In our Week 8 sleepers column, we’ll look at the Rams’ European vacation to find some passing-game weapons that could produce, a running back who couldn’t even average two yards per carry on 20 totes last week, a PPR weapon at tight end who’s widely available, and a defense coming off a bye.
QB Sam Bradford, STL vs. NE
The New England pass defense has been awful this year, allowing fantasy quarterbacks to average 300 passing yards and over two passing TDs per game. The Pats rank in the bottom five in the league in both metrics. Bradford has faced a lot of good defenses this year (Bears, Seahawks, Cardinals), so his overall numbers aren’t great, but when he has a great matchup he’s exploited it, like he did by throwing for 310 yards and three TDs against the Redskins in Week 2. It’ll be interesting to see if the NE secondary is even slower to respond to developing plays when competing in an unfamiliar time zone in London.
RB Alex Green, GB vs. JAC
Green is coming off an awful performance in which he picked up just 35 yards on 20 carries (and added 29 yards on four receptions). There was a little buzz after that game that James Starks may be in line for an expanded role. So why are we pegging Green as a sleeper? Starks missed a day of practice with an undisclosed illness, likely curtailing his role in the offense this week. And while the Rams have proven pretty solid against fantasy RBs this year, the Jaguars have not, finishing in the bottom five both in total yards and TDs per game ceded to fantasy RBs. Expect Green to get a lot of run in the second half with the Packers up big en route to a nice fantasy total.
WRs Brandon Gibson and Chris Givens, STL vs. NE
Since we like Sam Bradford this week, it stands to reason that we should like his primary receiver. Chris Givens has received the most platitudes for his big-play ability, but Gibson has been doing the yeoman’s work over the last two weeks, picking up 151 yards on 12 receptions. He hasn’t scored since tallying back-to-back performances with TDs in the first two weeks of the year, and if Danny Amendola remains out this week (he’s been tabbed unlikely to play despite practicing this week), Gibson could have his breakout performance. Givens is also a great sleeper for Week 8, as he seems like a good bet to catch a long TD against this secondary.
TE Brandon Myers, OAK at KC
I’ve been hyping Myers throughout the season, and he’s tied for eighth in total receptions this year among tight ends. Of the 16 tight ends with at least 25 receptions this season, Myers is the only one without a TD. Considering how much he’s been getting the ball, it seems likely he’ll reach the end zone soon, maybe even in his matchup. Myers as 12 receptions in his last two weeks for 106 yards, and he’s had only one clunker in six games (one catch, 22 yards against Denver), making him a relatively safe bet for someone you can likely pick up today and plug in for Week 8.
DF Miami Dolphins, MIA at NYJ
The rested Dolphins defense comes off a bye to face the division-rival Jets, a team they played in Week 3, allowing just one offensive TD and two field goals in regulation while picking up two sacks and two interceptions. The Dolphins were even better in their next three games leading up to the bye against the Cardinals, Bengals and Rams, getting at least three sacks in each game and forcing multiple fumbles in each. I think the Jets have a tough task on their hands in this game, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Dolphins fantasy defense reach double-digits for their fourth straight game.
R.J. White is the head editor at the Cafe and contributes to CBSSports.com's MLB Rumors blog. He has previously written for FanHouse, Razzball and FanDuel. Catch up with him in the forums under the name daullaz. Follow him on Twitter; don't follow him in real life.
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