Week 8 is going to be difficult on fantasy owners. Six NFL teams (the Falcons, Giants, Ravens, Browns, Bears, and Eagles) are on bye, and all their corresponding fantasy stars are off limits. Identifying talent available on your fantasy waiver wire will certainly be at a premium as the second half of the fantasy season gets started. Here's ten players who could help you out this week.
Kitna's stint as the Cowboys starter begins against the Jaguars
Tony Romo will miss at least the next five games, so the Cowboys must turn the reigns of the NFL's fifth ranked offense over to Kitna. The drop off might not be as bad as you think. The Cowboys consider Kitna one of the best back-ups in the league, and he has put up good fantasy numbers as a stater before, including stints with Cincinnati and Detroit. Given a full week of practice repetitions with the fist team offense will allow all members of the offense to become familiar with one another. This improved timing should really come in handy in Week 8, as the Cowboys host the team that has given up the most passing touchdowns (16) in the NFL, the Jacksonville Jaguars.
The leader of the Lions if finally back
Stafford has been gone, but he certainly shouldn't be forgotten. Since re-injuring his shoulder in the Lions first game, Shaun Hill and Drew Stanton filled in admirably. The Lions have the NFL's seventh ranked passing offense. There's little question that it should get even better with Stafford's healthy return. He is a far superior talent than Detroit's other quarterbacks. As luck would have it, in Week 8 the Lions are hosting the Washington Redskins and their 31st ranked pass defense.
Lee Evans had a moster 3 TD performance against the Ravens last week
Evans has been the model for streaky throughout his NFL and fantasy career. He tends to disappear for stretches, then go on the road and have a huge game. In 2010, that huge game came last week against a good Baltimore defense. Evans torched the Ravens for 105 yards and three touchdown catches. He also scored in Week 6 against the Jaguars. Ryan Fitzpatrick has proven to be much more willing and able to throw the ball deep than Trent Edwards was. As the Bills deep threat, Evans is beginning to finally benefit from the quarterback change.
Mike Williams has been targeted 31 times in the last two games
With the emergence of his namesake in Florida, the “original” Mike Williams has now become the “other” Mike Williams. That might be changing soon. Seattle's Williams has a ridiculous 31 targets in the last two games alone. He has quickly become Matt Hasselbeck's favorite target for the surprising first place Seahawks. He is certainly making the most of the opportunity given to him by Pete Carroll, and has rejuvenated his NFL career. Don't hesitate to acquire and start Williams this week against the Oakland Raiders, who have surrendered the second most touchdown passes in the NFL.
Will the Blair White Project be starting for the Colts this week?
The Colts are suffering some terrible injuries. Star tight end Dallas Clark is out for the year. Leading touchdown scorer Austin Collie will miss the next several games with thumb surgery. There are varying reports about Anthony Gonzalez re-aggravating an ankle injury that has kept him out since the Colts opener. Despite all this, Peyton Manning is likely to not miss a beat. Manning is so good at manipulating mismatches that any receiver the Colts put on the field is a candidate to produce good fantasy numbers. With Clark out, expect the Colts to use more four receiver sets, and White to see a significant increase in playing time. If Gonzalez, who has never stayed healthy for long, does miss time, Blair White is in line for some huge production as the Colts slot receiver.
Brown is an intriguing sleeper this week...if he gets the starting nod
Another player likely to benefit from the ailing Colts roster is Brown. Joseph Addai is suffering from a bum shoulder, and a nasty head injury he received before Indy's bye. Brown, who has missed the last several games with a bum hamstring, is thought to be healthy after extensive rest. If Addai is limited, or out for this game, Brown should get the start for the Colts, who play the NFL's worst defense, Houston, at Lucas Oil Stadium. A key point to remember when considering acquiring any Indianapolis player is that the Colts are notoriously secretive about their player's health status, so you might not know until game time who will or won't be active...that's bad news for fantasy leaguers as the Colts play on Monday Night Football in Week 8.
LaGarrette Blount may have punched his way to the top of the Bucs depth chart
Head Coach Raheem Morris said before the Bucs Week 7 victory that Blount would see an increased role in Tampa Bay's offense. He delivered with 11 carries for 72 yards, while Williams only had 4 hand-offs for 12 yards. On the season Blount is averaging 6.5 yards per carry, while Williams is down at an embarrassingly low 2.5. Blount should continue to see the vast majority of touches for the Bucs. That's great news for fantasy football fans..particularly this week when Tampa faces the Arizona Cardinals 29th ranked rush defense.
Woodhead is becoming a sneaky and productive fantasy back
You almost get the impression that Bill Belichick wants to take unsung cast-offs from other teams and turn them into useful players. That's what he's doing with Woodhead, who was dumped by the Patriot's AFC East rival New York Jets. In his time with the Patriots, Woodhead has managed to score two touchdowns, catch nine passes, and is even leading the team with 5.5 yards per carry. While BenJarvus Green-Ellis is New England's short yardage and goal line runner, Woodhead will continue to see plenty of yards as both a change of pace rusher, and as a receiver out of the back-field.
For tight ends, match ups don't get any better than facing the Bills
Matt Cassel is playing fairly well lately, and has breathed some life into the Chiefs passing game. Thats good news for fantasy owners because the Buffalo Bills are playing at Arrowhead Stadium this week. The Bills have managed to give up an amazing seven touchdowns to tight ends over the last four games, including allowing the last three, Todd Heap, Marcedes Lewis, and Dustin Keller to score twice in each game. Moeaki is a capable young tight end, and should be able take advantage of Buffalo's difficulties in coverage.
Matt Stafford's return could mean better numbers for Scheffler
The Lions have completed an NFL high 59 passes to their tight ends. Matt Stafford will return at quarterback this week. Stafford only played in Week one this year, but in that game Scheffler had six receptions, while fellow tight end Brandon Pettigrew had only one. Scheffler could be worth an emergency start here for fantasy owners desperate for a temporary fill-in. The Lions host Washington in Week 8.