I learned one thing after rereading my column last week. Perhaps it is
some deeply rooted problem that I need to see a psychiatrist about. Or
perhaps it is just a coincidence that I should brush off and forget in a
week. Regardless, I decided to do some investigating.
I talked to several of my ex-girlfriends this past week, through several
forms of communication. I started with small talk but each conversation
ended with one simple question.
Am I a lover or a fighter? Or, better yet, am I lover or a hater? Am I
romantically disconnected? It became clear to me that something wasn’t
working. Each lady gave me a different answer. Some were polite while
others were sincere. Too sincere, at times.
I looked myself in the mirror for a good 2 hours. I had to understand this
problem. For my readers. And more importantly, for myself.
My “loves” weren’t especially strong last week. My QBs were all
disgraceful. Half of my RBs couldn’t play 4 quarters. But let’s move on
from that. That’s what I had to do with all of my ex-girlfriends. All
(most) of them are now my friends. I suppose I can still be friends with
Matt Cassel and Marshawn Lynch. It will take time though.
What I found myself to be especially strong at was “hating” players. If
you started someone on my “hate” list, you probably weren’t happy with the
results. It’s clear that my veins run deep with hate.
So now that I have looked my problem face-to-face, it is time to correct
it. This is the week where I start to love my “loves”. This is the week
where you, the reader, will see my “loves”, and you will feel confident
putting them in your starting lineup.
So let’s end this rant and get on with the love.
Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger – I start off my love with Big Ben. What
can go wrong there? He started out the 2011 season very poor, but don’t
look now. Since the week 4 loss to Houston, Ben has thrown 9 TD’s in 3
games and has his only 20+ scoring outings this season. Tom Brady tends to
kill this Steelers secondary, so Ben should be throwing early and often.
Titans QB Matt Hasselbeck – I know it’s risky to have him on this side of
the pond after last weeks performance, but hear me out. Did you see what
Drew Brees did to this Colts secondary last week? Hasselbeck is no Brees,
but this is the perfect game for Titans to bounce back in a big way.
Ravens QB Joe Flacco – Most of you that watched Monday’s game probably
think this is a typo. If he ends up playing bad, let’s just say it is. But
for now, I’m high on Flacco for week 8. Take a look at his season trend:
after every single-digit fantasy outing, he has come out the next week
with double digit scoring every time. And it’s not like the Cardinals
defense will have anything to say about that…
Chargers RB Mike Tolbert – He has some interesting ailments on the injury
report, but I just chalk those up as cautious listings. Tolbert is the top
dual-threat on this team and the Chiefs proved last week that they
struggle more with bulldozer RB’s like Tolbert.
Saints RB Mark Ingram – An idiot is defined as someone that does something
without success, yet chooses to do it again expecting different results.
Does that make me an idiot for putting Ingram back on the “love” list?
Hopefully not. If his Achilles is healthy, he could put up monster
numbers against a Rams run defense that just let DeMarco Murray go nuts.
Update yourself throughout the week, because if Ingram is a scratch Pierre
Thomas could be a great play.
Titans RB Chris Johnson – I must be crazy at this point. Chris Johnson?
You mean, that Chris Johnson? Yes, that Chris Johnson. I know he’s been
awful, but he’s facing the 31st ranked run defense and the Titans should
be looking to put the hurt on the Colts after getting stomped by the
Texans. If he can’t put it together here, I doubt he will this season.
Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray – Time to find out if Mr. Murray is for real.
Once you go on my “love” list, you don’t come back. He’s facing fantasy’s
worst run defense that has been absolutely gashed on the ground in almost
every contest. This is an Eagles defense with poor LBs, poor safeties, and
a poor run-defending scheme. I’m all in on Murray this week.
Panthers RB Jonathan Stewart – 2 TD’s in the past 2 weeks. It’s clear that
there are only two people on this roster that are going to see the ball
near the goal line. Obviously Cam Newton, but Stewart is the other one.
This is an underachieving Vikings run defense that has been bullied
Bengals WR A.J. Green – Can’t see him getting under 10 points this week.
He faces a Seattle secondary that lost two of their top three corners over
the past two weeks and hasn’t shown signs of slowing teams down through
the air. With Benson out and the Bengals facing the statistical #1 run
defense in the NFL, I expect Dalton to air it out quite a bit.
Chargers WR Vincent Jackson – I was wrong on about hating him last week,
but this week is a different story. He had 5 catches against KC earlier in
the season and these primetime divisional games tend to be barn-burners.
Jackson has to be the focal point.
Ravens WR Anquan Boldin – As my love goes for Flacco, so it goes for
Boldin. The Cardinals should be focused on stopping Ray Rice and going man
coverage on the outside, similar to the Jaguars. Unfortunately, they don’t
have the overall talent of the Jaguars. Rookie CB Patrick Peterson has
been shaky at times and the secondary as a whole has been murdered more
often than not.
St. Louis WR Brandon Lloyd – I was low on Lloyd coming into the season
considering all of the factors weighing against him, but I have to admit
that I love the fact he’s reuniting with Josh McDaniels. In only his first
week as a Ram he led the team in both catches and targets.
Giants WR Mario Manningham – Just for those that may have forgotten he’s the #2 on the Giants, not Victor Cruz. Manningham is absolutely due for a
big game and what better time than against the winless Dolphins? With
Nicks commanding the attention of Vontae Davis and company, Manningham
should finally see the endzone.
Patriots TE Aaron Hernandez – Expect a big game here. Hernandez received 14 targets from Tom Brady last week, meaning he’s a top option in this
offense. The Patriots are all about exploiting mismatches, and I think
Hernandez draws just that.
Redskins TE Fred Davis – Let’s be clear about this, the Redskins don’t
have any offensive threats bigger than Fred Davis. Not only will he lead
the team in catches, but he’s been the only guy getting looks in the
49ers TE Vernon Davis – He’s just been so inconsistent this season, but
you have to like the match-up. With #1 target Michael Crabtree being
swallowed up by sophomore CB Joe Haden, Alex Smith will have no choice but
to find Davis.
Bengals TE Jermaine Gresham – While he’s not a bonafide #1 TE, Gresham is exactly the type of remedy fantasy owners need with JerMichael Finley and
Tony Gonzalez on their bye weeks. Like I already said, Dalton should be
throwing a lot this game, and the Seahawks are prone to big plays against
the tight end.
Vikings QB Christian Ponder – I was right to lust for Ponder last week, so
I’ll go back to the well. He faces a Carolina defense that should bait him
into throwing a lot as they stack the box to stop Adrian Peterson.
Bengals QB Andy Dalton – Who thought I’d be lusting for two rookies this
early in the season? Who thought those two rookies would be Ponder and
Dalton? Not me, that’s for sure.
Redskins RB Roy Helu – Looks like I’ll be taking multiple trips back to
the well. Except for this well didn’t give me water last time around. With
Hightower out, Helu should receive a lot more work.
Saints RB Pierre Thomas – I mentioned him earlier, but I think he’s prime
for a big game regardless. I could see the Saints going up big early and
giving Pierre the rock in the second half.
Lions RB Keiland Williams – For those of you in deep leagues, Keiland
isn’t a bad play. The Lions should be able to move the ball fairly easily
throw the air against this Broncos secondary, and it’s been determined
that Williams will be responsible for the goal line carries. We like goal
Bengals WR Jerome Simpson – Yes, I’m going back to the Bengals again.
Simpson just came off a 100+ yardage day prior to the Bengals bye, and I
have a feeling they will want to work him in even more.
Browns WR Greg Little – Well you know the Browns won’t be able to run
against San Francisco…
Texans QB Matt Schaub – He’s playing the stronger-than-you-think Jaguars
defense this week. I think the Texans focus on pounding it with Foster and
Tate rather than challenging this back 7.
Cardinals QB Kevin Kolb – Don’t fall in love with last week’s performance.
Kolb crumbles when he sees pressure. And no one brings the pressure better
than Terrell Suggs and the Ravens.
Broncos QB Tim Tebow – I had him on the “love” list last week and it paid
off. He had a great fantasy day especially when you consider how bad he
played for most of that game. This week I don’t feel the same. Detroit’s
defense will be much more disciplined than Miami’s.
Patriots RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis – A surprising hate for this week. BJGE
sees a good matchup to the naked eye, but Pittsburgh’s run defense has
been improving the past few weeks. I don’t think the Law Firm ever finds a
groove in this game, where he’s much stronger as a volume-back.
Broncos RB Knowshon Moreno – Even with McGahee out for this contest, I’m not a fan of Moreno. He hasn’t impressed me in any games with limited
touches and I doubt he finds his footing with a strong Lion defense.
Rams RB Steven Jackson – Jackson was stronger than I predicted last week,
but I just can’t feel good about playing him with Feeley starting. The
Saints won’t respect the pass at all.
Browns RB Peyton Hills – For any of you thinking he’ll rebound. And this
goes for Montario Hardesty as well. The 49ers are as stout a run defense
as you’ll see in this league and they especially dominate power backs.
Bengals RB Bernard Scott – Don’t get cute and think Scott will burst onto
the scene with Benson being suspended. Seattle’s run defense is very
strong and should force Cincinnati to throw a lot.
Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald – Fitzgerald has only 2 TD’s on the season
and hasn’t had over 10 fantasy points in his past 3 games. I don’t think
Ed Reed is going to be willing to change that. Kevin Kolb should be
running all day long.
Giants WR Victor Cruz – For anyone thinking to get cute against a good
match-up, don’t. Cruz is still the #3 and the Giants want to be a run-first
team. This is the time for them to make that happen.
Dolphins WR Brandon Marshall – Whether it be Matt Moore or J.P. Losman, Marshall is a risky play. Corey Webster has been playing very good
football this year and it will be difficult for Marshall to find space.
Panthers TE Greg Olsen – He’s slowly becoming less and less apart of this
offense and his fantasy numbers portray that trend. I’d like to see him
get more targets before I’m starting him again.
Steelers TE Heath Miller – I’m not buying the recent success from the
Pittsburgh TE and his low YPC average at times leaves me weary.
And with that said, we’re done for week 8 of the NFL season. Now that
you’ve seen those that I “Love, Lust, and Hate”, hope you make the right
choice in setting your lineups.
If you have any further questions, don’t hesitate to leave a comment below
and I will make sure to promptly respond. As always, good luck this week.