Here’s who I like and don’t like for this week:
IN: Andy Dalton, Bengals
The rookie QB is coming off his best game as a pro when he completed a ridiculous 78 percent of his passes for 264 yards and a touchdown back in Week 6. This week the Bengals are taking on the Seahawks, who are giving up almost 250 passing yards a game and almost 16 fantasy points to quarterbacks this season. Dalton has the weapons (A.J. Green, Jerome Simpson, Jermaine Gresham) to put up some nice numbers, even on the road in hostile Seattle.
OUT: Tim Tebow, Broncos
Tebow got off to a slow start last week against the Dolphins but finished with a respectable 220 total yards, two touchdowns and that two-point conversion. But yards will be a lot harder to come by against the Lions in Week 8. Detroit is giving up the fifth-fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks this season and Denver’s offensive line will be put to the test against Ndamukong Suh and company. If the o-line falters, Tebow will be in for a rough day.
IN: DeMarco Murray, Cowboys
The rookie out of Oklahoma isn’t flying under the radar anymore after his franchise-record 253-yard performance last week. Although it isn’t official yet, it’s highly unlikely Felix Jones will play Sunday against the Eagles, meaning the bulk of the carries will once again fall to Murray. Philly has had some issues stopping the run this season (allowing 24 fantasy points per game to opposing backs) so Murray could do some major damage.
OUT: Jackie Battle, Chiefs
This move is less about what Battle can do (he finished with a respectable 76 yards last week against the Raiders) and more about who else is in the Kansas City backfield. Battle lost carries to Dexter McCluster and Thomas Jones last week as well as Le’Ron McClain and Javier Arenas once the Chiefs got into the red zone. With all those backs, it’s hard to guess when Battle will get the rock. Plus, he’ll be going up against an angry Chargers team still smarting after their loss last week to the Jets.
IN: Nate Washington, Titans
Once Kenny Britt went down for the season, many thought Washington would step up in his absence, but that hasn’t been the case. Since Britt’s injury in Week 3, Washington has just 141 yards and no touchdowns. But this could be the week in which things turn around for the Titans wideout. Tennessee is facing Indy in Week 8 — that same Indy team that just gave up 62 points to New Orleans. The Titans passing game has been struggling, so this matchup could be just what the doctor ordered.
OUT: Reggie Wayne, Colts
How the mighty have fallen. Wayne is averaging just five fantasy points in each of his last five games and he has only one touchdown, which has led to his 30th rank among fantasy wideouts. He just hasn’t been able to develop any chemistry with Curtis Painter (who has built a relationship with Pierre Garcon) to be an every-week starter anymore. Throw in the fact that Cortland Finnegan is expected to cover the Colts receiver on Sunday, and Wayne could be in for another long day.
IN: Fred Davis, Redskins
Davis has been the most reliable option on the Redskins offense this season. In four of his six games, the tight end has at least five catches for 80 or more yards, and he leads the team in yards, receptions, and is tied for the most touchdowns. And now that Washington will be without Chris Cooley and Santana Moss for the foreseeable future, those numbers will only increase. Davis is a solid play this week against the Bills.
OUT: Brent Celek, Eagles
With all the byes again this week, you might be looking to insert Celek into your lineup, but there are better options out there. Yes, Celek was more involved in the Eagles offense in Week 6 (he caught a touchdown and was targeted a team-high nine times) but I don’t think that’s the precursor to a trend. Michael Vick has so many weapons at his disposal that Celek is likely to be the lone man out when the Eagles take on the Cowboys (and their very good defense) on Sunday.
IN: Lawrence Tynes, Giants
Prior to his Week 6 breakout performance (a season-high nine point game against Buffalo), Tynes had attempted just three field goals over the previous five games — not enough to register with fantasy owners. But that could change this week. The Giants are coming off a bye and will take on the Dolphins in Week 8, a team that is having all kinds of issues on defense. New York’s offense should put up lots of points, which should benefit Tynes.
OUT: Shaun Suisham, Steelers
Pittsburgh’s offense has been on fire lately but Suisham remains inconsistent. Last week against the Cardinals was only his second double-digit effort of the season. This Steelers/Patriots game has the makings of a shootout, but it could just as easily turn out to be a low-scoring game as well (think Cowboys/Patriots from a couple weeks back). With a lot of kickers out on the waiver wire, stick Suisham on your bench.
San Francisco has one of the top fantasy defenses in the league, but this unit still gets overlooked. The D has 17 sacks, 14 turnovers and has allowed only 97 points overall this season. This week, San Fran is taking on Cleveland, a team that’s having major issues scoring points. The Browns are averaging around 16 points per contest, but they put up only six last week against a so-so Seahawks defense. Big things are on the horizon for the 49ers defense in Week 8.
You had to be impressed with what the Jags did Monday against the Ravens — they held Baltimore to 146 total yards and just one touchdown while forcing two turnovers. But next up for Jacksonville is the Texans, who have been putting up big numbers even without Andre Johnson in the lineup. This game creates a lot of mismatches for the Jags and the D might be in for a letdown after their big upset win on Monday.