Each week during the NFL season FST brings you our Fantasy Football Sleepers of the Week column, which takes a look at lesser-known players that could deserve a start due to a favorable matchup, injury, or other circumstances. Let’s take a look at some sneaky plays for Week 8. If you have any fantasy football roster questions feel free to post them in our Fantasy Football Forum.
Waiver wire gold is fools for Jacksonville. I don’t see Jennings as an MJD threat long-term but he should be a good fill-in for this week if nothing else. I still think Alex Green would be the better RB play in this matchup, but Jennings is a sleeping giant. There is nothing guaranteed aside from the fact that Jacksonville will probably lose to GB on Sunday, it’s just a matter when the game will get out of hand. If Jacksonville can at least stay close for one half of football Jennings should get enough carries and catches out of the backfield to get close to double digit points.
Willis McGahee/Ronnnie Hillman
OK, I know I’ve gone and done it here with this pick. We know McGahee is not a sleeper. He’s a starting fantasy RB, but I have to put him on here along with his backup Hillman this week. All season I’ve bought into the idea that it would only be a matter of time before Hillman snatched the starting job away and the path was paved for him to do so. So far this season I have been dead wrong. McGahee has locked down the #1 RB spot and Hillman has had some garbage time carries and has finally worked up to #2 on the depth chart. Welcome the New Orleans Saints on Sunday night to the Mile-High city. New Orleans has one of the most generous defenses and Peyton will try to shred them apart, but it’s the running game that I think will have the most success. With so much attention paid to the weapons and Manning it will be the RBs who have the goal line carries. I am going out on a limb but Hillman scores his 1st NFL TD this week. If not, then I promise to post something embarrassing here from my trip to Seattle this weekend.
Crybaby Carson is my sleeper this week. Since he walked out on the Bengals he has been pretty much forgotten in Oakland as a worthy fantasy starter. He’s too erratic at times and his options are limited. Finally though, it appears that Moore and DHB are healthy and with McFadden at full-speed they should have enough strength to muscle past a Chiefs team that has been pretty abysmal this season. Ranking towards last in the league in defense is a solution to any opponent’s fantasy success. With Brady Quinn opposing Palmer in this matchup, there is a great chance that the Raiders will have many opportunities to cash in on red zone looks too. If in need of bye-week help, look to Palmer he’s your guy.
Hey, be careful when trimming those fantasy lineups this week to not chop your weeds. Oops, that’s Weeden I’m talking about. This 30 year old rookie has been improving steadily over the last couple weeks and it’s no secret that the Browns have been airing out the football more and more. This week the Chargers come to town and Philip Rivers and Co. will look to air it too. This game could be a shoot-out and Weeden should be able to find Greg Little and Gordon deep this week. So stop being paranoid from smoking dope or Weeden this week. Plug him in if you are desperate or just feel lucky.
Santana is back on the attack for the Redskins! The last two weeks Moss has blown up on the scene and scored some big time TDs from RGIII, just like he use to back when he was a young gun. I think Mosses yardage will be kept in check by the Steelers, but he’s a tremendous threat once inside the red zone and RGIII looks to him often down by the goal. Fred Davis out of the lineup equals more targets for Moss. Expect the Moss to be green and growing this week. Start him.
The Broncos versus the Saints has shootout written all over it. Stokley is an old teammate and favorite veteran of Peyton’s. I think the timing is right with this matchup to expect another TD catch from this pair. I know the Saints have to typically outscore their opponents to compete and expect the same on Sunday. Decker, Thomas and Tamme are all good options but Stokley will see some time in the slot and can be just as effective as Wes Welker against a weak defense like the Saints. Get stoked and plug Stokley into your lineup this week.
So who do you have, Celek or Gonzo in this matchup? I’m putting my money where my ink is and going with Celek. It’s Celek who will have a great matchup. Atlanta gives up points to tight ends more so than the Eagles do and it’s Vick and Coach Reid’s jobs on the line. There is urgency in Philly and the matchup is ripe at home for Celek to bust out. Every year there are a couple games where you say, wow when you see Celek’s numbers. This my friends is the WOW week. Start him.
The only Carolina Panther I suggest starting this week is tight end Greg Olsen. If you heard about his family story piece on SportsCenter then you know he is one of the strongest men in the NFL. He will be one of the more favorable options for Newton against the Bears so he can avoid taking too many sacks as well. Olsen is not an elite TE, but again it’s all about production especially when you have studs on bye-weeks. Play Olsen if you need the extra help and he should put up numbers that the Full House Olsen twins cannot even read.
South Beach defense or south beach diet? Tough one, but I’ll take the Dolphins defensive unit this week. The Jets are playing with passion and toughness that was missing at the beginning of the season so this is not a no brainer this week. However, Miami’s strength is the secondary and if Sanchez tries to beat them deep too many times he’ll pay for it. Miami has been playing smarter football, so if the offense can hold together and keep the defense out of bad situations then you have a recipe for fantasy success. These teams hate each other so expect tough hit ‘em in the mouth type of football from these AFC East juggernauts. Fins for the win in week 8.