Welcome to week 8, Chat Sports! We're covering who to start and who to sit in your fantasy league this week. We're always looking for the not-so-obvious guys you can sneak into your lineup who can give you the edge you're looking for.
Last week, only two out of five guys panned out and helped you out in your time of need. We're looking for the sneaky RB2's and WR3's, so it's a little tougher to nail. The big hit last week was the guy I've been praising for weeks, TE Jordan Reed. Jordan exploded for 9-134-1 and should be a TE 1 for the rest of the fantasy year. Nick Foles and Chris Ogbonnaya, on the other hand, completely fizzled and killed any team that had them in the line-up for quick band-aid start.
Entering week 8 of the season, we're faced with more byes and injuries. This is the third consecutive week that a top-tier WR went down for the year, with Mr. Consistency Reggie Wayne going down for the rest of the fantasy season. Also lost was Doug Martin, a top five pick this year, as well as QB Sam Bradford. Make sure to grab Darius Heyward-Bey and Mike James, who are going to fill the void of lost touches for Reggie and Martin. Zac Stacy also moves into RB2 status from here on out, as St Louis should run the ball plenty with Kellen Clemens under center.
Week 8 is hump day for the NFL, and most of us are past the halfway point in our leagues. Losing a guy to injury is always a pain, and staying on the waiver wire is the only cure. Some teams that lose a couple games in a row, or suffer multiple injuries this late in the year, just give up. Their pessimistic attitude is your gain. If you've been reading my articles regularly, you should already have some viable replacements on your team. If not, here are a couple of guys that should help you get through the week and pick up that W!
Jeremy Kerley, NYJ WR: Kerley is coming off his best game of the year with a stat line of 8-97-
1. He also led the team in targets with ten. The Jets have been a surprise team this year, and are fighting for a playoff spot. Even though Kerley has been inconsistent on the year, it seems like he's emerging as Geno Smith's top target. Look for another strong week for Kerley as a WR3 versus a beat-up Bengals secondary.
Michael Floyd, ARI WR: Floyd has had a solid fantasy year with 33 catches for 416 yards and a touchdown. With Larry Fitzgerald nursing a sore hammy, Floyd has taken advantage. He led the team in targets last week, and this week Floyd goes up against a Falcons defense that is giving up the fourth most FF points to WRs. If Carson Palmer can play just decent football, look for Floyd to help your team on a weekly basis.
Chris Ivory, NYJ RB: Ivory ran the ball 34 times for 104 yards against a solid Patriots defense. With Mike Goodson on the IR, it was no surprise that Ivory received a bigger workload. It was surprising, though, that he out-touched Bilal Powell 35-3. The Jets traded for Ivory and paid him starter money for a reason, and that was for him to tote the rock. Going against a tough Bengals defense, and with Powell sure to get more than 3 touches, I still see Ivory as a solid flex play this week.
Mike James, TB RB: It will be a rough first start for James going against a tough Carolina defense, but the key word is start. Tampa has a rookie QB starting in Mike Glennon, so they should run the ball plenty. Mike James will never be confused for AP, but he can reliably grind out 3-4 tough yards. A better-than-average pass catcher with good burst, James should be a good band-aid for your RB woes.
Terrance Williams, DAL WR: I've written about Williams on numerous occasions, and consider him an every-week starter. To me, he's no longer a not-so-obvious start (i.e. Jordan Reed & Keenan Allen), but to some of you that may not be the case. Williams scored a touchdown last week for the third straight game in a row. Miles Austin's permanently hurt hammy has allowed Williams to excel this season. This week, he faces the Lions 29th-ranked pass defense. He's currently the 32nd-best WR in PPR leagues, and he’s only getting better. I'd make a move to get him on my team if he wasn't already.
Gio Bernard, CIN RB: Bernard is coming off one of his worst fantasy games of the year last week. He only rushed for 27 yards, and reeled in 5 catches for 32 yards. I love Gio as a strong RB 2 every week, but just not this week. This week he goes up against the New York Jets and their excellent run defense (ranked second in the NFL), and they're only giving up 77.7 yards per game on the ground.
Tom Brady, NE QB: Brady has underwhelmed this year, plain and simple. Having no receivers to throw to every week doesn't help, but in fantasy football it's all about the production. Brady has thrown for more than 300 yards just once this season, and was held out of the ends zone for the second time in three games last week. Having Amendola and Gronk back this week should help, but he's extremely hard to trust in your lineup at this point.
DeAngelo Williams, CAR RB: Williams has rushed for just 40, 64, and 39 yards in his last three games. What’s worse is that he's scored zero touchdowns on the year. He's being replaced in all goal line situations by Mike Tolbert, which means the only way he’s going to score is if he breaks a long run—I don’t think his tired old legs have the burst any more. This week, Williams faces a Bucs defense ranked 5th in the NFL against the run. If possible, I'd try and do better this week at RB.
Stevie Johnson, BUF WR: Over the last four weeks, Johnson has been abysmal, with 95 receivers scoring more fantasy points. With Thad Lewis under center and facing a Saints defense giving up the eighth-fewest fantasy points to receivers, I'd find a spot on the bench for Stevie.
LaVon Brazill, IND WR: Brazill has recently come off his four game suspension, and is a question mark in the Colts' offense. With Reggie Wayne out for the year, this second-year receiver should get a chance to prove himself. He's worth a stash in deeper leagues, as he could take over T.Y. Hilton's role as a situational deep threat.
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