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Audibles – Week 8

Last week I told you a few things that were forgettable. I told you
Josh Freeman

was an upgrade over
Christian Ponder

I stand behind that statement.

Folks are quick to throw out that Freeman sucks as he trotted out on the field with less than a few days of practice, no chemistry with the receivers, and little knowledge of the playbook.

No one will deny that he was off the mark as his accuracy was clearly not there. Folks saw that
Adrian Peterson

was horrible and ultimately think that it was somehow related back to newly acquired Freeman. The two had little to do with one another. Quoting Chip Scroggins via Twitter, AD estimates he suffered a bruise “about five weeks ago,” and that it eventually started to cause “gradual tightness which made him tentative.” AD didn’t inform the coaching staff until “recently,” 

I have no idea what sort of tightness comes from a deep bruise, but I can tell you that
Adrian Peterson

is the most explosive running back in the NFL. His style doesn’t lend itself to be tentative. His cuts aren’t of the ‘think about it’ variety. He is a quick to the hole runner. I wouldn’t say that he mailed it in when they were struggling, but he wasn’t the same All Day that I have come to appreciate watching.

Let’s not start saying that the shake up at the helm has anything to do with Peterson’s struggles last week, but it could have been a distraction with the Vikings not being able to get anything going to generate points early on.

So you have a quarterback ousted from a team, a leaked story about a failed drug test, and zero playing time since Week 3. This isn’t going to be a step on the field/instant hero scenario and if you expected great results then you were probably one to give up hope after the lone performance. Leslie Frazier defended Freeman and said he saw some “good things.” He made good decisions.

Freeman had lots of mechanics issues according to Frazier. This is the kind of constructive criticism that he needs. Anyone struggling needs an honest evaluation of the issues and then the tools to fix them. I still believe that Freeman will increase the value of
Greg Jennings

and Kyle Rudolph sooner than you doubters expect.

It’s really easy to write-off someone like
Greg Jennings

and drop him on the wire and even more difficult to scoop him once you see the progress. Don’t expect to get instant gratification, something the new generation needs, and when it doesn’t pan out then it’s who else looks hot?

Give this scenario a couple of weeks if you have a roster spot. If you don’t, then head back to the Freeman sucks chants.

Jerry Jones heard me talking about how awful the Cowboys defense was in weeks previous and has silenced me for one week. I am not going to speculate on the Cowboys defensive woes because the spell that he must have cast has not worn off yet. I am not sure exactly what a “Warlock” looks like, but I’m guessing that if there was a picture of one in existence, then it resembles Jones.

Okay, so he probably isn’t one or the Cowboys would have a much better playoff record.

Here’s my tidbit’s for Week 8

Andre Ellington

RB Arizona Cardinals

Rashard Mendenhall

has almost been ruled out for Week 8, which makes Ellington an excellent start at home vs. an ATL Defense that has surrendered the third most points to running backs.

Ellington will be involved in the passing game as well and I would estimate his touches to be in the 10-15 range. His pass catching skills make him a great upside play in PPR leagues. Do not put any stock in last week’s anomaly against a wicked good Seattle defense. I’m envisioning a stat line of 80 yards and a TD. He’s worth a start if you are in need.

Marques Colston

WR New Orleans Saints

If you’ve been waiting for a breakout game, well this is the week. After a measly three catches on five targets in the last two weeks, It’s time to lean on the big guy again.

Pierre Thomas

has been a big surprise in the passing game to date. I look for more downfield throws to Colston this week. I see roughly 6-8 targets against a Bills defense that ranks second to last in points given up to the wide receiver position.
Lance Moore

will return to action this week. (Yawn)

I am certain that Colston will be very involved in the game plan this week. Colston has had 13 multiple touchdown games since 2006 which is astounding for a 7th round pick. If
Jimmy Graham

‘s foot injury causes him to miss any plays, then the benefactor will be Colston or TE2
Ben Watson

. Don’t be fooled if Watson is in the game, as he can’t block a lick. His hands are the money maker.

Eli Manning

QB New York Giants

Eli has struggled this year and one could say that it’s due to the lack of a running game. One could say it’s receiver drops, or a poor offensive line. I think the Giants will work some of the bugs out this week and be competitive in Philadelphia.

I saw him on the wire and had to grab him for a bye week fill-in in Week 12. If you can get him, the weapons he has in
Victor Cruz

Hakeem Nicks

, and Rueben Randle. The trio gives him a ton of options and I think the interceptions will start to stabilize, eventually.

He is good for an interception per week, regardless, because they throw 66 percent of the time. I like the risk/reward ratio and I don’t fault folks for dropping him with guys like Rivers tearing it up. You just need to expect that it often gets worse before it gets better. I have the luxury of evaluating him prior to that Week 12 plug-in. If he hasn’t gained my confidence, I’ll simply place him back from whence he came. The wire is a wonderful thing.

This week could be the week you see a glimmer of hope. I like the Giants to surprise this week.
Call me an optimist, just don’t call me a dreamer.

The NFL insists on expanding into new markets, particularly Europe. I realize that it translates into dollars and exposure. It’s awful tough to load up your organization and take a crazy long plane ride only to return to the United
States and play your next game. Jet lag and time changes are not an easy thing when you get physically beat up. At least both the Jaguars and Forty-Niners will enjoy a bye Week 9.

I think you can expect
Frank Gore

to be good and done by quarter three and
Kendall Hunter

will get some mop up duty. He is not a valuable commodity in the least, unless Gore suffers an injury, but this week I see some carries on the horizon. If you are desperate and you are faced with starting a sub-par back, consider Hunter.

I think he will see 10-12 carries in a game that should be in hand by the second half. If you are considering
Peyton Hillis

as a volume play, I might consider Hunter who has run well with limited carries. Hunter has three TDs on the season in mop up duty.

Follow me on Twitter @AudibleFantasy or you can send me an email, I’m happy to answer your questions.

Michael Sarmento is a proud member of the Fantasy Sharks talented team of writers and the Fantasy Sports Writers Association.

About Fantasy Sharks began in 2003, disseminating fantasy football content on the web for free. It is, or has been, home to some of the most talented and best known fantasy writers on the planet. Owned and operated by Tony Holm (5 time Fantasy Sports Writer Association Hall-of-Fame nominee,) Tony started writing fantasy content in 1993 for the only three fantasy football web sites in existence at the time.