Fantasy Football Week 8: 10 Last Minute Pieces of Advice to Set Your Roster
The difference between a player being a disappointment and a stud is, literally, at their fingertips. The fingertips on display in the picture above belong to Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Roddy White. He's been somewhat of a bust this year, but with that catch, he found his way back into the hearts of all his owners.
With a click of the mouse, your fingertips will decide who you sit and start. And as you sit at your computer deciding your fate this week, the next 10 pieces of advice should help you feel like Roddy White after that amazing catch.
And if things don't go right, well, just blame your fingertips. After all, they are the ones that did the clicking that changed your roster. Right?
Got your paper and pencil? Good. Let's go.
Believe in Baltimore, Not Beanie
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The man to the left doesn't like running backs. When you have one that plays against him, chances are he will tank—hard.
Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis (in the picture, in case you didn't know) and the rest of the Ravens defense is playing at a high level. They are giving up the fewest points and total yards to any offense in the league.
The Arizona Cardinals have landed in Baltimore to take on the Ravens. Running back Beanie Wells has made it clear that he wants to play this Sunday. I admire his heart; you should too. What you shouldn't do, however, is play him. If you do, you won't admire his production.
Maurice Jones-Drew Won't Produce in Week 8
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Jacksonville Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew played well against the Baltimore Ravens last week. He gained 105 yards on 30 carries. That was on Monday Night Football.
Six short days later and one long airplane ride to Houston won't give Jones-Drew the rest that he needs from the 30 carry beating that he took against the Ravens.
The Houston Texans' run defense is fierce, ranking 7th in the league. Given this week's circumstances, Jones-Drew will probably get as many yards as inches he's grown—and that's not many.
Steven Jackson to Shine Against Saints
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Everyone knows to play every New Orleans Saints skill player that you can get your hands on. The stage in St. Louis is set for a one-sided affair, all in favor of the Saints.
But the other team, the St. Louis Rams, will get the ball too. They happen to have one of the most talented running backs in the game, Steven Jackson.
While the Saints are dominant on offense, their run defense is mediocre. Jackson does extremely well against such mediocrity. Let those fingertips do wonders and start him.
Nate Washington Will Ride the Colts
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The NFL is a game of inches. Take a gander at the picture to the left if you don't believe me.
This week, however, Tennessee Titans wide receiver Nate Washington won't need inches to get in the end zone against the Indianapolis Colts.
The Colts give up the most points to opposing offenses in the league. Sure, everyone expects running back Chris Johnson to run wild this weekend. But let's not forget how porous the Titans' offensive line is against the run.
The Colts are almost as friendly against the pass (23rd) as they are against the run (31st); their Cover-2 defense has been exposed all season. Quarterback Matt Hasselbeck and Washington should connect multiple times on Sunday, leading the way to a nice stat line for the wide receiver.
Jackie Battle Will Bolt on the Bolts
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Kansas City Chiefs running back Jackie Battle will not have to face San Diego Chargers linebacker Shaun Phillips on Monday Night Football. Phillips didn't practice this week and head coach Norv Turner has ruled Phillips.
The Bolts are also without linebacker Larry English. Earlier in the week, the Chargers placed English on injured reserve (foot).
Some say the Chiefs backfield is a three-headed monster. Not so.
In Week 7, Thomas Jones had nine carries. Seven of those carries came after the Chiefs were up 28-0.
Battle has the backfield to himself on the early downs. With the depleted Chargers defense, he should have the end zone to himself this Sunday.
Mike Wallace May Break Receiving Records This Week
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New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick knows how to prepare his team for just about anything. This week, his challenge is how to stop Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Mike Wallace.
So what does Belichick do during practice? He takes his fastest player, wide receiver Matt Slater, and lines him up two yards offsides to simulate Wallace's speed.
Great idea, Belichick, but once the Patriots cornerbacks feel the whiff of air on their faces when Wallace strides by them, all that preparation will be for naught.
Jabar Gaffney Worth a Look
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He may not have a household name, but Washington Redskins wide receiver Jabar Gaffney is capable of putting up solid WR3 numbers in the foreseeable future.
Fellow receiver Santana Moss is out for the next several weeks with an injured hand. Once Moss left the game, Gaffney was the most targeted receiver for the Redskins (nine).
This week against the Buffalo Bills (giving up the 12 most fantasy points per game to wide receivers), Gaffney should lead the team in targets and turn those opportunities into points for your fantasy team.
The Cincinnati Bengals Will Throw in Seattle
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The Seattle Seahawks are going into Sunday's matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals without corner backs Marcus Trufant and Walter Thurmond. Smells good for quarterback Andy Dalton.
In fact, all of the Bengals pass catchers could be smelling the end zone this week against a woeful Seattle secondary.
Seattle is legit against the run, but not against the pass. A.J. Green and company will make it rain in Seattle.
Torrey Smith Gets Another Opportunity Against Arizona
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Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Lee Evans will sit this week out again. And with that absence, fellow wideout Torrey Smith will get the start.
Smith showed what he was capable of by grabbing three touchdowns in Week 3 against the St. Louis Rams soft secondary. The Arizona Cardinals may have even a softer secondary.
Cardinals free safety Kerry Rhodes is unavailable to provide help over the top this week. He's injured. As we saw last week with Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Mike Wallace going 95 yards for a touchdown, Arizona frequently gives up the long ball.
Smith is a nice matchup play this week and should do well against the traveling Cardinals.
Steve Breaston Gets a Soft Matchup
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Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Steve Breaston gets to test the skills of San Diego Chargers corner back Marcus Gilchrist on Monday Night Football. Gilchrist is a rookie—Breaston is not.
With linebacker Shaun Phillips out and not available to provide any pressure to Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel, Breaston will dominate the rookie.