Don’t worry, I’m not going to recommend that you listen to the Run DMC cover of the classic Aerosmith song in your Adidas jump suit this weekend [Jay’s Note: Awww, I’m already dressed up for it!], but I’m going to recommend that you start Raiders’ running back, Darren McFadden.
It’s disgusting to read, I get it. How many times have we bought into McFadden only to be let down in the past? If you can tally up the times, please let me know. However, the matchup this week against the Browns is too good to pass up. Since Tony Sparano has taken over as head coach of the Raiders, he’s made it a point to run the ball with McFadden. McFadden has a total of 34 touches (six catches) for 141 yards and one touchdown in his two games under Sparano.
Meanwhile, Maurice Jones-Drew has just seven carries in those contests, so there’s no feeling that he’ll vulture McFadden. The Browns, for whatever reason, are horrible against the run. On the year, they’ve given up seven touchdowns to running backs, and they are coming off a game in which they were gashed by Denard Robinson. Yes, they made a Jaguars running back actually look good.
You can’t trust McFadden to stay healthy for the entire season, but his matchup against the Browns is as good as it gets, and he’s our start of the week for Week 8.
Jerick McKinnon, Vikings: McKinnon was in serious consideration for start of the week this week, but can you think of a catchy headline for him? Yeah, me either. The Vikings running back has been impressive so far since he took over the starting job from Matt Asiata, but he hasn’t had his breakout game yet. That changes this week, as he goes up against a putrid Tampa Bay run defense. Your last chance to buy low on McKinnon is now, and once the Vikings wrap up four quarters on Sunday, the window will be shut.
Dwayne Allen, Colts: Allen isn’t a sexy name, but there aren’t many of those at tight end this year. However, Allen has at least three receptions in all but one game, and he has a score in five of seven games this year. Allen goes up against a Steelers defense that has struggled all season against opposing tight ends. Allen is available in far too many leagues, and he should be viewed as a top seven option this week.
Eric Decker, Jets: I’m of the belief that Percy Harvin’s arrival actually elevates Decker’s value and production with the Jets. Entering the year, I was down on Decker like many were, and his hamstring has been an issue early in the season. But with 10 days rest, I expect Decker to be 100 percent fine and for him to continue to produce. Buffalo has been poor against No. 1 receivers this season, and Decker will continue to be a solid No. 2 wide receiver going forward.
Carson Palmer, Cardinals: Did I break a rule by having him here two weeks in a row? If I did, my bad, but the matchup against the Eagles is too good to pass up. He’s shown no issues with his nerve issue, and he should post another 20-plus point performance this weekend against the Eagles. He’s a top 10 QB the rest of the season, folks.
Jay Cutler, Bears: It truly kills me to say this, but if you have better options, you can bench Cutler this week. The Bears travel to New England this weekend, and while the Pats’ lone pass rusher Chandler Jones will miss the game, Cutler’s offensive line will make the rest of the New England front seven look formidable. Don’t forget about Brandon Browner and Darrelle Revis in the secondary, too. More than likely you’re running Cutler out there Sunday, but if you have a Ryan Tannehill or Palmer, you should consider benching the Bears’ QB.
Denard Robinson, Jaguars: Robinson could be OK going forward, but do you want to trust a Jaguars running back in Week 8 of the season? It’s a minus matchup for the former Michigan Wolverine, as the Dolphins have held running backs in check all year. Robinson’s previous six games were nothing to write home about, so make him show you that he can do it again before you buy in.
Mohammed Sanu, Bengals: Again, sorry for the repeat here. I expect A.J. Green to play this week, which is a good and bad thing for Sanu. The volume will go down some, but it could provide more opportunities. However, if Green doesn’t play, Sanu has to go against Jimmy Smith. After seeing what I saw last week from the Bengals offense, I’m not ready to trust Sanu or any Bengals player really. He’s a low-end flex this week based on potential volume.
Martellus Bennett, Bears: Some trends need to be paid attention to, even if you can’t explain them. For some reason, Bennett disappears after September. We can’t explain it, but it happens. In September, Bennett had 29 receptions on 37 targets in four games. In three October games, Bennett has 12 receptions on 21 targets. He has no more than 58 yards receiving over the past three games, and he hasn’t found the end zone since Week 3. It’ll continue this week, as well as Week 10, Week 11 and so on.