Want to know how good Given Up can be? Ryan Fitzpatrick, Josh Freeman, Matthew Stafford and Christian Ponder at QB – Given Up nailed it. Doug Martin, Chris Johnson and Mikel Leshoure – yup, on point. Vincent Jackson, Nate Washington, James Jones and Detroit WRs – saw it coming. Heath Miller, Kyle Rudolph and Jermichael Finely – yup, had those too. Looking back, the only players Given Up whiffed on were Mike Williams (that should have been a TD though… dumb rule) and Scott Chandler. Otherwise, with the added insight that in spite of some matchups, you should still start/sit some players, Given Up gave you terrific odds yet again. So, it’s time to do the same for Week 8.
Quarterback Points Allowed
|1||Denver Broncos||NO||20.8||15||New York Jets||MIA||16.0|
|2||Indianapolis Colts||TEN||19.9||16||Washington Redskins||PIT||13.3|
|3||St Louis Rams||NE||19.0||17||Dallas Cowboys||NYG||15.0|
|4||Oakland Raiders||KC||18.5||18||Jacksonville Jaguars||GB||15.1|
|5||San Diego Chargers||CLE||19.3||19||New York Giants||DAL||12.5|
|6||Kansas City Chiefs||OAK||17.7||20||New Orleans Saints||DEN||14.7|
|7||Pittsburgh Steelers||WAS||18.6||21||New England Patriots||STL||14.1|
|8||Tennessee Titans||IND||16.5||22||Miami Dolphins||NYJ||12.4|
|9||Green Bay Packers||JAX||16.0||23||Philadelphia Eagles||ATL||12.7|
|10||Cleveland Browns||SAD||18.3||24||Atlanta Falcons||PHI||12.5|
|11||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||MIN||17.3||25||Detroit Lions||SEA||10.0|
|12||Seattle Seahawks||DET||15.0||26||San Francisco 49ers||ARI||9.0|
|13||Chicago Bears||CAR||15.2||27||Arizona Cardinals||SAF||10.7|
|14||Minnesota Vikings||TB||16.2||28||Carolina Panthers||CHI||8.2|
ACES IN THE HOLE
The bye week actually wasn’t great timing for Peyton Manning. Hopefully, after topping 309 yards and 21 Fantasy Points (FP) in each of his last four games, we must hope that the bye week didn’t mess with his groove. Peyton also has 11 TD in that span. The matchup with New Orleans certainly will help Manning come back in the same fashion. No matter what, with this matchup, Manning is at least a Top Five QB this week.
Manning’s old team, the Colts, come in with the second-best QB opponent: Tennessee. In case you didn’t know, the Titans allow 19.9 FPPG to QBs and are tied for the league lead with 16 passing TDs allowed. Just ask Given Up’s bye week filler last week, Ryan Fitzpatrick, how nice the Titans defense can be. Andrew Luck will move back into the Top 10 for QBs in Week 8.
You don’t want to risk using Sam Bradford, even if your QB is on a bye, so let’s move on to a good option, who happened to be a decent pick last week too: Carson Palmer. He’s not lighting up the scoreboard, or Fantasy leagues, but Palmer does have at least 14 FP in five of the Raiders six games. Now Palmer gets the Chiefs, a team that has allowed 13 passing TDs in six games and 18.5 FPPG for QBs.
Not saying I told you so, but, I kinda did. Okay, you don’t want to hear that, but Cam Newton has struggled quite a bit this season, and his rushing ability is the only thing salvaging his season. When Cam is forced to pass, bad things happen too often, and now the Panthers head to Chicago. The Bears are dominating on defense, especially versus QBs: 8.2 FPPG and just five passing TDs allowed.
Don’t do it, just don’t. John Skelton is not an option 99 percent of the time, and it’s even worse when he’s facing San Francisco. Moving on…
Speaking of the 49ers, Alex Smith doesn’t have a much better go of it. Arizona actually allows less FPPG to QBs at 9.0 versus 10.7 for San Fran. The 49ers defense is better overall, but even so, you should look elsewhere for a Week 8 fill in, as San Fran is tied with Chicago for a league-low five TDs given up to QBs.
Buy low alert! Matthew Stafford faces yet another tough defense with Seattle on tap. The Seahawks give up 10.0 QB FPPG, a league low 183.4 passing YPG, and the only saving grace is that Detroit is home. About that buy low alert, Detroit’s schedule is immensely easier after Seattle, so if you need to make a move for your league title, Stafford is your man.
Running Back Points Allowed
|1||Denver Broncos||NO||24.7||15||Cleveland Browns||SAD||13.8|
|2||Green Bay Packers||JAX||23.0||16||Dallas Cowboys||NYG||13.3|
|3||Tennessee Titans||IND||21.8||17||San Francisco 49ers||ARI||14.7|
|4||Oakland Raiders||KC||21.2||18||Pittsburgh Steelers||WAS||13.1|
|5||Indianapolis Colts||TEN||21.6||19||New England Patriots||STL||13.6|
|6||Chicago Bears||CAR||19.8||20||Minnesota Vikings||TB||14.0|
|7||Kansas City Chiefs||OAK||18.3||21||Atlanta Falcons||PHI||12.2|
|8||Miami Dolphins||NYJ||18.4||22||Seattle Seahawks||DET||10.5|
|9||San Diego Chargers||CLE||17.0||23||New York Jets||MIA||12.2|
|10||Philadelphia Eagles||ATL||18.3||24||St Louis Rams||NE||10.7|
|11||Jacksonville Jaguars||GB||15.6||25||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||MIN||9.9|
|12||Washington Redskins||PIT||13.5||26||Detroit Lions||SEA||9.9|
|13||New York Giants||DAL||14.2||27||Arizona Cardinals||SAF||9.0|
|14||New Orleans Saints||DEN||15.2||28||Carolina Panthers||CHI||7.7|
ACES IN THE HOLE
Just like Peyton Manning has a nice matchup waiting, so does his running back, Willis McGahee. It’s pretty simple, the Saints absolutely stink on defense. They allow 24.7 FPPG to RBs with 133.0 YPG and seven TDs rushing. They’re also one of the worst at stopping RBs from catching with an average of 6.7 receptions and 59.7 receiving yards allowed. Plug McGahee in everywhere.
Alex Green is not a great running back; after all, 63, 65 and 35 rushing yards don’t create much excitement. It will get better for Green this week though, as Jacksonville is right behind the Saints in rushing defense. The Jaguars check in with 129.2 rushing YPG, plus 5.3 receptions and 46.7 receiving yards per game averaged for opposing RBs. John Kuhn and Aaron Rodgers are always a threat to steal value from Green in the red zone, but Green warrants a flex play in Week 8.
I tweeted that now, or after Week 8, is the time to sell high on Chris Johnson. Why after Week 8? It’s because Tennessee faces an Indy team that has allowed eight rushing TDs and an average of 21.8 FPPG, so you might want to wait one more week. The reason why Johnson is a sell high candidate, and a big one at that, is because Jamie Harper appears to be the goal line and short yardage option, and the schedule is significantly more difficult after Week 8. For example, Chicago and Miami follow up Week 8 and they check in a 7.7 and 12.2 FPPG allowed.
And while we’re talking about Chicago, their opponent this week is the aforementioned Panthers. Carolina not only sees the toughest matchup for Cam but also their RBs. If you didn’t read either of my articles last week, not only were the Carolina RBs already borderline worthless due to the shared touches and poor run game, but after losing Ryan Kalil for the season, they became utterly worthless. Okay, this new-found plan of letting Jonathan Stewart lead the way sounds good, but how did that work out last week against a softer defense?
After it appeared that William Powell would be the RB of choice in Arizona, he fumbled away his opportunity, and LaRod Stephens-Howling impressed a bit after taking over. Don’t expect a repeat performance as Arizona faces (queue menacing music) the 49ers. Sure, Ahmad Bradshaw and Marshawn Lynch proved the 2012 49ers aren’t on par with the 2011 49ers. However, they are still a serious threat to RBs, and LSH is not in the same class as Bradshaw and Lynch. Don’t risk LSH unless you absolutely must.
As I mentioned, the schedule strength lessens after this week for Detroit, but we are only concerned with Week 8 for now. Mikel Leshoure looks better than most recent Lions RBs have, but after facing Minnesota, Philly and Chicago, there is no reprieve with Seattle now. The Seahawks allow 9.9 FPPG to RBs and have allowed just two rushing TDs. Leshoure probably still sneaks in as a flex option for most teams, but his upside isn’t much better than what we just saw on Monday night.
Wide Receiver Points Allowed
|1||Denver Broncos||NO||29.7||15||Jacksonville Jaguars||GB||22.1|
|2||Tennessee Titans||IND||26.2||16||Washington Redskins||PIT||18.0|
|3||Pittsburgh Steelers||WAS||31.7||17||New York Giants||DAL||17.0|
|4||San Diego Chargers||CLE||29.0||18||New Orleans Saints||DEN||19.3|
|5||Indianapolis Colts||TEN||21.6||19||Chicago Bears||CAR||17.0|
|6||St Louis Rams||NE||26.0||20||Atlanta Falcons||PHI||19.3|
|7||Green Bay Packers||JAX||20.8||21||New England Patriots||STL||18.9|
|8||Cleveland Browns||SAD||25.8||22||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||MIN||16.0|
|9||Oakland Raiders||KC||21.0||23||San Francisco 49ers||ARI||17.9|
|10||Kansas City Chiefs||OAK||20.7||24||Carolina Panthers||CHI||18.3|
|11||Seattle Seahawks||DET||20.7||25||Philadelphia Eagles||ATL||16.3|
|12||Minnesota Vikings||TB||28.3||26||Miami Dolphins||NYJ||13.4|
|13||Dallas Cowboys||NYG||24.3||27||Detroit Lions||SEA||15.6|
|14||New York Jets||MIA||22.7||28||Arizona Cardinals||SAF||14.9|
ACES IN THE HOLE
Hey, it’s the Broncos. Psst, did you know the Saints are terrible on defense. Unless you skipped down to this part first (and that just wouldn’t make sense) it’s apparent that New Orleans is a great matchup for everyone wearing navy blue and orange. Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker, enjoy! And, we might even see a bit of Brandon Stokley again for deep leaguers.
The Colts are improving, but their defense is a long way off. That’s not only good news for CJK as pointed out above, but also for the WRs, most notably Kenny Britt and Nate Washington. Britt looked to be headed towards a big day before Matt Hasselbeck forgot he was on the field, and Washington is always a threat for a TD. Even Kendall Wright has deeper value, especially in PPR leagues, as Indy sits in the Top 10 for receptions per game allowed.
It may have seemed that Mike Wallace was trying to steal Greg Little’s award for “hands most like stone,” but Week 8 will be better for Wallace. First, Mike won’t drop as many easy passes, and second, the Redskins are miserable versus WRs, allowing a league-high 31.7 FPPG. Of course, that is good news for Antonio Brown as well, and both could sneak into the Top 15 for receivers.
We’re “going back to Cali, to Cali” with the Arizona-San Fran matchup. The 49ers are a difficult opponent across the board, and that means a tough week for Larry Fitzgerald and Andre Roberts. You can likely forget using Roberts with the 49ers having allowed just two passing TDs, and those who are loaded at WR could even find a spot for Fitz on the bench… but like I said, only if loaded at WR.
As if things couldn’t get worse for the Lions offense, they are going to have a hard time getting on track against Seattle. Even Calvin Johnson looked mortal versus Chicago, and Seattle won’t be much easier. You can’t bench the man, ever, but those hoping for value from Titus Young and/or Ryan Broyles now that Nate Burleson is done should wait a week.
Remember how excited everyone was for Brian Hartline? Why does that feel like it was so long ago now? In any case, Hartline and Davone Bess are best served for bye week fill-ins or deep leagues only, as Miami heads to New York for a game with the Jets. You heard all the Jets-without-Darelle-Revis stats, but those appear to be overvalued as the Jets are still doing quite well versus the pass. Just ask Wes Welker and Brandon Lloyd.
Tight End Points Allowed
|1||Indianapolis Colts||TEN||13.4||15||New York Giants||DAL||6.3|
|2||Pittsburgh Steelers||WAS||11.0||16||Jacksonville Jaguars||GB||6.7|
|3||Dallas Cowboys||NYG||10.6||17||Denver Broncos||NO||4.6|
|4||Seattle Seahawks||DET||7.2||18||Philadelphia Eagles||ATL||6.7|
|5||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||MIN||10.0||19||San Diego Chargers||CLE||5.0|
|6||Oakland Raiders||KC||6.7||20||Tennessee Titans||IND||4.3|
|7||Green Bay Packers||JAX||6.2||21||St Louis Rams||NE||4.8|
|8||New Orleans Saints||DEN||10.2||22||Cleveland Browns||SAD||4.9|
|9||Chicago Bears||CAR||7.2||23||Carolina Panthers||CHI||6.7|
|10||Miami Dolphins||NYJ||7.5||24||New England Patriots||STL||6.3|
|11||New York Jets||MIA||7.9||25||Atlanta Falcons||PHI||6.2|
|12||Minnesota Vikings||TB||7.3||26||Arizona Cardinals||SAF||6.6|
|13||Kansas City Chiefs||OAK||5.2||27||Detroit Lions||SEA||5.0|
|14||Washington Redskins||PIT||6.0||28||San Francisco 49ers||ARI||4.1|
ACES IN THE HOLE
Insert team playing Tennessee here. To be fair, that didn’t work so well for Scott Chandler last week, but that is only one game where the Titans did well against the TE. Coby Fleener and Dwayne Allen are only deeper options, as they appear to trade off solid games, but each can be worth a deeper league flier if needed.
Heath Miller’s resurgence is going to continue in Week 8. The Steelers face Washington, and the Skins just let a less-than-healthy Martellus Bennett break open for some catches. You should be excited about what Miller can do in his turn.
Vernon Davis must have forgot to suit up for Week 7; there is no other explanation. Okay, sure, there is one or two reasons why Davis put up a zero, but the sad news is that we can’t expect much better this week. Arizona is the toughest and stingiest defense for TEs. You still have to start him based on talent alone (a la Calvin), but if you happened to snag Heath Miller too, you can actually make the lineup swap.
Brandon Pettigrew is already a better PPR option than standard, and his season numbers prove that. He has 48 catches for just 298 yards and one TD. Bad news Pettigrew. Seattle allows just 4.9 TE catches, total, per game, and we know Tony Scheffler still steals a few. Bench Pettigrew this week.
(Reminder: You’ll notice the rankings are not in exact order of points allowed. Other metrics are calculated in along with just straight points. It allows for better analysis so one off-week doesn’t skew the opponent difficulty too greatly.)