Start Em’ –
Vick Ballard – Thursday night should easily be won by the colts giving Vick Ballard ample opportunity to assert himself as the lead dog in this somewhat muddles backfield. Donald Brown may suit up tonight but should not steal too many touches but don’t be surprised if Delone Carter steals a few of the goal line looks. Either way start Ballard with confidence, the matchup with the Jaguars 27th ranked rush defense certainly warrants high expectations.
Malcolm Floyd – Opposing passers have failed to eclipse 300 yards though the air only 3 times this season! Those passers who failed were Brady Quinn, Tony Romo and Christian Ponder. Phillip Rivers is better than all three of them making Malcolm Floyd a must start against the league’s worst pass defense. He may not get the touchdowns (I expect Antonio Gates to get those) but he will rack up yardage.
Jonathan Dwyer / Isaac Redman – Check the injury reports first but if both are playing, both are start-able against a terrible chiefs run defense (22nd in the league currently) The Pittsburgh Steelers should be up big in this one and running the ball in the second half making both running backs viable fantasy football options this Monday night.
Sit Em’ –
Rashad Jennings – The match up looks promising on paper so this is a bit of a gut feeling. I just cannot trust this Jacksonville offense. I get feeling Indianapolis gets rolling in this one forcing Jacksonville to abandon the run early limiting Rashad Jennings touches.
Matt Forte – This Texans defense is good, I mean really good. They rank 2nd in the league against the run and 4th against the pass. As multi dimensional as Matt Forte can be this matchup may be to much for him to overcome. If you own him odds are you’re starting him but don’t expect big things this week.
Steven Jackson – I usually like running backs coming off the bye week but in this case poor Steven Jackson is walking into the lion’s den. The San Francisco 49er’s are stout defensively and should have their ears pined back coming off of their own bye week. I would be surprised if Jackson eclipses 50 yards in this one especially when you factor in his current time share with Daryl Richardson. Let him ride the pine in week 10.
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There are many starts and sits that are obvious and therefore a waste of time to write about. Hopefully the following article will bring to light some lesser talked about fantasy football players who could help you win in week 8!
Vick Ballard –
The rookie running back out of Mississippi State should get one more good start before Donald Brown retakes the starting role. The 24th ranked Tennessee Titans rush defense should provide an opportunity for Ballard to plead his case for more carries once Brown come back into the fold. Donald Brown has been practicing in full this week but the Colt’s brass should and hopefully will hold him out this week as a precaution. If Brown is a full go, obviously you should temper expectations. The Titans have given up 134 yards per game on the ground thus far in 2012 making both running backs viable fantasy football options even if they split time.
Joel Dreessen –
Bit a of gut call since he shares time as Peyton Manning’s tight end with Jacob Tamme. It should be noted that Dreessen has scored 3 out of the last 4 weeks and has 19 targets over that time span. The Broncos face the Saints this week in what looks to be a Sunday night shootout. Get one of these tight ends into your lineup if you need a bye week fill in.
Emmanuel Sanders –
Most analysts have the entire Pittsburgh offense going off this week and rightly so. Chances are all the core of that offense is already owned if you league is worth the buy in and your fellow owners pay attention. That said if you are in a tight spot at wide receiver or just need a “hail Mary” Emmanuel Sanders could be an excellent option. The Redskins rank dead last in the league against opposing wide receivers. Emmanuel Sanders is not normally a viable fantasy football wide receiver but given the circumstances you could reasonably start him in all formats. Sanders hasn’t scored yet this year but he might be due.
Shonn Green –
Don’t get cute here. Yes Green has had a couple of good outings the past two weeks but this week he faces the Dolphins 3rd ranked rush defense in week 8. Let Shonn Green ride the pine this week if you have yet to sell high on him.
Cam Newton -
Odds are good if you own him you feel inclined to start him but this Bears defense has been very good this season. Pair that with the fact that Cam Newton has yet to live up to his year one fantasy football expectations and you have slim odds of success. I’m not saying that Cam is not a good fantasy football quarterback (we all know he can be one of the best) but right now he is not playing like the first round draft pick he was in many fantasy drafts. Facing the Bears defense at soldier field is not an ideal match up for a young passer to try to get his game back on track.
Rashad Jennings -
If you own Maurice Jones-Drew odds are good you may not have any better options at your disposal. Green Bay’s offense is clicking on all cylinders despite all of their injuries and I don’t see any reason they will slow down against a reeling Jacksonville team. There is a good chance The Jaguars are out of it early on in this one taking the running game out of the equation, crippling Jennings’ value this Sunday. Look elsewhere if you can.
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What is wrong with the Law Firm?
BenJarvus Green-Ellis has seen a significant dip in production over the last few weeks after such promising start. Week one saw the Law Firm rush for 91 yards and score against the previously vaunted Baltimore Raven’s defense. That is roughly 5 yards per carry. He followed that up with a decent game against browns where he rushed for 75 yards on 21 carries only 3.5 yards per carry, the arrow is point down at this point. In weeks 3, 4 and 5 BenJarvus Green-Ellis has rushed 52 times for an atrocious 2.5 yards per carry – unacceptable! This week he faces the Browns once again and in my mind this is his last chance to right the ship before I send him packing! Bernard Scott is officially on IR with a knee injury (what else is new?) so the law firm has no excuses against this 26th ranked run defense.
Who is Vick Ballard and can he be trusted?
Vick Ballard is a rookie running back from Mississippi State who has just inherited the Colts starting running back job from the injured Donald Brown. Vick Ballard actually had a nice little college career. In his junior and senior seasons Ballard rushed a combined 379 times for 2,157 yards and 29 touchdowns averaging 5.6 yards per carry. Don’t overlook the fact that Ballard played his college career in the highly competitive SEC. He did not do much in the passing game but let’s face it; the only Colt catching the ball is Reggie Wayne. This week, Ballard faces the Jets and their 31st ranked rushing defense. This a perfect chance for the young rookie to seize the starting job from the lackluster Donald Brown! He is a must add and a start-able fantasy football flex player in week 6. Do I trust him yet? of course not, but he has a chance to steal that starting gig which equates to fantasy football gold.
Which Cardinal’s Running back should I start?
Only the most desperate of fantasy football managers should be starting any Cardinals running back this week. The match up is just fine against the bills and their 30th ranking rushing defense but I don’t think the Cardinals really know who they want to start. LaRod Stephens Howling is the logical choice simple because he has been with the team the longest but let’s not forget how well William Powell played this preseason. If I were a betting man, I would put my money on Powell winning the job outright. I just don’t think it will happen this week. The Arizona offensive line has been terrible and could not open any holes Beanie Wells or Ryan Williams so I would temper expectations regardless of who get the job. If you had to start one this week I would start William Powell. If he does well, sell high and be done with it.
How sweet it is to be the Packers number two wide receiver!
Remember last year when Jordy Nelson went nuts scoring 15 touchdowns? He always had Greg Jennings on the other side drawing the opposing defenses attention. This season, Jennings has been out for a few games with a groin injury and Jordy Nelson is getting all of the attention. As a result one James Jones has finally found his moment in the sun catching 4 touchdowns in the past two weeks! As long as Jennings is out James Jones will remain a viable flex option in all formats if not better. Get him on your team and into your lineup, but feel free to parlay him over to the Greg Jennings owner for the right price.
Looking for Depth? Try selling your quarterback!
This is usually a tough sell since most standard leagues are 10-12 teams making any top 15 quarterback start-able any given week. But let’s say you need running back depth and someone offers you something like Michael Turner and Joe Flacco for Tom Brady? If you need the depth its worth looking into and it is not often someone is actually looking to obtain a quarterback via trade. Joe Flacco has thus far passed for 1,450 yards to Tom Brady’s 1,456. Tom Brady has 8 passing touchdowns to Flacco’s 7. Not saying you should run out and a make a deal like that but if you need the depth, I don’t see why not.
Sell High, Buy Low?
Speaking of Michael Turner, The artist formerly known as “the burner” scored yet again last week – his 3rd of the year. I think it is very clear that his value has become touchdown dependent so he may have stinkers on the horizon. Looking a little closer at the numbers we will find that so far he has rushed for 324 yards on 73 carries. That would be 4.4 yards per carry which when combined with 3 touchdowns in this running back market we find ourselves with a top 15 running back. His offense is top notch and he will score, DO NOT SELL unless you get some kind of ridiculous offer, which you won’t.
What about Aaron Rodgers? I say buy low while you still can. Let’s remember how good he was last season and put some of these rough games behind us. If there is a disgruntled Aaron Rodgers owner in your league why not throw him an offer? He just might bite and you can pass your way to the playoffs!
Week 6 is upon us! Be sure to get all of your last minute roster questions in and submit your offers anytime for unlimited fantasy football trade advice!