Whuta Start!? Fantasy Week Eight Matchups

Macon TelegraphOctober 25, 2012 


1.  Aaron Rodgers - - I think we can say that Aaron Rodgers has finally accommodated his life without Greg as his No.1 wideout missed a 3rd and soon to be 4th straight game.  Randall Cobb was the star last week and even with a snap count Jermichael Finley and a nobody at runningback this guy is the talk of the league.  He'll continue his success this week against a Jaguar team that simply can't keep pace.  If anything they may be in close out run mode which is the only thing that would hurt his fantasy potential Sunday.

2.  Drew Brees - - Word is that Drew will get back Jimmy Graham this week which is great as the Sunday night shootout is set against the Broncos.  Again as mentioned before, the New Orleans defense is such a sieve that Brees is called upon to keep his team competitive every week, this week against a high powered Manning he will certainly have to throw at least 40 times.

3. Tom Brady  - - Tom Brady is in a bit of a funk and he gets a weaker opponent who is good against the pass.  The Patriots may run a good bit in this game but he has his reliable tight ends playing at top level which negates Brandon Lloyd's dissappearence.  I look for a rebound game but Fisher has the Rams defense playing well.

4.  Eli Manning  - - Eli Manning had one of his worse games of the season in Week 1 in a home loss to the Cowboys.  I look for him to go back to that tape and find some better ways to exploit Dallas as they have trailed off while the G Men are picking up steam.  Victor Cruz is playing lights out and I expect a Salsa dance here for sure.

5.  Matthew Stafford   - -  Matthew Stafford has not looked like himself this year at all.  It troubles me and anyone else that figured he was a no brainer top 5 QB draft pick.  But if you sacrificed that high of selection on him you must roll with him and hope he eventually gets out of his funk.  Seattle has preyed on the last handful of quarterbacks they've faced making even Aaron Rodgers look mortal but you have to roll with your guy.  They may have to throw a lot in this one.

6. Cam Newton - - Cam needs to be renamed Towel Pout.  At least for the last handful of late lost games that has been his M.O.  Still he's a dynamic beast of a singal caller good for at least a rushing touchdown and 200 yards passing every game.  I would start that wouldn't you?

7.  Tony Romo                                  13.  Jay Cutler

8.  Peyton Manning                            14. Ben Roethlisberger

9.  Matt Ryan                                    15. Andrew Luck

10. Robert Griffin                               16. Christian Ponder

11. Phillip Rivers                                17. Carson Palmer

12. Michael Vick                                18.  Brandon Weeden


1. LeSean McCoy   - - Lost in all the high fives admist the Falcons perfect record is how bad they are against the run.  If you are the beat the Birds you will do it pounding the ball.  Shady better hope that Andy Reid remembers to feed him the football because he's notorious for leaning on the pass game even when it's not working. 

2.  Adrian Peterson - Adrian Peterson has not been practising much this week leading up to his matchup against the Buccaneers.  Still he is the focal point of a surprisingly resurgent Minnesota offense that is remarkenly efficient.  He's the best goalline runner in fantasy too so I'd roll the dice with A.P., he's said 'no doubt' he plays but don't all injured players?

3. Marshawn Lynch - - Marshawn Lynch gets a Detroit team that isn't easy to run against here still he's proven that he can run on the 49ers and near anyone.  The Seahawks are a run it on 1st and 2nd down kind of team and you like that here against a Lions team that has had problems scoring, the Seahawks might just simply play keep away.

4. Darren McFadden - - I'm running out of excuses for Darren McFadden.  At least he's being featured in the passing game?  He doesn't appear injured but he certainly is a dissapointment.  Perhaps his offensive line?  Not running on Miami made sense.  But struggling against Atlanta and the Jaguars is too confusing.  I like his potential and that's why I have him in the top 5.

5. Frank Gore - - Frank Gore had a weird rib injury at the close of the Seahawk game and every player looked to be consoling him.  I feared for the worst but it sounds minor.  After being forgotten about two weeks back, he roared back to life breaking many long impressive runs against a stout Seahawk run D.  This week he gets Arizona, which Adrian Peterson just tore up pretty good.  Roll with your stud.

6. Jamaal Charles - - Brady Quinn being named the permanent starter may hurt Charles' value.  Peyton Hillis' returning to the lineup may hurt his touchdown opportunities.  Still, he's lead the league in rushing at times this year and has showcased his 90 yard touchdown run abilities and any player capable of breaking those plays you have to have in your lineup.

7. Reggie Bush - -The New York Jets are slowly getting better on their run defense, but Reggie Bush is too valuable an asset in the passing game combined to consider benching here.  This should be a low scoring affair but I still look for Reggie to rack up the yards say to the tune of 150 total?  The surprising Dolphins may have a winning record after Sunday who would have guessed that?

8. Alfred Morris  - - If you look at most projected fantasy sites like Yahoo and ESPN, they'll tell you to sit Alfred going against a vaunted Steeler defense.  But this Steeler defense reminds of the Ravens.  Old and overrated.  They did wonders against Andy Dalton but the Law Firm opened up big chunks.  The surprising rookie Morris has yet to be stopped fully against any opponent this year and part of that is the threat of Robert Griffin running.  He'll get a 100 yards and a touchdown.

9. Doug Martin -  Doug Martin gets an early Thursday game this week against a resurgent Minnesota squad that is playing inspired defense.  Still, he's a strong play here as the downfield success of Vincent Jackson and Josh Freeman is opening things up underneath.  I expect a rushing touchdown as the threat of LaGerrete Blount fades.  Schiano has his big uglies on the line opening up nice holes.

10. Ryan Mathews - - I'm glad we're finally over that Jackie Battle starting nonsense.  He's no where near the class or talent level of Ryan Mathews.  It is still alarming though that San Diego allowed the Broncos back into the game because they kept the ball in slippery Phillip Rivers' hands.  Mathews was running good in that game.  The Browns are finally healthy again but Mathews is a solid threat through the air as well so expect 125 total yards and a score.

11. Ahmad Bradshaw - - It's truly a shame that Sean Lee, on a Pro Bowl pace for Dallas went down with a season ending toe injury.  Ahmad Bradshaw, already one of the best between the tackle runners should excel on the road in big D.  Andre Brown vultured a touchdown from him last week but even on his 'injured' weeks, Tom Coughlin has no qualms with giving him 30 carries in a game like he did against San Francisco.

12. Michael Turner - - Michael Turner will have to get his feet wet literally as he ventures onto moist grass in a game forecasted for rain.  Like most midseason observations about the Burner, he seems slow and plodding.  But Jacquizz Rodgers has been ineffective in relief so expect him to stay on the field a majority of the time.  And the Philly defense has been surprisingly bad against the run of late.

13. Stevan Ridley - - You beat the Saint Louis by running the football and I look for Bellichick to do that here.  The only thing hurting Stevan is how crowded the backfield has become with the recent success of now Shane Vereen coming on.  He still is the most talented and should command the most carries though.


14.  Matt Forte                              26. Rashad Jennings

15.  Willis McGahee                       27. Pierre Thomas

16.  Trent Richardson                     28. Alex Green

17.  Chris Johnson                         29. Kendall Hunter

18.  Reshard Mendenhall                30. Montario Hardesty

19.  Mikell Leshoure                       31. Mark Ingram

20.  Felix Jones                             32. Jonathan Stewart

21.  Steven Jackson                       33. DeAngelo Williams

22.  Darren Sproles                        34. Daryl Richardson

23.  LaRod Stephens Howling          35. Vick Ballard

24.  Shonne Greene                       36. Andre Brown

25.  Michael Bush                          37. Danny Woodhead


1.  Calvin Johnson - Megatron has underperformed to his own superstandards that he set last year.  But you have to continue to roll with him, trust me, the week you consider benching him is the week he'll catch 3 touchdowns and 200 yards recieving. 

2.  Julio Jones - - Julio has shown in the last game or two that his hand isn't bothering him all that much anymore.  He has the size speed angle to bust any player and that includes an on the decline Nmandi Ashomuga.  The Falcons may find themselves trailing a good bit in this game as Andy Reid is lethal after a bye, never losing in his tenure as Eagles coach.

3 . Victor Cruz - - Victor Cruz answered the call as the unquestioned No.1 last Sunday on a national stage.  Plus he seems to have moved on from the dropsies that plagued him in week one.  He salsa danced up and down against the Redskins and his sure hands are proving to be a fantasy owners favorite pair of mittens.  In the shootout roll with Cruz.

4. Roddy White - -Same goes for Roddy.  I think Matt Ryan will find his team trailing in the second half and will need to throw 40+ passes in a game.  White has provided strong veteran leadership and some of the best route running in the NFL.  He's a solid threat for six every week.

5.  Percy Harvin  - Percy Harvin this summer requested a trade for not getting resigned.  Minnesota has got to pay da man for helping Ponder look so great and scoring touchdowns as a goal line rushing tailback.  He's at the top of his game this year.

6. Brandon Marshall - - This is the NFL's best QB to WR connection hopefully not affected by Cutler's rib malady.  He slaughtered the Lions on a national stage and now gets a team with practice squad players at cornerbacks.  This one could be tasty.

7. DeMaryius Thomas - -The Saints defense just made Josh Freeman look like Dan Marino and Vincent Jackson like the Terrell Owens of old.  Give those players credit for making plays but also give the Saints defense some ire.  They can't stop a grandma on a rascal.  Peyton Manning should go off.

8. Larry Fitzgerald  - - With no viable starting runningback for the Cardinals, John Skelton will have to pass a ton.  Remember he won the job in training camp and has a better deep ball than Kolb, figure that Fitz is bound to see 12-15 targets a game and with his great hands he can make fantasy numbers out of that even if he is doubled every play.  John Skelton's first start wasn't a thing of beauty as he favored Andre Roberts more but I can't advise benching Larry.

9. Marques Colston - - Marques Colston started the year injured that was certainly apparent and perhaps lead to the losing start for the proud Saints.  However he was on fire like a player from NFL 2K the two weeks before the bye.  He should resume the heavy lifting here against a Broncos squad that has struggled to stop the pass.  Look for 12 catches and a score here.

10.  Wes Welker - Brandon Lloyd keeps dropping touchdown passes so Welker is the wideout to own in Boston.  Wes meanwhile is quietly remaining a points per reception monster.  As Brady continues to underperform he may lean on his security blanket of the short crossing signature of the Welker.

11. Jordy Nelson - - Aaron Rodgers is playing lights out to the surprise of no one.  I think even when Greg Jennings returns he may discover that he's no longer the No.1 wide receiver on this team.  Jordy could be a top 5 draft pick next year.  Green Bay has a pitifully easy matchup this week in the Jaguars so expect a score.

12. Mike Wallace - You have to be prepared for Reshard Mendenhall to perhaps miss this game.  Even if it is like a 20% chance we've seen how huge of a dropoff it is and how one dimensional this Steeler O can be with Isaac Redmon or worse Baron Batch carrying the rock.  With that risk alone I'm ranking Mike Wallace high for this one.

13. Eric Decker - - Eric Decker seems to be Peyton Manning's go to guy.  DeMaryius is the big play role, Stokley is the 3rd down guy but Eric Decker leads his team in targets and when you're playing New Orleans that's a great thing.  I think he'll have tremendous success.  I would even go out on a limb and say 150 yards and a score!

14.  Antonio Brown                          28. Malcom Floyd

15.  Dwayne Bowe                           29. Hakeem Nicks

16.  Vincent Jackson                        30. Lance Moore

17.  Miles Austin                              31. Brian Hartline

18.  Steve Smith                             32. Michael Crabtree

19.  Dez Bryant                               33. Darryius Heyward Bey

20.  Kenny Britt                               34. Brandon Gibson

21.  Reggie Wayne                          35. Sidney Rice

22.  DeSean Jackson                        36. Andre Roberts

23.  Randall Cobb                            37. Donnie Avery

24.  Jeremy Maclin                            38. Josh Gordon

25.  James Jones                              39. Kendall Wright

26.  Denarius Moore                          40. Leonard Hankerson

27.  Brandon Lloyd



1.  Rob Gronkowski  - - The Patriots have their best group of receivers since Randy Moss rode off into the sunset.  Should open things in the middle quite nicely

2. Antonio Gates - -Lost in the San Diego disappointment of two Mondays ago was the pair of touchdowns caught by Gates and his burst he showed.  One of the game's longest reigning stars at his position looks to be back to form

3.  Vernon Davis - Vernon Davis is the best wide receiver, er, tight end for the 49ers.  If theres a red zone touchdown put up in the air he's the San Fran player you want to own in fantasy.

4.  Tony Gonzalez                       8.  Brent Celek

5.  Brandon Pettigrew                  9.  Kyle Rudolph

6.  Jason Witten                        10. Martellus Bennett

7.  Jimmy Graham (injured?)



1.  San Francisco 49ers  - - The 49ers proud defense has returned to form.  While they may not pack the punch of last year's squad they are still a top 3 squad in the NFL that will routinely shut down opposing offenses.  John Skelton scares no one either by the way, nor LaRod Stephens Howling.

2.  Arizona Cardinals - Lost admist all the headlines of losing 2 runningback starters and Kevin Kolb to injury this year has been how good the defense has played.  Add in Patrick Peterson's ability to take a punt back at any point and I think they can harass Alex Smith and keep this game close.

3.  Minnesota Vikings -- Josh Freeman and the Buccaneers set career highs in the home heartbreak loss to the Saints last week.  They will find tough sledding repeating that matchup against a surprisingly resurgent Vikes team that is playing routinely great D yet again.  Expect at least a sack or two out of Jared Allen.

4.  Seattle Seahawks                      8.  Oakland Raiders (Brady Quinn)

5.  Chicago Bears                           9.  Miami Dolphins

6.  New England Patriots                10.  Detroit Lions

7. Green Bay Packers

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