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Fantasy Intelligence Report — Week 8

R.F.T. — Random Fantasy Thoughts

Surprisingly, the AFC West is the leader in the clubhouse when it comes to NFL offensive yardage. The San Diego Chargers and Denver Broncos rank first and second when it comes passing, and the Oakland Raiders and Kansas City Chiefs rank uno and dos when it comes to rushing. Yeah, who would’ve thought, right? The names Buster (Davis), (Brandon) Lloyd, D-Mac (Darren McFadden) and TJ (Thomas Jones) are quickly becoming fantasy staples.

New England Patriots quarterback
Tom Brady and Buffalo Bills’ lead man
Ryan Fitzpatrick have something in common, and it’s not the colors they wear, the divisions they play in or the ugly haircuts they’re sporting. Instead, it’s the 11 touchdowns and four interceptions each has thrown. The only difference is that Brady has done it in six games while Fitzpatrick has done it in four. 

When looking at individual rushing stats I’m surprised that not only the New York Giants’
Ahmad Bradshaw leads the NFL with 708 yards, but that
Adrian Peterson has kept the ball completely off the turf in the first six games. Peterson is also on pace for his best season in three years. Meanwhile,
Maurice Jones-Drew is on pace to land in the fantasy dumpster by Week 10.
 
How do you average 19.6 points per week, and rank among the Top 3 running backs in points-per-reception (PPR) formats, but only score three touchdowns in seven weeks? You do what
Frank Gore has done – everything else. Gore has recorded three 100-yard rushing performances and has caught 37 passes for 341 receiving yards while being targeted 58 times. Baltimore Ravens’ wide receiver
Anquan Boldin has been targeted 61 times and he ranks in the Top 10 among receivers in this same format.  To say Gore has been important to both the San Francisco 49ers and fantasy owners is an understatement. 

It’s no coincidence that wide receiver
Greg Jennings has caught just as many passes (six) in consecutive weeks since Jermichael Finley went down for the season as he caught in Weeks 3, 4 and 5 combined. Quarterback
Aaron Rodgers is looking to Jennings more often, especially down the field and during crucial third down plays. The big question is will this trend continue against the New York Jets and Darrelle Revis Island this weekend?

What do
Brandon Marshall,
Roddy White and
Reggie Wayne all have in common? Well, in PPR leagues they’re the three most consistent fantasy performers among wide receivers. Marshall hasn’t scored less than double digits, and is on his way to yet another 100-catch season. White leads all receivers in fantasy points, and it’s not even close; his worst performance was a six-catch, 83-yard game against the Philadelphia Eagles just two weeks ago. And Wayne has found the end zone just twice, but is still averaging 18.7 fantasy points per game. If you’re looking for receivers to trade for, these would be them. 

Are there any good sure-fire starting tight ends left in the fantasy pot?
Dallas Clark and
Jermichael Finley are finished for the season,
Vernon Davis and
Antonio Gates are nursing injuries, and
Brent Celek and
Visanthe Shiancoe have had their jock straps twisted the wrong way. I guess there’s
Jason Witten. Then again, the Dallas Cowboys just lost quarterback Tony Romo for the season.
Brandon Pettigrew, anyone? 

Do you care about having a good kicker? You should. Why? Well, as I’ve said before, they can change the outcome of your fantasy season with just a few kicks, much like they can do for a real NFL team. Take Rob Bironas as a good example. Bironas not only leads all kickers in points, but since Week 3 has converted 12 field goals and 16 extra points. Preseason hot ticket
David Akers has converted nine field goals and 12 extra points in that same time span. Don’t think that’s a big difference? Tell that to the fantasy owners who continue to lose by three points or less. 

And shame on you if you didn’t take advantage of
Jahvid Best’s absurdly high fantasy value after Week 2 and ship him off. Now, the only cupcake run defense left on the Detroit Lions schedule is Buffalo in Week 10. 

On the flipside, Kansas City Chiefs’ running back
Thomas Jones is someone I continue to target in trades. He’s a good late season runner, and the Chiefs face the 32nd, 28th, 30th, 29th, second, 30th, fourth, 15th, 10th and 28th ranked run defenses (yardage per game) from here on out. 

J.F.W.W.P. — Jumping Future Waiver Wire Players

Last season I picked up Cleveland Browns running back Jerome Harrison right before my playoffs began in anticipation that he may bust out during the most important part of the season. Harrison did, and I was crowned champion. Now, all I can think about is anticipating that next fantasy playoff star, but this time I won’t wait until every fantasy owner knows his name.  So who do I think could fit that Harrison description in 2010?

WR Deon Butler
All of Seattle’s remaining five road games are in warm weather environments, including two late in the season. Furthermore, the Seahawks play three teams that have allowed a combined 34 touchdowns through the air during Weeks 14-16. Butler may be small, but his numbers should slowly grow big from here on out and could lead you to a championship come December. 

RB Isaac Redman
Redman is in the right place, and could come on strong at the right time. The Steelers have three games at home in December and have been known to run the football late in the season. Redman is their short-yardage runner, will be the freshest of the three running backs on the roster and will assume the top spot on first and second downs if anything happens to Rashard Mendenhall

QB Kerry Collins
Regular Tennessee Titans starting quarterback Vince Young has been on and off the field on a regular basis with various injuries during the past few seasons. Plus, Tennessee faces Indianapolis and Houston to begin the fantasy playoff run. Yes, Collins hasn’t exactly been known to be a fantasy football predator, but he’s a nice third option for your bench, even if you don’t own Young.

Thanks for reading!

Eric Huber is a staff writer for Fantasysharks.com.

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