NFL Fantasy Football Week 8: Christian Ponder and 10 Players To Start This Week

Khalid KhanCorrespondent IIOctober 27, 2011

NFL Fantasy Football Week 8: Christian Ponder and 10 Players To Start This Week

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    Another week of football is upon us, which means a brand new week of fantasy football as well. With another week on the horizon, more problems are piling up for the majority of fantasy owners. Many owners are looking for any player they can find to replace someone who has a bye, or any injured players on their team.

    With players like Beanie Wells and Earnest Graham suffering injuries, and with teams such as the Green Bay Packers and the Chicago Bears on a bye week, here are 10 players fantasy owners should consider starting.

Alfonzo Smith, Arizona Cardinals

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    Beanie Wells limped off the field with a knee injury and didn't return in the Cardinals' 32-20 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers last weekend. That gave the opportunity for Alfonzo Smith to get a handful of touches, and he ended up with a good game against the Steelers defense.

    This week, many news sources are indicating that Beanie Wells will be a no-go, which means that Alfonzo Smith will most likely be starting at running back. This is a great opportunity for Smith to have a great game, as he will get the majority of the carries this week.

    There may be one problem, though. The Cardinals are playing the Baltimore Ravens, who will try to avenge their Monday night loss against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Baltimore's defense is great against the run this season and is arguably the best defense in the league.

    Even though he is going against Baltimore, I would still start Alfonzo Smith. He is going to get a decent amount of carries, he will be effective in the passing game and he will get the opportunity to score whenever the Cardinals are in the red zone.

Bernard Scott, Cincinnati Bengals

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    Due to Cedric Benson serving his one-game suspension this week, Bernard Scott will get the nod to start for Cincinnati. 

    Coming off the bye week, Scott and the rest of his teammates will be fresh, which is a great sign of him having a really good performance.

    The  reason to start Bernard Scott this week is that the Bengals are playing the Seattle Seahawks, who have a pretty good defense. Teams that have played Seattle this season haven't been effective in the run game this season. This sounds like a bad thing, but I believe that Seattle will focus on shutting down the passing game with the absence of Cedric Benson. I think Scott will catch them off guard and have a really good game against Seattle.

    All signs point toward Bernard Scott having a breakout game this week.

Brandon Lloyd, St. Louis Rams

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    Brandon Lloyd has already fit in well with the St. Louis offense and has already assumed the job as their go-to receiver. Lloyd had an effective game last week, with six catches for 74 yards, in his Rams' debut vs. the Cowboys.

    A reason why Lloyd has fit in well with the offense in a very short amount of time is that the offensive coordinator of the Rams is Josh McDaniels. Many remember that McDaniels was previously the coach of the Denver Broncos, so he and Brandon Lloyd have worked together before.

    Lloyd was able to have a good game with AJ Feeley at quarterback last week. Now, Sam Bradford returns this week, which can only mean a big game for this talented receiver. 

    Brandon Lloyd is a must-start receiver this week.

Visanthe Shiancoe, Minnesota Vikings

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    With Christian Ponder starting last week, Visanthe Shiancoe was able to record his first good performance of this season. He caught four passes for 45 yards and also scored a touchdown in the Vikings' loss to the Packers.

    Shiancoe, who failed to produce any good games with Donovan McNabb at quarterback, has seemed to become one of Ponder's go-to men in the passing game. He is finally starting to look like the tight end that he was when Brett Favre was the quarterback. 

    The Vikings play the Carolina Panthers this weekend, which looks very good to any fantasy owner that has Shiancoe on their fantasy team. This season, the Panthers have been way below average in coverage against opposing tight ends, which means Shiancoe is due to have a second consecutive good week.

    With Ponder throwing the ball, Shiancoe may become one of the top tight ends in fantasy football once again.

Tim Tebow, Denver Broncos

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    The very much talked-about Tim Tebow is projected to have another great outing this weekend when the Broncos host the Detroit Lions.

    Last week against the Miami Dolphins, Tebow struggled for the first 55 minutes of the game, but was able to lead Denver with an unbelievable fourth-quarter comeback, which led to Matt Prater kicking the game-winning field goal in overtime.

    I don't expect Tebow to struggle like he did last week when he goes against the Lions. I don't expect Tebow to be a big threat in the passing game, but the running game is a whole different story.

    Love him or hate him, Tebow's legs and athleticism give him great fantasy value every week that he is on the field.

Giants D/ST

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    The Giants defense has been really solid this season. This week they go up against Matt Moore and the Miami Dolphins offense.

    Is there any reason for me to explain why you should start the New York Giants defense this week? 

    They are going up against the Miami Dolphins!

A.J. Green, Cincinnati Bengals

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    Ochocinco who?

    A.J. Green is already a star in the making for the Cincinnati Bengals. The rookie receiver is a huge playmaker in the Cincinnati offense and a big threat to any opposing team's defense.

    Green is obviously Andy Dalton's go-to man in the passing game. The rookie receiver has compiled 453 receiving yards and four touchdowns this season after a slow start. 

    With Cedric Benson sidelined this week due to suspension, Cincinnati will look more to the passing game when they take on the Seattle Seahawks. That only means A.J. Green will be targeted more times, which is a great sign for any fantasy owner that has the rookie on their team.

Jabar Gaffney, Washington Redskins

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    There was bad news for the Washington Redskins this week as Santana Moss suffered a broken hand in their loss to the Carolina Panthers. However, this is great news for any fantasy owner that has Jabar Gaffney.

    Gaffney will take the role as Washington's No. 1 receiver this week. With the injury to Moss, it is great news to Gaffney's increased production in the offense.

    Even though Fred Davis is the biggest threat in the Washington passing game, expect John Beck to throw a lot of balls to Gaffney this week.

Chris Johnson, Tennessee Titans

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    Many fantasy owners, like myself, are growing tired of Chris Johnson this season. After getting the contract he wanted, the Titans running back has yet to put together one good performance this season. Many people are getting sick of Johnson and are starting to put him on the bench.

    But, I believe this is going to be the week where Johnson turns his season around and puts on a great performance. The reason why is that the Titans are playing the Indianapolis Colts.

    The Colts run defense is absolute garbage, as well as the rest of their defense. This is the same Indianapolis team that allowed 62 points to the Saints last week. Their defense has looked absolutely horrific and seems to have already given up on the season.

    With that being said, Chris Johnson will get back on track when he humiliates the Colts defense this weekend.

Christian Ponder, Minnesota Vikings

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    Christian Ponder is already proving all the doubters wrong after his performance against the world champion Green Bay Packers last week. The Vikings were hugely criticized for selecting Ponder higher in the draft than most people would have. Many critics assumed that Ponder will be a bust and have a short career in the NFL.

    Ponder then proved them all wrong with his performance last week. Ponder looked very poised and confident in the pocket against the defending Super Bowl champions, and showed a lot of upside. Ponder showed no hesitation in his decision-making, had the confidence to throw the ball into tight windows and showed he is a very good runner as well. And, it was his first NFL start.

    This week he goes up against the Carolina Panthers, who don't have as good of a defense as Green Bay does. Ponder will be able to have his way in the passing game, with the defense solely focusing on Adrian Peterson.

    So, for any of you that have Aaron Rodgers, Matt Ryan or Jay Cutler as your quarterback, Christian Ponder is an ideal pickup to play this week.


    Attention! Need help with your fantasy team? Do you need any advice who to start or who to pick up? Leave a comment below with your questions and I will surely be glad to help give advice.

    Also, follow me on Twitter: @KHALIDKhan91