Fantasy Friday: Week 8

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Here’s this week’s look at good and bad fantasy matchups.

Note: I try to pick less obvious players. I’m not going to tell you to play Peyton Manning or LaDainian Tomlinson or Randy Moss. No kiddin’, Sherlock.

Warning: I’m not immune to accidentally suggesting a player that might be injured and out for the week — or even the season. As much as I follow the game, mistakes can happen. If it does happen, just give me a polite jab and I’ll correct myself.

Thumbs Up

The following players should have favorable matchups this week. Their chances of success are greater due to tendencies by the opponent’s defense.


Jason Campbell, Was vs. Detroit
The only thing to fear in this matchup is whether the Redskins jump out to an early lead and run the ball a lot. Otherwise, a matchup against one of the worst pass defenses in the league is enticing.

Philip Rivers, SD vs. New Orleans
New Orleans has one of the worst scoring defenses in the league because they get into shootouts and Rivers could have a big day.

Other favorable matchups: Matt Cassel vs. St. Louis, J.T. O’Sullivan vs. Seattle, Jake Delhomme vs. Arizona.

Running Backs

Thomas Jones, NYJ vs. KC
Check your fantasy roster against the Chiefs’ remaining schedule. If you have any running backs against Kansas City, lick your chops. Jones should have a good day.

Maurice Jones-Drew, Jac vs. Cleveland
The Browns are good against the pass but bad against the run. Jones-Drew should see a healthy dose of action.

Other favorable matchups: Titans RBs vs. Indianapolis, Steve Slaton vs. Cincinnati, Willis McGahee vs. Oakland.

Wide Receivers

Saints WRs vs San Diego
The Saints like to air out the ball and the Chargers are last in the league at defending the pass. There will be a lot of receptions to go around.

Josh Morgan, SF vs. Seattle
The rookie Morgan had 5 catches for 86 yards and a touchdown last week and he faces one of the worst pass defenses in the league. A lot of 49ers could have good days here.

Other favorable matchups: Santana Moss vs. Detroit, Wes Welker vs. St. Louis, Lee Evans vs. Miami.

Tight Ends

Owen Daniels, Hou vs. Cincinnati
Daniels has been one of Houston’s top targets this year and should see the ball come his way often this week.

Jeremy Shockey, NO vs. San Diego
Pay attention to the injury report when it is available. Shockey has been limited in practice but if he does play, he could have a big week.

Other favorable matchups: Robert Royal vs. Miami, Vernon Davis vs. Seattle, Chris Cooley vs. Detroit.


Joe Nedney, SF vs. Seattle
Nedney is third in the league in field goals made and Seattle gives up a lot of points.

Matt Bryant, TB vs. Dallas
Bryant could see a lot of the field against a bend-but-don’t-break defense in Dallas.

Other favorable matchups: John Carney vs. Pittsburgh, John Kasay vs. Arizona, David Akers vs. Atlanta.


Tennessee Titans, Ten vs. Indianapolis
The Titans are one of, if not the best defense in the NFL. The Colts just aren’t the same explosive offense as they were in the past.

Baltimore Ravens, Bal vs. Oakland
This is a dream matchup. One of the worst offenses against one of the best defenses.

Other favorable matchups: New York Jets vs. Kansas City, Houston Texans vs. Cincinnati, Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Cleveland.

Thumbs Down

The following players should have unfavorable matchups this week. Their chances of success are worse due to tendencies by the opponent’s defense.


Eli Manning, NYG vs. Pittsburgh
Manning might struggle against one of the top pass defenses in the NFL.

David Garrard, Jac vs. Cleveland
The Browns are pretty good against the pass, so the Jaguars could try to exploit their poor run defense instead.

Other unfavorable matchups: Matt Ryan vs. Philadelphia, Jeff Garcia vs. Dallas, Chad Pennington vs. Buffalo.

Running Backs

Mewelde Moore, Pit vs. NY Giants
Willie Parker probably won’t play, so Moore will get the start, but the Giants are tough against the run.

Kevin Smith, Det vs. Washington
Not a good matchup for the Detroit rookie this week. The Redskins are 7th against the run.

Other unfavorable matchups: Brandon Jacobs vs. Pittsburgh, Chiefs RBs vs. NY Jets, Dominic Rhodes vs. Tennessee.

Wide Receivers

Anquan Boldin, Ari vs. Carolina
Boldin is said to possibly return this week from his injury, but the Panthers are the No. 2 pass defense. If he doesn’t play, don’t play Steve Breaston, either.

Marvin Harrison, Ind vs. Tennessee
Harrison has lost a step or two over the years and this week’s matchup against Tennessee is not encouraging.

Other unfavorable matchups: Hines Ward vs. NY Giants, Torry Holt vs. New England, Kevin Walter vs. Cincinnati.

Tight Ends

Anthony Fasano, Mia vs. Buffalo
Fasano has been a top option for the Dolphins this year but Buffalo has a solid pass defense.

Bo Scaife, Ten vs. Indianapolis
Scaife is the Titans’ top receiver but the Colts are third against the pass.

Other unfavorable matchups: Dallas Clark vs. Tennessee, Zach Miller vs. Baltimore, Alex Smith vs. Dallas.


Jason Hanson, Det vs. Washington
Hanson is among the lowest scoring kickers in the league and the Redskins have a tough defense to move the ball against.

Nick Folk, Dal vs. Tampa Bay
The Dallas offense has struggled recently and Tampa Bay is one of the top defenses — and teams — in the league.

Other unfavorable matchups: Adam Vinatieri vs. Tennessee, Neil Rackers vs. Carolina, Shayne Graham vs. Houston.


Carolina Panthers, Car vs. Arizona
The Cardinals are the top scoring team in the league, and even though the Panthers have a solid pass defense, I’d still think twice about playing them against the Cardinals.

New Orleans Saints, NO vs. San Diego
As long as weather permits in London, this should be a shootout between two great offenses and bad pass defenses.

Other unfavorable matchups: San Diego Chargers vs. New Orleans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Dallas, Miami Dolphins vs. Buffalo.

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