This column is provided as a special contribution from InsideInjuries.com.
Week 8 Start ‘Em Sit ‘Em
Andy Dalton CIN – Start ‘EM
Andy Dalton has been somewhat under the radar this year from a Fantasy perspective, but he has been hot of late, putting up over 20 Fantasy points in each of his last three games. On top of that, Dalton gets to face a Redskins team this weekend that could very well be without top corner back Josh Norman due to a concussion. We have Norman listed as a high injury risk with a below average Health Performance Factor, so it seems unlikely that he will play. If Washington is without Norman, look for Dalton to have a field day feeding A.J. Green and a now-healthy Tyler Eifert against a secondary that simply won’t be able to match up.
Tyrod Taylor BUF – Sit ‘EM
Taylor put up big numbers last week in Buffalo’s loss to Miami, but don’t expect that to continue this week against New England. If Buffalo is without LeSean McCoy (High IRC, Below Average HPF), which seems likely, then the Patriots will be able to focus on the Bills’ other big weapon: Taylor’s running ability. The Patriots have Jamie Collins back from a hip injury and should be able to limit Taylor’s output as a runner, therefore limiting his upside as a Fantasy play.
Devantae Booker DEN – Start ‘EM
Booker is coming off a big outing this past Monday night against Houston and should now receive the vast majority of the backfield work in Denver with C.J. Anderson out at least a few weeks with a knee injury. Anderson is scheduled to undergo surgery today on a torn meniscus, and we won’t know until after that whether it’s a trim or repair, which will impact recovery time. In Anderson’s absence, Booker is a high-end Fantasy option, especially in a plus matchup against San Diego. If Booker is somehow available in your league, go scoop him up and plug him into your lineup.
Matt Jones WAS – Sit ‘EM
Jones was already facing the possibility of losing carries due to a fumbling problem, and that was before he missed practice Wednesday with soreness in his knee. We currently have Jones listed as an elevated injury risk with a below average Health Performance Factor, which hints that there is a real chance he doesn’t play or is limited in this one. Any sort of injury might also be used by the Redskins coaching staff to give more carries to Rob Kelley and Chris Thompson, who have been much more careful with the football early this season. Jones is a very risky play this weekend in Fantasy. Look for other options if they are available.
Terrelle Pryor CLE – Start ‘EM
Pryor only played 31 snaps last week in the Browns’ loss to Cincinnati, but things are looking up in more ways than one for Week 8. First off, Pryor should be close to being fully healthy in this game, as we have him listed with an above average Health Performance Factor. So, Pryor should be able to get back his full workload of snaps, and will get to do so with a great matchup against the Jets’ porous pass defense. Throw in the fact that Josh McCown looks on track to start at quarterback for the Browns, giving Pryor a legitimate guy getting him the ball, and things are looking up for a Pryor resurgence this week. He is a solid WR2 in most formats.
DeSean Jackson WAS – Sit ‘EM
Desean Jackson simply hasn’t been putting up the big plays and numbers we are accustomed to seeing from him this season. One of the reasons may be the seemingly minor injuries that he has started racking up. We have Jackson listed as having a below average Health Performance Factor due to the nagging shoulder and hamstring injuries he has been dealing with. Throw in the fact that it seems like Jordan Reed will return for Washington and suddenly it’s hard to see Jackson even getting enough targets to have the breakout game we’ve all been waiting for. D Jax is a risky WR3 play this week.
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