As always, there’s a ton of information out there this morning. We’re not going to waste your time by repeating the news and notes about who’s in or out this week, since that’s really not what you visit us for. We’re also not going to do another article on starts or sits this week – we already have week five’s personalized lineup advice for you as part of the premium content package. Again, there are 100 places you can go for game day reports, so we’re doing something different on Sundays for our premium content subscribers.
The Sunday Morning Huddle goes through each game and states what we’re looking to see from a dynasty perspective. We pick one player from each team who have our eye on and describe why their weekend performance is a key one for them in relation to their dynasty value.
Miami at NY Jets
It’s going to be interesting to see just how much the bye week has helped Reggie Bush and his various minor ailments. The expectation is that Bush should be close to 100% and would be great for his fantasy owners to see him re-claim his status as a solid RB2 option this season.
For the Jets, can the Shonn Greene explosion continue? Over his past two games, Green has 215 rushing yards, 34 receiving yards and three touchdowns. Just remember he’s had just one game where he’s posted more than 3.5 yards per carry, so temper your expectations.
San Diego at Cleveland
Where are you Philip Rivers? After his atrocious second half against the Broncos in their epic Monday night collapse, Rivers finds himself with ten touchdowns, nine interceptions and three fumbles on the year. Yuck! If he doesn’t post a solid performance against the Browns, he’s certainly going to be featured in the “gut checks” section of my weekly aftermath on Tuesday.
For the Browns, Josh Gordon is quickly emerging. He had a very bad drop in the end zone last week that could have won the game for Cleveland last week, but has still posted seven receptions for 240 yards and four touchdowns over his past three games. It’s becoming quite obvious he’s the most gifted receiver for the Browns. Let’s see if he can keep it going today against the Chargers.
Indianapolis at Tennessee
The Colts are really in need of a running game and Vick Ballard provided a bit of a spark last week while he rushed 20 times for 84 yards and also had 19 yard reception as the Colts held off the Browns. He’s not the most impressive runner, but he’s making the most of his chance here.
I’m still tired of talking about CJ2K. However, this week is another huge opportunity for him to reclaim his post as one of dynasty league’s best assets.
New England at St. Louis (London)
Once again, the Patriots running back distribution was interesting last week. Stevan Ridley still seems to be getting the lion’s share of the work, but Shane Vereen is now back in the mix, along with Danny Woodhead. When Brandon Bolden returns, this could be a real mess. Let’s see if Ridley can hold off these guys one more week with a strong performance against an underrated Rams defense.
The Rams have an interested backfield situation as well as Daryl Richardson seems to be taking some of the workload from Steven Jackson. If the Rams can keep this game close, the distribution of carries between the two will be a big storyline in dynasty leagues once again.
Jacksonville at Green Bay
The Jaguars may have found a decent receiving weapon and it’s not Justin Blackmon, it’s actually Cecil Shorts. Shorts has three touchdown receptions on the year and has posted six catches for 122 yards and one score over the past two weeks. While he did have a tough offensive pass interference call and crucial fumble last week, he has shown the ability to get deep on a defense. Can he do that with Charles Woodson out this week for the Pack?
With Greg Jennings out again (and Jordy Nelson possibly out, too), it’s time for Randall Cobb and James Jones to continue their auditions for starting roles next year. Each of these players have had their moments this year and Cobb looks like he could be a bona fide superstar in the league.
Atlanta at Philadelphia
After starting this season with a touchdown in three straight games, Tony Gonzalez has only scored once his last three contests. While he’s still an elite option, you have to wonder just how much we can realistically expect when Matt Ryan also has elite options in Roddy White and Julio Jones.
For the Eagles, all eyes continue to be on Michael Vick. After the birds come off their bye, he simply has to play better and stop turning the ball over. While it’s tough to place the blame all on him since he’s constantly under duress, it’s still his responsibility to keep the offense on the field. If he doesn’t show improvement soon, his days as an Eagle could be coming to an end.
Washington at Pittsburgh
We’ve talked ad nauseam about Alfred Morris, but it’s truly amazing that he’s second in the league in rushing (one yard behind Arian Foster) going into this week’s game against the Steelers. He did have his first fumble last week and that raised some eyebrows, but he’s been so productive that it’s going to take a series of serious miscues for him to be taken out of the featured back role. While many dynasty league owners continue to dismiss him as a one year wonder at best, just remember the Redskins traded a bounty of draft picks for RGIII and won’t be in a position to draft another runner in the draft since they have so many other needs.
For the Steelers, let’s put Mike Wallace in the crosshairs. He had a game to forget last week with multiple drops and is starting to become the second option behind Antonio Brown. He could use one of his signature big games to give some comfort to his dynasty league owners.
Seattle at Detroit
Russell Wilson has to be in the crosshairs this week after he didn’t play well against San Francisco last week. While his numbers should have been better since his receivers dropped several passes (one for an easy score), it’s time for Wilson to take the next step and start giving his defense some help.
For those of you who have followed Ryan Broyles and his quest to make it in the NFL, this game is going to be a must watch. Broyles was a great receiver at Oklahoma last year before an ACL tear late in the season derailed his dream of becoming a first round pick in the NFL. While he’s not completely healthy, he was good enough to make an impact last week with three catches for 51 yards and a touchdown, all coming in less than one half of action. Broyles is one of our favorite PPR sleepers and with Nate Burleson out for the year, he gets his chance starting today.
Carolina at Chicago
It looks like it’s make or break time for Jonathan Stewart. From all indications, he’s going to be inserted as the team’s featured back as they move to a more run-heavy approach. The coaching staff is saying they’ll ride the hot hand and Stewart will certainly have a shot to get it first. We’re skeptical to see too much against the Bears, but the split in carries between all the running backs will be interesting to watch.
For all the talk in the off-season about Kellen Davis being a legitimate weapon in the arsenal of the Bears, he’s posted just nine catches for 132 yards and one score. A few more bad outings and he won’t be worth holding on to, even in deep dynasty leagues.
Oakland at Kansas City
Darren McFadden has played in six games this year and averaged 2.8 yards per carry or less in five of them. ‘Nuff said.
For the Chiefs, Brady Quinn will get his second chance during his last second chance of final chances. I know, that doesn’t make sense to me, either, but you know what I mean. Quinn wasn’t great last week and really needs to take advantage of his opportunity here in the last half of the season or the Chiefs will most certainly be taking a quarterback in the 2013 Draft – in fact, they likely already will.
NY Giants at Dallas
We all realize now that Victor Cruz is no flash in the pan. However, did you realize he’s on pace for 114 catches, 1,433 yards and 16 touchdowns? While it’s tough to see him maintain this pace once Nicks is healthy (if that ever happens), the fact that he’s playing like mini-Megatron is amazing.
Dez Bryant laid an egg for the Cowboys last week by dropping yet another catchable pass in the end zone. We know he’s dealing with some minor injury issues, but c’mon, it’s time we started seeing the talent he has translate on to the field on a more consistent basis.
Sunday Night Football
New Orleans at Denver
It’s Drew Brees vs. Peyton Manning and that’s all we need to say.
Monday Night Football
San Francisco at Arizona
It’s the San Francisco defense against John Skelton. That’s all we need to say, too.
Have a great week eight!