We are back for another week of fantasy football, and today on the menu, we’ve got plentiful helpings of ever-so-rock-solid advice for you guys. As always, David Fleming, Matt Ward, and myself, Jason Peters, are here to make sure you have everything you need to enjoy beating the snot out of your opponent. First last week, then onto projections!
Week 7 Recap
Start ‘em – Chris Johnson – 31 points
Sit ‘em – Jets Defense – 1 point
Sleeper – Doug Martin – 17 points
Waiver Wire Pickup – Josh Gordon – 11 points
PPR Player – Randall Cobb – 21 points
Start ‘em – Robert Griffin III – 22 points
Sit ‘em – Jets Defense – 1 point
Sleeper – Kenny Britt – 3 points
Waiver – Josh Gordon – 11 points
PPR Player – Anquan Boldin – 5 points (PPR scoring)
Start ’em – Andrew Luck – 18 points
Sit ‘em – Martellus Bennet – 7 points
Sleeper – Montario Hardesty – 2 points
Waiver – Santana Moss – 16 points
PPR Player – Percy Harvin – 12 points (PPR League)
Week 8 Projections
Jason: Jamaal Charles vs. Oakland Raiders – Charles had a brilliant three-game stretch against NO, SD, and BAL, wherein he scored 68 points over those games. Two weeks ago, though, he fell back to earth against a brilliant Tampa Bay defensive line that has been awesome against the run this year. Charles will be nice and rested after a bye week, and to make matters even more promising, the Chiefs will be starting Brady Quinn at quarterback this week. Expect the team to rely heavily on the legs of Jamaal, who should crush a Raiders defense that has allowed over 100 yards a game to opposing backs.
David: Willis McGahee vs. New Orleans Saints - At age 31, McGahee is still a true workhorse back. He’s carried the ball 100 times through 6 games, averaging 4.3 yards per carry, and he’s also 5th on the team with 18 receptions. Coming off a week 7 bye, the Broncos face the 2nd worst run defense of the Saints, who are allowing a whopping 160 yards per game. The Broncos will rely heavily on the run for two reasons: it will work, and it will keep Drew Brees off the field. McGahee will gash the porous Saints for at least 100 total yards and 1 TD.
Matt: Peyton Manning vs. New Orleans Saints – Exhibit A: Peyton Manning last played on Monday Night Football and set a personal record by coming back from a 24 point deficit. He plays big, and he seems to get a little more chemistry every week with his receivers. Exhibit B: The Saints are atrocious against QBs. They gave up over 400 yards to the mediocre Josh Freeman last week, and he had 28 fantasy points. Exhibit C: Denver is coming off a bye week, so they have had double the preparation time for this game. Exhibit D: Denver is at home. The sky is the limit in this one, and you can count on a high scoring affair on both sides of the ball. Peyton will throw for 350+ yards, 3 TDs, 1 INT.
David: All Carolina Panthers RBs @ Chicago Bears – What more is there to say about the Panthers that Cam hasn’t already expressed? They have three overpaid running backs (including Tolbert), and they don’t utilize any of them. Last week DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart combined for only 12 carries against the Cowboys. They had multiple opportunities to run in the red zone, but instead elected to call horrible passing plays. This is a team in disarray, and to make matters worse, they face arguably the best defense since the 2000 Ravens. The Bears are scary, especially at home, and it will take a miracle for the Panthers to produce any points against this ferocious defense.
Matt: Cam Newton @ Chicago Bears – Cam was a first-round draft pick in most fantasy football drafts this year. He has been utterly disappointing in most games this year, and it is not going to get any easier this week. Carolina is getting impatient, and Newton has a weekly “pity-party” after a tough loss. Chicago is a team that wins games on defense, and they will harass Cam all day long. Chicago at home is going to make for the toughest of matchups. If you have a dependable alternative, sit Cam with confidence. He will have approximately 225 yards, 1 TD, 2 INT… 25 yards rushing, 0 TD, 1 Fumble.
Jason: Vernon Davis @ Arizona Cardinals – Davis was an early season revelation, leading TE’s in fantasy scoring over much higher touted guys like Graham and Gronkowski. However, it should be recognized that he is trending downward in terms of his role in the 49′ers offense. Two weeks ago, he was limited to 3 catches for 37 yards against the Giants, and last week against the Seahawks, not only did he not record a catch, but he didn’t even get a single target. Be wary of Vernon Davis moving forward.
Matt: Vick Ballard vs. Tennessee Titans – In a week that has Ray Rice and Arian Foster on bye week, you may be looking for a one-week replacement option. Vick Ballard has gotten starter’s reps in his last 2 games while Donald Brown recovers from a knee scope. He has not blown away defenses, but he has looked decent. The Titans showed last week what opposing RBs are capable of as Fred Jackson and CJ Spiller both had good games. Look for this to be a high-scoring slugfest, and there should be many opportunities for RB carries. Ballard should register around 20 carries, 80 yards, 1 TD… 2 receptions, 20 yards.
Jason: Leonard Hankerson @ Pittsburgh Steelers – RG3 is still looking for his guy in Washington, especially in light of Fred Davis going down (At least it forced the franchise to bring back the ever-so-awesome Chris Cooley). Hankerson is a second round pick that has a lot of tools, and led the Redskins in receiving last week despite playing through illness. That has to earn him the respect of his QB, who is also battling injuries. Look for him to give him multiple looks this week.
David: Robert Meachem @ Cleveland Browns - The Chargers absolutely imploded in the 2nd half of Monday Night Football versus the Broncos. Philip Rivers was a turnover machine, Norv Turner called horrendous plays, and they embarrassed themselves in front of a national audience. That being said, the Chargers are still in the AFC West division race, and after brooding over that tough loss during their week 7 bye, I expect them to come out firing against the struggling Browns. Meachem is a great deep-threat, and the Browns have already allowed 15 passing TDs this year. Do the math.
Waiver Wire Pickup
David: Rashad Jennings, RB Jaguars (owned in 13.7% of ESPN leagues) - I feel for the Jaguars. Last week against Oakland, stud running back MJD and quarterback Blaine Gabbert both left the game with injuries, and both could miss significant time. Gabbert’s injury has already been diagnosed as a torn shoulder labrum. MJD’s injury hasn’t been fully specified, but the Jaguars fear it could be a Lisfranc injury. After MJD went down, Jennings came in and played well, producing 102 total yards and 1 TD. Jennings is a good receiver out of the backfield, and I expect the Jaguars to rely heavily on him to help ease the pressure on backup QB Chad Henne.
Matt: Ryan Broyles (owned in 0.4% of ESPN leagues) – The Detroit Lions are struggling and sputtering more than anyone expected. This past week saw “Old Reliable” Nate Burleson go down with a season-ending leg injury. Don’t get me wrong – Calvin Johnson is still the alpha male in the Detroit WR corps, but he draws the majority of coverage as well. This opens up the underneath passing game. Broyles is a rookie WR out of Oklahoma that had injury concerns coming out of college. He saw his first serious game action on Monday, and he responded with 3 receptions and a TD. He should make a good bye-week fill-in or a Flex player. This week he goes against a good Seattle defense, so measure your expectations at least for one week. He should get 3 receptions, 45 yards, 0 TDs.
Jason: Chris Givens (Owned in 1.8% of ESPN leagues) – Givens has recorded games of 85 and 73 yards respectively the last two weeks. The little-known St. Louis receiver has stepped up to the #2 slot in light of a nasty injury to Danny Amendola, and should see a fair amount of passes thrown his way at an increasing rate. Don’t be surprised if he gets in to the end zone this week against a soft New England pass defense.
Jason: Heath Miller vs. Washington Redskins – Miller has quietly become one of the more productive fantasy tight ends this season, which has come back down to earth in terms of scoring after ridiculous seasons by Graham and Gronk last year. Over the last three games, he has sixteen catches, good enough for 8 points in PPR in and of itself, plus yardage. He has caught 5 touchdown passes over the season, and could continue the streak against Washington.
Matt: Eric Decker vs. New Orleans Saints – You can reference my “Start ‘em” pick for more detailed information on this one, but Peyton Manning is in for a HUGE game. If Peyton is putting up crazy numbers, he has to be completing passes to someone. Decker is averaging close to 6 receptions per game this season, and he has caught a TD in his last 3 games. Opposing defenses have to game plan for the game-breaking DeMaryius Thomas which leaves the speedster Decker in lots of single coverage situations. I look for Decker to tie his season high of 8 receptions this weekend which makes him PPR Gold!
David: Antonio Brown vs. Washington Redskins - Brown is currently tied for 12th in the NFL with 36 receptions through 6 games. Last week against the Bengals, he caught 7 passes, rushed twice, and should have had a TD on a trick pass that was dropped. He’s a savvy route runner with sure hands, and this week he faces the NFL’s worst pass defense of the Redskins, allowing 328 yards per game. While Mike Wallace may be the better deep-threat, Brown is the receiver that Roethlisberger looks for on a consistent basis.
Now of course none of this would be as fun for any of us if you didn’t let us know what you think about our picks, or curse us for a blown recommendation, so be sure to note the following Twitter-related contact info:
Follow Jason Peters @TitanSizedJason
Follow David Fleming @dfleming22
Follow Matt Ward @titanchaps
We love when you hit us up, so feel free to send anything you want our way, and good luck to everyone in Fantasy Football Land.