Coach on a Couch Fantasy Football Blog: Week 8

Alec Grimes

Start Em’

Carson Palmer QB, ARI, is one of two quarterbacks to throw for at least 2 touchdowns in each start this season, the other is Peyton Manning, which puts Palmer in good company. In his last 2 games Palmer has averaged 40 passing attempts per game. Palmer has completed 66% of those passes leading his team to 2 consecutive wins. The Cardinals face a Philadelphia Eagles defense that has allowed the 5th-most fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks. Expect Palmer to throw a lot of passes while mixing in a few shots downfield. Prediction: 21 pts; 260 yds and 2 TDs

Ad

Joique Bell RB, DET, has had 20 touches with a touchdown in each of his past 2 games. Bell has now posted double-digit fantasy points in 2 consecutive games. Bell will see lots of action this week due to Reggie Bush battling an injury and Calvin Johnson expected to sit out once again. The Falcons will serve as an ideal matchup for Bell as they have allowed the most fantasy points per game to running backs, while giving up the 2nd-most rushing yards and the most rushing touchdowns. Prediction: 15 pts; 90 yds and 1 TD

Sammy Watkins WR, BUF, is coming off of a big game where he caught 9 passes for 122 yards and 2 touchdowns, including a game-winning touchdown with a second left on the clock. Watkins possesses the deep threat which will benefit him in this week’s matchup against a Jets defense that has allowed the 2nd-most touchdowns on passes over 15 yards. Plus the Bills running game will struggle as they will be forced to play 2 running backs new to the backfield. Expect Watkins to be a key player in the Bills offensive attack. Prediction: 15 pts; 90 yds and 1 TD

Sit Em’

Matt Ryan QB, ATL, was pressured on 32% of pass plays and was sacked 5 times, both season-highs, last week against the Ravens. Ryan will continue to get banged up as his offensive line continues to struggle with injuries and poor play. Ryan and the Falcons have struggled badly on the road this season. Atlanta will be away from the Georgia Dome again this week as they face the Detroit Lions, overseas in London. Detroit’s defense has been among the top in the NFL and they are currently 3rd in sacks this season. Expect Ryan to be under duress for most of the day. Prediction: 14 pts; 240 yds, 1 TD, and 1 INT

Steven Jackson RB, ATL, is another Falcon that will have a tough time providing any meaningful offense against the stingy Lions defense. The Lions have allowed the 2nd-fewest rushing yards per game and the 7th-fewest fantasy points per game to running backs. To make matters worse, Jackson still has not rushed for more than 60 yards in a game and only has 2 touchdowns on the season. Prediction: 3 pts; 30 yds

Percy Harvin WR, SEA, will play his first game as a Jet, against the Bills on Sunday. The Jets will undoubtedly try to get the ball in the playmaker’s hands, but it won’t be easy since Harvin is new to the offense and will take time to warm up to Geno Smith. Expect Harvin to get a feel for things this week and provide more production later down the road. Prediction: 4 pts; 40 yds

Top Players by Position

QB

Aaron Rodgers, GB: Has thrown for 3 or more touchdowns in the past 4 weeks, he will be playing a New Orleans defense that has allowed the 7th-most fantasy points to quarterbacks. Prediction: 25 pts; 260 yds and 3 TDs

Andrew Luck, IND: Has thrown for over 300 yards in 5 consecutive games and faces the Steelers who have allowed 7.4 yards per pass. Prediction: 24 pts; 320 yds and 2 TDs

Ad

Russell Wilson, SEA: Has scored the 3rd-most fantasy points per game among quarterbacks. He will be facing Carolina, who has given up the 6th-most fantasy points to quarterbacks.  Prediction: 24 pts; 240 yds and 3 TDs

RB

DeMarco Murray, DAL: Averaging 26 carries a game with over 100 rushing yards each game. Prediction: 17 pts; 110 yds and 1 TD

Matt Forte, CHI: Facing the New England Patriots who have allowed the 8th-most fantasy points per game to running backs. Prediction: 17 pts; 110 all-purpose yards and 1 TD

Arian Foster, HOU: Has 428 yards and 5 touchdowns in his past 3 games. Prediction: 16 pts; 100 yds and 1 TD

WR

Jordy Nelson, GB: Will have a favorable matchup against the Saints, who have allowed the 2nd-most fantasy points per game to wide receivers. Prediction: 16 pts; 100 yds and 1 TD

Antonio Brown, PIT: Is currently leading the league in receiving yards and will only continue to add to his total. Prediction: 15 pts; 90 yds and 1 TD

Dez Bryant, DAL: Coming off of a 151 yard outing, Bryant will thrive against a Redskins secondary that has allowed the 11th-most fantasy points to wide receivers. Prediction: 14 pts; 80 yds and 1 TD

Injury Report

Out

DeAngelo Williams RB, CAR

Fred Jackson RB, BUF

C.J. Spiller RB, BUF

Pierre Thomas RB, NO

Khiry Robinson RB, NO

Questionable

Robert Griffin III QB, WAS

Reggie Bush RB, DET (Doubtful)

Darren Sproles RB, PHI

Shane Vereen RB, NE

Calvin Johnson WR, DET

Vincent Jackson WR, TB

A.J. Green WR, CIN (Doubtful)

Jimmy Graham TE, NO

Probable

Tony Romo QB, DAL

Giovanni Bernard RB, CIN

Dez Bryant WR, DAL

Julio Jones WR, ATL

Byes: New York Giants and San Francisco 49ers

Check back next week for a special edition mid-season update!

 Collegian Sports Reporter Alec Grimes can be reached at sports@collegian.com and on Twitter @GrimesAlec.