This week marks the half way point in the season for many teams and a bye week for six others: Ravens, Rams, Dolphins, Giants, Steelers and 49’ers. I’m coming off of a good week, with last week’s picks all scoring well with the exception of the New England Patriots who managed only 2 points (ESPN Standard scoring). Both sleeper picks came in with 6 points: Bengals and Dolphins. The Ravens – 17 points, Vikings – 10 points and Broncos – 10 points all managed double digit scores, but could not compete with the 25 points put up by the Eagles. The surprise of the week, other than the Patriots, was the New York Giants who put up 20 points. Now on to this week…
New York Jets (@ Cleveland) – The Jets are coming off of their best D/ST scoring week, and have an opportunity to make it back to back good games. All signs are pointing to Josh McCown being at Quarterback for Cleveland, and though Kevin Hogan is a far more attractive option for the Jets defense, they should still be able to put a lot of pressure on McCown this week.
Arizona Cardinals (@ Carolina) – Defenses starting against Carolina have averaged close to 10 points per game, and Arizona is coming into this game as the 3rd ranked Fantasy defense. Last week they held the Seahawks to two field goals and this week I do expect Carolina to be able to score, but sacks and turnovers should favor the Cardinals as Cam Newton has been under pressure all season.
Minnesota Vikings (@ Chicago) – The Vikings are coming off of their first loss of the year, but still scored 10 Fantasy points. This week they play a divisional rival on the road. Jay Cutler is expected to be back for the Bears after Brian Hoyer was placed on IR this week. There was a report that head Coach, John Fox, had told friends he was done with Jay Cutler, but the injury to Hoyer has forced the team to turn back to him. It will be interesting to see how Cutler plays, and if there will be any tension on the side lines Monday night.
Denver Broncos (vs San Diego) – The Denver defense scored 8 points against the Chargers just two weeks ago. This time they face the Chargers at home and should be in line for another nice game. The Chargers don’t have any receivers the Broncos can’t cover one on one, and if they can limit giving up big plays to Melvin Gordon and the Tight Ends a good Fantasy point total could get even better.
Dallas Cowboys (sleeper play) – The Dallas defense has yet to score double digit points this year, but on the other side, they’ve only scored below 4 points once this year. They are coming off of their bye week facing Philadelphia at home on Sunday night and should be well rested and prepared this week. Philadelphia has been up and down the last two weeks, but both teams should be up for this game with the top two rookie QB’s facing off in a NFC East battle. I look for Dallas to be close to double digits this week.
Chicago Bears (sleeper play) – The Bears defense has also not scored double digits this season, but has reached 9 points on three occasions. The Minnesota offensive line has played poorly of late, and Leonard Floyd or Willie Young have been able to get multiple sacks on several occasions over the first half of the season.
Safety and Corner Starts
Now for the Safety and Corner plays for IDP leagues. Below are picks for Week 8, focusing primarily on players who are not currently top five at their position in Fantasy Points. This will be an evolving list throughout the season, so someone who is on my list this week may not be a choice to be listed in future weeks if they’ve achieved Top 5 status. The current Top 5 Safeties (using Major League Fantasy Sports scoring) are: Landon Collins, Tony Jefferson, Rodney McLeod, Reshad Jones and T.J. Ward. The Top 5 Corners are: Aqib Talib, Janoris Jenkins, Marcus Peters, Robert Alford and Casey Hayward.
Morgan Burnett (GB) – Burnett faces anAtlanta Falcons team this week who should be throwing the ball a lot. Green Bay is one of the better run defenses in the league and should hold Devonta Freeman in check when he’s running the ball. Burnett will help double Julio Jones, but Jones will be fed the ball anyway, and Burnett should rack up the stats in coverage.
Donte Whitner (WAS) – Whitner is a fairly new face on the Redskins defense. This week in London he will face the Cincinnati Bengals and a Bengals team that has been able to move the ball over the past couple of weeks. Whitner will mostly just have tackle stats, but this week they should be abundant enough to make him a quality start.
Keanu Neal (ATL) – Neal is on the other side in the Green Bay @ Atlanta game. He will be trying to defend against the Packers who will most likely run the ball less than 20 times in the game. This means a lot of passing and Neal will be heavily involved.
Karl Joseph (OAK) – The Raiders are in Tampa Bay this week. Tampa has been a pretty balanced offense with Jacquizz Rodgers running the ball over the last two games, but the majority of the passing targets go to Mike Evans. Other than Evans there are a mixed bag of receivers in Humphries, Shepard and possibly Shorts. Joseph has been one of the better safeties in the league since starting in week 3, and if Oakland can get the early lead this should turn into another nice game for Joseph as Tampa tries to keep pace.
Harrison Smith (MIN) – Chicago will not be able to run the ball against Minnesota this week. That means Jay Cutler will be passing to numerous receivers and passing a lot. Chicago should be able to limit the three and outs, giving Smith more opportunities to make plays this week.
DeShawn Shead (SEA) – Shead has a great match-up against New Orleans this week. The Saints have not committed to the running game this year, which works out well facing Seattle. Shead will be busy defending the slot: Cooks and Snead.
Jamar Taylor (CLE) – The Jets are a good match-up for Taylor this week. Matt Forte has been busy again with the injury to Powell, and the Jets throw a lot to the outside. He should get some tackles against both the run and pass and perhaps a tackle for a loss or pass defensed against a screen to Forte.
Marcus Cooper (ARI) – Cooper has been a good addition to the Cardinals secondary. This week is a good match-up against Carolina who has been giving up a ton of points, and who will have to throw to stay in the game.
Bashaud Breeland (WAS) – Breeland is perhaps the best tackling corner in Fantasy Football and would be ranked in the Top 5 if not for time missed due to injury. That said, if you have him, start him.
Morris Claiborne (DAL) – Claiborne is finally playing like he and Dallas both expected him to play when he came into the league. This week he should find himself defending Jordan Matthews a bunch and he should win this match-up most of the time.
How Did I Do Last Week?
Last week I again had an average week hitting on 5 of my 10 picks, although one fail may have been due to injury as Darius Slay exited his game due to a hamstring injury.
|Clayton Geathers – 5 Solo Tackles, 1 Pass Defended|
|Keanu Neal – 7 Solo Tackles, 2 Assists, 1 Tackle for a Loss|
|Rodney McLeod – 7 Solo Tackles, 1 Sack, 1 Forced Fumble, 1 Pass Defended|
|Malcolm Butler – 3 Solo Tackles, 3 Assists, 1 Interception, 3 Passes Defended|
|Marcus Cooper – 8 Solo Tackles|
|Isa Abdul-Quddus – 3 Solo Tackles, 1 Pass Defended|
|Karl Joseph – 3 Solo Tackles, 1 Pass Defended|
|Byron Maxwell – 1 Solo Tackle, 1 Assist|
|Darius Slay – 2 Solo Tackles, 1 Pass Defended, exited game w/Hamstring Injury|
|Ross Cockrell – 2 Solo Tackles|
Check back each week for D/ST starts and streaming options, along with IDP secondary picks. Good luck this fantasy season.
Find me on Twitter @JamesWilk2
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Major League Fantasy Football Show: Join Ej Garr, Corey D Roberts, and Coach Andy Macuga live Sunday October 30th, 2016 from 11am-12:30pm EST for episode #74 of Major League Fantasy Football Radio. This is a live broadcast and we take callers at 323-870-4395 press 1 to speak with the hosts. We will be breaking down key matchups, discussing fantasy start/sit, some DFS, and handicapping as well.
Andy is the Head Coach for Borrego Springs H.S. in Southern California, a 4 year veteran of MLFS leagues, and frequent guest on our shows.
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