Blaine Gabbert, JCK – Gabbert has had an up-and-down year, but is coming off his best game of the year against the Packers and has a pretty decent schedule the next two weeks (DET, IND) which makes him a viable spot starter in many leagues. I’d rather own Gabbert than Mark Sanchez or Matt Cassel
Alex Smith, SF – Smith rebounded with a three TD performance against the Cardinals on Sunday after two lackluster weeks likely landed him on some waiver wires. He’s on Bye this week, so he might get dropped in some others. He still rates as a high quality QB2 in all leagues
Russell Wilson, SEA – Wilson had a solid game against the Lions and continues to show improvement as a starter. I don’t love the match-ups the next two weeks, but he could have value as a fill-in the next two weeks.
Matt Moore, MIA – Ryan Tannehill is dealing with bruises to him knee and thigh, so his status for this week’s game is still somewhat in doubt. Matt Moore managed the team well in relief, and if he gets the start in Indianapolis, he will be of use in deep leagues or those that start two QB’s.
Nick Foles, PHI – As of today, Foles has not been told that he will be replacing Michael Vick as the starter in Philly. Vick owners may want to add Foles in case Reid makes the switch and they have the space.
Week 8 Updates:
Josh Freeman, TB – Freeman delivered for the third week in a row and has a great chance to keep rolling the next three weeks.
Brandon Weeden, CLE – Weeden and the entire Browns passing game was a victim of the elements on Sunday. The bright spot is he didn’t turn the ball over and continues to make better decisions with the ball. He’s not really much more than a QB stash at this point.
Sam Bradford, STL – Bradford came up short against the Patriots in London and can be safely dropped heading into this week’s Bye. The schedule doesn’t offer any upside down the stretch.
Jonathan Dwyer, PIT – Dwyer had his second 100 yard game in two weeks against the Skins, but unfortunately injured his quad in the game. Keep an eye on the injury reports, but with the injured backs all around him on the roster, he needs to be owned because it seems clear he will be a part of whatever rotation the Steelers will use going forward.
Daryl Richardson and Isaiah Pead, STL – There is big speculation that Steven Jackson will be traded at today’s deadline. If that happens Richardson would become the lead back in a likely committee with fellow rookie Pead. Richardson is most likely owned in many leagues already, but those in deep leagues may want to scoop up Pead in case Jackson gets traded, opening up playing time.
Joique Bell, DET – Mikel Leshoure left last week’s game with an apparent injury and Bell and Kevin Smith took over in the 4th quarter. Coach Jim Schwartz was quoted as saying he stuck with Bell down the stretch since he had the “hot hand”. Bell is the best option on the roster to fill the Jahvid Best role in this offense, and with the Lions passing game showing life, he should be able to provide flex worthy stats going forward.
James Starks, GB – Alex Green continues to underwhelm, which has the Packers in the middle of most of the trade rumors surrounding available running backs. If the Packers don’t bring someone new in, I think the Packers have to give Starks a bigger role in the offense in the coming weeks.
LeGarrette Blount and DJ Ware, TB – Blount could be one of the most likely players to actually get traded today, since his salary is low and the Bucs won’t ask for much in return. If he were to land in a spot like Green Bay, he obviously could have value in such a good offense. He’s worth speculating on in hopes he lands in a favorable spot. If Blount does in fact get traded, Ware would see an uptick in playing time as the change-of-pace option behind workhorse Doug Martin.
Ronnie Hillman, DEN – Hillman had his best game of the season, working once the Broncos jumped out to a big lead. You won’t be able to trust him in your lineup yet, but the performance showed some glimpses of what he could do if Willis McGahee were to get injured.
Chris Wells, ARI – Wells can’t play until Week 12 at the earliest, but it could be worth stashing him now if someone cut him in your league. He will surely get his starting job back as soon as he is healthy again.
Week 8 Updates:
Rashad Jennings, JCK – Jennings had a workmanlike game against the Packers, but things get easier the next two weeks against the Lions and Colts at home. He’s getting 18-20 touches per week and still rates as a RB2 option.
Daniel Thomas, MIA – Thomas punched one in last we as we suggested he might. He is going to continue to see value as the goal-line option behind Reggie Bush, and would become an every week start if Bush were to go down with injury.
Cecil Shorts, JCK – Shorts was profiled a couple times in this column and since then he has established himself as the clear No. 1 option for Gabbert in the passing game. He should be rostered in all leagues at this point, and should continue to able to produce WR3 numbers and being the primary deep threat for the Jaguars means he has the potential for some big games.
Danny Amendola, STL – Amendola has made a remarkable return from the nasty clavicle injury that knocked him out of action a few weeks back. His recovery is well ahead of schedule, and there is speculation he could suit up as soon as next week, after the Rams bye. If he is somehow sitting on your wire, scoop him up and reap the benefits down the stretch, as he’ll go right back to being a PPR machine as soon as he’s healthy again.
Titus Young and Ryan Broyles, DET – We profiled both Lions receivers last week, and both were scooped up in all of my deep leagues. However, in one of my shallow leagues, someone actually cut Young prior to last week’s games in a roster crunch. So, give a look and see if either of these guys is still on your wire. Young will get the most attention coming off his 2 TD, breakout performance, but Broyles quietly scored for the second week in a row. With defenses dedicating so much attention on stopping Calvin Johnson, both these young receivers will have chances to provide value.
Dexter McCluster, KC – The Chiefs coaching staff didn’t make any friends in fantasy circles last week with their curious decision to not give Jamaal Charles to ball. The biggest beneficiary last week was McCluster, who did most of his damage as a receiver. The fact that he also qualifies as a WR in some formats gives him some added flexibility.
Danario Alexander, SD – Look who’s back in the NFL. Alexander was signed off the scrap-heap by the Chargers, which signals to me Vincent Brown won’t be returning anytime soon. Alexander is a very talented WR, but he is made of glass. With the way Robert Meachem has been playing, it makes sense for the Chargers to try to work Alexander into the game-plan, so deep leaguers could do worse than take a shot at Alexander to see if he can carve out a bigger role.
Mohamed Sanu, CIN – I like Sanu a lot, and coming off the Bye I am curious to see what the Bengals will do with their WR options behind A.J. Green. I think Sanu could emerge from a crowded group to stake his claim as the Clear WR 2 for his team.
Week 8 Updates:
Donnie Avery, IND - Avery once again failed to deliver in a juicy matchup. There are more ahead, but I’m giving up on Avery. Of course that means he’ll likely breakout again this week. If you like to bet on angles such as this, be my guest.
Dustin Keller, NYJ – We mentioned Keller last week, but we list him again because his role will only grow in a Jets offense in need of veteran leadership.
Kellen Davis, CHI – Davis is a player we haven’t talked about all season, because frankly he hasn’t done much. The only reason he gets mentioned this week is the matchup against the Titans. If you need a one-week fill-in, Davis could be the best option available.
Tony Moeaki, KC – Moeaki emerged as another winner in last week’s Cheifs gameplan. He’s a tough guy to rely on, but if you are desperate you could roll the dice against the Chargers D this week.
Miami Dolphins – The Dolphins have been playing very well on defense and their penchant for running the ball leads to lower scoring affairs.
San Diego Chargers – The Chiefs offense is a mess and the Chargers are a desperate team in need of a win. In a short week, I like the Chargers D a lot this week.
Matt Prater, DEN – The Broncos offense is rolling and Prater will continue to benefit.