Fewer teams are on bye in Week 8 than last, meaning the player pool is deeper for this week. That still doesnât mean there arenât those who should probably be left on your bench this week. Here are a few names I am not that crazy about in Week 8.
Dwayne Bowe, WR, Kansas City vs. Oakland
As bad as Matt Cassel has been this season, thereâs no guarantee new starter Brady Quinn will fare any better. Quinn threw for just 180 yards and two interceptions in his first start in Week 6 against Tampa Bay, but he will get another shot this Sunday at home against Oakland. Coming off of the bye week, the Chiefs decided to stick with Quinn rather than going back to Cassel. As of right now, the safest fantasy bet in KC is probably Jamaal Charles. After that itâs play-at-your-own-risk when it comes to the Chiefs and that includes Bowe, their No. 1 wide receiver. Boweâs numbers werenât spectacular with Cassel under center, but two weeks ago with Quinn pulling the trigger he had just three catches (on nine targets) for only 25 yards. Prior to that game, Bowe was averaging 13.6 yards per reception. Bowe is more of a vertical threat than a possession-type of receiver, and Quinnâs 4.7 ypc average, which is what he produced against Tampa Bay, does not bode well for the wideoutâs fantasy outlook.
Brian Hartline, WR, Miami at New York Jets
It was only about a month ago when Hartline was one of footballâs best early surprises after his 12-catch, 253-yard performance against Arizona. In his two games since, heâs caught a total of four passes and all of those came in Week 5 against Cincinnati. Whether itâs defenses paying more attention to him or the ups and downs that come with relying on a rookie quarterback (Ryan Tannehill), Hartlineâs production has plummeted. He didnât catch a single pass in Miamiâs last game against St. Louis, and this week faces a Jetsâ defense thatâs allowing the fewest fantasy points to opposing wide receivers. This includes a Week 3 game against the Jets in which Hartline had one catch for 41 yards. Darrelle Revis may not be playing, but the Jetsâ secondary hasnât missed a beat, which is why it may be in your team's best interests to see that Hartline "misses" this Sunday's game.
Trent Richardson, RB, Cleveland vs. San Diego
On paper, the conditions seemed right for Richardson to have his first breakout game as a rookie last week against Indianapolis. Or at least thatâs what I thought. After all, he was getting his shot at a Coltsâ defense that had been gashed by the Jets, particularly Shonn Greene, the week prior. Instead of a breakout, however, what everyone saw was pretty much a breakdown, as Richardsonâs rib injury was worse than he let on and he was held to a measly eight yards rushing on as many carries. It got so bad that Richardson ended up getting benched for the second half as Montario Hardesty (7 att., 28 yds.) took over and finished the game. The coaching staff is concerned about Richardsonâs ribs, so thereâs a chance he may not even see the field this Sunday. Plus considering San Diego is allowing the fewest rushing yards per game in the league, this is shaping up to be a good week to leave the rookie on your bench.
Dallas, DST, vs. New York Giants
The Cowboys are fourth overall in total defense, third in pass defense, 15th against the run, and 14th in points allowed. Statistically, there are no glaring weaknesses on this defense. Unfortunately, Dallasâ on-field performance has not translated into fantasy success. The Cowboysâ DST is currently tied for 26th in fantasy scoring, behind the likes of Tennessee and Buffalo, who are currently 30th and 31st in total defense. Why is this? Itâs mainly because the Cowboys have only generated 12 sacks, six turnovers (2 INTs, 4 fumble recoveries), and have yet to score a defensive or special teams touchdown. In some leagues, yards allowed and three and outs and other categories count too, but in standard leagues a DSTâs value really comes down to sacks, turnovers and touchdowns. As good as the Cowboysâ defense has played on the field, the unit simply isnât scoring enough to merit fantasy consideration right now.
â By Mark Ross, published on Oct. 25, 2012