Fantasy football has been around for quite awhile now, and it is weeks like Week 8 that make it such an entertaining, frustrating game. You can’t control what players will score, and you can’t control what players won’t score.
It’s important to look at trends of certain players, offensive schemes, position battles and many more aspects. It’s simply a game that requires a lot of thought and analysis.
In Week 8 we watched the Dallas Cowboys fall to 1-6 after getting blown out by the Jacksonville Jaguars. Jon Kitna, who replaced Tony Romo in last Monday’s match-up against the Giants, threw four interceptions, although three of them were tipped off the hands of his wide receivers.
We also watched a stingy Seattle defense give up 33 points to what appeared to be a barely mediocre Oakland offense. Nobody expected to rebound offensively from their huge win over Denver in Week 7, and they just kept at it.
But perhaps the most surprising aspect this week was the New Orleans Saints bouncing back from a 30-10 Week 7 loss to the Browns (that’s not a misprint, it was the Browns), and beating the Pittsburgh Steelers 20-10.
That being said, I present the Top 10 Week 8 Surprises in Fantasy Football:
10. Dan Carpenter, K, Miami Dolphins
And they say kickers can’t contribute in fantasy football. Dan Carpenter knocked in five field goals, including a long of 54 yards, as well as having an interception. He scored more points than almost 85 percent of running backs in Week 8.
9. Mike Sims-Walker, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars
Sims-Walker could easily be No. 1 on this list. But we know how good he is, and we were expecting him to have a big game sooner or later. He caught eight passes for 153 yards and a touchdown netting fantasy owners around 30 points. Expect him to follow this performance up with a three catch, 35 yard performance next week as he’s one of the most inconsistent WR’s in the game.
8. LeGarrette Blount, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
I wasn’t personally surprised by this performance, as Blount is a hard runner who had to face such a weak defense. But you don’t expect a guy who’s with his second team in the last three months to be running for 120 yards and getting two touchdowns. If you were risky and started him, you were rewarded with anywhere between 24-28 points.
7. Steve Breaston, WR, Arizona Cardinals
Breaston is a very capable wide receiver. What makes this performance so surprising is the fact that he just came off injury and he’s the No. 2 wide receiver on a team with seemingly no legit quarterbacks. Breaston helped the Cardinals come within three points of tying the Buccaneers with an eight catch, 147-yard performance. Be leery of him going forward, however.
It’s not every week that he gets to face such a weak secondary.
6. Jason Campbell, QB, Oakland Raiders
It’s crazy to think that Jason Campbell had a legit fantasy appearance. Campbell led the Raiders to a 33-3 victory over the Seattle Seahawks. His efforts got fantasy owners over 20 points after throwing for 310 yards and two touchdowns in the air. Campbell isn’t know for getting over 200 yards, let alone 300, and not throwing any interceptions makes it another bonus.
5. Oakland Raiders Defense/Special Teams
What a performance for the Raiders again on Sunday. They amassed eight sacks, one forced fumble and another interception. They did this all while holding the Seahawks to just three points. Anybody who gambled with the Raiders defense was rewarded heavily in Week 8.
4. Darrius Heyward-Bey, WR, Oakland Raiders
We finally got to see the Darrius Heyward-Bey that the Raiders drafted. After a few weeks of zero catches, and only one game in which he had over 50 yards receiving, Darrius came out and delivered on five catches for 101 yards and also had a touchdown scored. The very few owners that started Heyward-Bey were rewarded with around 25 fantasy points. But he was most likely in your waiver wire.
3. BenJarvus Green-Ellis, RB, New England Patriots
You’ve probably been sticking the "Law Firm" in your lineup for the past few weeks now as he’s had a touchdown in each of his last four games. However, his last two matches against above average run defenses made him a less sexy option in fantasy. He had 10 and 11 carries for just 20 and 24 yards. Despite the touchdown, that’s not something that makes you want to start him against an even better rush defense in Minnesota. That didn’t stop him as he carried the ball 17 times for 112 yards and two touchdowns in New England’s win.
2. Marcel Reece, RB, Oakland Raiders
Who? Marcel Reece is the third/fourth-string RB for the Raiders. Yeah, Al Davis hasn’t even heard of him. Reece is a running back. However, he only carried the ball twice for 32 yards. He did his damage in the air after catching three passes for 90 yards and a touchdown. Reece is a guy to look at in very deep leagues, but this stuff isn’t going to happen again. It’s like predicting that Randy Moss will rush for a touchdown in a game.
1. David Garrard, QB, Jacksonville Jaguars
My my, what is wrong with the Cowboys. When you are letting a non-flashy, struggling quarterback like David Garrard top these lists, you know there’s something wrong. Garrard had a heck of a game completing passes left and right. At one point he was 10/10. He finished completing 17 of 21 passes for 260 yards.
The sexier part was his four touchdowns in the air. But he wasn’t done there, as he also rushed for a one-yard touchdown. That makes five touchdowns for the Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback against the Dallas Cowboys. At the beginning of the season, you’d have been called crazy if you thought even three touchdowns was realistic in this game for the Jags.