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Dan's Sack (Fantasy Football Mailbag): Week 8

Dan Ciarrocchi of Hogs Haven and Pro Football Focus answers all of your Week 8 Fantasy Football questions.


Let's just get right to it this week:

JasonJ of the Hogs Haven community writes:

Right before Chris Johnson blew up last week, I had traded him for Aaron this looking like a really bad trade right now? I still have Bradshaw and Alfred Morris as my RB's along with sleepers Alex Green and Stephens-Howling, my QB is Matty Ice, and my WR's are Brandon Marshall and Reggie Wayne and Brandon Lloyd...should I still be okay?

You'll be fine, but this is the most "me" thing I've read in a while. I could trade Billy Cundiff for Arian Foster, and it would all be guaranteed that Cundiff signs with the Packers and kicks seven 60-yard field goals and Foster gets stampeded by an anti-vegan interest group on the first play of the game and suffers a career-ending injury.

But don't panic. You bought somewhat low on Aaron Hernandez, who will always be a favorite target of Tom Brady's. Chris Johnson may have had an awesome week, but it's worth noting that the Bills are allowing over six yards per carry and nearly two rushing touchdowns per game to their opponents this season. You're only truly screwed if the Titans played the Bills for every remaining game on their schedule.

Shep872 of the Hogs Haven community writes:

Another Mathew Stafford Dilemma. When we talked last week I was deciding between Stafford and Carson Palmer. Luckily someone dropped J. Freeman in the middle of the week and I picked him up.

This week I have a similar problem. Both Stafford and Freeman have tough matchups.
And I have a chance to pick up Weeden against the Chargers or Hasselbeck against Indy.
Where would you go with this one?

There isn't a bigger proponent of the "start your studs" philosophy than me, but Hasselbeck really tempts me this week above the other options you mentioned. The Colts have not allowed fewer than two passing touchdowns to any quarterback they've faced this year except to Blaine Gabbert, who still managed to bumble his way to the end zone once. Hasselbeck will never punish a defense this season, but he is a safe bet for decent numbers each week, especially this one.

Stafford, on the other hand, has warranted several trips to the liquor cabinet for me. After tossing 41 touchdowns a season ago, he is now on pace to throw just 13 this season. That is miserable. The bright side is the stat guy in me can look at that and see a likelihood that he will regress to the mean eventually and improve down the road. But will that begin to happen this week? I doubt it. Simply put, Seattle is for real.

Now, who you start depends on what the rest of your team looks like. If you're getting a consistent output from your other positions and feel good about their chances this week, then just play it safe and go Hasselbeck. But if you find yourself in a tough matchup and really need to gamble, go Stafford. He will always present a ton of upside even though he has struggled up to this point.

Ampate7 of the Hogs Haven community writes:
Choose 3...

Vick ‘Rare Beast' Ballard
Mikel Leshoure
Trent ‘Ow, My Ribs Hurt' Richardson
Montario Hardesty

Dwayne Boner

Oh come on! It sounds like these nicknames were pulled from a crumpled up piece of paper in Chris Berman's trash can. You could have at least gone with Mikell "row your boat" Leshoure "hallelujah," or included "Tickle Me AlMo" to that list of suck.

However, Dwayne Boner should not have made me laugh, but it did. In public. I'm 12. Start Richardson, Leshoure and Boner.

Vedderman of the Hogs Haven community writes:

Rashad Jennings, Brandon Gibson, Michael Turner, Leonard Hankerson. I'm leaning toward Hank as WR and Gibson as Flex. Just not sure that Jennings will get the chance to run when Green Bay goes up by 20, and Turner is in for a rough day against the Iggles.

It's possible, but you don't really know that for sure, especially with Jennings. You're wandering into dangerous territory if you're banking on a team to jump out to a massive early lead, even a team with an offense as great as the Packers. The odds are that Jennings will be able to get his touches, and he'll probably get some yards against a team that's giving up over four yards per carry so far. I feel OK starting him this week, though my expectations are tempered.

Michael Turner could actually be featured versus the Eagles more than he has been this season on average. The main reason I think that, though, has nothing to do with the Eagles' great pass defense or any sudden confidence in the aging, plodding halfback. The weather on Sunday in Philadelphia is supposed to be rainy, and with winds of 20 miles per hour, and that doesn't exactly bode well for an air-it-out team used to playing in a dome. They may have to go to Turner more than they'd like to this weekend, but if I have a choice between Turner and Rashad Jennings, I'm going Jennings. My philosophy is that if I'm going to be wrong about my projections, I'm going to at least be wrong for the right reasons. Starting a guy just because it might rain is NOT the right reason to start a guy.

Oh, and for your wide receiver, I think Hankerson has the edge, but just a slight one.

@jdanz3394 writes via Twitter:

Half point PPR league...would you play Jeremy Kerley over Kenny Britt, Victor Cruz or Steve Smith??

Nope! Cruz and Britt have great matchups and will always have the talent to be potential top-5 options this week. Cruz's targets will always be there, and I'm not sold on laying another egg versus the Cowboys like he did in Week 1. He dropped the ball an uncharacteristically high four times, and would have had a great game had he even reeled-in half of those. He's a safe bet to not repeat that ghastly showing.

Jeremy Kerley, on the other hand, will be in for a tough game against Sean Smith and the Miami Dolphins, who have quietly done a great job in coverage this season. You could easily say the same thing for what the Bears have done, but Smith's averaging nine targets per game, and can still be counted on for a big play here and there. Though I'm in no rush to start him versus the guy who just held Calvin Johnson to three catches for 36 yards, I'll feel good about starting him over the guy whose value correlates to the amount of competence Mark Sanchez shows week-to-week.

21_DarnarienMcCants_21 of the Hogs Haven community writes:

I am 2-4 and need to shake things up. I got offered Hakeem Nicks and Jason Witten for Jimmy Graham and Danny Amendola. This league is a .5 PPR. Should I pull the trigger or sit tight and hope Jimmy turns it up?

All I can hope is that your trade partner hasn't revoked this offer before I could get back to you and say "YES! DO IT, DO IT, DO IT." Nicks looks a lot more up to speed than he did a few weeks ago, and Jason Witten's spleen injury seems a thing of the distant past. While Witten's ceiling is much lower than Graham's, he is still Tony Romo's security blanket on a pass-first offense, and will put up good weeks for often than not.

What makes this trade favorable for me is that Amendola is far too much of an unknown right now. A broken clavicle will typically keep a player out for six or seven weeks, and as much of a "scrappy gym rat" Amendola may be, I'm not trusting him to return anytime soon. Even if he does, I can't imagine it would be at anything more than a very limited capacity. He's worth a stash if you can get him for cheap, but I won't touch him otherwise. You're doing well to unload him for such a big return.

@mrdowsr1 writes via Twitter:

RB quandary this week. McFadden, Morris, Charles, R Bush. Who do I sit? Was going to sit McFadden but they are playing the Chiefs.

Yeah, that would be a bad move. The Chiefs have given up over 100 yards on the ground to every team they've faced this year, with the exceptions being the ones with Michael Turner and Mark Ingram as their main runners. McFadden has been maddening in his own right this season, but will continue to get his opportunities as long as he's healthy. He practiced in full on Wednesday, and shouldn't be a concern. I would sit Morris this week out of the four, but you really can't go wrong here. All four should have good weeks.

Liger99 of the Hogs Haven community writes:

Trade protest: Last week a veteran owner picked up Shonn Greene from the waiver wire and traded him for Tony Gonzalez to a rookie owner that has only one win so far. The rookie owner had first waiver priority but did not make any pickups and had released Greene the week before.

I sent a protest to the commish, but we don't have trade protest rules. The commish and a few others thought that the trade should be rejected. It is a $120 per team I'm a little pissed, but Greene did have a good game last week which was unexpected. So bitter. No questions this week, just some bitching by me.

That's lame, and I would probably hate to be in a league with that guy, but it sounds like he's totally within his rights. If anything, this is how rookie owners learn to not drop guys like Shonn Greene, even though he is absolutely dreadful. If it's any consolation, your league's champion is going to need a lot more help than what Tony Gonzalez and Shonn Greene can provide even though Gonzalez has been absurd this year.

I've also done shady stuff with trades before, but nothing ever seems to work in my favor. I had Rob Gronkowski on my team last year and picked up his brother, Dan Gronkowski, when he had his brief stint with the Patriots. I tried trading Dan to another team for Adrian Peterson, hoping the owner would see "Gronkowski, Tight End, Patriots," and hit the "accept trade" button. I wish I had stupid people in my leagues.

That's all for this week, folks. If you have more questions, go ahead and post them in the comments section or reach me on Twitter @PFF_Dan .