Eight In The Box: IDP Waiver Wire Week 9

IDP Injuries of note:

  • Nick Fairley (DET DT): Fairley suffered a bad knee injury to his PCL/MCL. He will be out a minimum of 5-6 weeks, likely more. He is safe to drop if you need to.
  • Lamar Houston (CHI DE): Houston fell victim to the dreaded discount double check sack dance torn ACL. He is the second victim for the year and this time it was for celebrating a sack late in a game when his team was done about 1,000 pts. Well done, Mr. Houston. He joins Stephen Tullock and Martin Gramatica as the most famous members of the celebratory ACL blowout fraternity.
  • Glenn Dorsey (SF DL): Dorsey has returned to practice and is eligible to return to the lineup in week 10. He is coming off a torn biceps that happened during training camp this year.
  • Justin Durant (DAL LB): Durant fell victim to the linebacker curse of 2014 and will miss the rest of the season with a torn bicep. It is starting to become an epidemic as linebackers are getting picked off each week.   
  • Jon Beason (NYG LB): Beason finally decided to go the route of surgery. He was placed on IR and is done for the year.
  • Vontaze Burfict (CIN LB): For once, Burfict is on the injury report with something other than a concussion/neck issue. This time it’s for a knee that he had scoped. He will be out for at least two weeks.
  • Erik Walden (IND LB): Walden had to be removed in week 8 with a minor hip ailment. As of now he is week to week so he should probably be out of your lineup this week.
  • Mychal Kendricks (PHI LB): Kendricks returned to action this week but only played in 31% of the snaps. He is far from healthy and should remain on your bench until he gets a full complement of snaps.
  • Vontae Davis (IND DB): Davis sprained his knee in week 8 but appears to have avoided any significant tears. He is practicing on Thursday so it is likely he is available for Monday night’s game.
  • Tony Jefferson (ARI DB): Jefferson had a great week 8 but suffered a concussion. I think everyone knows how that works now so follow the progress through the week to see if he is cleared by Sunday.
  • Jimmy Smith (BAL DB): Smith may have suffered the dreaded Lisfrance sprain and will miss a few weeks.
  • Patrick Peterson (ARI DB): Peterson joins his fellow secondary mate Jefferson in the concussion protocol. He is having an all-around down year so you probably were close to benching him anyway. Now is your chance.

Who’s on the wire?

DL:

  • Calais Campbell (ARI DE): Campbell returned to the lineup in week 8 after missing a couple games. He had a full complement of snaps and if he was dropped you should pick him up right away.
  • Allen Bailey (KC DE): Bailey showed up big against the Rams in week 8 with 1.5 sacks and 3 solos. He is a boom or bust defensive end that won’t put up big tackle numbers but has a chance at sacks due to the attention placed on Justin Houston and Tamba Hali. A nice flyer (especially in this bye week) in big play leagues.
  • Robert Quinn (STL DE): Hopefully you picked up Quinn last week when I mentioned him. He is for sure gone after his 2 sack week. The buy low window is gone.
  • Ryan Davis (JAC DE): Andre Branch being on the shelf for at least six weeks may pave the way for some playing time for Davis. He already has 4 sacks – including two last week so a nice add in big play leagues.
  • Dion Jordan (MIA DE): Jordan had his first game action of the year after finishing off his suspension. He didn’t get a full set of snaps and was only in for pass rush opportunities but he is likely on your waivers and is worth a stash and see.

LB:

  • Keenan Robinson (WAS LB): Robinson has been very productive but relatively quiet. Chances are with all the injuries that have hit linebackers this year he might not be available but if he is go get him. He has a high floor and gets the occasional sack.
  • Khalil Mack (OAK LB): Mack is only averaging 4 tackles a game and has zero sacks but he is putting pressure on the quarterback and it’s only a matter of time before they turn into sacks.
  • Anthony Barr (MIN LB): Barr is a stud. He is doing everything and is all over the field. As a Viking fan, I was skeptical of taking him at the #9 pick in the draft but he has surpassed all expectations. He should be owned everywhere as he is doing it all.

DB:

  • LaRon Landry (IND DB): Landry is coming off of suspension. There is some discussion of whether he will play this week but he should be owned if he is available.
  • Morgan Burnett (GB DB): Burnett is coming off injury and is likely back after the bye week. If you have space and can make a speculative add you should do it.
  • Prince Amukamura (NYG DB): Going against the Colts gives plenty of opportunity. Prince has been up to the task this year. Call it a gut feel but I think he has a nice game Monday Night.

Shane Gallimore is a fantasy football contributor for The Sports Script. Follow him on Twitter @Gally4!

Waiver Wire Wizardry: Pickups for Week 9

Quarterback:

Here's Carson Palmer saying "start me."
Here’s Carson Palmer saying “start me.”

Carson Palmer (50% Y!): He has thrown for at least 250 yards and 2 touchdowns in each of the 3 games he has started since returning from injury. Palmer continues to find targets to throw to, even if it isn’t Michael Floyd (unfortunately). With a receiving core of Fitzgerald, Floyd, John Brown and pass-catching tailback Andre Ellington, Palmer needs to be owned. Palmer is playing at a high level and has only thrown 1 pick since returning. Owners should roster two quarterbacks and Palmer should definitely take up one of those slots. Grab him quick.

Andy Dalton (68% Y!): I have two bits of good news regarding Dalton. First, he ran for 2 rushing scores on Sunday. And two, there is a chance A.J. Green returns in week 9 as well. Now the bad news. He is simply playing nowhere near the elite level with which he played in 2013. He has thrown for over 1,600 yards, but only 6 touchdowns thus far. But as I pointed out, he may very well indeed get his All-Pro wideout back in this week. If that is indeed the case, look for Dalton to flourish in a juicy matchup against the Jaguars. Green’s presence changes the entire complexion of the Bengal offense. If you need a streaming option this week, Dalton is your man.

Running Back:

Denard Robinson (57% Y!): Who would’ve thunk it? “Shoelace” has back-to-back 100-yard rushing performances since being named starter. He has the starting job locked down as Storm Johnson was a healthy scratch on Sunday and Toby Gerhart played a minimal role. Considering the frequency with which Jacksonville has fed him the ball and the way he has turned those chances into yardage, he’s got to be owned in all formats. If he’s out there in your league, he needs to be restored. Start him with confidence this week against a weak Bengals run defense.

Lorenzo Taliaferro (8% Y!): He has surpassed Bernard Pierce as the #2 backfield option in Baltimore. Pierce was a healthy scratch on Sunday and Taliaferro didn’t disappoint, as he served as the short yardage back scoring twice. He also led the Ravens in receiving yards. He seemed to have sealed the deal on becoming the new goal line back for the Ravens, along with getting looks in the receiving game. He may be touchdown dependent, but the Ravens offense finds ways to score. Add him as an RB3 or FLEX play moving forward.

Jonas Gray (6% Y!): After only receiving 2 carries last week in his season debut, Gray got 17 carries for 86 yards on Sunday in the rout against Chicago. Gray has clearly taken over the Stevan Ridley role in this offense. Given the lack of proven depth behind Shane Vereen, Gray is going to be in line for carries going forward. He has the ability to put up some good numbers in an improving offense. Just be aware of the volatility of the New England backfield.

Wide Receiver:

Brandon LaFell (36% Y!): He caught all 11 of his targets (which led the team) on Sunday for 124 yards and a TD. In the 6 games that he has actually made a catch (weeks 3-8), he has 44 targets, 30 catches, 461 yards and 4 scores. That is a weekly average of 7.3 targets, 5 catches, 76.8 yards and .66 TDs. That is a weekly average of 16.7 points in PPR (11.7 points in standard). He has earned the trust of Tom Brady and should continue to garner looks in the passing game. New England’s offense has found it’s identity again and LaFell will certainly benefit from that.

Allen Robinson (23% Y!): This is Robinson’s fourth time on this list. How is he owned in under a quarter of Y! leagues? Now the proud owner of two straight games with a TD, Robinson will continue to be on this list until he is rostered in more than he is right now. He has 63 targets on the season, which is in the top 25 in the NFL. He has led all Jaguars’ wideouts in snaps for 3 straight weeks now and outside of week 1, he has been targeted at least 6 times per game. In 6 of the 8 games so far this season, Robinson has scored double-digit points in PPR leagues. Clearly the favorite WR for Blake Bortles and the Jaguars coaching staff, I cannot preach enough on how Robinson needs to be owned. Raise the totals folks, pick him up.

Davante Adams (14% Y!): Surpassing Jarrett Boykin is checked off of Davante Adams’ to-do list this season. Now the #3 pass-catcher in a high-powered Packer offense, Adams needs to be owned in all formats. Most gamers are pegging Adams as a WR3 moving forward, but I’d say he is a high-end WR4 with upside. With Randall Cobb and Jordy Nelson receiving so much attention from the opposing defense, Adams is a guy that will be looked at a lot. I believe he will have more games like he did yesterday and should be picked up before he does and everyone else catches on. His role is expanding each week.

Tight End:

Heath Miller (61% Y!): While he hasn’t proven to be a consistent threat this season, Miller is a reliable target in an emerging offense. The Steelers now rank 3rd in the NFL in average yards per game with over 400 yards of offense. While Miller may not catch 10 balls for 100 yards and a score every week, he is still a nice bet to give you some points at the tight end position with a chance to have a big game like he did on Sunday.

Dwayne Allen (74% Y!): Again, this goes to show how shallow the tight end position in fantasy football is. Allen has now scored in 6 of 8 games this season and has at least 3 catches and 38 yards in all but 2 games in 2014. He is a weekly threat to score in a potent offense. Allen is arguably the top red zone target for the Colts. Because of his 6 scores, he is in the TE1 discussion and should continue to put up low-end TE1 numbers the rest of the way.

Photo cred: http://goo.gl/lwHzdU

Doug Moore is a fantasy football contributor at The Sports Script. Follow him on Twitter @DMM0822!

The Weekly Stream: Defense; Week 9

Everyone has that one friend. The friend who repeats everything that he or she says. Their name and face just popped into your head. If no one popped into your head, then the friend is probably you. This person isn’t wrong and depending on how close you are with them, they may or may not be really annoying. At The Sports Script, I am that person. But if you have been reading my articles every week you probably already know that. I have actually been giving you a double dose of repeating on a weekly basis, and I can’t even say I am sorry about it.

Here are the two things that I repeat on a weekly basis.

  • Stream the defense that plays the Jaguars
  • Use the Cleveland Browns because of their schedule

Last week’s results:

Before we move ahead to week 9 and look back at the two statements above, let’s look at what happened last week. I gave out three defenses that were readily available in almost all leagues. Let’s see how we did.

Dolphins Defense
The Dolphins defense dominated Jacksonville on Sunday, posting 26 fantasy points
  • Miami Dolphins: The Miami Dolphins absolutely killed it on Sunday against the struggling Blake Bortles. The 3rd overall pick in the 2014 draft threw two picks that were returned for touchdowns and was also sacked 4 times. Miami led ESPN standard scoring in week 8 with 26 fantasy points. Not a bad day at the office.
  • Buffalo Bills: The Jets are a mess. Geno can’t throw, Vick is older than dirt and Percy is just there to stir the pot a little bit. The Bills took full advantage on Sunday and sacked the QB duo 4 times while picking them off 4 times as well. An all around great day for the Bills defense (16 fantasy points) as they head into their bye week.
  • Cleveland Browns: Jacksonville, Oakland, Tampa Bay. Any coach who sees those three teams on a schedule is going to smile. Put them in a row and they might jump for joy. In week 8, Cleveland was in the middle of that stretch of “easy games” and welcomed the Oakland Raiders into town. Oakland was intercepted once, sacked three times, and they fumbled twice before the day was done. Now, the Browns have Tampa Bay coming up from Florida and should be ready for another prime matchup. Only owned in 20.2% of leagues, let’s squeeze the juice out of the orange and ride this streak out with one more great performance from a defense that has done well the past two weeks.

Week 9 Targets:

  • Kansas City Chiefs: Arrowhead Stadium is crazy; it’s one of the loudest places in the NFL to play and Kansas City welcomes the Jets into town for week 9. Rex Ryan has made the quarterback switch to Michael Vick and I think that Kansas City will have a field day with it. I wouldn’t be surprised to see 3 or so interceptions with 3 or more sacks. The Chiefs defense is no walk in the park and the Jets offensive line might as well pave sidewalks for the defensive line of Kansas City this week. Kansas City is one of only a handful of fantasy defenses that has provided positive scoring in every week this year. Also, they had seven sacks last week.
  • Minnesota Vikings: The Minnesota Vikings have been an underrated defense the past few weeks. In the last two weeks alone they have 34 fantasy points in ESPN standard leagues and at least 4 sacks the past three weeks. They have three performances this year that have lead to double-digit fantasy production as well. In week 9 #TeamTeddy put the Vikings up against Washington. We currently don’t know who the QB will be in Washington but I don’t think it will make a difference to this defense that is taking down any QB in its path the past several weeks. Like Kansas City, Minnesota has had positive fantasy production every week this year.

Other to consider: San Diego Chargers (58%), Cincinnati Bengals (75%)

There you have it, three defenses to look for on your waiver wire, and a couple more that you will want to scoop up if others in your league have not been paying attention. Good luck in week 9 and as always, happy streaming!

Photo cred: http://goo.gl/SPXqOH

Jared “Minnesota Nice” Hines is a fantasy football contributor at The Sports Script. Follow him on Twitter @Jared_Hines27!

The Fantasy Forecaster: Week 8 Start/Sit

Ricky was joined by fellow TSS writer Doug Moore and they discussed their Must Start/Must Sit for week 8.

Here is the short version of the show just telling who we picked.

You can also subscribe/download on iTunes here. Leave a rating, don’t be shy!

Make sure to follow Ricky (@rickygangster) and Doug (@DMM0822) on Twitter!

The guys will be back next week (October 29nd)! Get your questions in on Twitter using the #TSS tag.

Ricky’s Week 8 5-Pack Fantasy Sleepers

Each week, Ricky Valero will unleash his 5-pack of fantasy sleepers for the upcoming week. These players are going to make for great value plays while you construct your weekly DFS lineups.

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Be sure to tune in to The Sports’s Scripts two weekly fantasy football shows as well! The Fantasy Forecatser: Football is live on Tuesday at 10 PM EST and Sunday morning before kickoff at 11:30 AM EST! You can stream live or subscribe here.

For season-long fantasy football chatter, follow Ricky on Twitter @rickygangster!

Eight In The Box: IDP Waiver Wire Week 8

The parade of injured stars continues as a few more linebackers have gone down for the year. It’s never a good thing when the injury list is larger than the waiver list:

IDP Injuries of note:

  • Chandler Jones (NE DE): Jones had another great game and all was just peachy until word came out early this week that Jones has a hip injury and could miss a month. There hasn’t been definitive word but make other plans for the immediate future.
  • Andre Branch (JAC DE): Branch was trying to play through a groin injury in week 7 but aggravated it to the point that he will likely be out a minimum of 6 weeks.
  • Justin Tuck (OAK DE): Tuck missed week 7 with a bad knee after being listed as questionable. I would look elsewhere at this point.
  • Da’Quan Bowers (TB DE): Bowers has been suspended for two games for PED use. You probably won’t even notice he is gone as he has only one sack on the year.
  • Ahtyba Rubin (CLE DE): Rubin has struggled this year and the injured ankle may need surgery. No need to worry about him moving forward for this year.
  • Paul Posluszny (JAC LB): He was his usual solid self this year but that came to an end in week 7. A torn pectoral will end his season. JT Thomas looks to fill in the middle for Poz, however there probably isn’t much IDP value. Telvin Smith would be the linebacker to take a chance on as he has started to improve and this may clear a way to more playing time.
  • Brian Orakpo (WAS LB): Stop me if you have heard this before. Orakpo is done for the year with a torn pectoral. No, this isn’t a repeat from previous seasons. He did it again. When healthy he is a big play option but that health part is beginning to be too much of an issue to overcome. Take a look at Trent Murphy, starting opposite Ryan Kerrigan. He may get a shot for some big plays.
  • Jon Beason (NYG LB): Beason is still suffering from his toe injury. He is getting opinions from all over and season ending surgery is very possible.
  • Jerrell Freeman (IND LB): Freeman has a hip pointer now. It caused him to miss some time in week 7 but he did return. It’s just something to monitor as the week moves along.
  • Vontaze Burfict (CIN LB): another week another upper body injury to Burfict.  This time it’s a strained neck.  I would just steer clear from this guy at this point.
  • Rey Maualuga (CIN LB): was inactive in Week #7 and is expected to miss a few more weeks with a hamstring injury.  The Bengals LB core is banged up with Burfict, Maualaga, & Emmanuel Lamur all are dinged.  This leaves Vincent Rey an intriguing play.
  • Kyle Fuller (CHI DB): left the game with a hip pointer and it was later discovered also broke his hand.  He is looking like he’ll play with a club on his hand so I would stay away since his value is highly tied to his ability to intercept passes.  Now he has to try with a club on his hand.
  • Brandon Flowers (SD DB): Flowers left last week’s game with a concussion and has been ruled out for this week’s game against Denver.
  • Jason Verrett (SD DB): Verrett is dealing with a shoulder injury and is looking doubtful for this week’s game against Denver. Richard Marshall and Shareece Wright are going to get all they can handle against the Broncos.
  • Darrelle Revis (NE DB): Revis was sent home from practice because he was late to a meeting. It doesn’t look like he will be disciplined any further so he should be fine this week against the Bears.
  • Usama Young (OAK DB): Young tore his ACL and MCL and is done for the year. Brandian Ross will replace him and will get plenty of opportunities. It just makes the poor Raiders defense even worse, which sometimes helps in the IDP world.
  • Eric Berry (KC DB): Berry was nearing a return last week and then suffered a setback. I wouldn’t plan on him for week 8.

Who’s on the wire?

DL:

  • Jay Ratliff (CHI DT): Ratfliff had a huge week with 5 solos and 3.5 sacks. He hasn’t done much this year and missed a few games but the Chicago defensive line is playing quite well. I believe this was more of an aberration then a sign of things to come. Don’t waste your time on this part-time player.
  • Terrell Suggs (BAL DE): Suggs had a sack for a second straight week. This could be a sign he is heating up and the Ravens are playing well and getting leads. I don’t fully buy in but if you have a spot to stash a guy and Suggs is available he might be worth the flyer.
  • Charles Johnson (CAR DE): Johnson got off the a terrible start which may have led to impatient owners dropping him. If he is out there you need to go get him. He is heating up and had a sack (second straight week) and 5 solos. He has the pedigree and should be rostered.
  • Jason Pierre-Paul (NYG DE): I had him in this section last week and he went off for two more sacks and 6 solos. If you didn’t take my advice and JPP is still available you better get him now as he won’t be there next week.
  • Robert Quinn (STL DE): Quinn finally picked up a sack. It only took 7 weeks for last season’s sack leader. If he was dropped this could be the sign of him heating up.

LB:

  • Brandon Marshall (DEN LB): Marshall went back to his early season roll as the every down linebacker with Trevathan out indefinitely. Marshall is a must own if he’s out there.
  • Mychal Kendricks (PHI LB): Kendricks is starting to practice and if he was dropped and you have an open roster spot he is most definitely worth the stash. Get him if you can.
  • Trent Murphy (WAS LB): Murphy is a guy to just keep an eye on. He will be replacing Brian Orakpo and getting the opportunity across from Ryan Kerrigan so he should have the opportunity to make an impact.
  • Dont’a Hightower & Jamie Collins (NE LB): Both put up huge numbers last week but with the injury to Chandler Jones it remains to be seen how their usage will be impacted. I think both are worthy pickups but the high tackle numbers may go down on one or the other while the big play (rush LB) opportunity may increase. If I had to guess I would say Hightower remains inside and Collins gets shifted outside.

DB:

  • Brandian Ross (Oak DB): Ross will replace Usama Young and should start for the foreseeable future. Ross is nothing special but the Raiders will be on defense a lot so the opportunity will be there.
  • Richard Marshall (SD DB): With the Broncos on the slate for week 8 and the starting corners for the Chargers out with injury expect the new guys to get picked on. This is fantasy gold for IDP players. Marshall should get lots of tackle opportunities.
  • Ha Ha Clinton-Dix (GB DB): He finally got the start and played in 100% of the snaps while tallying 8 solo tackles.His time has come and he has a great matchup against the Saints this week. Expect a big week and nearing a must start from here on out. If he is on the waiver wire, pick him up.

Shane Gallimore is a fantasy football contributor for The Sports Script. Follow him on Twitter @Gally4!

The Extra Attacker: Emerging Power Play Quarterbacks

Early on in the ’14-’15 NHL season, fantasy owners are frantically searching their free agents pools, looking for that diamond in the rough. Whether it be a young goalie off to a strong start or a forward who has seen a jump to a more prominent role. What fake gamers shouldn’t forget is those defensemen! Not just any defensemen, but those who can put up 35 to 40 points. What is the primary path to d-men racking up points? The power play!

The man advantage is a fantasy goldmine for fantasy owners. No matter the league format, power play production is a hot commodity, especially from the blue line. In the season’s first two weeks, two under-the-radar, young defensemen have risen to the top of the fantasy must-have: Calgary defenseman TJ Brodie and Anaheim defenseman Sami Vatanen.

Brodie has 3 goals and 4 assists in the early going. He's currently the #4 fantasy option on defense
Brodie has 3 goals and 4 assists in the early going. He’s currently the #4 fantasy option on defense

TJ Brodie: With 7 points in his 1st 8 games, Brodie’s Y! availability has dwindled down to 28% in the last couple of days, as the majority of fantasy owners now understand just how good he is. At 24, Brodie has steadily developed into a fine offensive blue-liner for a couple years, as witnessed by his career-high 31 points in 81 games a year ago. What could be the biggest factor in him taking the leap from 30 points to the 50 range? Power play time/game. Last year, Brodie averaged 1:36/game. Thus far that time has risen to 2:17 in 8 games. Suddenly, his percentage of power play points from a year ago (22.6%) could rise into the 30-35% range (the golden standard is Erik Karlsson, who last year saw 41.9% of his points come on the power play). Additionally, Calgary is a much improved, hard-working team. More power play opportunities equal a strong possibility of production from Brodie.

The Flames’ front office predicted this rise from Brodie and recently signed him to a 5-year, $23.5 million contract extension. The Flames made a leap of faith, now it’s time for you, the fantasy owner to do the same thing.

Sami Vatanen: Vatanen is a young, offensive-minded blue liner playing for an excellent team. He’s seen a spike in power play time – on a line with Perry, Getzlaf and Kesler nonetheless. Label me interested! Vatanen is off to an exceptional start, as an injury to incumbent #1 defenseman Cam Fowler has opened the door. All he’s done with the opportunity is record 2 goals and 3 assists in 6 games, all of which have come on the man advantage. The season is still young, but Vatanen is currently averaging 4:30/game on the man advantage, and with the names listed above as his linemates, the 23 year-old Finn could be on the verge of fantasy stardom. Currently owned in only 45% of Yahoo! leagues, Vatanen is a must own at this point, and a point total well into the 40’s is a reasonable prediction.

The only two chinks in Vatanen’s armor moving forward? The return of Fowler, who is a slick, offensive-minded young defenseman who is the true power-play quarterback for the Ducks. Although it’s dreamy to think that all of his points will come on the power play, but regression in that area will be automatic in the long term. Having said that, Vatanen’s value right now is sky high; grab him while you can.

Neither one of these two young studs will give you much in the way of periphery categories (blocked shots, PIM or hits). But hey, who cares at this point?! Their power play production has them both at the top of the must-own fantasy list.

Statistical credits: NHL.com, calgarysun.com, ducks.nhl.com, capgeek.com
Photo cred: http://i.imgur.com/tuNfJTo.jpg

Derek is The Sports Script’s resident fantasy hockey guru. Be sure to follow him on Twitter @Sons_of_Fuller!

The Weekly Stream: Defense; Week 8

All records are meant to be broken. On Sunday, Peyton Manning broke the record for the most passing touchdowns by any quarterback in NFL history. After the game Peyton was interviewed on NBC and gave one of the most selfless interviews I have ever seen. He spoke of his teammates and coaches that he has had over the years. He gave credit to everyone except himself. I have my own opinions on Peyton Manning that I will save for another article, but no one can deny the fact that he is great. Through neck surgery and beyond, Peyton has faced adversity and done so while succeeding on the field week after week.

Many of you probably don’t know this but something else ended in the NFL on Sunday. The Jacksonville Jaguars finally won a game. Not only that, the opposing defense failed to score double-digit fantasy points against them like it had done every week prior this season.

Overall, week 7 was crazy, but we are just getting started.

Last week’s results:

  • Cleveland Browns: 8 fantasy points. Eight. Against the Jaguars. I watched some of this game and the Browns defense actually looked pretty decent at times. Three interceptions and two sacks on Bortles made for an impressive showing. In the end though, the Jaguars racked up 24 points on the way to their first victory of the season.
  • Dallas Cowboys: America’s team played the struggling New York Giants at home and I thought for sure they would give us a better a performance. Although they only allowed 21 points, the only points they put up were two fumble recoveries. 3 fantasy points is all the Cowboys were worth. I thought they had a chance to finally hit double-digit fantasy points but while they got the win, the defense’s best weapon continues to be their explosive offense.

NOTE: The Cowboys do get Washington this upcoming week, so if you own them they may be worth another shot.

Week 8 Targets:

Denard Robinson was a big reason why an opposing defense failed to record double-digit fantasy points for the first time against the Jags in 2014
Denard Robinson was a big reason why an opposing defense failed to record double-digit fantasy points for the first time against the Jags in 2014

Cleveland Browns: If you read last week’s article you know how excited I was for the matchup against the Jaguars. Although I was a little disappointed by their performance, the matchup wasn’t the only reason that I picked up the Browns off the waiver wire. The Browns get to fly home and take on the Raiders this week. Although Oakland has kept opposing defenses away from huge point totals thus far, a home matchup still seems prime for the Browns. Pick ‘em up and use them.

NOTE: Cleveland takes on Tampa Bay in week 9 to close out their trio of great matchups for streaming!

Miami Dolphins: Miami’s defense is improving from week to week. The Dolphins have played six games and have scored double-digit fantasy points in four of them. Who do the Dolphins get in week 8? You guessed it, the Jacksonville Jaguars. The battle of Florida should be a great matchup for Miami on the defensive end of the ball. I believe the Dolphins take care of business in Jacksonville.

Buffalo Bills: The Buffalo Bills are owned in more leagues than the teams I usually include in this column. Still, Buffalo is unowned in 40% of leagues and should be streamed in week 8. The Bills have been playing really well, keeping opposing tailbacks out of the end zone, and putting up good fantasy numbers along the way. This week Buffalo gets the New York Jets. The Jets are wacky, but they are almost always good for a few sacks on Geno and a pick or two. I think this Bills unit is in for a big week.

Good luck in week 8!

Photo cred: http://goo.gl/6wtO5D

Jared “Minnesota Nice” Hines is a fantasy football contributor at The Sports Script. Follow him on Twitter @Jared_Hines27!

Waiver Wire Wizardry: Pickups for Week 8

Quarterback:

Joe Flacco (63% Y!): Over the last two weeks, Flacco has thrown for 7 touchdowns compared just 2 interceptions. Yes, they were against weak defensive units (Tampa and Atlanta), but Flacco is showing that he has strong connections with his bevy of hands in Baltimore. Involving Torrey Smith more, along with using Steve Smith and Owen Daniels, Flacco definitely has options to utilize in the passing game. He also has a strong run game with a 3-headed monster led by Justin Forsett. He has a 14:5 TD:INT ratio on the season and is an upper-tier QB2 with potential to be a low-end QB1 on a weekly basis. He gets the Bengals, Steelers and Titans over the next three weeks, all of which are beatable. He’s a great bye-week filler in the near future.

Carson Palmer (42% Y!): Palmer seems nearly recovered from a shoulder issue that plagued him for most of the season. Since his return, he’s thrown 4 touchdowns to just 1 interception. He has done a nice job of spreading the ball around to his plethora of weapons and has been complimented nicely by stud running back Andre Ellington. Palmer should be owned in more leagues due to his matchups to come (Eagles, Cowboys, Rams) and the ability of his weapons to make plays. Palmer throws the ball down-field quite a bit, and that’s what we fake gamers want to see!

Running Back:

Tre Mason (17% Y!): The Auburn rookie has been inactive more often than he has been in uniform this season. Yet he’s now one of the most intriguing running back adds of the year. He had a breakout game on Sunday (18/85/1) against Seattle and is now likely the top tailback for the Rams. Last season’s surprise star Zac Stacy has just not been able to get it going this season and saw no touches on Sunday. The only other back in the mix is Benjamin Cunningham, who looks to have established a role as the change-of-pace option. Easily the most talented runner in the St. Louis backfield, the job should be Mason’s so long as he produces in the weeks to come. While Mason is not likely to be a PPR-maven, the Rams like to run the ball enough for him to be a weekly FLEX option should he succeed with the gig. Pick him up in all formats.

Ronnie Hillman (58% Y!): Last call! Add in all leagues. Hillman had a big game on Sunday, tallying 103 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns against a stingy San Fransisco defense. Given the lack of burst with which Montee Ball played before his injury, Hillman is a candidate to keep this job for the remainder of the season. At the very least, he’s carved out a major role in this offense once the former returns. There is still no definitive timetable for Ball’s return, so continue to use Hillman with confidence in the weeks ahead.

With Fred Jackson and CJ Spiller out indefinitely, look for Bryce Brown to take over as Buffalo's lead back
With Fred Jackson and CJ Spiller out indefinitely, look for Bryce Brown to take over as Buffalo’s lead back

Bryce Brown (6% Y!): Both Fred Jackson and CJ Spiller are out indefinitely with injuries, leaving Anthony Dixon and Bryce Brown to handle the backfield touches in their absence. Dixon has been active all year due to his special teams appeal but Brown is the more talented back and should be given a larger share of the touches between the 20’s. Brown is also the superior pass protector and that should only help to keep him on the field. Dixon will likely sub in when Buffalo gets close to the goal line. Brown has great stats in his young career, with over 4.6 YPC and 6 touchdowns. The only downside to Brown’s immediate future prospects are the tough matchups which Buffalo faces. Let all the noobs put in claims on Dixon, my money is on Bryce Brown taking the job and running with it.

Wide Receiver:

Doug Baldwin (23% Y!): With Percy Harvin out of the picture, many are predicting the ball distribution won’t change much since the former Viking wasn’t seeing many looks to begin with. The most logical beneficiary of the Harvin trade to the Jets is obviously Doug Baldwin. He’s been Russel Wilson’s favorite target all year long and Sunday it showed, as Baldwin broke out for a 7/123/1 line. Baldwin is now a clear-cut WR3 option in the coming weeks as he should be getting plenty of looks for a Seattle team that will be looking to get out of their funk. Fantasy owners in need of wide receiver help should put a considerable FAAB bid in on Baldwin this week.

Odell Beckham Jr. (50% Y!): After the Victor Cruz injury last week, the biggest beneficiary had to be Beckham, who slid right into the starting lineup. He posted a 4/34/2 line in week 7. Beckham is quickly becoming a favorite of Eli Manning and is arguably the best receiver on the team. His athletic ability and red zone use should help continue to lift his stock in the weeks ahead. He’s probably more of a WR3 right now, but upside remains. If he has another big game in week 9 (Giants are on a bye coming up), this is probably the last call to hop on the bandwagon.

Allen Robinson (15% Y!): As I stated last week, Robinson is Blake Bortles’ favorite target and considering how much the Jaguars are forced to throw the ball, he’s worth an add. The biggest problem with Robinson was that before Sunday, he hadn’t found pay dirt yet this season. I said he would find the end zone soon and voila! He finished with a healthy 7 targets and a touchdown as well and will continue to rack up the looks each week and can be safely deployed as a mid-tier WR3. He needs to be owned more than 15% of leagues. Anyone with a free spot on their bench needs to put Robinson there.

Tight End:

Owen Daniels (49% Y!): Overall, Daniels has disappointed fantasy owners ever since becoming the starting tight end for the Ravens after Dennis Pitta’s season-ending hip injury. He scored his first touchdown since his 2-score performance in week 2 and was targeted 9 times as well. Joe Flacco has been above average this season and in such a tight end-friendly scheme, Daniels is going to be a threat to provide gamers a healthy dose of points weekly. Don’t mistake Daniels for a game-changer, but he is more than serviceable considering the current pool of available tight ends.

Charles Clay (40% Y!): Whether it was a struggling offense or being hurt, Clay has been an utter disappointment so far after his breakout 2013. He finally had a good game on Sunday (4/58/1) and given his talent, this could be all Clay needs to get back on track. The key to his success is the progression of Ryan Tannehill. After Mike Wallace, Clay could easily become Tannehill’s #2 target with Miami’s lack of depth at the running back position. The Dolphins are forced to rely on their passing attack a lot and that could help Clay get back to last season’s form. If you need a tight end this week, he is definitely worth a look.

Photo cred: http://goo.gl/blfmEi

Doug Moore is a fantasy football contributor at The Sports Script. Follow him on Twitter @DMM0822!