Week 8 is in the books and, like usual, there are more injuries, breakout stars, and bye weeks looming in the future. Some of you are surely dealing with injuries while others aren’t sure who to start or who to bench. Keep reading to find out who to grab off the waiver wire to fill in your lineup for the upcoming matchup, and who to leave behind so your friends (or opponents) can deal with them.
Get ‘em while ya can:
Marvin Jones (WR-Cincinnati): Marvin Jones had one of the most impressive fantasy box scores of the entire 2013 season this past week. Sure, it didn’t compare to Megatron’s monster weekend, but Jones did haul in four touchdown receptions this week. Jones is emerging as a legitimate red zone threat and has compiled a few very solid starts over the past month. There is one major concern here, though: over the past three weeks Jones has only played on 33 percent of the Bengals’ offensive snaps. If he is only seeing action on one-third of the team’s plays, it will be difficult to replicate his numbers from Week 8. Hopefully this week’s breakout performance will earn him even more opportunities moving forward.
Montee Ball (RB-Denver): Most fantasy owners have moved on from the once-promising rookie. He was drafted early in many leagues and quickly fell behind Knowshon Moreno on the team’s depth chart. Over the past week, Ball has surpassed Ronnie Hillman, who was a healthy scratch this week, and is one injury away from being the primary running back on the league’s most high-powered offense. It is also worth noting that Ball only had three fewer carries than Moreno this week and he saw most of the team’s carries inside the five-yard line.
Andre Brown (RB- NY Giants): I’m sure Brown was drafted in your league and I’m also sure whoever drafted him has since moved on. Brown has been on short term I.R. all season and will be back in the Giants’ backfield after the team’s upcoming bye week. Given the struggles that the Giants’ backfield has faced this season, Brown would be a familiar and reliable face for coach Tom Coughlin. He brings RB2/Flex value as soon as he returns to the Giants’ backfield.
Leave ‘em be:
Dexter McCluster (WR-Kansas City): McCluster might be one of the most exciting players in the NFL, but I need to see a little bit more from him before I give him a spot on my roster. He seems to be generating most of his catches/yardage on screen passes and intermediate routes. That could make him worthwhile if you’re in a PPR league, but if your league uses standard scoring, I would still wait and see on him. Over the first eight weeks of the season, the Mississippi grad has totaled only 253 receiving yards.
Kenny Stills (WR-New Orleans): I’ll be honest, after his 129 yard, two-touchdown performance this week, I sprinted to the waiver wire to grab Stills. I dropped him for Montee Ball within the hour, solely because I have never trusted most of the all-or-nothing receivers in New Orleans. He reminds me a lot of former Saints wide-out Devry Henderson; i.e., he is good for a few big plays every now and again, but when a receiver only gets three or four targets per week you can’t consider him a valuable option. Stills is a WR5 at best right now, although that could change depending on the health of New Orleans’ other receivers.
Jason Campbell (QB-Cleveland): Campbell put a fine game together this week and almost led the Browns to a win over the scorching hot Kansas City Chiefs. He threw for 293 yards with two touchdowns and zero interceptions. I know most of us would take a stat line like that any week, but please don’t forget who we’re talking about here. Campbell has struggled as a backup quarterback his entire career and has never come close to being fantasy relevant. I know he has some solid weapons in Josh Gordon and Jordan Cameron, but if you need a spot start at quarterback this week you would be much better off grabbing a guy like Jake Locker off the waiver wire.
Hot start of the week: Dez Bryant (WR-Dallas): I know most people will be starting Dez every week, but after all the chatter about his latest outburst and being shown up by Calvin Johnson on Sunday, I fully expect Bryant to have a monster week against Minnesota at home. Most media outlets are being hyper critical of Bryant, and I hope this doesn’t scare off managers who currently have him on their roster. Don’t let the headlines scare you off in Week 9 because Dez will be out there looking to prove a point and that can lead to many, many fantasy points.
Sit ‘em this week: Any Philadelphia receiver. I know the Eagles are playing Oakland. I know Oakland’s secondary isn’t very impressive. I also know that the Eagles’ current quarterback situation is a disgusting mess. It looks like Matt Barkley will be starting this week and that limits the opportunities for the entire Eagles’ offense outside of LeSean McCoy (who will most likely see the box stacked with Oakland defenders). There’s a chance a guy like DeSean Jackson could break a long touchdown, but I just don’t see it happening. Barkely simply doesn’t have the poise or arm strength to make things happen in this Eagles’ offense.
-Ted is a Miami fan through and through and has been fumbling and stumbling his way through fantasy leagues for 9 years now. If you have questions or suggestions, shoot Ted a message at [email protected]