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Fantasy

Week 8 Fantasy Football Flex Rankings: Start Zac Stacy, Not Mike James


Zac Stacy Rams

THE FLEXPERT

What a sobering week.

Not for me, literally – I can’t help but sample the sauce – but football wise it was a disaster. Doug Martinhe gone.Reggie Wayne, him too. By the time JerMike FinleyJay Cutler, and Sam Bradford showed up to the triage unit they all had to share a room.

Arian Foster, Larry Fitzgerald, Victor Cruz, C.J. Spiller, Victor Cruz, Tom Brady, Adrian Peterson, Hakeem Nicks, Trent Richardson, Josh Gordon, Lamar Miller, Bilil Powell, Emmanuel Sanders (THE COLOINAL!), Juke Ellington,and their complete lack of usefulness wasn’t really a boost, either.

The passing of Bud Adams would have added to the unhappiness but he lived until 90, owned an NFL team and once flipped off a chorus of Bills fans because he simply wanted to; demonstrating the sort of liberty sitting onmore specie than Scrooge McDuck affords. Plus, they were pissin him off. Bud Adams: Life Winner!

This harrowing 24-hours appeared as if it has finally breached the Hadal Zone. Not so much the case however – Vikings/Giants hadn’t kicked off yet. Only then did the nadir near. First, Brandon Jacobs’ hammy decided one week of production was enough; launching Fantasy players into a Monday night frenzy to grab one half of the least dynamic duo in recent memory: Peyton Hillis and Michael (censored) Cox. New York announced Cox as the starter in the pre-game, which – I guess – should have been the green light to start Hillis. That Tom Coughlin, very cryptic. Turned out, making the Hillis/Cox bench mistake may have cost you a matchup, but it wasn’t nearly as brutal as watching that farce of a football game.

You know how Steve Nash is always said to, “make everyone around him better”? Well, that makes Josh FreemanMirror Nash. Freeman put forth a pathetic effort. That, or he thinks Jerome Simpson is taller than Giant Gonzalezand may require some spectacles. HEYYYY, maybe that’s it: Freeman has undiagnosed nearsightness. Or would that make him farsighted? I’m not sure what the difference is; credit my legit vision for never having to know.  Now, potentially, the problems were a product of this concussion the Vikings are now saying he suffered. Just tossing this out there: If Freeman was playing so badly, AND its cause was violent vertigo vision, don’t you think it would have been prudent to give him the ol’ mercy hook at some point? Anyway, the only thing more joyless than his performance was the mood at his post-game presser.

Disgust usurped bewilderment as the prevailing sentiment of the night. Mike Trico and Jon Gruden openly mocked the decision to start Freeman from the opening snap – and rightfully so. Even mild-mannered Steve Young appeared to have smoked some “rage crack” before coming on the postgame show. More commonly referred to as just “crack”.

However, it seemed to make everyone feel better. Who doesn’t enjoy a good vent? I like to believe Freeman was actually trolling all of us the entire time. But I also believe Run-DMC’s King of Rock is covertly about their Rock-Paper-Scissors strategy. And, Freeman’s play was too pitiful for that to be true. It’s like unintentional comedy; you can’t plan it – no matter what Tommy Wiseau may claim, retrospectively. Everyone did seem to be deriving immense amounts of pleasure hate-tweeting game all the way through the final fallacious second, though. So intended or not Josh, you made the world a happier place… by making it worse.

And it’s not like I couldn’t be coaxed into the fray. So, I inquired…

FYI: The correct answer is, “any ketchup that isn’t Heinz”. Although, “one-ply toilet paper” and “Mark Ingram”were worthy runners up. Then there was this…

#THROWBACKTRACK

Steal My Sunshine and Josh Freeman bring similar joy to the people. I dare you to listen to this song and not be in a better mood. Inevitably, it does become problematic – the song ends. So, you can be like me and have no shame jamming to the same track on repeat for hours, but I’m certain that’s not something the majority of the able-minded masses would consider doing, they prefer popping Prozac. My method’s cheaper, but remarkably inefficient. Eventually, you’ll have to deal with the situation at hand; one that has bleak as its upside.

SNAP BACK TO REALITY (OH, YOU SEEN “GRAVITY”?)

There’s no chance your team wasn’t pillaged by injury pirates over the weekend. Even if it was just DeSean Jacksongetting his ankle stepped on or merely learning Jimmy Graham might be a bit more banged up than anyone thought. A no Jimmy Graham future for Fantasy teams is grimmer than the one in Dark City. And yes, that is a very visually descriptive title. But, in desperation you can always give BIG WATTY, Ben Watson a last second add to temporarily diffuse that dilemma. He’ll be available. If you lost Martin, though, you entered the panic-stricken scramble to the waiver wire for Mike James’ services. And everyone can use another running back; It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World out there.

Whichever one of your league mates undoubtedly ended up with James on their roster severely overpaid. Doesn’t mean it was a bad buy necessarily, but temper your expectations. I’m guessing there was some sort of reasoning behind the three touches he’d been given entering the Falcons game, despite having been active since Week 2. Maybe he kinda sucks? But, if you gravely needed a running back to play this week – or going forward – I understand the pick up. I have a league where I bid $41 on James – this is what happens when you play with 13 other people and your running backs are Foster, DeMarco Murray, Ryan Mathews and a stashed Shane Veeren; you reek of hopelessness – a scent identical to Drakkar Noir. Oh, and I lost that bid by double-digit dollars. Somehow, spending too much for James wasn’t enough, he became that much in demand. I was willing to empty my FAABY bank on a player I don’t like – in an especially horrendous matchup – just because it looks like he could a primary ball carrier. That may be the real saddest thing of the week.

Actually no, me now having to throw an oversized wager on Brandon Jacobs trumps that, for sure. I would actually love to start Jacobs over James if I knew if Jacobs was going to play. But that’s information we’re just not going to get until it’s too late. So now, on RB contingency plan 3, I’ve worked out a deal where I give up Coby Fleener forPeyton Hillis if Jacobs is inactive. And if Jacobs is out of the picture, I like Hillis a lot more than James against the Eagles. But, again, that won’t be relevant information since Tampa plays Thursday night. Maybe the Giants will do us a solid and declare Jacobs out at some point before Bucs/Panthers kickoff. I’m dubious that’ll happen however; they’re not the hugest Fantasy fans at the present moment. Crazily, Brian Leonard may outscore James in PPR scoring if Mikey J can’t hit the endzone. Leonard loves catches.

These are dire circumstances, yet a solution does exist. His name is Zac Stacy, and you should be starting him against Seattle.

No, I haven’t #LOSTIT. I mean, I get me brain medication from the National Health – so, don’t be afraid. While the Seahawks have been stout against the run all season, they’re penetrable on the road. Happens to even the best of us when we’re exclusively living out of a suitcase. With the CenturyLink crowd providing some defensive decibels, Seattle’s limited opposing running backs to a grand total of 31.8 points through three games. And 12 of those are a result of Maurice Jones-Drew and Jordan Todman plunging to pay dirt during the trashiest moments of garbage time.

Away from the kindly Pacific Northwest, the Seahawks have been fairly average. Arian Foster wasn’t scared to run all over them. DeAngelo Williams didn’t encounter too many issues, either. And Hell, even those travesties Trent Richardson and Rashard Mendenhall churned out useable Fantasy numbers on their home turf.

Because of byes and injuries there’s a crippling dearth of talent at the position this week, and Stacy’s one of the few backs that can boast a vaunted “full workload”. Don’t except 150+ yards on the ground, but with Kellen Clemens, the new commander of the Dink-and-Dunk Rams, the Zac Attack will hoard short receptions, while be given every opportunity to score, should St. Louis ever venture that deep into Seattle territory, that is. Plus, Stacy’s a gigantic individual, and has really looked terrific in his two starts, so maybe he’s like LOG! (from Blammo) – better than bad, he’s good. And in Week 8, that not only makes him a start, but a pretty… pretty… pretty good one.

And if you can’t get Stacy, play Roy Helu. Can’t get him? Then you’re ostensibly screwed.

QB RANKS

EARLY GAME WATCHABILITY INDEX

  1. DAL/DET
  2. MIA/NE
  3. BUF/NO
  4. CLE/KC
  5. NYG/PHI
  6. SF/JAX

SUICIDE LAY UP

SF over JAX

STREAM DEFENSE OF THE WEEK

GB at MIN
CAR at TB
CIN vs NYJ

SUPER DEEP STREAM DEFENSE OF THE WEEK

NO vs BUF
OAK vs PIT

SUPERLOCK

STL (+11.5)

QUICK READS

If you’re 5-2 or better, consider buying C.J. Spiller. His talent hasn’t faded, only his health. After last week’s shameful stat line, I’ve enacted the Roddy White Rule on him: Do not start until he has at least one productive game. Eventually, SPILLAAAAAAAAA will be healthy, but this is not that week. No matter how great he says his ankle feels. In the Fantasy playoffs though, that’s where he can be useful. If you’re able to stash him on the bench until he improves his physical wellness, and you’re comfortable with your position in the standings, Spiller can currently be had for pennies Dongs on the dollar. Ditto for FANTASY STIFF Chris Johnson aka CJ-.5ypc. I don’t like him at all, but he draws Denver in Week 14 and Jags during the Fantasy finals. If you don’t have to give up much, it’s an upside move to consider at the very least.

Throw Ray Rice onto that list too. He’s a genuinely elite talent and in the proper situation to excel, gambling he – and the Ravens – get it together coming out of the bye is a solid bet. Baltimore gets hot in the second half every year.

Tim Wright has picked up WR status on some leagues. Marvin Jones gained RB eligibility in others. Neither is a tremendous option, but allowing for that type of flexibility does have value. More so this week and next, with six teams on bye.

With his gravy matchup against Wilforkless Patriots run defense you’d think Lamar Miller would be a serviceable start, except there’s a problem… he’s not any good. This is why he’s been losing the touch battle to the equally awful Daniel Thomas.

Recently rewatched my favorite flick from this millennium, There Will Be Blood, the most strangely quotable movie in existence – “Don’t bully me Daniel!”

Dez Bryant on Calvin Johnson, “I think Calvin’s the best at what he does. I think I’m the best at what I do.” Dez Bryant, maker of sense.

Colin Kaepernick isn’t a buy low, he’s a BUY NOW. He’s bounced back nicely his past two times out after a tough Week 2-5 stretch where he posted single digits Fantasy points in three of four games. Why? He’s running again. Apparently someone in the 49ers organization remembered that used to be a great idea. So, with his ground game returning and the best schedule of any QB in the Fantasy playoffs – at Tampa, home against Atlanta in Week 15/16 – he’s a guy you should be targeting. Won’t be as good as RG3, though.

Bilal Powell v Chris Ivory. Don’t be stunned to see Rex Ryan go all M. Night Shyamalan on us and unleashPOWWWWWWell on the Bengals not Ivory. WHAT A TWIST! Expect Bilal to take the same route as his half-brother Herb Powell: Have it alllose it, then get it back. Give me Powell this week, and for the remainder of the season. Mainly, because Ivory’s only allotted 40 carries before he’s required to get injured, and he used up 90-percent of those last week.

OK, I admit it; I was way off on Eddie Lacy. He’s not a bust – he’s great – and the Packers have had no qualms making certain he gets the ball. Lacy’s piled up 23, 23 & 22 carries since shaking off his dizzies in Week 5. And against the Browns last Sunday, he chipped in with five receptions too. If those catches become consistent, Lacy’s a no brainer Top 10 RB for the rest of 2013. Now… if he’d only score more often.

A triumvirate of BEEEEEESSSSSSSSSSS!!!!! Step right up and cease suffering from the loss of Reggie Wayne, TODAY! I’m jumping in on Jarrett Boykin as a legit starter the rest of the way, potentially a Top 25 WR… or better. Without JerMike and Randall Cobb around, he’ll always be on the field. And even when James Jones is back to full strength, I don’t see it affecting Boykin all that much. He’s playing the Cobb role. Targets for Aaron Rodgers’ sneaky slot guy will always be bountiful. Then go Cole Beasley and Mike Brown in PPR formats. The Beas Knees has watched his targets and receptions go up every week, evolving into Tony Romo’s safety valve on third downs. And defenses have finally conceded MJD is washed up, so now they’ve decided to triple team both Justin BlackMON and Cecil Shorts all game, leaving Brown to wander around the middle of the field, uncovered 95-percent of the time. He’s racked up 14 targets the last two weeks – since Chad Henne became the starter – and parlayed those looks into 9 grabs for 169 yards. Brown’s not spectacular, spectacular, but if you need a WR/FLEX he’ll just be chillin on your league’s free agent wire, ready if you need him.

Witnessed the return of Andrea Bargnani to Toronto in person Monday night, and a greatly appreciated everyone’s commitment to booing him every last time to touched the ball. If you didn’t know, Toronto sports fans hold grudges, and they’re relentless. Just ask Vince Carter, Tracy McGrady, Damon Stoudamire, Chris Bosh or Hedo Turkoglu, who you can probably find in the alley, SMOKING CIGS!

Need a fill in QB? Try Carson Palmer. Atlanta has already made Top 12 pivots out of Mike Glennon, Samanta Bradford, Ryan Tannehill and #GENOPICKS this season. And, Palmer’s an absolute must have in any scoring format that awards bonus points for bounce passes.

Steven Jackson and Demarco Murray look closer to playing than not. I feel much better about Murray’s ability to post quality Fantasy numbers than Jackson.

And finally, don’t sleep on the Eagles and their incapability of shutting down secondary receiving options. This week: Hakeem NicksVictor CruzRueben Randle. All three are fine starts.

WEEK 8 RANKS

Remember to check back Saturday and Sunday for the weekend injury report, rankings adjustments and more quick reads. Where you’ll discover some HOT TIPS, like last week’s ultra logical: “My #LOSTIT prediction of the week? Delanie Walker with a REVENGE GAME TD against the 49ers! Don’t over look a Dan Carpenter REVENGE GAME either.” Revenge Game: it’s a real thing. Believe it.

These may have been my two best calls of the year.

Rankings set to PPR scoring format:

1 point for every 10 yards Rushing/Receiving
1 point per reception
6 points per Touchdown

Points per reception (PPR) scoring must be treated differently than standard leagues. Receivers and scat backs like Darren Sproles, Danny Woodhead and Roy Helu have inflated value in PPR scoring. As do possession receivers – Wes Welker, Danny Amendola and others in their mold are safer options. Catches tend to be more consistent and predictive. Obviously, touchdowns and yards are still important, but when considering FLEX options exploit any advantage you can. For standard scoring, running backs with hands of stone like Alfred Morris, BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Stevan Ridley all see their stocks rise without catches in the mix.

ByesChicago, Tennessee, Indianapolis, San Diego, Baltimore, Houston
Questionable: Brandon Jacobs, Steven Jackson, DeMarco Murray, Jimmy Graham, James Jones, Danny Amendola,

  1. Calvin Johnson
  2. Dez Bryant
  3. Jamaal Charles
  4. Marshawn Lynch
  5. A.J. Green
  6. LeSean McCoy
  7. Knowshon Moreno
  8. Adrian Peterson
  9. Rob Gronkowski
  10. DeSean Jackson
  11. Reggie Bush
  12. Eddie Lacy
  13. Jordy Nelson
  14. Antonio Brown
  15. Eric Decker
  16. Pierre Garcon
  17. Demaryius Thomas
  18. Frank Gore
  19. Jimmy Graham
  20. Alfred Morris
  21. Vincent Jackson
  22. Wes Welker
  23. Julius Thomas
  24. Justin BLACKMON!!!!
  25. Hakeem Nicks
  26. Josh Gordon
  27. Victor Cruz
  28. Jarrett Boykin
  29. Stevan Ridley
  30. Vernon Davis
  31. Le’Veon Bell
  32. Zac Stacy
  33. Cecil Shorts
  34. DeMarco Murray
  35. Pierre Thomas
  36. Steve Smith
  37. Jordan Cameron
  38. Jordan Reed
  39. Terrence Williams
  40. Fred Jackson
  41. Darren Sproles
  42. Tony Gonzalez
  43. Jason Witten
  44. Giovani Bernard
  45. Marques Colston
  46. Darren McFadden
  47. Mike Wallace
  48. Roy Helu
  49. Reuben Randle
  50. Denarius Moore
  51. Harry Douglas
  52. Michael Floyd
  53. Jeremy Kerely
  54. Heath Miller
  55. Lamar Miller
  56. Jacquizz Rodgers
  57. Stevie Johnson
  58. Julian Edelman
  59. Larry Fitzgerald
  60. Peyton Hillis
  61. Brian Hartline
  62. Anquan Boldin
  63. Andre Ellington
  64. Darrius Heyward-Bey
  65. Brandon LaFell SEXUAL
  66. Cole Beasley
  67. Riley Cooper
  68. DeAngelo Williams
  69. Emmanuel Sanders
  70. Kris Durham
  71. Mike Williams
  72. Mike Brown
  73. Golden Tate
  74. Mike James
  75. Joique Bell
  76. C.J. Spiller
  77. Greg Olsen
  78. Charles Clay
  79. Bilal Powell
  80. Chris Ivory
  81. Dwayne Bowe
  82. Donnie Avery
  83. Sidney Rice
  84. BenJarvus Green-Ellis
  85. Maurice Jones-Drew
  86. Steven Jackson
  87. Tim Wright
  88. Jeff Cumberland
  89. Aaron Dobson
  90. Mike Tolbert
  91. Brandon Gibson
  92. Brian Leonard
  93. Rob Housler
  94. Brandon Bolden
  95. Rod Streater
  96. Marvin Jones
  97. Kenny Stills
  98. Rashard Mendenhall
  99. Brandon Jacobs
  100. Daniel Thomas
  101. Willis McGahee
  102. Kenbrell Thomkins
  103. Leonard Hankerson
  104. Greg Little
  105. Davone Bess
  106. Jerome Simpson
  107. Robert Woods
  108. Kyle Rudolph
  109. Austin Pettis
  110. Greg Jennings
  111. T.J. Graham
  112. Mohamed Sanu
  113. Scott Chandler
  114. Brandon Pettigrew
  115. Tashard Choice
  116. Kendall Hunter
  117. Bryce Brown
  118. Chris Givens
  119. Andre Roberts
  120. Marcel Reece
  121. Chris Ogbonnaya
  122. Jason Avant
  123. Stephen Hill
  124. David Nelson
  125. Aldrick Robinson
  126. Lance Moore
  127. Nick Toon
  128. Doug Baldwin
  129. Delanie Walker
  130. Brent Celek
  131. Joseph Fauria
  132. Lance Kendricks
  133. Anthony Fasano
  134. Austin Collie
  135. Cordarrelle Patterson
  136. Dwayne Harris
  137. Ronnie Hillman
  138. Jason Snelling
  139. Khiry Robinson
  140. Walls of Jericho Cotchery
  141. Rashad Jennings
  142. Joseph Randle
  143. James Starks
  144. Lance Dunbar
  145. Daryl Richardson
  146. Anthony Dixon
  147. LeGarrette Blount
  148. Mychal Rivera
  149. Brandon Myers
  150. Johnathan Frankin
  151. Bobby Rainey
  152. Fozzy Whittaker
  153. Santana Moss
  154. Tyler Eifert
  155. Jermaine Gresham
  156. Clay Harbor
  157. Zach Ertz
  158. Tavon Austin
  159. Michael Cox
  160. Jordan Todman
  161. Knile Davis
  162. Benny Cunningham
  163. Zach Miller
  164. Robert Turbin
  165. Phillip Tanner
  166. Alfonso Smith
  167. Felix Jones
  168. Andrew Quarless
  169. Anthony Dixon
  170. Toby Gerhart
  171. Ryan Broyles

WORST PLACE RANKS

Mark Ingram
Montee Ball
Jared Cook
Miles Austin

How’d ya miss…

Week 8 RB Ranks, Values & Sleepers
Week 8 QB Ranks, Values & Sleepers
Pat Mayo Hour – Waiver Wire Power Rankings

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