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As John Turturro said as the butler in the movie Mr. Deeds … “I’m very, very sneaky, sir.”
We are already halfway through the course of the NFL season, as Week 8 kicked off on Thursday night between the San Diego Chargers and Denver Broncos. There weren’t many under-the-radar options in that game, as we had two of the more prolific offenses in football going head-to-head. But what about the owners who don’t have the luxury of owning stars like Peyton Manning, Demaryius Thomas or Julius Thomas? And what if you’re missing a few players due to injury or a bye week? Well, better luck next year. Okay, okay. Let’s get into some of my sneaky starts for Week 8.
Week 8 byes: NYG, SF.
Kyle Orton @ New York Jets- Make fun of Uncle Rico all you want, but Orton has completed at least 68 percent of his passes and thrown for at least 283 yards in all three starts with Buffalo this season, throwing five touchdowns and just three interceptions during that span. He’s also averaged a respectable 17 fantasy points per game in the three contests, and in Week 8, he makes for an elite streaming option for fantasy owners missing either Eli Manning, Colin Kaepernick, or aren’t comfortable rolling Matt Ryan out there. This season, the Jets’ 18-to-1 touchdown-to-interception ratio is by far the worst in football, and New York has allowed four quarterbacks to post to-12 finishes in seven weeks thus far. Oh, and only the Rams have been coughing up more fantasy points per game than the Jets this year. And with the combination of a stout run defense and Buffalo being without their top-two running backs, I see Orton having to throw the ball a fair amount this week.
Travaris Cadet vs Green Bay Packers- With Pierre Thomas out for the next few weeks, Cadet is going to continue to play a role in this Saints offense that will have to throw the ball a lot on Sunday night. Cadet played a solid 20 snaps in Week 7 and the Saints threw the football over 90 percent of the time when Cadet was in the backfield. Again, Drew Brees and company will have to air the ball out to keep up with Aaron Rodgers and company. Last week against the Lions, Cadet caught six balls for 51 yards, and he’ll likely get a few carries sprinkled in. Green Bay hasn’t been great against the run, and are allowing over four receptions per game to opposing running backs this season.
Roy Helu @ Dallas Cowboys- This call is for very deep PPR leagues, but do not sleep on Helu for this week, as well as the rest of the season. He’s quietly on pace for nearly 900 total yards and 50 receptions this year, catching at least two balls in all but one game thus far. Meanwhile, Alfred Morris isn’t running the football well, and it wouldn’t shock me if he got off to a slow start, he is benched for Helu. Dallas will likely be ahead in this game, and we’ve seen gameflow hurt Morris’ value and helps Helu’s already this season.
Doug Baldwin @ Carolina Panthers- Baldwin wasted no time introducing himself as the new number-one wideout in Seattle, catching seven-of-11 targets for 123 yards and a touchdown last week. He was clearly Russell Wilson‘s favorite option in the passing game, being targeted on 30 percent of Wilson’s pass attempts on Sunday. Now he faces a bad Carolina defense that has surrendered the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing wideouts thus far (27.74). Also, Baldwin is a better slot wideout, and it was good to see him operate out of the slot about 55 percent of the time last week. And if he gets matched up with Antone Cason at all during the game, look out. Cason has been horrible, as PFF has ranked him as the 7th-worst coverage corner in football so far.
Riley Cooper @ Arizona Cardinals- I don’t think Cooper is a very good wide receiver, but he has averaged seven targets over his last three games in a pretty strong offense. Oh, and he also has an ideal matchup against the Cardinals. That makes him worthy of sleeper consideration. Cooper has also seen five red zone targets to this point, and he could make a few big plays in this game, as the Cardinals have surrendered a gaudy 25 passing plays of 20 yards or more to this point. Pass-catchers are also averaging 29.54 fantasy points per game against Arizona to this point, the second-most in the NFL. And if you look back at the game logs, you’ll notice that the Cardinals have been decimated by opposing number-two wideouts:
Week 1, Malcom Floyd: 4 catches, 50 yards, 1 TD.
Week 2, Rueben Randle, 4 catches, 39 yards, 1 TD.
Week 3, Anquan Boldin: 6 catches, 36 yards.
Week 5, Emmanuel Sanders: 7 catches, 101 yards.
Week 6, DeSean Jackson: 3 catches, 115 yards, 1 TD.
Week 7, Andre Holmes: 3 catches, 34 yards.
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