friendly warning for everyone to consider about the week right in front of us.

The hot add last week was Darius Heyward-Bey coming on the heels of Reggie Wayne’s torn ACL. That trend has continued this week. Just consider this before you go all in on Heyward-Bey. Check his success rate in Oakland. Now, think about the matchup this week. Indy plays Houston. Although there are a lot of issues with Houston, their pass defense is not one. Houston ranks first in overall and pass defense.

Second, it is time for a lot of teams to start looking forward to the fantasy playoffs and maybe make a move to position their team for a deep fantasy playoff run.

Here is the Colts’ line up for the fantasy playoffs:

Week 14 at Cincinnati
Week 15 vs Houston
Week 16 at Kansas City

Folks, those are three of the top defenses in the league and two of those match ups are on the road.

Andrew Luck is an exceptional young QB who I would be happy to own in any league, especially a keeper or dynasty league.

TY Hilton looks primed to be Luck’s go-to guy for years much as both Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne were for Peyton Manning.

Trent Richardson is a young, quality RB who has his best years ahead of him. He is better than he ever showed in Cleveland and should start to step up his game as he learns Indy’s system.

However, if I owned any of them in a re-draft league and my team was in line for the playoffs with a 7-1 or 6-2 record, I would trade them all now. If the goal is to win your league title this year, you need great players. It is even better to have great players with soft match ups in weeks 14-16. Indy doesn’t have that.

I know all you guys out there who own these guys are probably smacking your foreheads like you should’ve had a V-8 right now, and you will probably be calling for my head soon. Sorry guys, you gotta stay a few steps ahead if you want to take home the title.

Having said all of that, I want to take a second to apologize to one of my buddies who I ripped for about three weeks after he traded Luck straight up for Russell Wilson in our dynasty league. Wilson’s game has finally started coming together and he has inched into the Top 10 in QB scoring.

During the fantasy playoffs, Seattle has games at San Francisco, at New York Giants and wrap up with Arizona at home. While the San Francisco match up may be tough, those other two matchups in the final two weeks of the fantasy playoffs are far more favorable than Indy’s match ups.

Just remember, it’s never too early to start looking ahead, but it can quickly get to be too late.

Peace and good luck.

Go forth and prosper.

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