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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Keepers, Sleepers, and Jeepers: Week Eight

By Adam Filadelfo (@FNTSYArchitect)

It's Tuesday so it's once again time to make those waiver wire claims for the stretch run of the fantasy football season. With only a handful of weeks remaining in the fantasy football season, owners need to make sure they find what little help they can to ensure making the playoffs. It isn't easy to distinguish which players are for real and which players are just a flash in the pan. That's why you're reading this though. Read on for the week eight edition of Keepers, Sleepers and Jeepers.

Keepers

Tre Mason- Running Back- St.Louis Rams- The rookie tail back out of Auburn will more than likely be the most added player heading into week eight and with good reason. Mason has clearly been the spark plug that the Rams so desperately needed the last two weeks and week seven saw him break out for 85 yards and a touchdown. The only downside to Tre Mason is the lack of production he will provide in the passing game as he saw no targets in week eight. The good news is Mason saw the most snaps out of all of the Rams backs and fantasy owners should expect that to continue for the rest of the season as Tre Mason has clearly been the superior runner over Zac Stacy and Benny Cunningham. The next five games for Mason are the Chiefs, 49ers, Cardinals, Broncos and Chargers. Arizona is the best team versus the run from that schedule giving up under 16 fantasy points per game to the running back position.

Bryce Brown- Running Back- Buffalo Bills- With Fred Jackson expected to miss multiple games and Spiller done for the season, it's next man up time in Buffalo. Question is, who's the next man up in Buffalo? Is it Bryce Brown or Anthony Dixon? The Bills gave up a draft pick to get Brown from the Eagles and he's been inactive since. Fantasy owners would be wise to think this is why the Bills traded for Brown during the off season. If the Bills don't plan on using Bryce Brown now, when will they use him? When Brown stepped in for an injured LeSean McCoy back in 2012, he rushed for 347 yards and four scores in just his first two games as a pro. To make Brown's situation a little more interesting, the Buffalo Bills running backs have the second most receptions this season which could be another reason Brown gets the nod over Dixon.

Anthony Dixon- Running Back- Buffalo Bills- When both Fred Jackson and Spiller went down with injuries in week seven, the Bills called on Anthony Dixon to carry the rock. He's ahead of Bryce Brown on the depth chart as of now but is known for more of a short yardage back than an every down back. Until the Bills running back situation is cleared up, fantasy owners may want to roster Dixon if  Brown isn't available or they feel Dixon is the man ahead of Brown. The week eight matchup versus the Jets isn't ideal for the running back but both backs in Buffalo need to be owned one way or another until one emerges. It isn't easy finding a starting tail back eight weeks into the fantasy football season on the waiver wire.

Denard Robinson- Wide Receiver/Running Back- Jacksonville Jaguars- "Shoelace" as he's being called, may be worth an add in most formats seeing for one as he's listed as a running back and receiver and also Toby Gerhart and Storm Johnson have been disappointments to this point. I wrote about Denard Robinson being a waiver wire add a few weeks ago and now it finally looks like he's going to get a chance to show what he can do. Week seven saw "Shoelace" break out to the tune of 18.7 fantasy points while he amassed 22 carries for 127 yards and a touchdown. He even managed to secure his only target of the game and should be the starting running back for week eight when Jacksonville faces a pretty strong defensive line in the Miami Dolphins. There are just so many ways Denard Robinson can score fantasy points that he's worth an add heading into week eight.

Sleepers

Doug Baldwin- Wide Receiver- Seattle Seahawks- Now that number one receiver Percy Harvin is in New York with the Jets, Doug Baldwin could be the new number one in Seattle. The only issue with Baldwin or any other Seahawks wide out is Seattle is a run first team who most weeks will not attempt very many passes. That could hinder the production of Baldwin and the other receivers but nonetheless, it will be difficult for fantasy owners to turn a blind eye to what Doug Baldwin did in week seven. He finished with seven catches for 123 yards and a touchdown. Baldwin was averaging just over six fantasy points per game but week seven saw him post over 18. It will be difficult to count on that production every week with Baldwin or anything even close to that. As long as the Seahawks passing game is inconsistent, the consistency of Doug Baldwin will be difficult to count on as well.

Martavis Bryant- Wide Receiver- Pittsburgh Steelers- The Clemson rookie finally made his debut and he immediately scored a touchdown. When drafted, Bryant was thought to be a red zone option but last night, he hauled in a 35 yard touchdown from Big Ben and posted double digit fantasy points in his first NFL game. While it may be difficult to trust Martavis Bryant week to week, it should not go unnoticed that he is 6'5 and 200 lbs. He could end up being both a deep threat and a red zone option in a pass heavy offense. What can also make the Clemson rookie worthy of an add sooner rather than later is the torrid play of Markus Wheaton. Through seven weeks, Wheaton has seen 41 targets and has caught only 24 of them for 277 yards and 0 touchdowns. He's averaging just over four fantasy points per game and is nowhere near what fantasy owners were expecting this season. It is worth noting that Bryant saw five targets in week seven while Wheaton saw only two.

Charles Clay- Tight End- Miami Dolphins- For tight end needy fantasy owners, Charles Clay may be worth looking at. He caught four out of his five targets in week seven for 58 yards and a touchdown and has gotten no less than four targets in a game this season. He posted double digit fantasy points in week seven and should continue to see a healthy dose of targets for the remainder of the season.

Travaris Cadet- Running Back- New Orleans Saints- With Pierre Thomas out for the next few weeks, the Saints may look to Travaris Cadet for more touches. Cadet had zero carries in week seven but did catch six passes on nine targets which is great for fantasy owners playing in PPR formats. Cadet also played on 20 of the 74 offensive snaps for the Saints in week seven while Ingram saw 25 of the snaps and Khiry Robinson seeing only five. The Saints get the worst run defense in the NFL in week eight versus the Packers and Cadet could be a PPR stud in the absence of Pierre Thomas.

Jeepers

Dwayne Bowe- Wide Receiver- Kansas City Chiefs- Apparently, there was a Dwayne Bowe sighting in week seven. Bowe teased fantasy owners with five catches for 84 yards and posted the most fantasy points he has all season. Fantasy owners should not fall for Dwayne Bowe again. He's as inconsistent as fantasy players come and can not be relied upon moving forward. His last double digit fantasy game came way back in week 14 of last season. He provides little to no fantasy relevance whatsoever.

Darren McFadden- Running Back- Oakland Raiders- By now, hopefully no fantasy owner will fall for the cruel joke that is Darren McFadden. While he has the potential to be a top PPR back, it just hasn't worked out that way up until this point. Week seven saw Run DMC post double digit fantasy points for the second time this season but fantasy owners should not come to expect that very much. McFadden saw a season high eight targets in week seven which was the most he's seen since week one in 2012 where he got 18 targets. Fantasy owners should count last week as more of the exception than the rule when it comes to Darren McFadden.