Week 7 of the NFL regular season has officially been put in the records book and we can look past the week that had six teams on a bye and move onto the next week that isn’t so hellish on our rosters. The biggest injury news of Week 7 belongs to Maurice Jones-Drew who suffered a foot injury against the Raiders on Sunday. Jags head coach Mike Mularkey has already announced that MOJO will be out this week against the Packers, leaving the starting running back job in Jacksonville to fall on the shoulders of back-up Rashad Jennings. There is no timetable for MOJO’s return but don’t expect him back anytime soon.
The other biggest piece of injury news happened on Monday Night Football, as Lions WR Nate Burleson broke his leg during the Monday night football action between the Lions and the Bears. Titus Young looks to benefit the most but watch out for rookie Ryan Broyles in the slot.
Mid-way through the regular season is when you see coaches fighting for their jobs and benching an ineffective quarterback to light a spark under their team is always the go-to move for any desperate coach. This year it happened in Kansas City first, as Chiefs head coach Romeo Crennel has come out and announced that Brady Quinn will once again be the team’s starter, whether or not incumbent starter Matt Cassel is cleared for action.
Now that we have the biggest news items out of the way lets move onto which players you should be targeting on your waiver wire for Week 8 of the fantasy football season.
Brandon Weeden. The rookie who’s older than both Aaron Rodgers and Matt Ryan filled in admirably for fake football teams who had their top QB on the bench due to a bye such as the aforementioned Ryan or Peyton Manning, throwing for 264 yards and two touchdowns against the Colts on Sunday. This week sees the Bills, Bengals, Ravens and Texans on a bye so if you’ve been starting the likes of Joe Flacco, Matt Schaub, Ryan Fitzpatrick or Andy Dalton, Weeden would once again be solid bye-week fill-in at QB. He would most certainly be a better option than someone like Brady Quinn, if you were leaning that desperate way.
Rashad Jennings. This is the man who should be at the top of your waiver wire priority, whether you own MOJO or not and you should pick him up immediately. Jennings was in line to start for the Jags if MOJO was going to hold out for any length of time and now that Jennings is entrenched as the starter for the time being you should pick him up. Against the Raiders on Sunday he totaled 102 yards and scored a rushing touchdown to boot. The Jags’ passing game, whether Blaine Gabbert or Chad Henne is starting, is atrocious and the Jags will have to run the ball a lot to get anything going against the Packers. Jennings isn’t as talented as MOJO but he will make for a solid RB2/Flex play this weekend.
LaRod Stephens-Howling (LSH). All the hype was on William Powell to take over the Cards’ RB spot but it has been the speedster Stephens-Howling who has taken over the role. Against a staunch Vikings run defense LSH totaled 149 yards and a touchdown. You might want to temper expectations though, as the Cards play the 49ers this week.
Kendall Hunter. Speaking of the 49ers it’s that time of the year when Frank Gore injury concerns start to pile up and Hunter becomes a name to keep in mind for the future. If you’re a Gore owner you should become proactive and pick up Hunter now, as the 49ers will look to protect Gore as much as they can down the stretch. On the season Hunter has been averaging 5.2 yards per carry so you know he can easily step up as the team’s starting running back if needed.
Jeremey Kerley. Kerley was targeted 11 times against the Patriots on Sunday and was able to haul in seven of those targets for 120 yards. The Jets really have nobody else to catch the ball, as the likes of Stephen Hill, Jason Hill and Chaz Schilens don’t strike much fear into the hearts of opponents. Kerley and Sanchez have grown a rapport with each other and that could continue the rest of the season.
Titus Young and Ryan Broyles. Yes, the Lions offense hasn’t looked the same this year but they do have the potential to be explosive and the fireworks could happen at anytime. With Nate Burleson’s season done Young moves into the number two WR spot on the Lions’ depth chart and Broyles takes over the slot. On Monday night facing the Bears Young led the team in receiving yards with 81 and Broyles caught the team’s only touchdown on the night while also adding 51 receiving yards.
Dustin Keller. Keller has been battling a hamstring issue and Sunday’s game against the Patriots was only his second game back from the injury but it was a much better performance than last week’s one catch for six yards outing versus the Colts, as he caught all seven balls thrown his way for 93 yards and a touchdown. Keller might not be an every week fantasy starter but for a bye-week replacement he could be a decent option. The Jets play the Dolphins this week so be careful about putting him into your line-up.
Heath Miller. Facing the Cincinnati Bengals Sunday night Miller caught his fifth touchdown this season and even added a 2-point conversion on the score. He ended up with 53 yards on six catches and was targeted by Roethlisberger eight times on the night. Miller has become a red zone option for the Steelers and a Week 8 meeting with the Redskins could see Miller adding to his touchdown totals on the year.