This is probably the single most important week for this column. Why? Because there are six, count ‘em six, teams on bye in Week 8.
That means the player pool is two teams smaller than it typically is during the mid-part of the season and that people will be scrambling for fill-ins during the early part of the week.
Get a head start on your competition by knowing who the Week 8 diamonds in the rough are. Everyone in this post should help you in a pinch this week.
Fantasy Football Week 8 Waiver Wire Sleepers
The following teams are on by in Week 8:
Remember, the rules for this post are that a player must be owned in less than 50% of Yahoo leagues to be included. And I focus on guys who are playing in Week 8, although I’ll recommend players on bye if they especially stand out as valuable long-term acquisitions.
Fantasy Football Week 8 Waiver Wire Sleepers at QB
Chad Henne, Miami Dolphins (at Cincinnati, 41%)
Henne is not spectacular, not by any means. He is, however, a productive fantasy quarterback. He has thrown a TD pass in every week but Week 1 this season, and he faces a Cincinnati defense that allowed Matt Ryan and Roddy White to torch it for 299 yards and 3 TDs last week.
With Brandon Marshall and Davone Bess, Henne has two very solid targets to throw to. Also, the Miami running game continues to struggle, meaning that Henne’s streak of four straight games with 36 or more pass attempts could continue.
Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions (vs Washington, 30%)
Don’t sleep on Matthew Stafford just because he hasn’t played in a while. Shaun Hill threw 9 TDs while filling in for Stafford, and Stafford is the better QB. He had a great preseason and was well on his way to a solid regular season before getting hurt in Week 1.
Helping Stafford out in Week 8 is the matchup: Washington. The Redskins picked off Jay Cutler 4 times in Week 7, but they also allowed 280 yards passing and a TD…and that’s one of their best performances of the year. Washington was 31st in the league against the pass coming into Week 7. With Calvin Johnson to help ease his transition back, Stafford will be able to take advantage.
Matt Cassel, Kansas City Chiefs (vs Buffalo, 40%)
I have been down on Cassel two straight weeks despite really good matchups. What has Cassel done? Make me look like a fool by throwing for 5 TDs and no INTs. While the Bills were good against the pass last year, they’ve given up 14 TDs and 1 INT in 2010. I still don’t trust Cassel long term, but he’s proven he can take advantage of good matchups. This qualifies.
Others to watch:
- Sam Bradford (42% owned) is always a solid option, even against the decent pass D of Carolina.
- Ryan Fitzpatrick is barely a sleeper now that he has 11 TDs in four games, but he’s still only owned in 9% of leagues. I’m not crazy about his matchup against Kansas City, but he’s produced against the Jets and Ravens, so why not the Chiefs too?
Fantasy Football Week 8 Waiver Wire Sleepers at RB
Fred Jackson, Buffalo Bills (at Kansas City, 46%)
The guy I call FJax certainly isn’t on this list because of matchup, as Kansas City’s D is very good this year against the run. Rather, he is on this list because of opportunity.
Jackson is a guy who produced very well last year in a platoon with Marshawn Lynch. Now that Lynch is gone, Jackson is the guy. He’s not going to explode, and he only scores TDs rarely, but he did get 23 carries in Week 7 and will catch passes out of the backfield. In yardage leagues, he’s a solid piece of winning lineup.
When you’re looking for fill-in RBs, look for expected touches over anything else; you won’t find anyone expected to get more than Fred Jackson.
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