Hits and Misses – Week 8: T-Jones up next to abuse the Chiefs

After weeks of mediocre results, last week I hit the jackpot with my picks (must have been the renaming of the post!) I finished up 17-7-6 (hits-misses-pushes) for the week, carried there by the stellar play of the Titans running game versus the joke that is the Kansas City Chiefs defense. I also got some help from a few other running backs including Ryan Grant, who finally found the endzone, and Dominic Rhodes, who filled in quite nicely for the injured Joseph Addai and rewarded fantasy managers with two touchdowns. While the Jets passing game failed pretty miserably against what I thought was supposed to be a weak Raiders pass defense, it wasn’t enough to keep me from my best week of the season.

This week I’m going to continue my trend of hating on the Chiefs defense by recommending all the Thomas Jones owners out there get him in your lineup this week. While I’m usually not too keen on picking against a team twice in a row (you figure they’ll try to make SOME adjustments), it’s just too good to pass up at this point. Anyways, here’s the rest of your hits and misses for week 8:

Hits

  • Thomas Jones, RB, Jets: T.Jones has come alive the past two weeks (much to the enjoyment of his owners…like me!) with possibly the two best games of his career in terms of touchdowns (week 6) and yards (week 7.) As a reward for his hard work, this week he gets to take on a Chiefs defense that was absolutely annihilated by the Titans running game last week. If starting a running back at home against a defense that is allowing 5.6 yards per carry, 207 yards per game and has allowed 12 rushing touchdowns already this season is something you’re interested in (it better be), get Jones in your lineup ASAP!
  • Drew Brees, QB, Saints: After Marques Colston tricked me into starting him last week, it’s hard for me to recommend playing him until he actually catches a ball in a game, even if he’s most likely to want to go big on the center stage playing in London this weekend. However, the one man who I do expect to go big is Drew Brees, who doesn’t seem to care who his receivers are (unless he’s playing the Carolina Panthers!) Expect a lot of fireworks in this one (which would be a nice change of pace from the game the Brit’s had to witness last year), with Brees leading the way against a Chargers defense that is allowing over 250 yards per game through the air and has given up 11 touchdowns so far to the pass.
  • Jason Campbell, QB, Redskins: Until the Lions can stop someone, it’s hard not to recommend any quarterback that plays against them. This week, Jason Campbell and the Redskins head to Detroit to take on a Lions team that is fighting hard to become the first 0-16 team in NFL history and he should be rewarded with some pretty solid stats. As with the Chargers, Detroit’s defense is also allowing over 250 yards per game to quarterbacks and has surrendered 11 touchdowns as well, while only making one (!) interception. It should be a safe start for Campbell if anything.
  • J.T. O’Sullivan, QB, 49er’s: The Seahawks have been bad against the pass, allowing 10 touchdowns versus only one interception, so starting a quarterback as erratic as the 49er’s J.T. O’Sullivan (12 turnovers in the past four games!!!) doesn’t seem like that bad of an idea. San Francisco gets this game at home, so the crowd should carry Sully to at least a 250 yard and a score performance this weekend.
  • Donovan McNabb, QB, Eagles: After suffering through multiple injuries to his receivers this season, it seems that McNabb may finally have a couple solid targets to throw at as Kevin Curtis is supposed to return this weekend. Curtis returns just in time, as the team plays a mediocre-at-best Falcons defense that is allowing 230 yards per game through the air and has given up 10 touchdowns to quarterbacks. At home, I expect McNabb to go big and 300 yards and two touchdowns would not be surprising (as long as Curtis plays that is.)
  • DeSean Jackson, WR, Eagles: While I’m not going to get myself into the same predicament that I was in last week (when I started Marques Colston right away after coming back from injury) this week by starting receiver Kevin Curtis in any of my leagues, I still think he’ll play and be effective, which should ultimately pay off for McNabb and rookie DeSean Jackson (as Curtis distracts the defense.) One hundred yards and a score sounds reasonable for Jackson.
  • Wes Welker, WR, Patriots: Last week I think Randy Moss got lucky on a few plays, giving him some pretty decent stats. However, it has been Welker who has been Matt Cassel’s go-to guy this year and that shouldn’t change against the Rams this weekend. With the home crowd on their side, the Patriots should have another good game and Welker should prosper.
  • BenJarvus Green-Ellis, RB, Patriots: While this may seem like a risky recommendation given the overall health of the Patriots running game, the Rams have been bad against the run and it’s just too good to pass up. The Patriots are at home against a St. Louis defense that is allowing 5.0 yards per carry and an average of 162 yards per game on the ground (not to mention they’ve allowed 10 rushing touchdowns.)
  • Clinton Portis, RB, Redskins: Portis has been a monster this year no matter the opponent and this week it should only get better for him. While Matt recommended you “sell high” on Portis, I have to advise you at least keep him for this week’s awesome match-up against the Lions, who have allowed nearly 170 yards per game via the run (with 4.8 ypc) and have allowed opposing running backs into the endzone nine times.
  • More: Lee Evans (@ MIA), Maurice Jones-Drew (vs CLE), Santana Moss (@ DET)

Misses

  • Eli Manning, QB, Giants: The Steelers defense is playing too well to recommend starting any quarterback against them and it just happens that it’s Eli Manning’s turn to run the gauntlet (at Pittsburgh no less!) Pittsburgh is allowing under 160 yards per game to quarterbacks and has six interceptions versus the five touchdowns they’ve allowed. If you have other options, it might be a good time to consider using them.
  • Plaxico Burress, WR, Giants: As Eli struggles, expect Burress, who was just at the hospital yesterday for general muscle soreness, to also have a rough go of it in Pittsburgh this weekend.
  • JaMarcus Russell, QB, Raiders: Not that you were going to start Russell (I hope), but if you needed extra incentive, how about the fact that he has to play IN Baltimore against an angry defense that puts “bounties” out on opposing players heads.
  • Javon Walker, WR, Raiders: Don’t be fooled by his good performance last weekend…he wasn’t playing against the Ravens. Bench him. I’m pretty sure that Walker, given his history with abuse, doesn’t want to be the target of any bounty talk.
  • Peyton Manning, QB, Colts: Two Manning’s on the “Misses” list in the same week? Crazy talk? Maybe not. I’m expecting the Manning family in general to suffer a lot of pain and misery this weekend, with younger brother Eli going to Pittsburgh and Peyton heading to Tennessee. The Titans are allowing under 180 passing yards per game and have an incredible touchdown to interception ratio of 1-to-10. Peyton might boost that touchdown number to two, but I can see that interception number rising as well.
  • Reggie Wayne / Marvin Harrison, WR, Colts: If Peyton has a bad game, these two fella’s are most likely going to suffer as well (see last week.)
  • Oakland RB’s: While the Raiders run game has been better than their passing game, the Ravens run defense is even better than their pass defense. The Raiders are still trying to figure out the best way to utilize their three running backs, so who gets the stats (and there won’t be much!) this week is up in the air. All I know is that the Ravens are allowing a minuscule 2.8 yards per carry to opposing backs (just 67 yards per game!) and have only allowed a running back to find the endzone once this season. Keep Fargas, McFadden and Michael Bush safely on your bench this week if possible.
  • Mewelde Moore, RB, Steelers: Mewelde has been nothing short of spectacular for the Steelers so far in relief the injured Willie Parker and Rashard Mendenhall, but this week he’ll face a defense that should give him a bit more trouble. The Giants are holding running backs to just 85 yards per game and have only allowed two rushing touchdowns so far this year.
  • More: Brandon Jacobs (@ PIT), Kerry Collins (vs IND), Kolby Smith (@ NYJ)

Last Week: 17-7-6
Total: 65-31-25