If you survived last week’s “Hell Bye Week,” then you can breathe a sigh of relief as week 8 is a much more manageable one. Baltimore, Buffalo, Cincinnati and Houston are the only teams on bye week and unless you have Ray Rice, A.J. Green or Arian Foster, your team should be in just fine shape. There are some injuries this week that are shaking up a few fantasy rosters and with the midseason bump out of the way, teams that hope to be playoff bound have to make their pushes now. Here are 5 players for you Fantasy teams that I feel will help your roster improve before Sunday’s games.
There are a lot of Jets haters out there and I can completely understand why. That being said, Dustin Keller is back and healthy and he is without question Mark Sanchez’s #1 option in the passing attack. Last week, Keller was targeted 7 times and caught all 7 passes, accumulating 93 yards and a trip to the endzone. The Jets are facing a Miami Dolphins team that is talking a whole lot of shit, which is surprising because the Jets beat the Dolphins in one of the uglier games of the season in week 3. With back up tight end, Cumberland, out with an injury, Keller will see even more targets than normal. There will be a strong emphasis on the ground game which will open up some good play action looks for Keller down the field. I think that Dustin will have an even bigger game this week than last and there is no reason why he should be a Free Agent in anyone’s league from here on out. He is without question a top 10 TE in the NFL.
Predictions for week 8: 9 receptions for 120 yards and a touchdown
The Chicago Bears are quietly having a stellar season. The main reason that the Bears are 5-1 is because they have the highest scoring defense in the league and they seem to be able to shut down any team that they face. Another contributing factor to the Bears success is the amazing chemistry between the NFL’s 8th leading receiver, Brandon Marshall, and one of the worst QB’s in the NFL, Jay Cutler. This week the Bears have the luxury of facing off with the dismal Carolina Panthers. While the Bears offense does not put up too many points, this is surely a game where that can change. I think Marshall will draw a lot of double teams which should open up the field for a lot of his receiving buddies. I feel that Devin Hester will be the biggest beneficiary of the receivers on the Bears as he will have the ability to catch short screens or even quick slants and dominate the game with his YAC. Let’s not forget about his ability to take one to the house on any given punt return.
Predictions for week 8: 6 receptions for 110 yards and a touchdown, one kick return for a touchdown
Where has the Dancing With the Stars Champion been hiding this season? On the bench watching Aaron Rodgers tare up the league once again. But with Greg Jennings out for at least another week and Jordy Nelson questionable, Rodgers is going to have to look for other options in the passing game. The obvious first choice for him is going to be James Jones followed by Randall Cobb. The third option is the one that I feel will have his biggest and only good game of his season, Donald Driver. The truth of the matter is that the Packers are going to have a field day destroying the lowly Jacksonville Jaguars and I think Donald wants to prove he still has a little something left in the tank. I can see Driver and Rodgers connecting like the olden days for some impressive long yardage passes. A lot of people thought that Driver was retired as he has only had 4 catches for the entire season on the most pass friendly team in the league. All Driver has to do is pretend he is back in the ballroom and he will be able to move around all of the Jaguars secondary.
Predictions for week 8: 5 receptions for 80 yards and a touchdown
The surprise rookie out Abilene Christian has been catching the eyes of fantasy owners across the country. While at the beginning of the season you would have been thought to be crazy to say that someone would take touches away from Steven Jackson, Daryl has emerged as a true offensive threat. While he does not get that many touches on the ground, roughly 7-10 a game, he does get a lot of snaps in the backfield. Over the past two weeks, Richardson has shown glimpses of what he can do in the open field and now that the Rams have the advantage of facing off with one of the leagues worst passing defenses, the New England Patriots, they will try and find successes in their pass game. In his rookie year, Richardson is yet to find the endzone but I think that streak will end on Sunday. The game is being played in Wembley Stadium in London, England and while I feel the Pats will inevitably win the game, I think Richardson will make a name for himself on international turf.
Predictions for week 8: 8 carries for 55 yards and a touchdown, 5 receptions for 70 yards
This is the first time I have ever picked a player in back to back weeks, but after how accurate I was with last weeks predictions for Palmer, (Predictions: 24-46 for 320 yards and two TD’s, Actual: 26-46 for 298 yards and 2 TD’s), I had to go with him again. I am going with Palmer again mainly because he has the easy matchup against the team that I rank as the worst in the NFL, the Kansas City Chiefs. The Oakland Raiders are a terrible team in their own right and there really is no looking up for them any time soon, but Palmer has been throwing for nearly 300 yards every single game yet he is still a Free Agent in majority of fantasy leagues. One of the first sleepers I talked about in the 2012 season was Denarius Moore, who has emerged as one of the more reliable receivers in the league the past few weeks. With Heyward-Bay on one side and Moore on the other, Palmer has good options to look for and will have a pretty successful season regardless of Oakland’s overall record.
Predictions for week 8: 27-48 for 315 yards and two touchdowns