TheDC Fantasy Outsider Andy Hayes: Week 8

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  1. Manning
  2. Orton
  3. Rivers
  4. Schaub
  5. Kitna
  6. Rodgers
  7. Fitzpatrick
  8. Brees
  9. Stafford
  10. Brady
  11. Roethlisberger
  12. Bradford
  13. Freeman
  14. Henne
  15. Young
  16. Palmer
  17. Cassel
  18. McNabb
  19. Moore
  20. Troy Smith


  • I expect Orton and Denver to recover some and I expect the SF secondary to struggle to keep up. This will be a strange match-up as both teams seem to be better than their records indicate.
  • People forget that before his season-ending injury in Detroit a couple years ago, Jon Kitna picked up some big-time stats. Kitna is a respected leader and I wouldn’t be surprised if he ends up putting up some monster stats this Sunday in particular against a weak Jax D.
  • Hard not to put Ryan Fitzpatrick in the top 5 considering how well he’s played lately. Conventional wisdom would tell you that if he was able to put up 374 yards and 4 TDs against a staunch Balt defense in Balt, he should put up 500 yards and 6 TDs against KC. Only difference between conventional wisdom and present reality is that KC is really quite good – especially on defense.
  • Matthew Stafford #9 – after not playing for 6 games? Yes. This guy is really good and Shaun Hill has done a great job not only filling in, but also in getting that offense into a rhythm that Stafford can now build upon. This team is much better than their record and I expect them to take down Wash behind Stafford’s passing (not behind Best’s running) and their underrated defense.
  • One of these days Sam Bradford is going to have a big game. I could see it happening this week as Carolina will probably keep 9 guys in the box to stop Jackson.
  • I have a sneaking suspicion Troy Smith will be just fine. In fact, I just added him as my back-up QB for my league. Troy Smith is a winner – plain and simple. He is a better passer than folks think and he has lively feet for scrambling. My guess is Denver’s front 7 have some trouble containing Smith’s scrambles and that he’ll buy time back there much better than Alex Smith did. (I also think he flat out replaces Alex Smith going forward because of how he plays in the next 2 games.)

Running Backs

  1. Frank Gore
  2. Adrian Peterson
  3. Darren McFadden
  4. Thomas Jones
  5. Steve Jackson
  6. Chris Johnson
  7. Jamaal Charles
  8. Felix Jones
  9. Beanie Wells
  10. Ryan Torain
  11. Cedric Benson
  12. LT
  13. Mike Hart
  14. Jahvid Best
  15. Knowshon Moreno
  16. Rashard Mendenhall
  17. Maurice Jones-Drew
  18. Chris Ivory
  19. Arian Foster
  20. Fred Jackson
  21. LeGarrette Blount
  22. Danny Woodhead
  23. Marshawn Lynch
  24. Brandon Jackson
  25. Ryan Mathews
  26. Ricky Williams
  27. Shonn Greene
  28. Darren Sproles
  29. Jonathan Stewart
  30. Derrick Ward


  • Gore has been solid all year and he likes the big stage. This is a big stage and he will bring it in part because offensively, he knows he’ll have to for his team to win. Troy Smith will play fine at QB, but a balanced attack with Gore (including plenty of screen passes) will make things easier for Smith.
  • AP is not happy that his team is losing. If you had a bunch of beers with him and asked him “do you like playing for Brad Childress/Darrell Bevell?” he’d say no. Last week he sat out a significant chunk of the first half and he wasn’t sure why – and he wasn’t happy. Fact is, AP is good when he’s mad and he’ll be running mad this week.
  • At some point, us owners of Darren McFadden start worrying “when will this guy slow down?” He’s been so good this year – and so consistent. Despite Seattle’s D being far better than people think, I think they’ll struggle to contain McFadden (even though the whole world knows Oak will rely on him). McFadden is finally playing like he’s capable of playing – it’s that simple. The guy is good.
  • I like both Thomas Jones and Jamaal Charles this week.
  • I like Felix Jones to finally have a monster fantasy game. Dallas’ O-Line has looked very suspect this year, but this is a guy who has been waiting to take off like his college teammate Darren McFadden has. I’ll bet, in fact, that McFadden’s play has inspired Felix some.
  • Beanie did pretty well last week as I thought he might, but I think that was just scratching the surface. The guy is very talented and it appears as though Hightower’s fumbling issues have opened the door for him now.
  • Mike Hart could be a surprise play this weekend if Addai and Brown remain out for the Colts.
  • One of these weeks, Danny Woodhead is going to have multiple TDs and rack up a bunch of yards. He’s still kind of a mysterious guy for opposing D-Coordinators to assess and my guess is NE exploits that this weekend. (He’s simply too quick for the bulky and aging D-Line of MN.)

Wide Receivers

  1. Andre Johnson
  2. Calvin Johnson
  3. Hines Ward
  4. Percy Harvin
  5. Santana Moss
  6. Dwayne Bowe
  7. James Jones
  8. Terrell Owens
  9. Brandon Marshall
  10. Davone Bess
  11. Patrick Crayton
  12. Steve Johnson
  13. Dez Bryant
  14. Randy Moss
  15. Reggie Wayne
  16. Larry Fitzgerald
  17. Mike Williams (TB)
  18. Danny Amendola
  19. Miles Austin
  20. Pierre Garcon
  21. OchoCinco
  22. Kenny Britt
  23. Greg Jennings
  24. Anthony Armstrong
  25. Michael Crabtree
  26. Wes Welker
  27. Marques Colston
  28. Mike Williams (Sea)
  29. Robert Meachem
  30. Lee Evans


  • Hines Ward is a prime-time player and loves that Big Ben is back. He’ll make noise Sunday night.
  • Soon, folks will realize that Percy Harvin isn’t just a solid slot WR – he’s just plain one of the best players in the NFL. I’ve seen him play enough to say confidently that if he were used correctly game in and game out, he’d be an elite WR w/respect to stats. Last week, I sensed that Darrell Bevell finally realized that and Harvin produced as a WR and a RB. What a luxury to have Randy Moss be the #3 playmaker on your team.
  • Dez Bryant is exciting. The guy is good and I can see a sort of battle here over the next few weeks for targets between Bryant and Miles Austin. Austin will eventually win out, but Bryant will rack up some stats in the meantime. (If Kitna and the Cowboys don’t go to Bryant this week, the clear hot-hand, gotta put that on crappy coaching…wait, the Cowboys have crappy coaches – OK I just dropped Bryant 10 spots.)
  • James Jones this high? Yes. Last week, Donald Driver, who was a bit injured, either couldn’t do anything because of the injury or just wasn’t thrown to (he at least has intimated the latter). Revis will be locked onto Jennings. Comartie will be locked onto Driver. That leaves James Jones and Jordy Nelson to roam free on #3 and #4 DBs. Jones is by far the Packers strongest WR (strength-wise) and when he’s at his best, he has great hands and can be tough to bring down.
  • Patrick Crayton will get plenty of looks. What about having to go against Courtland Finnegan? I think this may be the game when Courtland Finnegan is flagged a fair amount for his overly aggressive style and eventually Rivers and co will be able to chip away at him as he grows more tentative because of the flags.
  • Steve Johnson so high? Hard not to put him higher frankly. He has 5 TDs in the last 4 games and is starting to rack up yards as well (158 against Balt last week). This is one of those “is he really THAT good?” games because he’s getting more and more attention from folks. If he can continue to thrive while getting this kind of attention – he just might be THAT good.
  • I like Danny Amendola this week – he gets plenty of targets and it’s just a matter of time before he starts scoring more often.

Tight Ends

  1. Vernon Davis
  2. Brandon Pettigrew
  3. Antonio Gates
  4. Jason Witten
  5. Aaron Hernandez
  6. Dustin Keller
  7. Zach Miller
  8. Heath Miller
  9. Tony Moeaki
  10. Chris Cooley
  11. Owen Daniels
  12. Jermaine Gresham
  13. Visanthe Shiancoe
  14. Jacob Tamme
  15. Andrew Quarless


  • Though he’s been very consistent this year, some may have concerns about Vernon Davis playing with a new QB in Troy Smith. I don’t. If anything, because he’s a TE I think he’ll continue to be that safe option for Troy Smith just like he was for Alex Smith (though Alex did also chuck it deep a fair amount to Davis). Troy Smith can also scramble better than Alex Smith which may open things up for a last minute pass over the middle – to Davis.
  • Like Pettigrew more and more each year. He was getting very good last year before his injury and he’s already impressed so far this year. With Stafford back, look for Pettigrew to shine (even against a very good Wash defense).
  • Still waiting for Aaron Hernandez to have that “I’ve arrived” game. This could be it.
  • Word is Owen Daniels is getting healthy again. He’s a good option for Schaub and they connected very well 2 years ago before Daniels’ big injury.
  • I threw Andrew Quarless in the rankings as more of a flier. He’ll get looks Sunday as Mike McCarthy has held onto a fair number of the plays designed for Jermichael Finley – for Quarless because of Quarless’ pass catching abilities.


  1. Sebastian Janikowski
  2. Mike Nugent
  3. Rob Bironas
  4. Dan Carpenter
  5. Kris Brown
  6. David Buehler
  7. Olindo Mare
  8. Jason Hanson
  9. Stephen Gostkowski
  10. Mason Crosby


  • I think Oak will put up some points, though maybe not TDs right away. In the first 1-2 quarters it may be more of a FG duel between Mare and Janikowski.
  • Dan Carpenter has been active this year.
  • SD just might explode this week. Even though I think Tenn is very good, SD kind of has to explode or their season may be over.

Defense/Special Teams

  1. Dallas
  2. San Diego
  3. Oakland
  4. Detroit
  5. Green Bay
  6. NYJ
  7. St Louis
  8. Arizona
  9. Pitt
  10. Minnesota


  • Odd group I realize – but these are mostly match-up based.
  • Dallas will be even angrier after being humiliated once again in prime-time. Jax will be the victim this week.
  • San Diego will need a big defensive effort to stay in this game – it’s essentially win or be done for them so I expect the D to come to play.
  • I don’t expect Seattle to do much of anything in the air against Oak – though I do expect Lynch to have a decent fantasy game. Still Oak D should be quality this week.
  • Detroit’s D just never seems to get much love. This week, they are playing the offensively limited Redskins, but they will have DeAndre Levy back – a very good LB who has been out with injury. I expect McNabb to face quite a bit of pressure this week.
  • I tacked on MN only for those who are in leagues where special teams count. Percy Harvin is magic with that ball in his hands and I think NE will find itself on the other side of a special teams-affected game.