Ready for week 8 of the NFL and fantasy football season? Hopefully you are on top or within striking distance in your league this season and I can help you beat and/or drag down your opponents this week.
Here's some guys worth targeting on your waiver wire and then some good starts and sits for this week.
(The percentages following the players are how heavily they are owned on Yahoo Sports Fantasy Football. I try to stay under 50% owned for the column if I can.)
Brandon Weeden (16%): Weeden has had three multi-touchdown games in a row and is averaging 276.5 passing yards in his last four. Add that to a week eight bout with the San Diego Chargers who are giving up the sicth most fantasy points per game to quarterbacks and you have a nice pick up for this week.
Sam Bradford (21%): Bradford has shown maturity this season, but he just doesn’t have the receivers to help him, especially after Danny Amendola was hurt. The good news is the Rams face the Patriots this week who gave up 328 yards passing to Mark Sanchez this Sunday. They also rank second to last in fantasy football points given up to quarterbacks.
Rashad Jennings (25%): With Maurice Jones-Drew out for at least next week and possibly longer, Jennings is a must pick up. The Jaguars offense isn’t going to do him any favors, but Jennings has shown some real ability and if Jones-Drew has a serious foot injury, he could be gone multiple weeks.
James Starks (14%): With Alex Green rushing 20 times for 35 yards last week against the Rams, we should start to see if Starks get some more work. If he can make any noise, could continue to win some time.
LaRod Stephens-Howling (17%): The hyphen got lost in the Vikings defense last week as he rushed for 149 yards and a touchdown. Going forward, it will be tough for him to see that many touches regularly, but he should at least be given more opportunities going forward.
Titus Young (25%): With Nate Burleson out for the year with a broken leg, Titus Young will see an uptick in targets and playing time. Matthew Stafford has been pretty awful this season, but he won’t be playing the Bears defense every week and will continue throwing the ball often.
Josh Gordon (49%): He caught his fourth touchdown in three games against the Colts last weekend. He had 10 targets in that game and caught two of them, one for the touchdown. That’s not too efficient, but it’s good to see him get so many targets. He should be owned.
Leonard Hankerson (7%): With Fred Davis done for the season and Pierre Garcon resting his foot until week 11, Hankerson should start seeing more targets going forward. Santana Moss was the winner last week with two touchdowns, but only saw four targets to Hankerson’s eight and was also in on 17 snaps compared to Hankerson’s 67.
Jeremy Kerley (43%): It’s hard to put much weight into the Jets performance against the Patriots pass defense, but I think we can safely say that Kerley is Sanchez’s favorite wide receiver target now.
Ryan Broyles (0%): With Burleson’s injury, rookie Broyles will get his shot and he has plenty of ability. He’ll most likely be inconsistent, but is worth an add in deep and PPR leagues.
Dustin Keller (27%): Keller is finally back and we know that Sanchez has always preferred throwing it his way. He finished last week with 7 receptions for 93 yards and a touchdown and even though it was against the Patriots, Keller has always been one of the few fantasy options in that offense and now with Santonio Holmes is out, Keller will be a consistent target.
Brandon Myers (13%): Myers led all tight ends with ten targets last week with 10. If those kinds of target numbers can continue, he’ll be fantasy worthy.
Here's some nice and not-so-nice matchups in this week’s sit or start.
Josh Freeman: Freeman has been on fire against lesser defenses over the last three games and seems to be getting better each week. He has the weapons to be a viable fantasy quarterback, especially against Minnesota this week where he’ll need to throw it since the Vikings rush defense is stout.
Carson Palmer: Palmer has thrown for 297+ yards OR three touchdowns five of the Raiders six games and faces the Chiefs this week, who are the seventh worst at giving up fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks.
Willis McGahee: The Broncos face the Saints porous run defense this week and are coming off a bye. That’s great news for old man McGahee to be fresh for a defense that is giving up the second most fantasy points to running backs per game this season.
Reggie Bush: The Jets have given up, on average, a rushing touchdown per game and 128 yards rushing. Bush should get plenty of opportunities this week with the Jets pass defense playing well of late.
Antonio Brown: Last week was the Redskins best game in pass defense, that is until they gave up a 77-yard bomb to Victor Cruz. That gave Cruz 131 yards on the day and was the seventh 100+ yard receiving game they’d given up to a wide receiver this season. That number leads the league and their 237.6 receiving yards given up to wide receivers per game also leads the league. Brown and Mike Wallace should do just fine.
Demaryius Thomas: You saw what Vincent Jackson just did to the Saints (216 receiving yards and a touchdowns) and Thomas is a very similar player, but possibly more versatile. Peyton Manning and company should have a field day.
Heath Miller: Miller is on pace for 82 receptions, 773 yards and 13 touchdowns, which would be career highs in both receptions and touchdowns. In fact, he only needs two more touchdowns to tie his career high. His match-up this week is nice against the Redskins who are giving up the second most fantasy points to tight ends per game.
Vernon Davis: The Cardinals defense is the sixth worst at giving up fantasy points to tight ends, so Davis should be able to do something, but the reason I put him in here is because last week Davis has not had one receiving target and I just think they’ll want to get him involved again, seeing as how he is their best receiver.
Cam Newton: I wish I could say this was the week he is turn it around, but the Bears at home is not the place to get right. Let’s just get through this one alive and see where we are.
Matthew Stafford: Seattle has given up 5 touchdown passes to 6 interceptions this season and they’ve faced such names as Tony Romo, Aaron Rodgers, Cam Newton and Tom Brady. Matthew Stafford has been off balanced all season and can’t seem to get into a groove. He faces yet another tough test this week.
Mikel LeShoure: Coming off a short week, the Seattle Seahawks rush defense were worn down by Frank Gore and the 49ers offensive line, but now on 10 days rest, they should be ready to get back to their dominating ways against the run. And even with Gore running for 131 yards against them, they still are giving up an average of 66 rushing yards per game at a 3.3 yards per carry clip.
Michael Turner: Philadelphia has given up two rushing touchdowns all season and no games over 100 yards rushing. Michael Turner showed his true colors their last time out against the poor Raiders rush defense by running 11 times for 33 yards.
Brian Hartline: Hartline has had a sharp decline in productions since his huge game in Arizona and now gets to lineup across from Antonio Cromartie, who has been shutting opposing receivers down (i.e. Brandon Lloyd for one reception and six yards last week).
Steve Smith: The Bears and Charles Tillman just held Calvin Johnson to three receptions for 34 yards at Soldier Field. The Panthers come in to Chicago playing poorly of late, while the Bears defense has been red-hot.
Jermichael Finley: Finley had a whole two targets last week against the Rams and even though the Jaguars looks like a good matchup, Finley is just not worth risking unless you are strapped at the position.
Jacob Tamme: You would think that a matchup with the Saints would be great for Tamme, but they are actually playing very well against tight ends and Tamme is splitting time with Joel Dreessen. Find help elsewhere.
Chet Gresham writes for Rotoworld.com and is the founder of The Fake Football, where you can get all your start/sit questions answered in the comments.
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