Fantasy Football Week 8: 4 Matchups to Exploit
Paying attention to player trends, injuries and matchups each week can give you an advantage over the other guys and girls in your fantasy football league.
Over the course of the season, Stafford's play has lost its explosiveness. He's relying on a red-hot Calvin Johnson to retain any value. Tebow, on the other hand, is settling into his often highly productive fantasy role each week.
I've identified six similar matchups for Week 8 that will have you standing in front of your computer looking just like the cheerleader in the picture above (hopefully not in that uniform—unless your female). Whatever.
I found the matchups. Follow me.
Darren Sproles Will Run the Rams Wild
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New Orleans running back Darren Sproles squares off against the St. Louis Rams this Sunday. With five touchdowns in seven games this year, Sproles needs to be in your starting lineup.
Sproles has proved to be dangerous in the short passing game and with runs around the edges. It's true that the Rams have veteran outside linebackers. Unfortunately for the Rams, "veteran" means slow for this defensive group.
Outside linebackers Ben Leber and Brady Poppinga are both 32 years old, and they run like it. Add in 31-year-old FS Quintin Mikell, and the Rams will be seeing a lot of the back of Sproles' jersey.
On the turf of the Edward Jones Dome, Sproles will exploit the worst run defense in the league—start Sproles, and you will too.
Super Mario Will Go Retro on Miami
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Recently I was asked if New York Giants wide receiver Mario Manningham should be dropped for Jabar Gaffney. Really?
In fantasy football, foresight pays off. Those who have held on to Manningham will be rewarded this weekend.
Manningham suffered a concussion in Week 2 and was forced to sit out the following week. Upon his return in Week 4 against the Arizona Cardinals, he struggled a bit—he ran the wrong routes and drew the ire of quarterback Eli Manning.
Since that time, Super Mario grabbed five catches for 56 yards in both Week 5 and Week 6.
His performance in Week 6 against the Buffalo Bills was excruciating to watch if you played him. Manningham had four passes that should've gone for a touchdown—one catch was reversed on reply, one was lost in a tug-of-war with a defender, one was batted down at the goal line and the fourth would-be touchdown was stripped from him because of a pass interference call.
This week, Manningham will get at least one of those touchdowns.
Miami Dolphins starting cornerback Vontae Davis is expected to sit this Sunday. Enter rookie Jimmy Wilson. The seventh-round pick will not be able to stop Manningham.
Manning will be able to pick apart the Dolphins defense. Exploit, as needed.
Chris Johnson Gets Back to Form
I cheated. The video to the left is not from this year. In fact, you can't find a run like that for Chris Johnson this year. His longest run this season has been for 25 yards.
That will change after Johnson lines up against the hapless Indianapolis Colts' run defense this Sunday.
In their last four games, the Colts have surrendered 5.2 yards per carry; they rank 31st against the run—only the game clock has saved them from being worse.
Each week the disappointment surrounding Chris Johnson grows. Scratch that—with each carry, the disappointment mounts.
After Johnson exploits this matchup, all will be forgiven.
This is the week.
Steve Breaston to Deliver His Best
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The Kansas City Chiefs host the San Diego Chargers for Monday Night Football. Chargers cornerback Quentin Jammer has shown promise this year. Just last week, he shut New York Jets wide receiver Santonio Holmes to 24 yards.
What does that have to do with Chiefs wide receiver Steve Breaston? Nothing.
Jammer will cover Dwayne Bowe, while rookie Marcus Gilchrist will draw Steve Breaston.
Charger cornerback Antoine Cason would have been lined up across from Breaston, but he served as the director, producer and star in Plaxico Burress' three- touchdown highlight reel last week. He's benched.
The Breaston/Gilchrist matchup is one to exploit. Breaston is getting a feel for the Chiefs offense and has begun to produce. In Week 5, he snagged two touchdowns—the talent is there.
Breaston will feel comfortable against the rookie Gilchrist and you should feel comfortable starting him as well.