Don’t Sleep: Week Eight

Beck no es un perdedor
Photo Credit: Keith Allison 

Oh word? It’s time for another edition of “Don’t Sleep” already? It is crunch time in fantasy football and if you have a team that is struggling, you better start winning pretty damn soon or you will be on the outside looking in come playoff time. Before we get into the players that you shouldn’t be sleeping on for Week Eight, let’s take a look at how my picks did last week.

Quarterbacks from Week Seven
Carson Palmer (OAK)- 8-21 passing, 116 yards, 0 passing touchdowns, 3 interceptions, -2 fantasy points
John Beck (WAS)- 22-37 passing, 279 passing yards, 1 passing touchdown, 1 interception, 10 rushing yards, 1 rushing touchdown, 1 fumble lost, 18 fantasy points
Palmer played horrible, but I wasn’t even expecting him to play this week. Even though he looked about as bad as you can possibly look as an NFL quarterback, keep in mind this was his first game of the season and he has only been practicing with the team for one week. I am still recommending Palmer as a decent add for down the road, but obviously you will have to be patient if you pick him up. I’m expecting a lot of improvement from Carson after the bye. John Beck on the other hand definitely lived up to my expectations. Just as we predicted in last week’s “Don’t Sleep” he was able to do something with his feet and get a rushing touchdown. Pair that with just under 300 yards passing and only one pick and you have a great bye week fill-in.

Running Backs from Week Seven
Marion Barber (CHI)- 6 rushing attempts, 39 yards, 1 rushing touchdown, 9 fantasy points
DeMarco Murray (DAL)- 25 rushing attempts, 253 yards, 1 rushing touchdown, 31 fantasy points
I hope you listened and played Murray because he went off against the Rams. It is safe to say he has earned the right for more touches than Tashard Choice and I don’t think the Cowboys will be rushing Felix Jones back from an injury. It will be interesting to see what happens if Murray keeps dominating when Jones comes back. As for Barber, he scored another touchdown, which is the only reason you should be using him anyways. If you need a bye week fill-in, Barber at least has a good chance to get a TD any given week.

Wide Receivers from Week Seven
Greg Little (CLE)- 5 receptions, 31 yards, 0 touchdowns, 3 fantasy points
Doug Baldwin (SEA)- Zeros all across the board for no fantasy points
The game played between the Browns and the Seahawks this week was maybe the ugliest game that has ever been played in the history of football. Neither offense could get anything going and they were making the opposing defenses look amazing. As a Seahawks fan, I never thought I would miss Tarvaris Jackson so much. I wanted to gouge my eyes out after watching Charlie Whitehurst play in the first half, and things never got better in the second half. Hopefully these two teams will move on and remember how to score points again, allowing Little and Baldwin to actually do what they are capable of.

Tight Ends from Week Seven
Ed Dickson (BAL)- 4 receptions, 23 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 2 fantasy points
The Baltimore Ravens offense also looked pathetic against the Jags on Monday Night Football this week. I will just chalk this one up as a bad week for the team and Dickson can expect better results next week against the Cardinals.

Now let’s get to the picks for Week Eight. It’s crunch time for some of you so hopefully these will help! More after the jump:

Quarterbacks for Week Eight
Christian Ponder (MIN) 2 percent owned: For a rookie making his first start against the defending champs, Christian Ponder did surprisingly well. He looked like he was in control of the offense, was willing to take chances downfield, and appeared to give the offense the type of spark they needed to get something going this season. He will only get better as the season progresses and he has one of the best running backs in the league to help him out. Don’t be afraid to pick up Ponder. Minnesota will give him more chances to see what he can do, which is good news in fantasyland.

John Beck (WAS) 3 percent owned: Beck has the confidence of Mike Shannahan and he piloted the offense well in Week Seven. With Tim Hightower going down with an injury, the Redskins could go with a pass heavy attack. I am expecting Beck to keep playing well and for him to keep surprising people with his athletic ability while making more plays with his feet. If he has a good matchup, play him with confidence as a bye week fill-in.

Running Backs for Week Eight
Roy Helu (WAS) 15 percent owned: With Tim Hightower going down for the season with a torn ACL, only the fragile Ryan Torain stands between Helu and a feature back role. Torain’s injury history tells us that there is no way he can hold up being the feature back, so Helu taking over as the main man in the near future is very possible. I am adding him in all leagues because of the system he plays in and his potential to be a top 10 weekly fantasy option at running back if something happens to Torain.

Bernard Scott (CIN) 4 percent owned: Even though Scott is going against a very tough Seattle run defense, this is his chance to shine and get all of the carries with Cedric Benson not playing. We know that Andy Dalton is not the type of quarterback that is going to throw the ball forty times and take over a ballgame through the air, so Seattle should be seeing a heavy dose of Bernard Scott in Week Eight. It is time for Scott to make a name for himself and show off his skills and perhaps earn a larger role even when Benson comes back. I am adding him in all leagues and starting him this week because of the number of carries he will be receiving.

Wide Receivers for Week Eight
Jabar Gaffney (WAS) 6 percent owned: It isn’t often that you will see three players from the same team on my list of sleepers for any given week, but this is one of those weeks. I am a firm believer in Jabar Gaffney. He has made a couple appearances on “Don’t Sleep” and has been pretty consistent. He is finally getting better quarterback play and I am expecting him to play very well this week. He had eight targets in his last game and I would think that number would stay around there with him getting some chances to make plays downfield.

Michael Jenkins (MIN) 2 percent owned: Even though Jackson hasn’t exactly been a model of consistency so far this fantasy season, he is quietly having a very nice year. Bernard Berrian is out and no longer a threat. Who knows what will happen with Percy Harvin? Jenkins is getting his chance to make some plays and he has the ability to do some good things with his chances. The team leading eight targets that Michael Jenkins received from Christian Ponder last week obviously show that Ponder likes him. Now Jenkins just needs to capitalize on it.

Tight Ends for Week Eight
Visanthe Shiancoe (MIN) 13 percent owned: When I said that Jenkins led the Vikings in targets in Week Seven, it was actually a tie with tight end Shiancoe. The tight end also received eight targets last week and Ponder was looking to him in the red-zone. Rookie quarterbacks love throwing to their tight ends and I feel like Visanthe could be heading for near TE1 status. With a lot of owner out there looking to get consistent play out of the position, you could do a lot worse than Shiancoe.

So there you have it guys. If you have any sit/start questions or any comments about my suggested pickups, either leave them in the comment box below or hit me up on twitter @JessePotes. I look forward to hearing from you guys and giving advice.


About Starbonell

Starbonell is the co-founder of Sons of Roto and one of the most insightful and colorful fantasy analysts in the game. Mixing intelligent and well-researched advice with an entertaining style of writing that is easy to digest, Starbonell is the king of info-tainment.