Week 8 Fantasy Football Last Second Decisions: Peyton Hillis Owns All?
October 26, 2013 | Kevin Roberts
I feel like I say it every week. Insert week here in fantasy football – that was cray cray. Or crazy. Or nuts. Injuries, freak performances, bust performances – you name it. Every week brings another chance for fantasy football owners to choke on their own tears. Let’s just hope everytime that happens the tissues aren’t far enough away that they can’t make it to the next week.
Seriously. Nick Foles. What’s up? Adrian Peterson. What the heck? Tony Gonzalez. What was that?
Those were just three would-be week seven fantasy studs that in every way simply weren’t. And on the flip-side, Peyton Hillis, Roy Helu and friggin’ Andy Dalton were.
So, it’s safe to say that if you’re not expecting the unexpected these days, then you really won’t ever see what’s coming. Now, that doesn’t mean you have to blindly play pion backups or guys who normally play on a Kellen Clemens level (no, don’t play him). But it does mean you should consider having more of an open mind.
Or just pray to the fantasy gods that logic and reason will finally prevail.
With that hope in mind, let’s prepare to make our last second decisions for week 8. Remember, if you need specific advise, you can reach me on Twitter @NFLSoupKevin. But for now, let’s do this thing here we’ve been doing for seven weeks now:
Peyton Manning, QB, Denver Broncos
He’s fine. Play him as usual.
Tom Brady, QB, New England Patriots
Michael Vick, QB, Philadelphia Eagles
Nick Foles is out with a concussion, so Vick is going to play no matter what, it seems. He sat out two weeks and half a game now, so his sore hammy should be fine. He has a tasty matchup with the Giants this week, so he could easily explode.
Josh Freeman, QB, Minnesota Vikings
He bumped his head apparently (concussion) so he’ll take a likely permanent see (because he sucks, too). Christian Ponder gets another stab at this whole NFL quarterback thing and I actually think he’ll be solid at home against a beatable Green Bay pass defense.
C.J. Spiller, RB, Buffalo Bills
Spiller’s ankle continues to hold him back and will make him a sketchy play yet again even if he does play. His status remains up in the air, so search for a different option at RB this week. Fred Jackson will continue to dominate touches in the back-field for Buffalo, either way.
DeMarco Murray, RB, Dallas Cowboys
Murray will try to return from a sprained knee this week. He missed last week and could split carries with Joseph Randle if he suits up. Neither is more than a Flex option if he does play.
Steven Jackson, RB, Atlanta Falcons
S-Jax could finally return from a leg injury that has kept him out several weeks. It’s unlikely he finds a ton of success against a solid AZ defense and he could be limited in his return. I’d wait a week to use him if you can.
Willis McGahee, RB, Cleveland Browns
McGahee has been a plodder and not much of a force outside of goal-line work. Even if he’s a full go this week you can’t expect him to bail you out against a tough Chiefs defense.
Brandon Jacobs, RB, New York Giants
Jacobs missed last week and is extremely doubtful to play this week. Peyton Hillis defies logic as a capable fantasy option for the second week in a row.
Rashard Mendenhall, RB, Arizona Cardinals
Mendy is banged up and has been ruled out for week eight. That gives Andre Ellington a bigger role, but per reports it doesn’t mean he’s a feature back. He has more value than usual, but I’d really only give him a spike in PPR formats.
Roddy White, WR, Atlanta Falcons
White is still dealing with ankle and hamstring issues so the Falcons will hold him out at least one more week. Harry Douglas will continue #1 WR duties against the Cardinals.
Justin Blackmon, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars
Blackmon was banged up last week and played so he’ll probably be fine again this week. The Jags should throw a lot against the 49ers, so start him like you normally would.
Danny Amendola, WR, New England Patriots
Amendola missed last week with a concussion but reportedly has passed all of the necessary tests. He’s still not guaranteed to play and could even be limited if he does. Letting him sit another week is suggested.
James Jones, WR, Green Bay Packers
The Packers are holding out Jones at least one more week (knee) to let him get back to 100%. Jordy Nelson and Jarrett Boykin should get the bulk of the targets for Green Bay against a bad Vikings pass defense.
Cecil Shorts, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars
Just like Blackmon, Shorts was hurt last week and actually played pretty well. His shoulder issue is all about pain tolerance, though, so keep tabs on how he’s feeling. If he plays he could be a decent WR3 again.
Dwayne Bowe, WR, Kansas City Chiefs
Bowe is at less than 100%. He already was a shaky play vs. Joe Haden this week. For me, this crushes his value. I’m looking for a better WR3 option this week if I can find it.
Jimmy Graham, TE, New Orleans Saints
Graham’s foot injury hasn’t progressed all that much despite an entire bye week off and he may sit out in week eight. Even if he plays, word has him being fairly limited. Marques Colston stands to gain the most targets if Graham sits out this week.
Peyton Hillis vs. Michael Cox vs. Brandon Jacobs
The Giants’ running back situation really isn’t as fluid as it seems. Hillis dominated touches last week despite being out of football for the start of the regular season. Cox is the better talent but he’s not a great pass protector, general blocker or receiver out of the back-field just yet. With Jacobs figuring to miss a second straight game, Hillis is the guy to roll with here. With a solid matchup against a shaky Eagles defense, you could do a lot worse at the Flex spot.
As we all know, not every tasty matchup yields great fantasy results. Or even great NFL results. But it’s important to note the upside before it hits us smack in the face. Here goes.
Redskins vs. Broncos
RG3 vs. Peyton Manning could be epic. Denver can’t stop the pass, but they have been very strong against the run. That might make Alfred Morris a tough sell. But I like Roy Helu with his PPR value and I can’t knock any of the other big name options in this matchup. This should be a high-scoring affair.
Cowboys vs. Lions
The last two games we expected to be shootouts that the Cowboys were involved in, their opponents scored a combined 19 points. This one is in Detroit and Dallas can’t possibly contain Megatron and Reggie Bush all day, though, so I think we finally catch fireworks. All top options from both sides need to be in starting lineups, while secondary options like Cole Beasley and Joique Bell might also be worth a play.
Packers vs. Vikings
Minnesota can’t stop the pass and have had issues with good rush offenses, so the Packers are locks on offense this week. On the flip-side, Adrian Peterson put up nearly 500 rushing yards on this team last year and Christian Ponder gives them a better chance than Josh Freeman would. We might actually be in for a bit of a SNF shootout.
Giants vs. Eagles
The Giants and Eagles can’t defend at an elite level and both have explosive pieces on offense to make this a very interesting game. Especially if we go off of their last meeting, where Victor Cruz crushed it and Michael Vick had 70+ rushing yards before pulling a hammy. I like most players involved in this one.
Tony Romo, QB, Dallas Cowboys vs. Matthew Stafford, QB, Detroit Lions
In what should be an awesome shootout in Detroit, both of these guys are fairly safe bets to go off. However, Stafford is hotter right now, is at home, has the better weapon and has the better matchup. It’s not by much, but I’ll take Stafford this week.
DeMarco Murray, RB, Dallas Cowboys vs. Steven Jackson, RB, Atlanta Falcons
Two banged up backs that hope to return in week eight. But which do you play? The easy call is made if one plays and the other doesn’t, but if both are healthy I have to go with Murray. He’s missed less time and will be less rusty, while he also has a much better matchup.
Golden Tate, WR, Seattle Seahawks vs. Michael Floyd, WR, Arizona Cardinals
Both of these guys have killer matchups this week, as Tate takes on the helpless Rams and Floyd faces the burnable Falcons. Tate is the tempting play, but Seattle could easily get up big thanks to their defense and rushing attack and it’s possible he will never even be needed. Floyd is the better talent, too, and since AZ can’t run the ball with consistency, he’s much more likely to see more targets. It’s a close call, but I like Floyd better.
Andrew Quarless, TE, Green Bay Packers vs. Zach Ertz, TE, Philadelphia Eagles
Ertz and Quarless are two young tight ends who suddenly have solid roles. Ertz is without a doubt the more talented player with more upside, but both guys have nice matchups and Ertz really hasn’t done a lot since his role increased. Quarless has never wowed before, either, but when you factor in the Packers are without James Jones, Randall Cobb and Jermichael Finley, I’d imagine he gets more targets than some would think. I’ll take the shot with Quarless this week.
Remember, if the above didn’t help you enough, just hit me up on Twitter @NFLSoupKevin!