In the NFL's short season, it is easy to overreact after one or two weeks of poor play. While it is justified in some cases, the stars usually break out eventually.
There have been plenty of disappointments across the board this year, including a number of high draft picks who have not panned out. In addition, some players who excelled at the start of the year have not kept up the same pace in recent weeks.
Still, Week 8 could see a bounce-back performance for a lot of these players. Despite a few rough weeks, watch for these stars to come through with big showings for your fantasy team.
Michael Vick, QB, Philadelphia Eagles
After missing the last two weeks with a hamstring injury, Vick appears set to return to the lineup on Sunday, according to Les Bowen of the Daily News.
Of course, fantasy owners have two reasons to be cautious about putting him in their lineup. He could still be limited with his injury, and he only averaged 13 fantasy points in his last three starts.
However, he was on his way to one of his best games of the season before getting injured against the New York Giants the last time out. He managed to rush for 79 yards on seven carries while also totaling 105 passing yards in the first half.
This should continue, as the Giants have struggled against any passer not named Josh Freeman. In the Monday night victory, the defense still could not rush the quarterback or cover receivers; it simply allowed Freeman to constantly miss throws.
Vick is inconsistent, but he is much better than Freeman and should be able to torch this defense in what will be a high-scoring game. As long as he is healthy, he deserves a spot in most fantasy lineups.
Darren McFadden, RB, Oakland Raiders
Another player who has been limited by injuries, Darren McFadden has not been great when on the field. Since Week 3, the running back is only averaging a dismal 2.72 yards per carry.
However, Steve Corkran of the Contra Costa Times (h/t Rotoworld) quotes head coach Dennis Allen in saying that McFadden "looks explosive" after resting through the bye. A hamstring injury is something that only heals with time, so it appears the week off did a lot of good.
This should help against the Pittsburgh Steelers defense, which has been surprisingly poor against the run this year. The unit has allowed the eighth-most fantasy points to opposing running backs this year, including six touchdowns allowed and zero fumbles recovered.
McFadden will once again be the focal point of the offense and should do well in the read-option alongside Terrelle Pryor. There is cause to be wary, but the running back should be ready for a big week.
Marques Colston, WR, New Orleans Saints
Heading into last week's bye, Marques Colston had only managed three catches and 26 yards in the previous two games combined. This is not what fantasy owners have come to expect from one of the most reliable players in the league.
The problem was that he had run into some elite opponents, with Aqib Talib and Charles Tillman doing their best to slow him down. Of course, these were the only two games of the year that Drew Brees was held to under 300 passing yards, so it is clear how important Colston is to the offense.
He will have a chance to get back on track against the Buffalo Bills this week. Only the Eagles have been worse at defending receivers this year, allowing the second-most yards and touchdowns in the league.
Colston will be targeted often, and he should get some big plays against the patchwork secondary.
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