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.
This ginger from Cincinnati has been an up and down fantasy player this season. When he connects with A.J. Green his numbers are typically solid. So for those teams who are in need of a spot starter for the week this is the guy I would land. He’s not a 25 to 30 point guy, but you might get 20 points and the Jets aren’t the stingiest defense. Although, I wouldn’t tell Tom Brady that, who went without a TD toss last week. Dalton isn’t going to wow anyone, but he’s a safe pickup and play for the weekend.
While typically Brady would be a must start, he’s undergone some struggles with the new personnel in his offense. The Dolphins provide a nice bounce-back team for him to execute and find his stride with Gronkowski, Edelman, Thompkins, etc. Owners should be patient not to replace him this week, given his current struggles. He’ll do much better than most prognosticators suggest and thus he’s a sleeper for the week. The Dolphins have made some offenses look All-Pro, including Drew Brees and Brady certainly is in that caliber of QB.
While Tampa gets adjusted to an offense that is without it’s QB entering the season and Doug Martin it will need to find a way to score points. I am wary of Vincent Jackson and Mike Williams but believe that they will continue to develop a rapport with the young Mike Glennon at QB and both will be solid fantasy football plays this week. Carolina has a good corps of linebackers but if Glennon gives his wide receivers a shot down the field then expect a surprise here.
DeSean put up a clunker last weekend against the Dallas Cowboys. Given that DeSean plays up for his rivals in the NFC East that was a bit surprising. This week is the Giants and again another chance to make his imprint in this rivalry. Giants have been generous to offenses this season and DeSean might be benched as a punishment for disappointing many fantasy owners last weekend. Don’t let that frustration effect this week. Michael Vick looks to return and his favorite target, Jackson, will reap the rewards.
Waiver wire gold for the week will be James. He’ll be receiving the bulk of the carries for Tampa now that Doug Martin has undergone surgery. I would like to say that he’s great upside, but I think it’ll be limited by a fierce Panther defensive front. Still, James should have the chance to break the big one and if you need that fill in for this 6 team bye-week then you’ve found your guy with James. Don’t expect the world, but 65 yards with a TD could be just what you need to grind out a week 8 victory.
The surprise from Monday Night Football was the emergence of Hillis for the NY Giants. Given the injuries right now to Wilson, Jacobs and Brown this is where the state of Giants football has led us to. Hillis looked like the man from the Browns who parlayed his bruising running style to the cover of Madden NFL video game. This could be the last relevant game for him so I would run him out there if you get the chance. The backfield will be looking pretty crowded after this week.
Eifert joined the touchdown party as he scored for the first time in his NFL career last week. This week he’ll probably continue his success against a mediocre Jets defense against the tight end. While many defensive backs can challenge him, not many can out jump or reach like him at a ball above his shoulders. While tight ends are a bit more difficult to predict from week to week, I like Eifert’s chances even though Gresham shares field time with him.
Heath is a steady target for Big Ben. He’ll be the same way on Sunday against the Raiders. I don’t think the Raiders have thrown in the towel yet, but I like what Pittsburgh can do on the outside, which would allow for Miller to make plays down the middle of the field. Miller time will be on tap for this showdown and expect a Steeler sized romp to boot.
New Orleans Saints
The Saints revamped defensive unit, led by Rob Ryan, has been tremendous this season. Aside from the last drive debotchery in Foxborough a couple weeks ago this team has looked solid. The Bills provide a good opportunity to punish an opponent that is not quite ready to compete with them. As a home game it should be rowdy and the atmosphere should create a lively frenzy that will invigorate the Saints defense. It’s going to feel like Mardi Gras is going down at the Superdome on Sunday and the Bills will struggle with the noise.