Fantasy Football Week 8: Players Poised for Huge Performances This Weekend

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistOctober 23, 2013

Oct 21, 2013; East Rutherford, NJ, USA;  New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (10) waves to fans leaving the field after victory over Minnesota Vikings at MetLife Stadium. New York Giants defeat the Minnesota Vikings 23-7. Mandatory Credit: Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY Sports
Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY Sports

You always want to make sure you're taking advantage of the most favorable matchups for your fantasy football stars.

Sure, Peyton Manning is the unquestioned No. 1 quarterback, but that doesn't mean he's always going to be the best fantasy producer each and every week. You're going to have weeks when Michael Vick, Jake Locker or even Nick Foles are atop the leaderboard.

OK, nobody could've predicted Foles would have 296 yards and three touchdowns against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

That doesn't change the fact that a lot of the success you have in fantasy football is about figuring out which players are best positioned to have monster weeks.

Here are three players outside the elite category who should have strong fantasy performances.


QB: Eli Manning, New York Giants

Oct 21, 2013; East Rutherford, NJ, USA;  New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (10) throws pass during the first half against the Minnesota Vikings at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY Sports
Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY Sports

For the first time all season, Eli Manning went without throwing an interception during the New York Giants' Week 7 win over the Minnesota Vikings. We need to take baby steps with Eli, so that's a step in the right direction.

And now the Giants have a date with the Philadelphia Eagles, who continue to be one of the worst teams in the league against the pass.

You take the good with the bad when it comes to Manning. He's probably going to throw at least one interception on Sunday. The key will be for Eli to have enough yards and touchdowns to make up for any turnovers he causes.

In Week 5, he had 334 yards passing with two touchdowns and three interceptions. If he can do something similar, you'd be more than happy with that.


RB: Eddie Lacy, Green Bay Packers

Oct 20, 2013; Green Bay, WI, USA;   Green Bay Packers running back Eddie Lacy (27) laughs with tight end Jake Stoneburner (85) and running back Johnathan Franklin (23) before game against the Cleveland Browns at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu
Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

In his last three games, Eddie Lacy has combined for 301 yards and one touchdown. He's been very consistent since returning from injury.

The rookie running back should continue that strong run of form against the Minnesota Vikings. According to Football Outsiders, Minnesota is ranked 20th against the run. Lacy should find plenty of running lanes.

Josh Freeman under center should work out well for the Packers no matter how he performs. If he's going to be awful again, Green Bay can take control early, then use the running game to kill the clock and secure the victory. Should Freeman come close to matching Aaron Rodgers, the game would open up, and you'd see lots of scoring.

Either way, Lacy should have a big game.


WR: Pierre Garcon, Washington Redskins

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The Denver Broncos defense should continue improving the more time Von Miller is on the field. Since this is just his second week back, though, don't expect Denver to be hitting on all cylinders.

With how porous the Washington Redskins defense has been, this game has the potential to match the excitement and scoring of that great Broncos-Cowboys game from earlier in the season.

Pierre Garcon should be able to put up huge numbers. Robert Griffin III looked a lot like his old self last week, which could actually be a good thing for Garcon. The more RG3 can establish his running game, the more the Denver defense will look for that and sit off the Washington receivers.

Sooner or later, you'd also expect Garcon to get his third touchdown of the season. He's due for one after going two weeks without finding the end zone.