Fantasy Football – Week 8
Cam Newton (Carolina Panthers) – Carolina Panthers (1-6) QB Cam Newton (75.2 QB Rating - 1,701 YDS, 8 INT's, 5 TD's) has definitely gone from rookie sensation to being amidst his sophomore slump. Although Newton gets numbers and has breakout games here and there, his lack of consistency has fantasy owners in desperate need of a big game. Look no more, ladies and gentlemen - today is your (and his) day. The Washington Redskins (3-5) remain last in the league, giving up an average of 314.3 passing yards-per-game, allowing even teams like the Rams to dish out 31-point games. Start Newton and be happy with your decision, knowing that the 'Skins have been allowing close to 20 fantasy points per QB faced this season. "Cameron, you're ungrounded - but the second you step out of line again, it's back to your room you go! Hear me?!"
Andrew Luck (Indianapolis Colts) – Holy hell, look who we've got here! Indianapolis Colts (4-3) QB Andrew Luck (74.6 QB Rating - 1,971 YDS, 8 INT's, 8 TD's) is back for his second consecutive week on the starter's squad due less to his cool FIFA Soccer commercials (I know, soccer?) and more because of how amazing he has been for fantasy owners when playing inside of The Drum - averaging 22.5 fantasy points-per-game. Granted, the Miami Dolphins (4-3) have an excellent defensive front, but they are definitely lacking when it comes to secondary coverage. The 'Phins are currently ranked 27th in the league, giving up an average of 281.0 yards-per-game through the air and average over 16 points-per-game given up to opposing quarterbacks this season. Besides, they still have teal as one of their main colors. I mean, how can you even condone backing this team, let alone find the proper shoes to match when dealing with teal? Talk about frustration.
Michael Vick (Philadelphia Eagles) – I hope no one got sick reading this name, because if you've owned Philadelphia Eagles (3-4) QB Michael Vick (78.6 QB Rating - 1,823 YDS, 8 INT's, 9 TD's), you've probably been queazy all season. Hear me out on this one - assuming he gets the nod to start on Sunday (yes, it's questionable) Vick is going up against a New Orleans Saints (2-5) defense who have been dead last in the league overall and have allowed 15 touchdown passes, which remains worst in the league. I would get a solid start out of Vick while you can, before he either gets benched or thrown back in the dog house - wait, don't put him in there! Too soon?
RB’s - Start ‘Em!
Alfred Morris (Washington Redskins) – Am I the only one smitten by how badass Washington Redskins (3-5) RB Alfred Morris (151 ATT, 717 YDS, 5 TD's) has been? I think the man runs like a tank and has no regard for his body or anyone else's, for that matter. Since the Redskins have had to come from behind and rely on their rookie quarterback's leg work to get them back into games, it has definitely taken away from Morris' shine... a bit. That aside, today is going to be an absolute monstrous day for the Washington ground-attack and fantasy football's leading rusher when the visiting Carolina Panthers (1-6) bring their sub-par rushing defense (20th - 114.4 YPG) to town. Don't rely on last week's slump against Pittsburgh to deter you from a huge week this week in D.C. - Morris will get to the end zone, even if he has to swim there. What? Too soon again?! DAMN!
Mikel Leshoure (Detroit Lions) – Truth is, I was really leaning towards putting Reggie Bush on today's group of starters; but honestly, I didn't want to jinx anything against my Colts. I understand I'm supposed to remain objective and unbiased - but, what you obviously don't get is that this is my article and I'll do whatever the hell I please. I'm glad that's now settled and out of the way. Shall we proceed? Anyway, Detroit Lions (3-4) RB Mikel Leshoure (76 ATT, 305 YDS, 1 TD) has possibly had a worse time carrying the ball than my uncle this season... and he lost both arms in Vietnam. Truth is, Leshoure is worth the gamble against a 25th-ranked Jacksonville Jaguars (1-6) rushing defense that is allowing 135.7 yards-per-game on the ground. Jacksonville is typically even worse at home, for whatever reason, making Detroit's running game look rather premium. Do it, I dare ya'.
Doug Martin (Tampa Bay Buccaneers) – Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-4) RB Doug Martin (129 ATT, 543 YDS, 3 TD's) will have a good day ahead of him when he travels to the west coast to face an Oakland Raiders (3-4) defensive front which surprisingly enough ranks 11th in the NFL, giving up only 102.1 yards-per-game. Strangely, Oakland still averages giving up over 18 points-per-game on average to opposing backs. I don't get it either, they just kind of find a way to suck, I suppose? Start Martin and watch him throw up big yards and numbers in Oakland... although it's hard for me to trust any man with two first names.
WR’s – Start ‘Em!
Reggie Wayne (Indianapolis Colts) – Watch this: Indianapolis Colts (4-3) WR Reggie Wayne (54 REC, 757YDS, 2 TD’s) should have an absolutely insane game against the downright horrid secondary of the Miami Dolphins (4-3). The Dolphins are currently giving up 281.0 (27th) through the air and have little to no superstar in the secondary to stop the superstars we're throwing at them. I’m looking for Reggie to come down with 150+ receiving yards and at least one touchdown on Sunday! Yep, just take last week's write-up, change the opposing team name and everything else basically remains the same. Did you catch it?
Desean Jackson (Philadelphia Eagles) – With the surprisingly bad New Orleans Saints (2-5) secondary currently being ranked 30th, giving up an average of 304.6 yards-per-game, it'd be difficult not to start an Eagles receiver... even if they were on IR. Yes, their defense is that bad. Philadelphia Eagles (3-4) WR Desean Jackson (34 REC, 524 YDS, 1 TD) hopefully jumps off the inconsistency train and starts becoming the Jackson of old. Start him this week and if he doesn't produce big numbers, you can say you told me so and I'll send you each a dollar for your troubles.*
*Dollar will be sent via post-dated check to the date of my choosing.
Eric Decker (Denver Broncos) – Denver Broncos (4-3) WR Eric Decker (38 REC, 484 YDS, 5 TD's) is a start again this week for me. Although some may argue that there are better match-ups out there, I like what Denver has done, spreading out their throws and finding each and every receiver down-field, scoring points all over. The Broncos will face a decent Cincinnati Bengals (3-4) secondary, but when you have a sheriff like Manning slinging the ball around the field, it doesn't much matter what secondary you throw at him, the points for his receivers will still end up getting there. Start Decker and thank me later for how good looking I am. Oh, and for me telling you to start Decker, I guess.
QB’s – Sit ‘Em!
Ryan Fitzpatrick (Buffalo Bills) – If you are like me and must start Buffalo Bills (3-4) QB Ryan Fitzpatrick (86.1 QB Rating - 1,435 YDS, 9 INT's, 15 TD's) then you must be ready and willing to hate yourself later in the day - again, like me. The Bills are headed south to face a Houston Texans (6-1) team that pretty much wants you to do nothing on the field and makes you live with their decisions. The Bills have the league's 29th-ranked passing offense, throwing for only a mere 198.7 yards-per-game, facing the Texans 5th-ranked passing defense, allowing only 200.0 yards-per-game. What does that mean, you may ask? Nah, you didn't ask... that's far too obvious. Let's all sit back and watch Fitzpatrick (a Harvard graduate) make some of the most obvious and mentally deficient decisions ever. Stupid bye weeks!
Christian Ponder (Minnesota Vikings) – Now that Minnesota Vikings (5-3) QB Christian Ponder (85.8 QB Rating - 1,743, 7 INT's, 10 TD's) has had plenty of time off to think about just how poorly he played against a terrible Tampa Bay secondary, he is forced to head into Seattle Seahawks (4-4), 12th Man territory where any time there's a passing play called, he may pee a little. If the Seahawks have one thing mastered, it's putting a hit on players... hard ones. They simply don't allow anyone to break free and score, especially at home where only Tom Brady has gained more than 12+ fantasy points at CenturyLink Field. I bet Ponder and backup QB Joe Webb had a stressful game of rock-paper-scissors to see who was starting this one, to which Ponder yelled, "Best two out of three!" as Webb was cheesin' and walking away.
John Skelton (Arizona Cardinals) – Take a warm-climate, dome team like the Arizona Cardinals (4-4) and ship them to the frozen tundra in Wisconsin to face a reeling Green Bay Packers (5-3) team while adding a second-year quarterback like John Skelton (64.5 QB Rating - 746 YDS, 1 TD) and you've got yourself a recipe for disaster. There is no running game in Arizona (31st - 79.0 YPG) and with a back-and-forth quarterback situation, there is definitely no current passing-attack that's going to net the Cards any points (23rd - 210.9 YPG), especially if WR Larry Fitzgerald (45 ATT, 511 YDS, 3 TD's) is still banged up from last week. Sit Skelton... forever.
RB’s – Sit ‘Em!
Fred Jackson (Buffalo Bills) – For exactly the same reasons behind sitting Buffalo Bills' (3-4) starting quarterback is the same reasoning for sitting RB Fred Jackson (53 ATT, 197 YDS, 1 TD) - well, that and the fact that he simply hasn't produced all season. Plain and simple, the Houston Texans (6-1) 3rd-ranked rushing defense only gives up 83.0 yards-per-game on the ground on average, to which I can only see Jackson getting maybe 3 of those 83 yards, if he trips, stumbles forward and the entire Texan defensive unit is too busy yawning. Sit down, sir!
Donald Brown (Indianapolis Colts) – I hate doing it, but I have to this time. Indianapolis Colts (4-3) RB Donald Brown (74 ATT, 319 YDS, 1 TD) is an absolute sit when facing a Miami Dolphins (4-3) defensive line currently ranked 2nd in the league, allowing an amazing 82.0 yards-per-game on the ground. Brown isn't usually all that dependable when it comes to fantasy points in the first place, now losing carries to RB Vick Ballard (61 ATT, 206 YDS) and trying to garner them against a defense that's only allowed two rushing touchdowns to running backs all season. Sorry, Donnie... it is what it is.
Chris Johnson (Tennessee Titans) – It looks like it's that time again; time to sit Tennessee Titans (3-5) RB Chris Johnson (131 ATT, 595 YDS, 2 TD's) and let everything return to normal for the 2012 NFL season. Johnson is facing the 1st-ranked Chicago Bears (6-1) rushing defense who only allows 77.9 rushing yards-per-game on the ground. Add to the fact that Chicago has only allowed one rushing touchdown and the second-fewest fantasy points to opposing backs and CJ2K flops today like Y2K did on New Year's Day, 2000. C'mon, I thought that was good!
WR’s – Sit ‘Em!
Kenny Britt (Tennessee Titans) – Forget what you thought you know about the old Tennessee Titans (3-5) and WR Kenny Britt (20 REC, 209 YDS, 1 TD) because all of it is out the window, especially today when the Chicago Bears (6-1) come in to Nashville to absolutely manhandle some Titan offensive players - all-around. Not only are the Bears tops in rushing defense, their secondary has only allowed two receiving touchdowns all season. There is absolutely no way Britt comes away with more than 50-yards receiving, let alone a score here. In all honesty, I don't know what you're doing with the man still as a starter? Trade him off, ASAP!
Brian Hartline (Miami Dolphins) – Not only is Miami Dolphins (4-3) WR Brian Hartline (33 REC, 555 YDS, 1 TD) not at full-capacity, but the home team Indianapolis Colts (4-3) are surprisingly currently ranked 7th overall in passing defense, averaging 213.0 passing yards-per-game to opponents this season. Add to the list of troubles that rookie QB Ryan Tannehill (75.8 QB Rating - 1,472 YDS, 6 INT's, 4 TD's) is also banged up and will get the start only bodes worse for Hartline and even better for the Colts, who have Coach Pagano in attendance to watch them continue their home field success.
Larry Fitzgerald (Arizona Cardinals) – The Arizona Cardinals (4-4) have dropped their last four games and, well, you may as well call it five in-a-row after heading to Lambeau Field to face the Green Bay Packers (5-3) on a short week. Star WR Larry Fitzgerald (45 REC, 511, 3 TD's) landed awkwardly on his head while diving for a dropped touchdown pass in the end zone Monday night and every play afterward showed more and more signs that Fitzgerald was concussed, yet they kept him in for the remainder of the meaningless last quarters of the game - why, I'll never know? Regardless, Arizona has a terrible offensive strategy altogether and won't be allowed many (if any) points on the board while Fitzgerald will be held to little yardage. It's a scary thought to believe the medical personnel can be just as bad as the Cardinals offense. I'm going to get a second opinion, if you don't mind, Dr. Kevorkian.