With key players hitting the pine in Week 8 via byes, Jared takes you through some strategies to field a strong fantasy football lineup.
There are a huge amount of teams on byes in what will be a tough Week 8 for many fantasy managers. With six teams taking the round off and numerous key players out, we will have to look to the lesser-known names for production. Here’s hoping my Week 8 starts, sits and sleepers are on the money.
Chris Ivory (RB - New York Jets) was one of only two running backs to rush for over 100 yards in Week 7 and with so many key backs out this week, Ivory could be a perfect Week 8 player. The downside to Ivory, however, is the matchup against a relatively stout run defence in the Cincinnati Bengals. But coming off last week’s experience where the back was fed the ball 34 times I think we can expect another 100-yard rushing day (and a touchdown as well).
Stevan Ridley (RB - New England Patriots) has been putting together a solid season so far with back-to-back games rushing over 50 yards and at least a touchdown in each. While he does little in the passing game, Ridley is producing on the ground and the Patriots know they have to run more often. Ridley will face a Miami defence which has been weak against tailbacks. With Arian Foster, Matt Forte, Ryan Matthews, Chris Johnson, Trent Richardson and Ray Rice out on byes you could do a lot worse than Ridley. I expect 60 yards and a touchdown as a minimum.
Rueben Randle (WR - New York Giants) is going to blow away the Eagles secondary in the second division meeting between these two teams. I have no doubt Randle will replicate his numbers from Week 5. Eli Manning is looking Randle’s way often when in the red zone and with the Eagles boasting the NFL’s worst secondary, it’s hard not to love this matchup.
Danny Amendola (WR - New England Patriots) is an injury-prone wideout who just can’t stay healthy. Facing a Miami defence which has not allowed a wide receiver to score a touchdown on the season, it's best to sit him this week. The Dolphins may be poor against running backs but they have been dominating wide receivers. Amendola is expected to play after a concussion kept him out from the game last week, but I think this is a round you sit him (unless you're desperate).
Jordan Cameron (TE - Cleveland Browns) will face the best defence in the league, the Kansas City Chiefs, who have held tight ends to zero touchdowns and only 205 yards receiving on the year. With Jason Campbell taking over at quarterback for Cleveland, it’s hard to know how he will be used. Don’t expect much out of the TE this week as he will be kept quiet. I would recommend looking elsewhere if you have that luxury.
Dwayne Bowe (WR - Kansas City Chiefs) was once a great receiver, but looks a different player these days. He will be kept in check by Browns defender Joe Haden, one of the best cornerbacks in the game -- he has been shutting down opposing No.1 receivers all year. Bowe is also battling injuries and has just done nothing on the year to think he will turn it around this Sunday. Keep him benched.
Pittsburgh Steelers (D/ST) are a bye week fill-in special as they take on the sack-prone Terrelle Pryor of the Oakland Raiders. The Steelers have turned their fortunes around the past two weeks and still have a very good defence, one that has only allowed five passing touchdowns on the season. The Steelers have not done well in regards to fantasy scores but with a game against the Raiders, this should be a double-digit fantasy score for the Pittsburgh defence.
Carson Palmer (QB - Arizona Cardinals) has got to be on your radar if you’re a manager suffering from the bye week or multitude of QB injuries. Palmer will face the Atlanta Falcons in Week 8 who have fielded a lackluster defence in 2013, allowing QBs to walk all over it. Palmer should fill in adequately if you need him, throwing for 250 yards and two touchdowns.
Who are you staring or sitting this week? Who do you think might surprise as a sleeper this week? Let us know in the comments!