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Week 8: Halfway Through the Fantasy Season

Welcome to Week 8 edition of the Brew Crew Corner. There are three things you can count on when you reach Week 8 of the NFL season. 1) Another week of teams off on the bye; 2) Halloween is around the corner; and 3) We are at the midseason of the fantasy season. The season always flies by. We’ve completed seven weeks of fantasy games, which is the midway point. Some leagues host playoffs in Weeks 14-15 while the majority of leagues will have playoff in Weeks 15-17. 

Now is a good time to start looking at teams with favorable matchups during the fantasy playoffs. Teams like the New England Patriots, Buffalo Bills, Houston Texans, Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers will have great matchups. Start to stock pile players on these teams or make trades to acquire the playmakers.

TOP FANTASY PLAYERS AT MIDSEASON

Quarterbacks

1. Cam Newton, Carolina, 192 fantasy points    
2. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay, 191 fantasy points
3. Drew Brees, New Orleans, 173 fantasy points
4. Tom Brady, New England, 147 fantasy points
5. Matthew Stafford, Detroit, 136 fantasy points

Running Backs

1. Matt Forte, Chicago, 181 fantasy points
2. Fred Jackson, Buffalo, 163 fantasy points
3. Adrian Peterson, Minnesota, 156 fantasy points
4. LeSean McCoy, Philadelphia, 151 fantasy points
5. Darren McFadden, Oakland, 141 fantasy points

Wide Receivers

1. Calvin Johnson, Detroit, 165 fantasy points
2. Wes Welker, New England, 164 fantasy points
3. Greg Jennings, Green Bay, 136 fantasy points
4. Steve Smith, Carolina, 135 fantasy points
5. Mike Wallace, Pittsburgh, 135 fantasy points

Tight Ends

1. Jimmy Graham, New Orleans, 139 fantasy points
2. Jason Witten, Dallas, 97 fantasy points
3. Rob Gronkowski, New England, 96 fantasy points
4. Tony Gonzalez, Atlanta, 94 fantasy points
5. Brandon Pettigrew, Detroit, 82 fantasy points

Kickers

1. John Kasay, New Orleans, 88 fantasy points
2. Jason Hanson, Detroit, 85 fantasy points
3. Dan Bailey, Dallas, 84 fantasy points
4. Mason Crosby, Green Bay, 84 fantasy points
5. Sebastian Janikowski, Oakland, 74 fantasy points

Defenses

1. Baltimore Ravens, 109 fantasy points
2. New York Jets, 102 fantasy points
3. San Francisco 49ers, 91 fantasy points
4. Houston Texans, 90 fantasy points
5. Detroit Lions, 86 fantasy points    
    

The Golden Mug Award
Awarded to the fantasy player who came through for their team.

Arian Foster – 25 carries, 115 yards, 2 TD, 5 receptions, 119 yards, 1 TD. Foster had one of the best fantasy games of the year and if you were playing against him, it was as if your opponent started three Houston Texans’ running backs.

DeMarco Murray –25 carries, 253 yards, 1 TD. Murray stepped up big time when given the opportunity and has been a draft day sleeper that is looking to payoff. Even if you took away the one run he had for 91 yards, he still had 162 yards on the other 24 carries.

Drew Brees – 31-for-35, 325 yards, 5 TD. That was a brutal beating Brees gave the Indianapolis Colts and it was as if they were playing a Division III college team. Brees even sat out the whole fourth quarter.

The Urinal Cake Award
Awarded to the fantasy player who you would like to, well you know.

Ryan Torain – 2 carries, -5 yards. The Torain train has been derailed. Facing a Carolina Panthers defense that is ranked 29th and was run over by the Atlanta Falcons, Torain saw just two carries. With Time Hightower gone for the season, Torain will take over the starting job. But, watch for Roy Helu to emerge.

Dallas Clark – 0. Clark did not receive a single target in this game and has fallen from 14.7 fantasy points per game (fourth) at this time last year to 6.9 fantasy points (20th).

Doug Baldwin – 0. Baldwin was targeted three times after seeing nine targets in his last game where he put up 136 receiving yards and a touchdown.

Kyle Boller/Carson Palmer – combined for 174 passing yards and 6 INT. The Black and Silver was black and blue while making the Kansas City Chiefs look like a Top 5 defense. It didn’t help that Palmer only knew 12 plays heading into the game.

MATCHUPS

Good quarterback match-ups this week:

Cam Newton against the Minnesota Vikings. Newton should be an every week starter in all leagues and has a great matchup this week. The Vikings are dealing with issues in the secondary and are 29th in the league in pass defense, allowing 274.9 passing yards per game with 11 passing touchdowns allowed this season.

Drew Brees against the St. Louis Rams. What do you do for an encore when you’ve thrown for five touchdowns? How about play the winless Rams? The Rams are ranked 13th in passing yards allowed (226.5 per game) but are second in the league behind the Indianapolis Colts (14) with 13 passing touchdowns given up. Start all your available Saints in this one.

Sleeper Pick of the Week:
Andy Dalton – If you are in need of a quarterback this week look at Dalton’s matchup against the Seattle Seahawks. Dalton has tossed four touchdowns over the past three games and is improving his timing with rookie A.J. Green. The Seahawks have been stingy, giving up only six passing touchdowns this season, but they are allowing 250 passing yards per game (20th).

Good running back matchups this week:

DeMarco Murray against the Philadelphia Eagles. Murray might not rack up another 250-plus yards in this game but he will get an opportunity for more carries and against the Philadelphia defense he will have success. The Eagles come off a bye and will look to get back into the divisional race with a win over the Dallas Cowboys. The defense is allowing 123.8 rushing yards per game (23rd) with six touchdowns allowed this season.

Ahmad Bradshaw against the Miami Dolphins. Bradshaw is coming back from the bye after his three-touchdown game and in the process the team is getting back a few key players from injury. This will only improve Bradshaw’s stats. I know Brandon Jacobs is back in the lineup, but he’s not going to prevent Bradshaw from having a good game. He faces a winless Dolphins team that let the Denver Broncos run over them on the ground with almost 200 yards. The Dolphins might still be shell shocked after the overtime loss to the Broncos and are allowing 118.5 rushing yards per game (18th) this season.

Sleeper Pick of the Week: Delone Carter – There is nowhere for the Indianapolis Colts to go but up after hitting complete rock bottom. A divisional game will be a chance for them to try and pick up the pieces. The Tennessee Titans are coming off a similar thrashing by the Houston Texans two weeks ago, so both teams are licking their wounds, so to speak. The Titans have held teams to just three touchdowns on the ground but they are allowing 124.5 rushing yards per game (24th). That will give Carter an opportunity to be productive while you wait for players to come back from a bye week.


Bad quarterback matchups this week:

Tim Tebow against the Detroit Lions. Detroit is looking to get back on track after dropping two games. The Lions will look to jump out in front early against Denver, which will force Tebow to have to play from behind again this week. But, the Lions’ front line is tougher then Miami’s. Detroit’s defense is ranked ninth allowing 204.6 passing yards per game and has 10 interceptions on the season.

Kevin Kolb against the Baltimore Ravens. It was an ugly loss for the Ravens on Monday night but it was the offense that lost the game and not the defense that held Jacksonville to just 12 points. The Ravens defense is tied with the New York Jets with only four passing touchdowns allowed this season. They are giving up just 186.8 passing yards per game (fourth) and have six interceptions. Expect Kolb to offer up at least two interceptions and struggle on third down plays.

Philip Rivers against the Kansas City Chiefs. Inconsistency, as well as the collapse against the New York Jets, have people wondering what is going on with the Chargers. They are stalling just as they did last season, but fortunate for them they have a winning record while doing so. There have been some rumors that Rivers has been injured which has affected his play. Don’t know how much of that is true but all quarterbacks deal with bumps and bruises each week. The Chiefs looked like an all-pro defense against the Oakland Raiders and I expect them to keep up the intensity for this divisional game as well. The Chiefs have 11 interceptions on the season thanks to the six they put up last week.

Bad running back matchups this week:

Montario Hardesty against the San Francisco 49ers. Peyton Hillis was expected back for this game but has had a setback with his hamstring injury. The Madden Curse lives! The team will have a tough time running the ball as the 49ers have not allowed a rushing touchdown this season. They have also limited teams to just 74.7 rushing yards per game, second only to Dallas (69.7).

Alfonso Smith against the Baltimore Ravens. Chris ‘Beanie’ Wells will most likely miss this game, allowing Smith to start in his place. Last week, he managed just 17 yards on five carries against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Kevin Kolb will struggle moving the ball in the air, which will make it difficult for Smith to find room to run. The Ravens are third in the league in holding teams to just 85.8 rushing yards per game and are second in the league with only one touchdown surrendered.

Maurice Jones-Drew against the Houston Texans. If you read my article last week you would have read how I suggested not to play Jones-Drew due to his matchup and the fact that he has not scored in five games. He didn’t score against Baltimore and the 105 yards he had are misleading because he was having a horrible game with ball security. He fumbled once, lost another that was not charged to him and had two other fumbles either recovered by his team or reversed by a challenge. This week, the Texans are looking to stay hot and will bring their seventh-ranked rush defense which is allowing only 99.3 rushing yards per game with five rushing touchdowns given up this season.

Week 8: Keep the kids safe this week and keep your eye on the playoffs.
 
Good luck to everyone in Week 8. Follow @BrewCrewCorner
 
Cheers!

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