We hear it all the time, “it is a safety issue.”  Well, that is why the NFL changed so many rules.  No helmet first hits to the head on defenseless receivers.  More strict rules on coverage for the defenders.  More protection for QBs.  Now, I get the tons of rules surrounding players who are exhibiting concussion symptoms and the protocol to protect them, but a lot of the other rules seem to have caused more injuries as defenders are forced to go low instead of high and the level, depth and number of knee and leg injuries seems to be much higher.  Quarterbacks are getting hurt at alarming numbers, it is because the game is faster and the players are bigger.  The slide rule doesn’t help. It actually hurts as defenders feel slighted if a QB doesn’t slide and they try to punish him for it.

This week alone we lost Reggie Wayne (ACL), Jay Cutler (groin), Sam Bradford (ACL), Brian Cushing (broken leg) and Doug Martin (torn labrum).  GONE. Watching the players go down made me think of The Godfather.  All the heads of the families are dying or will be out and that creates situations for your fantasy football team.  Add to that SIX teams on BYE this week and you have a horse in the bed. So hopefully, you were SMART and these players being lost this week won’t affect your team since you prepared for it.  Like Michael Corleone (Al Pacino) says after the heads of the five families are dead: “Barzini is dead. So is Phillip Tattaglia. Moe Greene. Stracci. Cuneo. Today I settled all family business so don't tell me that you're innocent. Admit what you did.”

I DIDN’T MANAGE MY BYE WEEKS

So let’s take a look at some pretty deep sleepers that you can find on your waivers that could be good in week 8.  Here are some emerging players each position and the super deep sleepers that you can unearth if you try.  Last week we recommended Mike Brown of the Jags.  That worked.  So don’t stop with this short list.  Stay thirsty, my friend.  Stay thirsty. 

Quarterbacks

 

Carson Palmer – Cardinals – vs Falcons (24.5 PPR points allowed to QBs)

Carson Palmer was awful this week throwing for 258 yards, 1 TD and throwing 2 picks.  He completed 30 passes.  That was against a very tough defense and this week the Cardinals will be home against the Falcons who are playing better, but are bruised and battered.  If the Cardinals line can hold out Osi, Palmer should be able to throw the ball well enough to be a mid-level QB this week.  He has talented receivers in Floyd and Fitzgerald with Housler coming on with seven receptions this week.  He won’t break Top 10, but will surely be Top 15.

Josh Freeman – Vikings – vs Green Bay (24.3 PPR points allowed to QBs)

Josh Freeman will have a base offense set tonight in NY.  The Giants should give him time to work through things.  However, regardless of whether he can get timing and rhythm down with Simpson, Patterson, Rudolph and Jennings.  Send him up vs Green Bay at home in Minnesota.  The dome will work for him and his receivers.

Ryan Tannehill – Dolphins – at Patriots (16.4 PPR points allowed to QBs)

Ryan Tannehill has not been special this season and it is a travesty that the Dolphins couldn’t handle the Bills this week.  However, Tannehill continues his growth and playing against the Patriots should be the elixir that he needs to get better.  The secondary of the Pats is good, but the defensive line is not.  Banged up on D with losses of Wilfork and Mayo, this allows Tannehill to exploit this with a running game and play action passing.  Look for 250+yards and 2 TDs.

Tim Tebow is rumored to take over for Sam Bradford who tore his ACL.  Should you pick up Tebow? You’ll feel like Sonny at the toll booth if you try a move like this.  Your whole league will be killing you.  The same is true here for Kellen Clemens, Cade McNown, Mike Glennon and Case Keenum.  Do not be fooled that just because they have a starting job that they can be trusted.    Look, it’s your team and if you feel so inclined to play one of these guys, when your league makes fun of you, just say with Michael says to the Heavens after he finds out Sonny is dead: “It’s not personal, Sonny. It’s strictly business.”

Running Backs

Roy Helu – Redskins – at Broncos (24.3 PPR points allowed to RBs)

Looking on the depth charts around the Internet and seeing listing for the Goal Line Back as Alfred Morris pisses me off.  Roy Helu has begun to be a change of pace back for the feature back Morris.  Most importantly, though, is that he has now taken the goal line carries.  He also gets a lot of the work in the 4th quarter in the last three games.  Without a TD, he is not worth a lot, but when you need to fill in that last Flex spot, he is as good as anyone.

Brandon Bolden – Patriots – vs Dolphins (31.7 PPR points allowed to RBs)

Brandon Bolden only had eight carries on Sunday, but he started the first series.  He was effective in the protection of Brady and Ridley was not.  LaGarrette Blount only had one carry.  He is on the rise at least as a BYE week replacement while they wait for Shane Vareen to come back after their BYE. 

Chris Ivory – Jets – at Bengals (19.7 PPR points allowed to RBs)

Chris Ivory was drafted by a lot of folks who thought that he would carry the mail for the Jets.  He had given up the job to Bilal Powell by week 3.  He had averaged 5.3 carries a game this year before this past week when he tote the rock a whopping 34 times for 104 yards.  He looked good.  Watch the news, but he is a good stash for BYE week replacements.

Jaquizz Rodgers – Falcons – at Cardinals (19.7 PPR points allowed to RBs)

Quiz has been on and off the waiver wire in a lot of fantasy leagues this year with the health of Steven Jackson in constant question.   S-Jax is still having issues and all the pundits who said that he had too much tread on his tires were right.  This is one that I got dead wrong.  As far as Quiz, he has great hands and now with Roddy and Julio hurt, he was counted on to make eight catches and scored twice.  That won’t be every week, but grab Quiz to replace guys in your BYE weeks.

Wide Receivers

Reuben Randle – Giants – at Eagles (52.9 PPR points allowed to WRs)

Now, Reuben Randle is likely gone in deep leagues, but wanted to mention this because grabbing him as soon as possible if he isn’t will help you a lot.  Six of Eli’s fifteen interceptions were targeted Randle’s direction.  He has not been great in the route running and left his QB hanging out to dry a handful of times.  However, Nicks will possibly be traded in the next 10 days and even if he isn’t Randle is getting better.  The Eagles give up tons of yards to opposing WRs and Randle will be the recipient of a lot of them.

Jarrett Boykin – Packers– at Vikings (42.1 PPR points allowed to WRs)

This week, I got this all wrong with Harry Douglas.  I wrote that he was not Jerry Rice.  With the numerous injuries in Green Bay, they have to throw to someone.  Good QBs like Rodgers, Brees and Ryan find guys and get them the ball.  Boykin was not spectacular, but did all he needed to do.  He played Cobb’s position so expect this for the rest of the season.

Kenny Stills – Saints– vs Bills (47.9 PPR points allowed to WRs)

Marcus Colston has struggled of late.  Jimmy Graham will be out in week 8.  They will have to throw to someone.  See Boykin above.  Stills is 6 feet tall and 194 pounds out of Oklahoma.  He plays bigger than that at the point of reception, going up to get the ball at the highest point.  He won’t need that against the Bills.  Expect 5-55 and a TD.  Good for a Flex play.

 

Tight Ends

Jordan Reed – Redskins – at Broncos (15.9 PPR points allowed to TEs)

At 6 foot 2 inches and 236 pounds, the third round pick out of Florida, Jordan Reed is reminding people of Aaron Hernandez.  He has athleticism and can catch the ball.  This week he had his breakout game and will be picked up in all leagues.  Don’t wait to get him, especially if you have Graham or need a BYE week replacement.

Christian Fauria – Lions – vs Cowboys (20.3 PPR points allowed to TEs

Many people are probably surprised to see this one.  This one is about the matchup.  The Cowboys looked good against the Eagles, but a base offense gives them a much harder time handling the TEs.  Fauria and Pettigrew are simply guys who could score in the red zone.  Neither guy will have more than 3-4 catches, but look for one of them to have a TD.  Take your best guess.  I go with Fauria.

Robert Housler – Cardinals – vs Falcons (15.6 PPR points allowed to TEs)

Housler is finally beginning to show the promise that everyone thought they would see.  The seven catches this week is only the beginning and catching a break out before it happens is a good idea.  The hype was there last season and into the beginning of this season, but Cardinal fans needed to wait.  Most of his catches have been in garbage time, but there is promise and the matchup is good vs the Falcons.

Tough Choices like Killing Paulie

So this week as you deal with all the BYE weeks, it is important to remember that in most cases, it is just one week.  Don’t drop a good player to pick up a player that might score 3 points just so you cannot have a dead spot.  It is better to have a player getting zeros this week and double digits every week for the rest of the season than to get those three points.  So, look hard and make good guesses, but be ok with the results as it is just one week off for your stars. 

Looking forward to some more great games and some championships as all my teams are in the middle of the pack.  All you need right now is 4-3 or 3-4 and you are positioned to make the playoffs.  So, get ready.  Keep pushing forward.  Keep the faith and after you win this week…

“Leave the Gun.  Take the Canoli.”

 


Rick Wolf, Co-Host of Colton & The Wolfman - Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio  The Fantasy 100Rick Wolf is a leader in the fantasy sports industry. Wolf is a founding Board Member and one of only fifteen FSTA Hall of Famers including Bill James and Matthew Berry. Wolf’s career accomplishments include starting the fantasy sports division at SportsLine USA that became CBS SportsLine, incubating Rotoworld to become the #1 fantasy sports news site, and spearheading the sale of Allstar Stats/Rotoworld to NBC Sports in 2006.  With college friend and fellow Hall of Famer, Glenn Colton, the team has won 7 expert titles in baseball and football. Twitter: RickWolf1  

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