2012 Fantasy Football

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Week 8 Fantasy Football Last Second Decisions

posted by Kevin Roberts

It’s only Saturday, but now is the perfect time to start putting the finishing touches on your week 8 fantasy football lineup. Remember that the weekend is a two-day fantasy lineup race, however, as game-day calls can mess up roles and performances for more than just the listed injured players.

We’re rolling on with our weekly take on injuries, role changes, and hot/cold fantasy matchups. Hit the goods below for some analysis and advice on some sticky situations, and feel free to comment or hit me up on twitter @NFLSoupKevin for some personal/specific help this week.

And here we go:

Injury Ward

Blaine Gabbert, QB, Jacksonville Jaguars (Shoulder)

Not that you’re using Gabbert with confidence in fantasy leagues, but it does look like his torn labrum in his non-throwing shoulder won’t prevent him from playing this week. But that doesn’t mean you should use him.

Jake Locker, QB, Tennessee Titans (Shoulder)

Locker is out again this week, giving at least one more start to Matt Hasselbeck. Ol’ baldy hasn’t been killing it statistically, but he hasn’t been bad, either. He’s not the worst fill-in passer against a shaky Colts defense this week.

Maurice Jones-Drew, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars (Foot)

MJD is out this week and possibly a lot longer with a bum foot. Rashad Jennings got 28 total touches in his absence last week, and the Jags will surely try to repeat that number this week against the Packers. He’s a low-end RB2 with a tough road matchup.

Trent Richardson, RB, Cleveland Browns (Ribs) 

T-Rich got benched last week due to sore ribs and ineffectiveness, but word on the Pat Shurmur trail is that he looks “much better” than last week, and is expected to play. Use him if you absolutely need him, but I’d be looking for healthier options with the Browns facing a tough Chargers run D.

DeMarco Murray, RB, Dallas Cowboys (Ankle)

Murray will miss another week, which likely means Felix Jones gets the start again. Jones has been having health issues himself (huge shocker there), but would be a suitable RB2 if he’s fully ready for another start.

Ahmad Bradshaw, RB, New York Giants (Foot)

Bradshaw is having foot problems. Again. Call Rex Ryan and stop the press. I feel like I’ve heard all of this before. That said, he should be fine to face the Cowboys this week, and really the guy just keeps getting the job done. But with that said, I think selling him high would be a solid move.

Felix Jones, RB, Dallas Cowboys (Knee)

Jones is a bit shaky for this week, but all signs do point to him starting for the injured DeMarco Murray. Be sure to stay on top of his status, and if for some reason he doesn’t go, Phillip Tanner makes for a solid spot-fill.

Rashard Mendenhall, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers (Achilles)

Mendy is out this week as the Steelers will play it safe with his sore Achilles. Isaac Redman is also iffy, which should mean for another quality workload for Jonathan Dwyer.

Greg Jennings, WR, Green Bay Packers (Groin)

Jennings is scheduled to have surgery on his annoying groin and is out for several more weeks. Keep playing those Packers receivers.

Calvin Johnson, WR, Detroit Lions (Knee)

Johnson being on the injury report is almost always a formality. It’s extremely doubtful that he’s in any real danger of missing week eight. Just check in before you finalize your roster to be sure, though.

Jordy Nelson, WR, Green Bay Packers (Hamstring)

Last word on Nelson is that he will remain a game-time call on Sunday. It looks like his hamstring still isn’t 100% after tweaking it a bit earlier this week. Green Bay probably wants to see him in pre-game warm-ups, so you’ll have to play this one down to the wire. Randall Cobb and James Jones could have a field day if he sits.

Pierre Garcon, WR, Washington Redskins (Foot)

Garcon is out again this week, but the good news is he’s at least doing all he can to put off surgery. Santana Moss and Leonard Hankerson will continue to benefit the most from his absence.

Danny Amendola, WR, St. Louis Rams (Clavicle)

Amendola is already practicing again and honest to God has a chance at facing the Patriots this week. It’s crazy, but true. I still wouldn’t trust him in his first game, back, though.

Jimmy Graham, TE, New Orleans Saints (Ankle)

Graham missed last week and is once again scheduled to be a game-time call. He’s much more likely to suit up this week, but the Saints play when it’s past my bed-time on Sunday (no, not really), so you’ll have to make a decision on him before you want to.

Aaron Hernandez, TE, New England Patriots (Ankle)

Unlike Golden Graham above, your boy Hern at least stayed home and isn’t going to confuse you all the way up til kickoff. Hernandez didn’t travel with the Pats to Londo and won’t play this week. Rob Gronkowski and Wes Welker just saw their targets go up for week eight.

Role Alarm

Jonathan Stewart, RB, Carolina Panthers

The Panthers are falling apart as we speak basically, but on top of dumping their GM the night of the prom, they’re also making a last ditch effort to completely change up their offense. Not so sure it will produce fireworks against the Bears, but traveling word suggests Stewart is the new feature back. At the very worst, that means he’ll get a good amount of touches. Consider him a low-end RB2 with some upside this week, and steer clear of DeAngelo Williams if you can.

Redskins Wide Receivers

So, Pierre Garcon can’t be trusted, but can any other Washington receivers? Not consistently, no, but I’m betting the ‘Skins will take to the air more than they run it against the Steelers this week – simply out of necessity. The guy with the ppr value here will be Leonard Hankerson, but I like Santana Moss more as the big play threat. I know, I find saying that sentence out loud a little funny, too.

The Monster Matchup

  • I know the Rams have struggled on the road this year a bit, but is playing in London really a road game? I think Sam Bradford gives the Patriots’ shaky pass defense a bit of trouble this week. He’s a sneaky play if you need him.
  • The Raiders’ D is pretty bad, but you still can’t trust in Brady Quinn. Carson Palmer and Darren McFadden, on the other hand, could tear up whatever soul this Chiefs defense has left.
  • Peyton Manning, Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers are all going to feast this week. Write that down.
  • Matt Forte put up 200+ yards the last time he faced the Panthers, and they’re still really, really bad.
  • I believe in Chris Johnson now. Sort of. He could easily go back to his painfully bad ways, too, but a matchup with a suspect Colts D leaves me feeling kind of, sort of good about him.
  • Frank Gore should beast out all over the Cardinals. Arizona has gotten crushed against the run in two straight weeks, while Gore and his 49ers know a thing or two about running the football.

The Versus Birthus

Oh, snap, I just added a new section to my super fantasticome (that’s fantastic and awesome, married at last) fantasy advice column. Yes, that just happened, and I’m taking some of the toughest matchups on your fantasy lineups and deciding who to play. Naturally, for the 939 matchups I don’t cover, feel free to ask me below or on Twitter.

Cam Newton, QB, Carolina Panthers vs. Matthew Stafford, QB, Detroit Lions

I know Fig Newton is facing the daunting Bears, but I trust his versatility more than Stafford and his matchup with the Seahawks. Both appear to be poor plays this week, but at least Newton offers some upside.

Alex Green, RB, Green Bay Packers vs. Rashad Jennings, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars

Both guys are touches machines right now. MJD is out and Jennings is the man in Jax right now, which means both Green and Jennings are real candidates for 20+ touches. I prefer Jennings, however, as he’s more apt to actually do something with his role.

James Jones, WR, Green Bay Packers vs. Randall Cobb, WR, Green Bay Packers

Jones is the guy scoring touchdowns, but Cobb scores a bit too and seems to have a more defined role: aka, get that dude the ball. I think Cobb carries more potential and if (or even if not) Jordy Nelson hits the shelf this week, I think Cobb has a chance to really blow up. And Jones’ run of scores has to end sooner or later, right?

Jacob Tamme, TE, Denver Broncos vs. Joel Dreessen, TE, Denver Broncos

Two Broncos tight ends, and I’m not sure one really has to be the loser here – especially with Denver facing a terrible Saints defense. Tamme is your man for ppr leagues and Dreessen is much more likely to score. Not sure it gets much easier than that.

That does it for the week 8 last second decisions column. Hit me up below or on Twitter for further fantasy advice, and good luck this week!

Kevin Roberts

Kevin Roberts owns and operates NFL Soup and heads the fantasy football division of the site. Roberts also finished 2nd in the Wide Receiver position in Fantasy Pros expert fantasy football rankings in 2010 and 3rd in the Quarterback position in 2011. In addition to running the fantasy football section of the site, Roberts contributes to NFL Soup's NFL Draft coverage and breaking news reporting. Follow Kevin on Twitter @NFLSoupKevin

35 Comments

  • I have a flex to fill
    Trent Richardson or Josh Gordon (PPR league)
    Just worried about Trent coming out again. Should I chance it?

    • I’d go with Trent here, largely because of the last 2 weeks and the bad weather. they could be more apt to run the ball because of it

  • finley, olsen, or celek .5 PPR?

    • Celek. Finley isn’t 100% so hard to trust. Olsen has a brutal matchup.

  • .5ppr. Flex: Stewart, Bey or Titus?

    • Stewart. he’s Carolina’s new feature back, so he should get a good amount of touches this week. DHB would be second, then Young

  • I need a WR and a flex out of K Britt, M Floyd (SD), SJax and J Stewart. Please and thanks. :)

  • I need a flex ppr league 16 team league . Ballard or Lloyd

    • because its ppr I’ll take Lloyd. Ballard is splitting carries, anyways

  • Also in a +.5 PPR…

    Pettigrew vs SEA or Cook vs IND?

    • Cook. Pett isn’t 100% and faces Seahawks. Cook has a way better matchup and is a weekly breakout candidate due to his athleticism.

  • I was just about to ask you to pick 2 of Rashad Jennings, Alex Green, and Steve Smith in a +.5 PPR…..but your new column addition has now narrowed it down to 1 of Green vs Smith. What do you think?

    • I like Jennings. Green doesn’t do much with his 20+ touches and Smith hasn’t done a whole lot all year. Not sure you can expect him to blow up against a Bears D that swallowed up Megatron.

      Jennings has to be your guy.

  • Ridley, Bowe or Dez Bryant at Flex?

    • non ppr – Ridley. ppr – I might go Dez there.

  • Kevin, Like the versus section. Mine was close to one of yours (Romo vs. Stafford), where Tony gets to fill in the guy with at least some chance for upside role.

    • Thanks, glad you enjoyed it. I’m def going Romo here. I can’t vouch for Stafford much at all right now and I personally continue to think Romo is one of the more underrated QBs in fantasy. His WRs and O-line just need to help him out. He’s at home and Dallas does matchup with NYG well, so he should be the better play than a shaky Stafford vs a brutal Seahawks D.

    • Do you like Romo over Stafford ROS then? I am enamored of the # of attempts and yards of Stafford (compare favorably with Ryan for example) and hope the TDs eventually come. I probably can’t afford to carry both moving forward.

    • No, not necessarily. I agree the TDs will come eventually. I just don’t trust Stafford on a week to week basis until he can get it together.

    • Yeah he is definitely not a matchup proof stud right now. Thanks for you insight…maybe Romo will play so well I can trade him for something!!

  • Hey Kevin – got 1 flex spot for either Antonio Brown or Rashad Jennings – which guy? (non-ppr, but w/return yards)?

    • Jennings for sure. Brown’s TD last week was a bit flukey. I don’t expect that too often. Jennings is on the road with a tough matchup, but he had 28 total touches and a score last week. Even if the Jags get beat 55-7, he’ll get the lone score and 20+ touches. He’s the guy you want here.

  • Hey Kevin…need one at RB, one at WR, and one at FLEX: Wayne, Ridley, SJax, F. Jones, and Britt. Thoughts?
    Also, wondering if I should grab the Miami D and use them instead of Arizona? Would likely drop Felix to make room as I don’t want to drop ARI just yet. Thanks!

    • RB: Ridley
      WR: Wayne
      Flex: S-Jax

      Not trusting Felix with the knee right now, so go with a healthy S-Jax instead. I do like Miami this week, but I can’t condone dropping Jones just yet. If Murray struggles to get back, that’s a decent RB you’re letting go. AZ is still a solid D against a weak SF offense this week. They have just as much potential as the Dolphins.

  • I’ve decided to wait it out on Jimmy Graham, who’s the better fill in if he’s inactive, dreesen or Thomas? Tamme is on another roster

    • Dreessen. Thomas scored last week but probably won’t in back to back weeks. Dreessen has 3 TDs on the year and splits time with Tamme and is facing awful Saints D. I like his odds better, though both aren’t the most stable options, as you know.

  • What about Antonio Gates vs Martellus Bennett?
    Gates finally showed up last week, hopefully this continues and Bennett has a decent match up vs a Sean Lee-less Cowboy D.

    Thoughts?

    • Both are good options this week but Gates is still the winner here. He finally came to life, which was very encouraging, and Browns don’t have much against the pass other than Hade (who won’t be covering Gates).

  • FanDuel – do I start Roethlisberger and Gronk or Rodgers/Brees and either Pettigrew, Cook, Dreessen, Olsen, Keller, or Witten?

    • I’d go Rodgers and Witten, personally. I like the other strategy, too, but Gronk is in Londo, not quite 100%, and facing a tough Rams D. I don’t like over-paying for TE unless I feel like they’re a sure thing.

  • Nice read. Got a couple questions. I have Graham and David Thomas and Tamme are available if he’s ruled out. Who should I pick up?

    Also, I am debating whether to start Luck over Ryan because 1.) Luck has a better matchup and 2.) Frankenstorm in Philly. Consensus rankings have them fairly close to each other. Can I start Luck with confidence? Thanks.

    • I wouldn’t start Luck over Ryan. He’s a rookie and we’ve seen things go wrong for him (vs Bears, vs Jets), so you just never know. Ryan has had one mediocre game and otherwise is not a guy you can bench.

      As for TE, you might be fine with Graham. But if he can’t go or you don’t trust him, you have to take Tamme there. Great matchup vs Saints and he still gets targets.

  • Oak D or AZ D?

    • I’d roll with Cards there still. Raiders still gave up 20+ to Jags and they didn’t even have Gabbert for half the game. Plus, 49ers offense isn’t elite and AZ should be ready to roll at home on MNF.

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