Four teams are on a bye in Week 8: Baltimore, Buffalo, Cincinnati, and Houston. Between those four teams, we have four starting caliber quarterbacks and several viable running backs, receivers, and tight ends. Then there's DeMarco Murray, Maurice Jones-Drew, and Greg Jennings who are hurt, with many others questionable.
Below, I'll list the player, their Week 8 matchup, and the percentage of leagues in which he is owned according to our friends at fleaflicker.com.
The hope is that you don't find yourself in a situation like this. The hope is that you dodge the bullet. But hope won't help you come Sunday.
Let's move on to this week's targets, keeping in mind that these aren't every week starters. Instead, these are guys that should only be used if you're in some kind of roster emergency, whether it be related to bye weeks or injuries.
Sam Bradford vs NE -- 41%. Bradford has been a litmus test for passing defenses. His performance is indicative of his opposition. Against Chicago and Seattle, he really struggled. Against Washington and Miami, he played very well. New England has been giving up points to opposing quarterbacks in bunches, so I expect Bradford to put up solid numbers. While I don't know about the 270 yards and three touchdowns we've projected for him, something like 250 and two scores should do just fine.
Matt Hasselbeck vs IND -- 16%. Hasselbeck has filled in admirably for injured starter Jake Locker. He's put up enough points to warrant being a decent second stringer or a bye week fill-in. Over the past few weeks, the Titans have actually been scoring a bit, and Hasselbeck has been careful with the football. I think he surpasses the 230 yards and a touchdown in our projections.
Jonathan Dwyer vs WAS -- 42%. Dwyer finally displayed some of the running skills we'd seen back in college, leading Ben Roethlisberger to even compare him to former Steelers' running back Jerome Bettis. He ran hard, seeming to get stronger as the game progressed, breaking off a 32-yard run to seal the deal late. I'm a big fan of his, and with Rashard Mendenhall and Isaac Redman still slowed by injury, look for Dwyer to get another start this week. Despite the Redskins tough run defense, I like him to outperform our 75-yard projection.
Daryl Richardson vs NE -- 30%. Richardson has been a pleasant surprise in St. Louis. While Steven Jackson is still very productive, Richardson has been cutting into his touches. Jackson will end up the goal line back, but I like Richardson, nonetheless. We've projected him for 40 total yards, and I think he gets that, even with a tough matchup.
Brandon Gibson vs NE -- 26%. Another Ram that I like. But in Gibson's case, he gets to take on a rudderless Patriots pass defense. I like Bradford this week, and I really like Gibson, who has become the top target with Danny Amendola still on the shelf. The Rams will most likely be down on Sunday and will need to throw to stay in the game. I like Gibson to hit the 16 points we've projected.
Jeremy Kerley vs MIA -- 43%. Kerley has really come on over the past few weeks, developing chemistry and trust with Mark Sanchez. The Dolphins have been better than we thought they'd be, but not necessarily against the pass. He's projected for 15 points, and I think he can get there.
Dustin Keller vs MIA -- 45%. Keller had missed several games with a hamstring injury. Now healthy, Keller posted seven catches for 93 yards and a score last week in New England. Sanchez will continue to look his way, and I like him to top the projected 50 yards and score.
Logan Paulsen @PIT -- 2%. When Fred Davis went down last week, Paulsen was given an opportunity. He caught the ball on that 4th and 10 that's been on TV all week, and is a capable tight end. Newly re-signed Chris Cooley could eventually cut into his time, but I like Paulsen this week to go above and beyond the five points he's projected for this week.
Good luck in week 8.
Drew Magyar is a FantasySharks.com staff writer and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. "What Did We Learn" will be posted each Tuesday morning during the season, and "Rock and a Hard Place" will be posted each Friday morning.