By Alan Squatrito
|NFL HIT LIST|
Injuries plague the NFL once again in week 8. You never know who is going to be next on the NFL HIT LIST nor should you be surprised when you find out. After analyzing the games these past two weeks I noticed that a majority of defenders are holding back on those huge collision hits that could potentially lighten their wallets and future playing time. In my opinion, it has been nice to see these players hold up to avoid making a costly mistake for themselves and their team. It’s a win-win situation and the NFL isn’t going to lose any fans because of it. Tackles and hard hits are still going to be made and throughout these last two weeks I’ve noticed defenders keeping their heads up, wrapping, staying low, and following through with their tackles. These are the ways tackles are supposed to be made and the players seem to be playing smarter as of late, head coaches with their decisions and play calls on the other hand, that’s a totally different story. Anyway, below are waiver wire fantasy players I think you should take a look at and plug into your lineups this week if you need help at that position.
Wide Receiver Recovery List
1. James Jones/Jordy Nelson –With Donald Driver stating he will not play in week 9 one or both of these athletes will make a play you need for your fantasy team at home against the desperate Cowboys in week 9. The Packers scored only 9 points last weekend against a stingy Jets D, but this week I picture a whole different story as they play the Cowboys at home in week 9. David Garrard owned the Cowboys last week throwing for four touchdowns and running one in. That was David Garrard’s best game in his NFL career. If I had to choose between Jordy and James I tend to lean towards James Jones as his production has been better thus far throughout the year, while Steve Deangelo believes Jordy Nelson is the better option. Choose wisely, despite that there will be plenty to go around. Go with James Jones!
Anthony Gonzalez – Anthony Gonzalez took a minute to shake off the rust on Monday night but still managed to have a product full game vs. the Texans with four receptions and 55 yards, he was a better option than Wes Welker this past week and I think he is going to shine against Philadelphia in week 9. Despite that Gonzalez managed to make the hit list this week in reality he just had some soreness after week 8’s game. Gonzalez just had to get acclimated to playing on the field for 60 minutes. He will be fine for week 9.
3. Patrick Crayton – Wow, I didn’t think I would throw Patrick Crayton up on this list once again, but he is a safe start this weekend against the Texans. With Buster Davis out for the season with a rib injury, Patrick Crayton is going to have to pick up the slack once again. Antonio Gates could use some help as well. Rivers will have to check down the ball a lot more this week and give his running back committee more looks, but Crayton will definitely get his.
4. Earl Bennett – Mr. Bennett has slowly been sneaking up on Devin Hester and his role on the first team offense, taking away some of his snaps. I expect Devin Hester’s wide receiver role to diminish as the season continues considering that the Coaching staff for the Bears want to make sure his legs are fresh for kickoff and punt returns. I know the Bears want to run the ball, and need to run the ball against the Bills this week, but would you be surprised if they deviated from their plan? Pick Earl up with confidence this week as a number three wide receiver, especially in ppr leagues. Otherwise, he may be a gamble in td heavy leagues.
Running Back Recovery List
1. Mike Hart/Donald Brown – Mike Hart did nothing but impress during week 8’s win over the Texans. Donald Brown seemed to have struggled and there is still no word on Joseph Addai’s return. If Mike Hart is still on the waivers, say thank you to the rest of your league.Just monitor his status as he is listed as questionable going into week 9. Donald Brown may get a bigger work load if Hart is a no go.
2. LeGarrette Blount/Cadillac Williams – Cadillac Williams is averaging 2.5 yards a carry while Blount is bruising his way to 4.9 yards a carry. Blount seems to be a solid down-hill runner while Cadillac Williams has been becoming more of a pass catcher out of the back field on third downs. However, the Buccaneers travel to the Georgia Dome to play the Falcons in a division rivalry battle. Coach Raheem Morris has been talking a little too much smack as of late and boasting about his team being in first place throughout their division. I can’t picture the Buccaneers getting a win away this weekend in week 9 and I am not sure if Blount is a solid start for this game. I can picture Cadillac Williams actually having a better game because the Buccaneers may be in a situation where they will need to consistently pass the ball. In a ppr league I would start Cadillac over Blount. Other than that, start Blount.
3. Kevin Smith – Kevin Smith had 55 yards on 12 carries against the Redskins on Sunday and he has spoken highly about his new running style. Kevin has been making rash decisions before the line of scrimmage and putting his foot in the ground to get up field. He seems to understand the speed of the game better than before and looks like he is recovering from his injury very nicely. He is not a great start at all this weekend vs. the Jets, but is great to have stashed away on your bench if you have the room.
4.Keiland Williams/Clinton Portis – It has not been stated yet as to when Clinton Portis will be on the field again but Ryan Torain went down with a hamstring injury in week 8 and Keiland Williams filled in for him pretty well with a touchdown on the day. He is worth picking up and stashing just in case Torain isn’t healthy enough to play after their week 9 bye.
Quarterback Recovery List
1. Josh Freeman – This kid seems to impress me week after week and I would love to root for him if I needed to plug him in as my QB comes Sunday. I picture the Falcons waxing the Buccaneers and giving Josh Freeman chance after chance to rack up some fantasy points.
2. Matt Hasselbeck – I know the Giants are one of the best defenses in the league but when the Seahawks are playing at home they seem to look like a playoff bound team. However they are not, Matt Hasselbeck also has a concussion but is expected to play. The only reason why I like Matt this week as a filler in your lineup is because he is at home and the Giants cane sometimes play down to competition. Monitor his status for this weekend because there is still a chance Matt does not suit up.
3. Tavaris Jackson – If the Vikings are going to get rid of Randy Moss, they might as well get rid of Brett Favre. The Vikings pretty much threw in the towel this season by getting rid of Moss and it’s time to see what Tavaris Jackson can do. Tavaris provides that dual threat as he can run with the ball as well as pass. I don’t care if Favre may give you the best chance to win, that’s still a debate. They are NOT going to go to the Super Bowl with Favre this year. It’s time to look into your future quarterback situation. Pick Tavaris Jackson up if you have a roster spot to fill on your bench.
4. Troy Smith – I mentioned before that this guy was the Heisman Trophy Award winner in 2006. He beat out Brady Quinn and Darren McFadden for the award. He seems to provide a spark for the 49ers and even when Alex Smith is healthy I think the 49ers are going to be smart and play Troy Smith throughout the year. Pick him and to stash during their week bye 9 and prepare to use him in the future if he keeps up his play.
Tight End Recovery List
1. Jacob Tamme– uhmmmmmmmmmmmm yeah, pick him up if he’s on the waivers.
2. Greg Olsen – I just read that the Buffalo Bills have given up more fantasy points to tight ends this season than any other team. Greg Olsen is an amazing tight end that gets used sparingly in Mike Martz offense at best. Will Mike Martz negate this stat and keep Olsen on a leash again comes Sunday? I’d be surprised.
3. Anthony Fasano – He’s been playing well and consistent all season. The Dolphins play the Ravens this week and it will be the second straight game on the road for the Dolphins.
4. Dante Rosario – When Matt Moore gets his head out of his shorts Dante Rosario will see more passes come his way. Dante Rosario is an athlete and knows how to move the chains on third downs. He is a dependable guy, but Matt Moore is not. Wait to pick Rosario up or use him this week if you are desperate, he has great upside against the Saints this week.