Another weekend of NFL action, another chance for unattainable perfection in the futures market.
Week 8 Fantasy Locks
The Mission: To be informative, enlightening and 100 percent accurate each NFL weekend.
The Realistic Goal: To be informative, somewhat enlightening and accurate for 67 percent of the calls.
Quarterback: 275 Total Yards and/or three TD
1. Aaron Rodgers vs. Jacksonville
2. Peyton Manning vs. New Orleans
3. Drew Brees at Denver
4. Robert Griffin III at Pittsburgh
5. Tom Brady vs. St. Louis (London)
6. Eli Manning at Dallas
7. Ben Roethlisberger vs. Washington
8. Matt Ryan at Philadelphia
Running Back: 115 Total Yards and/or two TD
1. LeSean McCoy vs. Atlanta
2. Matt Forte vs. Carolina
3. Jamaal Charles vs. Oakland
4. Adrian Peterson vs. Tampa Bay
5. Chris Johnson vs. Indianapolis
6. Darren McFadden at Kansas City
7. Ryan Mathews at Cleveland
8. Reggie Bush at N.Y. Jets
Wide Receiver: 105 Total Yards and/or one TD
1. Demaryius Thomas vs. New Orleans
2. Reggie Wayne at Tennessee
3. Jordy Nelson vs. Jacksonville
4. Percy Harvin vs. Tampa Bay
5. Brandon Marshall vs. Carolina
6. Calvin Johnson vs. Seattle
7. Roddy White at Philadelphia
8. Mike Wallace vs. Washington
9. Marques Colston at Denver
10. Victor Cruz at Dallas
Kicker: At Least Three Field Goals (or Nine Points)
1. Mason Crosby vs. Jacksonville
2. Matt Prater vs. New Orleans
3. Kai Forbath at Pittsburgh
4. Ryan Succop vs. Oakland
5. Dan Bailey vs. N.Y. Giants
Sleepers Of The Week
QB Christian Ponder vs. Tampa Bay
RB Daniel Thomas at N.Y. Jets
RB Phillip Tanner vs. N.Y. Giants
WR Cecil Shorts at Green Bay
WR Brandon Stokley vs. New Orleans
Week 8 Dream Team
QB Aaron Rodgers, Packers
RB Matt Forte, Bears
RB LeSean McCoy, Eagles
WR Reggie Wayne, Colts
WR Demaryius Thomas, Broncos
RB/WR Jordy Nelson, Packers
TE Rob Gronkowski, Patriots
K Ryan Succop, Chiefs
D/ST Green Bay Packers
YouTube Trip Down Memory Lane
Here's a handful of awesome NFL clips from the 1980s, courtesy of our friends at YouTube:
1. 1981—Check out this entertaining CBS walk-up for Packers vs. Jets, capping the NFL's final weekend of the '81 season:
a. The 9-5-1 Jets needed a victory to clinch their first playoff berth since the NFL-AFL merger in 1970 and second postseason invite since Joe Namath's 1968 bunch pulled off the greatest upset in Super Bowl history.
b. CBS announcers Vin Scully and Hank Stram do a superb job setting the table here. And after noting the game-time temperature (a wind chill of three degrees), Scully recalls an epic line from Mark Twain: "Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it."
c. With the Jets' easy win over the Pack (28-3) and the Giants' thrilling overtime victory against the Cowboys, this day marked the first time in the modern era (1960 to the present) that both New York pro teams had simultaneously reached the playoffs.
2. 1982—This quick intro to Redskins-Buccaneers at old Tampa Stadium has three noteworthy moments:
a. This game marked the broadcasting debut of Hall of Fame defensive lineman "Mean" Joe Greene, who had just retired from the Steelers.
b. Longtime CBS announcer Frank Glieber, who died of a heart attack in 1985, may have been the most underrated TV voice of the 1970s and 80s. I've always had great admiration for Glieber's work.
c. This game, featuring the eventual Super Bowl champion Redskins, makes no mention of a looming players' strike the following week. After the Sept. 19-20 slate, the NFL would close its doors for the next two months.
3. 1983—During halftime of Raiders-Broncos, NBC announcers Marv Albert and John Brodie embark on a no-frills discussion involving John Elway's fourth career start and first ever encounter with the hated Raiders.
A few things stand out here:
a. Albert and Brodie break down Elway's erratic play in the first half, lamenting the rookie's inability to crack the code of the Raiders' experienced secondary. To balance things out, Brodie offers a lukewarm clip-and-save quote: "John has a great future...but today, it's been tough."
b. Before the days of sideline reporters, Albert reports that Steve DeBerg has taken over for Denver at quarterback while also revealing that Elway is being held out due to a "mild" concussion.
(Hard visual evidence: In 1983, not all NFL coaches and trainers advised concussed players to "take some smelling salts and get back in there!")
c. Current ESPN analyst and former Broncos linebacker Tom Jackson gives a pep talk to the benched Elway, presumably with a big-picture message.
Perhaps something like, "I guarantee this DeBerg guy will be gone next year. The Buccaneers will need someone to hold down the fort while that kid from BYU (Steve Young) tries to cut it in the USFL." (Old joke wasted on young readers.)
d. At the 9:15 mark, a non-sponsored game break includes footage of Chargers wide receiver Wes Chandler making yet another circus catch in the end zone. For the life of me, I cannot recall one NFL Films montage of Chandler making an ordinary catch.
4. 1987—The NBC pregame for an AFC playoff showdown (Jets-Browns, January 1987).
Say hello to one of the most absurd TV openings in sports history—canned footage of shirtless stars from New York (Mark Gastineau) and Cleveland (Clay Matthews, left) getting dressed in the locker room, from head to toe.
The beefcake-infused walk-up nearly detracted from one of the decade's greatest playoff games, with the Browns rallying from a 10-point deficit in the final minutes to beat the Jets in overtime.
The event, dubbed The Marathon By The Lake, would end up being the third-longest game in NFL history.
Jay Clemons can be reached on Twitter, day or night, at @ATL_JayClemons.