Welcome ghost and ghouls to a scary Week 8 edition of the Brew Crew Corner. As frightening as the movies you will watch this Halloween weekend, there will be something scarier than that Jason mask. The Week 8 bye is here and there will be six teams off this week. That is an ugly fact which will make it difficult for you to plug those bye week and injury holes you have. This is a rough part of the schedule and if you can get out of the next two weeks with a win, you will be a great shape for the next phase in the fantasy season, the playoff push.
The Golden Mug Award
Awarded to the fantasy player who came through for their team.
Darren McFadden – 16 carries, 165 yards, 3 TD; 2 receptions, 31 yards, 1 TD. This is the McFadden we expected to see coming into the league. Here is a picture of McFadden running through the Broncos defense:
Kenny Britt – 7 receptions, 225 yards, 3 TD. Could you imagine how his stats would have looked if he played the whole game? Britt now has a touchdown in five straight games.
Roddy White – 11 receptions, 201 yards, 2 TD. White is the top receiver in fantasy leagues and also leads the league in receptions with 54 and receiving yards with 747.
The Urinal Cake Award
Awarded to the fantasy player who you would like to, well you know.
Ryan Mathews – 8 carries, 15 yards. After dropping a short pass that would have given the San Diego Chargers a first down, Mathews sat the rest of the game while Darren Sproles took most of the snaps and Mike Tolbert scored. Tolbert now has four straight games with a touchdown.
Eddie Royal – 2 receptions, 26 yards. Royal has had three subpar games in a row, averaging 3 receptions and 31 yards over that span.
Mike Thomas – 0 receptions (1 target). Thomas watched as Britt torched his team with 225 yards and three scores but was unable to get a catch himself. Thomas has been involved in the pass game this season but does not have a game with higher than 90 yards receiving, and he has yet to score.
Good quarterback matchups this week:
Matthew Stafford against the Redskins. Stafford is finally healthy and if reports that he’s throwing 70-yard bombs are true, then it should be a good day for him and Calvin Johnson. Washington’s pass defense is bad. Don’t get fooled by the four interceptions they had last week against Jay Cutler, the Redskins give up a lot of yards. The Redskins are 31st in the league with 292.1 passing yards with 10 touchdowns allowed.
Peyton Manning against the Texans. The Texans have the leagues worst pass defense allowing 306.2 passing yards per game and 14 touchdowns. Add in the loss of DeMeco Ryans to injury and the Colts looking for revenge for losing to Houston in Week 1 and you have a monster of a game waiting to happen. Manning threw for 433 yards and three touchdowns in that game so could he be even better in this game? Start all your Colts’ receivers that are healthy.
Sleeper Pick of the Week:
Jon Kitna against the Jaguars. Kitna may be the starter for the remainder of the season as the team will shut Tony Romo down for the year if his return comes at a time when the team is out of the playoff picture. At 1-5, that scenario looks like a good possibility. Kitna had back to back 4,000-plus passing yard seasons before he was hurt for most of 2008.He can give you a lot of yards but he throws a ton of interceptions as well. I like Dez Bryant’s production to increase with Kitna under center.
Good running back matchups this week:
Arian Foster against the Colts. In Week 1 Foster proved that he was a starter in this league by running over the Colts to a tune of 231 yards and three touchdowns. The Colts will be ready for Foster but shouldn’t slow him down too much. The Indianapolis defense is allowing 137.3 rushing yards per game (26th). This game should be another high scoring matchup.
Frank Gore against the Broncos. I find it amazing that Gore is the leading running backs in fantasy leagues with just one rushing touchdown. He’s been staying on top by getting yards on the ground and through the air to average 130 total yards per game. The fans in London will get to see the 49ers run often as Troy Smith will be making his first start of the season. The Broncos last week gave up 256 rushing yards and five touchdowns on the ground to all of Oakland’s running backs with Darren McFadden doing the most damage. They are allowing 156.3 rushing yards per game (30th) with 12 touchdowns allowed on the ground this season.
Sleeper Pick of the Week:
Chris Wells against the Buccaneers. Wells scored his first touchdown of the season in Week 7 and looks to get a lot more touches moving forward. He will have a good matchup this week and hopefully will produce over the second half second half as he did last season. He will face the Buccaneers, who are playing well but still giving up 157.7 rushing yards per game (31st).
Bad quarterback matchups this week:
Vince Young against the Chargers. It is hard to believe that San Diego, the league’s best pass defense, is 2-5 this season. The Chargers are holding teams to 158.6 passing yards per game with six touchdowns allowed this season. Young is coming back from injury but will have a difficult time in this matchup. Look for the Chargers to blanket Kenny Britt limiting Young’s options.
Sam Bradford against the Panthers. With the Panthers’ first win last week, they will have confidence and momentum to go for back-to-back wins. The Carolina pass defense has played well, limiting teams to 182.5 passing yards per game and have 10 interceptions in six games. Bradford is coming off a week in which he had just 126 passing yards.
Drew Brees against the Steelers. Does yardage make up for points lost with interceptions? Bress is coming off a four-interception game and finished the day with 19 fantasy points. Brees is not having the kind of season that everyone expected, but he is still the fourth-best quarterback this year. He has a tough matchup against the Steelers, which have just four passing touchdowns scored on them this season and have nine interceptions. Pittsburgh does allow a good amount of yards as they are 21st with 235.7 yards per game. The absence of a running game is really hurting the Saints’ offense.
Bad running back matchups this week:
Ryan Mathews against the Titans. Mathews has not been the fantasy running back we had expected at the beginning of the season. Mathews is currently 36th among running backs and he has just one touchdown on the season. Last week after dropping an easy pass he wasn’t seen the rest of the game. The Titans are a very good defensive team. They are holding teams to 97.7 rushing yards (10th) and have allowed just one touchdown on the ground this season.
Darren McFadden against the Seahawks. The Seahawks have been very surprising this season and could end up winning their division. They are also playing good run defense with 77.5 yards allowed on average (second) and four touchdowns given up this season. I don’t think we will see a duplicated effort from last weekend as the Seahawks will be ready for him.
BenJarvus Green-Ellis/Danny Woodhead against the Vikings. The Vikings’ season isn’t going very well but they are still playing tough run defense. The Vikings are allowing just 99.2 yards a game (11th) with three touchdowns allowed this season. The Patriots’ rushing game has been inconsistent with just 51 yards last week will have another tough matchup.
Week 8: Keep the kids safe and don’t overdue the candy this week.
Good Luck to everyone in Week 8. Follow @BrewCrewCorner