Fantasy Football Sleepers: Take advantage of these matchups in Week 8

by Cory J. Bonini on October 24, 2013 @ 11:02:58 PDT


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In this article KFFL breaks down the fantasy football sleepers of the week. We will avoid marquee names because players of that caliber are rarely benched, regardless of their matchup. Instead, we will focus on the players that make your fantasy lineup decisions stressful each week. Read on to learn which midrange to low-end players you wouldn't necessarily consider that you need to get into your lineup.

Note: All statistics are from Week 4 through Week 7, unless otherwise stated.


Carson Palmer, Arizona Cardinals vs. Atlanta Falcons

In a week with six bye teams, and a few notable quarterback injuries to boot, Palmer should be on your short list of Week 8 choices. He can be found on nearly 60 percent of waiver wires, too.

The Falcons have allowed the fifth-most average fantasy points (22.3) per game, and they haven't picked off a pass in their last three outings. Atlanta's average pass rush shouldn't cause things to get too hairy for the Cards vet, either.

Geno Smith, New York Jets at Cincinnati Bengals

New York's coaching staff hasn't been afraid to let Smith sling it if he has to, even though they prefer to rely on a strong ground game. Smith is completing 62.0 percent of his passes, averaging 230.5 yards, 1.50 total touchdowns and 1.75 turnovers per outing.

Cincy lost their best defensive back in Leon Hall (Achilles') last week, and their defensive line has been banged up, as well. Detroit's Matthew Stafford torched them a week ago, but Smith isn't on that level yet. Expect modest numbers that will suffice for a bye week replacement.

Running back

Brandon Bolden, New England Patriots vs. Miami Dolphins

New England's third-down back has a fine matchup in Week 8. The Patriots are all sorts of banged up on D right now, which could lead to more passing. They have been involving Bolden in the passing game a good deal of late, and that doesn't figure to change this week.

Miami has given up the most average receptions (9.00) and yardage (82.7) to running backs through the air. The position has managed 170.3 offensive yards and the second-most standard fantasy points (24.3) per game against the Dolphins.

Joique Bell, Detroit Lions vs. Dallas Cowboys

Bell has been utilized 9.0 times per game in the last three weeks. He is fighting through injured ribs and could be relied on a bit more this week against a running back-friendly Dallas defense.

The Cowboys have given up 106.0 rushing yards, 63.8 receiving yards, an offensive touchdown and a healthy 7.00 receptions per game to the position this year.

Daniel Thomas, Miami Dolphins at New England Patriots

Thomas started last week and took the majority of reps from Lamar Miller. The coaching staff says Miller remains the starter and Thomas' role was based on a game plan. That same method of attack could be employed against the Patriots, much like the New York Jets successfully did with the bruising Chris Ivory last week.

New England has yielded 109.5 rushing yards, 40.5 aerial gains and 0.75 offensive scores per game to enemy backs. Their defense has been ravaged by injuries lately and could be worse than the numbers show.

Wide receiver

Terrance Williams, Dallas Cowboys at Detroit Lions

Miles Austin just can't get right after straining his hammy a few weeks ago, and Dallas may opt to rest him this week after he failed to register a catch back-to-back weeks. The rookie has stepped up admirably in Austin's absence, and this week should result in a continuance of the trend.

Detroit has permitted receivers to walk all over them after a strong start to the year. In the past month, wideouts have averaged 32.5 non-PPR points, 12.5 receptions, 209.8 yards, 1.50 touchdowns and a healthy 16.8 yards per catch against the Lions.

Rueben Randle, New York Giants at Philadelphia Eagles

How good has Randle been for this otherwise miserable offense?!?! He has hauled in 23 balls on the year, and four of them have gone to the house -- that's one more than all of last season. Randle has scored in three straight matchups, and it's almost unfair to suggest he could be a sleeper at this point. Expect him to keep up his torrid pace this week.

No defense has been throttled worse by receivers than the Eagles'. The position has gone for weekly averages of 19.00 receptions, 232.5 yards and 2.25 touchdowns. Each figure is a league high.

Michael Floyd, Arizona Cardinals vs. Atlanta Falcons

Floyd has hauled in five passes in four straight games and found the end zone in Week 6 for the first time all year. He is seeing a lot of attention from Carson Palmer while Larry Fitzgerald is doubled and dealing with injuries.

The Falcons have given up 14.33 receptions, 194.3 yards and 1.33 touchdowns, on average, to the receiver position.

Robert Woods, Buffalo Bills at New Orleans Saints

The rookie has tailed off a tad in the last two weeks and should be considered a somewhat risky play this week. Six bye weeks and a reasonable matchup should help, and Woods has had a few weeks to form some chemistry with quarterback Thaddeus Lewis.

Rob Ryan's group has allowed averages of 15.33 catches, 200.3 yards and a trip to paydirt per outing to the wide receiver position.

Tight end

Tyler Eifert, Cincinnati Bengals vs. New York Jets

Eifert has averaged 3.25 receptions on 4.75 targets per game. That has translated to 37.5 yards, on average, and a single touchdown in the last four weeks. He is becoming more comfortable each week and should only continue to improve around the stripe.

The rookie could find the end zone back-to-back weeks against a Jets defense that has been susceptible to the position. Tight ends have posted per-game figures of 10.5 non-PPR points, 7.25 receptions, 81.0 yards and 0.50 scores.

Joseph Fauria, Detroit Lions vs. Dallas Cowboys

Fauria is always a risky play but has considerable upside, especially after the release of tight end Tony Scheffler (concussion). Detroit likes to take advantage of Fauria's size in the red zone, as evidenced by a recent three-touchdown outing.

Only the Arizona Cardinals have given up more points to tight ends in standard scoring over the last month. The position has averaged 12.8 points, 7.00 grabs, 91.3 yards and 0.75 scores in this time.

Place kicker

Kai Forbath, Washington Redskins at Denver Broncos

Forbath has been a top-six fantasy kicker in the last two weeks since his return from injury. He has hit four of his five three-point attempts and all seven of the extra point kicks afforded to him.

It could be a high-scoring game in the Mile High City next week. Forbath gets a crack at a team allowing 2.50 field goal attempts and 2.75 point-after tries, good for 13.0 possible points per game.

David Akers, Detroit Lions vs. Dallas Cowboys

Detroit and Dallas match up pretty well, which could result in Akers lining up for a lot of distance attempts. He has averaged 2.00 field goals tries (1.75 makes) and 2.75 touchdown toppers (all good).

Dallas has permitted booters to connect on 10 of 12 field goal attempts (2.50 of 3.00) and 10 extra points (2.50) in the last four games.

Defensive team

New England Patriots vs. Miami Dolphins

Despite a ton of injuries of late, the Pats could have enough in the tank to rack up a few takeaways from the Dolphins. Miami has given up 4.0 sacks, 1.67 interceptions and 0.67 fumbles per game.

Philadelphia Eagles vs. New York Giants

Despite a pretty clean game by Eli Manning in Week 7, Philly could be a worthwhile waiver wire play. Manning's Giants have turned over the ball 2.75 times, on average, and they have given up 1.75 sacks per matchup.

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About Cory J. Bonini

Cory is KFFL's General Manager. In late 2002, he joined the KFFL staff as a research analyst and has been involved in fantasy sports since 1996. A member of the Fantasy Sports Trade Association, as well as Fantasy Sports Writers Association, Bonini has been featured in print, on radio and on scores of websites. Bonini co-hosted Big Lead Sports on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio from 2011 to 2012.

Bonini was recognized with the 2010 Best Article in Print Award from the FSWA and was a finalist for the same award in 2011. In '11, he finished first overall in the FSWA NFL experts challenge that featured 60 of the industry's best competitors.

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