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Winning the Wire and Surviving the Bye: Week 8 Sleepers

With Doug Martin out for a while, former Hurricane Mike James looks to impress as Tampa Bay's lead back.  (buccaneers.com)

Week 7 resulted in a rash of injuries to stars Reggie Wayne, Doug Martin, Jermichael Finley, and Arian Foster.  Wayne is done for the year as is Doug Martin if his labrum is torn as reported. Greg Schiano is still adamant Martin’s not done, so cross your fingers and add Mike James. Foster’s hamstring aggravation appears to be the least serious of the four listed above, but Ben Tate also has a rib injury. Mercifully for Texan fans and Foster owners, Houston is on the bye along with five other teams (Colts, Ravens, Chargers, Bears, Titans). Quarterback depth was depleted with Sam Bradford’s torn ACL and Nick Foles’s head injury, which could give Matt Barkley his first NFL start (although Michael Vick is reportedly going to play Sunday).

LAST WEEK

Nick Foles gets an incomplete due to injury, but the Dallas-Philly game was surprisingly low scoring. Mike Glennon had another two touchdown game and eclipsed 250 yards without throwing a pick. Joseph Randle was mediocre and would have been solid but for Philip Tanner vulturing a goal-line touchdown. Chris Ogbonnaya was not good. Making up for the running backs were Harry Douglas and Jarrett Boykin, who each put up over 100 yards and scored a touchdown. Tim Wright will remain relevant if Doug Martin is done, but Glennon locks on so much to Vincent Jackson that it hurts Wright’s consistency.  Jordan Reed, on the other hand, looked excellent and his play reportedly has Washington shopping Fred Davis.

QUARTERBACKS

Carson Palmer (ATL @ ARI) Palmer is the best of an undesirable lot that may be available as a QB replacement for your team. After facing the elite Seahawks defense, Palmer should be serviceable against Atlanta’s secondary despite the Cards’ offensive line woes.

Geno Smith (NYJ @ CIN) Geno Smith gets the nod over Terrelle Pryor (PIT @ OAK) by a hair. The home matchup for Pryor is tempting, but Smith should have opportunities to throw because Cincinnati is so good against the run. Smith has progressed more than most expected and the other QB waiver options this week are just brutal.

RUNNING BACKS

Mike James (TB @ CAR) The former Miami Hurricane should be this week’s most popular waiver wire addition as the unquestioned lead back for the Bucs with Doug Martin out. James can catch the ball out of the backfield and is a decent volume play even though he gets Carolina’s strong defense on Thursday night.

Roy Helu (WAS @ DEN) Helu scored twice last week and gets all the RB snaps in Washington’s pass/hurry-up offense.  Helu is an excellent receiver and RGIII’s squad will need to put up points in a hurry to keep pace with the Broncos in Denver.

WIDE RECEIVERS

Marvin Jones (NYJ @ CIN) Jones has a chance to make it three consecutive games with a touchdown this week against the Jets as Antonio Cromartie is likely to be locked up on A.J. Green. Jones seems to have supplanted Sanu as Cincinnati’s No. 2 receiver.

Desperation Deep Threat

Aldrick Robinson (WAS @ DEN) Robinson is good for one or two deep looks a game from Robert Griffin III and Denver games tend to be high scoring. Robinson has scored last week and can stretch defenses with his excellent speed. He is almost universally unowned.

Bonus Add for Week 9:  Kendall Wright (TEN) Wright is emerging as Jake Locker’s favorite target, putting up 98 yards on 12 looks last week. Tennessee is on the bye, but I’d give him a long look if he’s out there in your league. He may become available later in the week as a bye week/injury casualty from another roster and he is even more desirable in PPR formats.

TIGHT ENDS

Zach Miller (SEA @ STL) Miller had his highest number of targets this season in Week 7 with seven. He consistently gets red zone looks from Russell Wilson and this game may be close for a while since Seattle is on the road. His value is touchdown dependent, but he consistently gets looks in the red zone and Seattle should be able to put up points on St. Louis.

Jordan Reed (WAS @ DEN)  If he is out there you need to add him. He simply has more talent and opportunity than any other TE that is likely to be available in any league.

DEFENSE/SPECIAL TEAMS

New Orleans (hosting Buffalo) The improved Saints defense under Rob Ryan has a nice matchup coming off the bye against the Bills at home.

About Kevin O'Keefe - @KevinOKeefe14

I am an attorney practicing in New Hampshire.  Previously I practiced in Florida, and have a Massachusetts license I have never used.  I am contributing with fantasy football pieces now and hope to expand my contributions in the future.   I attended college at the University of New Hampshire and was captain of the tennis team.  I graduated law school in 2007.    I love to surf, hike, and travel all over especially to Central America. I started playing fantasy sports in 8th grade when my friend and I would mail in our newspaper fantasy baseball salary cap league.  I play fantasy football, hockey, baseball and NASCAR.  I am happy to expand my current audience of fantasy advice recipients beyond my friends and family.  If you have lineup or draft questions, find me on Twitter @KevinOKeefe14.

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