Good Call/Bad Call - Week 8 5 years ago

When this week is over we will be at the half way point of the fantasy football season. I'm sad to see that half of the fantasy season is already over. Is your team doing as well as you thought it would be? Are you still as optimistic about your team as you were after your draft? I can tell you that this has been a strange season for me.

This has been the season where a lot of my teams are ranking as the highest in the points against category. It's pretty frustrating seeing your teams do well, only to have the guy you're playing throw up his biggest point total of the season so far. It's not making for a fun fantasy season. Oh well, I've got two trips to Las Vegas planned in the spring. Once for a bachelor party, and another for the NCAA basketball tournament opening weekend. Maybe I can recoup some of my fantasy football losses there....right? (heavy sarcasm). Now on to the calls for the week.


The Redskins defense is giving up an average of 21 points to opposing quarterbacks through seven weeks. That means that Ben Roethlisberger should be able to get you some solid point production this week. Quarterbacks average 330 passing yards and two touchdowns against the 29th ranked Washington defense. The lowest fantasy quarterback points they've allowed is 16. Roethlisberger would be a ‘good call' if you've got him this week.

Philip Rivers is another ‘good call' this week. He gets to go up against the weak Cleveland defense. Before shutting down Andrew Luck's passing game last week (he still had two rushing touchdowns), Cleveland had allowed three touchdown passes in four of their last five games. Quarterbacks average 22 fantasy points against the Browns. Rivers should have no problem putting up a few touchdowns and a good amount of points for you this week.

The sophomore slump has hit Cam Newton. Newton has scored 36 less fantasy points than he did at this point last season or six points less per game. This week, Cam travels to Chicago to play a very tough Bears defense. The Bears have allowed more than one passing touchdown just once this season, and have held two quarterbacks without any touchdown passes. The most fantasy points any quarterback has scored on the Bears was the 17 by Matthew Stafford last week. This is just a bad matchup for Cam and he's a ‘bad call' for you to start this week.

On the other side of the ball in the Bears verses Panthers game, Jay Cutler isn't going to have an easier time. While the Carolina defense isn't as good as the Bears, they're still a tough game for quarterbacks. Only one quarterback (Matt Ryan) has thrown more than one touchdown against them. While Drew Brees, Eli Manning, and Tony Romo all had decent yardage against the Panthers, they all failed to throw more than one touchdown pass. Cutler is a tier below these guys, and I doubt he'll have nearly the day these better quarterbacks had. That makes Cutler a ‘bad call' this week.

Running Backs

Chris Johnson is a ‘good call' this week, and not just because he had a huge week last week. Last week's game was a fluke in my mind. His two touchdowns last week were his first touchdowns since Week 13 of last season. Despite that, Johnson has a favorable matchup this week.

The Indianapolis defense has given up eight rushing touchdowns already this season. They're giving up an average of 4.8 yards per carry and 142 rushing yards per game. Johnson should be able to break the 100-yard rushing mark this week. Throw in a few catches, and a possible touchdown, and you may have a CJ2K sighting for the second week in a row.

Willis McGahee should be started this week. Here's a list of running backs that have gashed the New Orleans defense: Alfred Morris (26 fantasy points), DeAngelo Williams (14), Jonathan Stewart (15), Jamaal Charles (46), Cedric Benson (17), Ryan Mathews (27), and Doug Martin (23). Seven quality running back performances in just six games played by the Saints defense. Enough said. ‘Good call.'

Michael Turner gets a tough game on his trip to Philadelphia this week. The Eagles defense has allowed just two touchdowns on the season. Phily does rank 14th for rushing yards allowed per game at just over 100, but seem to be able to stop running backs from crossing the goal line. Turner could have a rough game this week and if you've got another running back, start him. Turner is a ‘bad call' this week.

Last year DeAngelo Williams was getting you a little over 50 rushing yards per game, with the occasional touchdown. If he had a good matchup, you needed a bye week fill-in, or Jonathan Stewart was hobbled, he was a decent fantasy plug-and-play. This season he's not even averaging 30 rushing yards a game. Jonathan Stewart hasn't hurt himself, and Mike Tolbert has been added into the mix. Throw in a tough trip to Chicago this week, and if you were thinking about getting Williams into your lineup, think again. He's a ‘bad call' this week.

Wide Receivers

"Hi, I'm Josh Gordon, and all I do is catch touchdowns. You should start me." That's what Josh Gordon should be saying to fantasy football players. In the past three weeks, he has seven catches and four of them have gone for touchdowns. This week he gets a nice soft matchup with San Diego who has given up double digit points to deep threat wide receivers in every one of their last four games. Julio Jones, Dewayne Bowe, Marques Colston, and Demaryius Thomas have all scored on the Chargers defense in the last four weeks. Two of them have broken 100 receiving yards. Gordon should be able to continue his three game touchdown streak this week, and he'd be a ‘good call' to get into your starting lineup.

Pierre Garcon, Steve Smith, Greg Jennings, Jordy Nelson, Malcom Floyd, and Vincent Jackson are all guys who have broken 100 receiving yards or had a touchdown against the New Orleans defense. Demaryius Thomas has 100 receiving yards or a touchdown in all but one game this year. I think we know who the fantasy gem in Denver is. Thomas will easily be a ‘good call' this week. Start him with confidence.

Last week I told you to sit Brandon Lloyd, and he was held to one catch for six yards. I'm sorry, but this is another week you're going to want to sit Lloyd. Besides last week's game against Green Bay, the Rams defense has allowed just two touchdowns to wide receivers this year. It appears that with Aaron Hernandez back to full health Lloyd's targets have been dropping. Starting Lloyd this week would be a ‘bad call'.

Brian Hartline either has huge games or he has useless games. This week he's going to have another useless game. Hartline didn't even get a single target in the Week 6 game against St. Louis. The New York Jets are the toughest team for wide receivers to go up against. The Jets aren't an easier defense without Darrelle Revis, and haven't allowed a wide receiver touchdown since Week 2. The Jets should have no problem shutting down Hartline, and he's a ‘bad call' this week.

Tight Ends

Seattle allows tight ends to score points on them when they're on the road. Jason Witten, Jermichael Finley, Rob Gronkowski, and Aaron Hernandez have all done well since their games weren't in Seattle. Brandon Pettigrew will be at home as well against Seattle, and is a ‘good call' this week.

Coby Fleener is becoming a matchup play for a tight end. He seems to do better on the road than at home. This week he travels to Tennessee and plays the most fantasy friendly defense for tight ends. Start him this week and you'll be happy you did.

Denver won't be using their tight ends much this week against New Orleans. The Saints defense is weak enough against running backs and wide receivers that teams forget to use their tight ends. Jacob Tamme will be forgotten this week, and you should forget about starting him this week.

Either Indianapolis knows how to cover tight ends, or teams aren't throwing to them when they play the Colts. I think it's a combination of both. The Colts haven't given up good stats to a tight end since Week 2. That means that Jared Cook is a ‘bad call' this week. Look elsewhere for your tight end this week.

Twitter question of the week: Who is the biggest fantasy surprise for you this year? Reply to @curtkestila with your response.

Good luck this week and I hope you make all the right calls.

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QB MIA (1)
QB IND (11)
QB NYG (8)