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Week 8 Fantasy Football

Posted Oct 26, 2010

DenverBroncos.com gets you ready for the eighth week of fantasy football.

Understandably, Sunday's loss to the Raiders didn't produce big fantasy numbers for Broncos players.

However, Knowshon Moreno did finish with his best fantasy game of the season in the 59-14 loss.

In his second game back after missing three with a hamstring injury, Moreno was the only Denver running back to carry the ball, finishing with 53 rushing yards and a pair of receiving touchdowns. Correll Buckhalter and Laurence Maroney did not play against Oakland.

The second-year running back matched his season total for receiving touchdowns from last season in one game, showcasing the improved pass catching skills he demonstrated throughout the offseason.

In both games since returning, Moreno has paced the Broncos rushing attack, and Sunday's workload sent a strong message to fantasy owners concerned about his health.

Moreno has now scored four total touchdowns in four games this season, putting him in select company among running backs including Arian Foster, Chris Johnson and Darren McFadden as players who have averaged at least one touchdown per game they've played.

This week Moreno doesn't necessarily have the best fantasy matchup when the Broncos head to London to play the 49ers.

San Francisco has the NFL's No. 14 rush defense so far, but the team, which heads to London with a 1-6 record, has faced a lot of hand-offs this season because they've been behind so much. The 49ers have held their opposition to just 3.6 yards per carry, which is sixth-best in the league.

The Broncos didn't average better than 3 yards per carry as a team in any of the three games Moreno missed and now have topped that mark two straight weeks with him back.

Add in Moreno's strong receiving performance on Sunday, and it's safe to say that the Georgia product has established himself as a good fantasy option -- even as part of the league's 32nd-ranked rushing attack.

GREEN LIGHT (Put these players in your starting lineup)

Matt Schaub - Houston Texans QB: Schaub and the Texans head to "The Drum" to take on the Colts in primetime on Monday Night Football. Indianapolis will probably scheme around stopping Arian Foster after he burned them for 231 rushing yards and 3 touchdowns in Week 1. Placing the focus on Foster could open up the passing game, especially in play-action. As an added boost, Schaub gets his starting left tackle back as Duane Brown returns from a four-game suspension.

Thomas Jones - Kansas City Chiefs RB: The question for the NFL's top rated run offense hasn't been if they'll have a 100-yard rusher each week, but which back it will be. For the past two games, Jones has outgained Jamaal Charles, but both are usually solid options. Consider that Kansas City hosts Buffalo, the league's worst run defense, at home this weekend. Jones broke out a 70-yard run last week en route to a 130-yard effort, so the senior member of the Chiefs backfield could be in for another big day.

Lee Evans - Buffalo Bills WR: Evans has been meshing nicely with Ryan Fitzpatrick ever since the Harvard grad took over at quarterback for the Bills. The Wisconsin product blew up for 105 yards and 3 touchdowns after his team's bye week last Sunday at Baltimore, and he put up 87 yards and a score the week before the bye vs. Jacksonville. The Chiefs could run all over the Buffalo's 32nd-ranked run defense, so you could see the Bills playing catch up through the air and inflating the receiver's fantasy production.

Brandon Pettigrew - Detroit Lions TE: Which Redskins defense will show up in Detroit? Will it be the squad that allowed 30 points in a loss to the Rams, or the unit that held the Packers to 13 points in a win over Green Bay? The answer to this question could define Pettigrew's production on Sunday. Matthew Stafford is expected to return to action for the first time since Week 1 and he should target his tight end early and often as he knocks the rust off against Washington.

New Orleans Saints D/ST: The Saints rode an attacking defense all the way to a Super Bowl victory last year, and they're in line for an inspired performance against the Steelers in the Superdome after a home loss against the Browns last week. New Orleans ranks third in passing defense, and this is only Roethlisberger's third game of the season, so the Saints have a shot at flustering the quarterback and forcing some big turnovers.

YELLOW LIGHT (Be careful starting these players)

Philip Rivers - San Diego Chargers QB: Rivers is the NFL passing leader, but he has a tough matchup this week. At this point, he's probably a good play every week, but if you ever thought about playing a comparable backup, this is the game. The Titans come to town, and they boast a defensive unit that leads the NFL in sacks and interceptions. If your league subtracts points for turnovers, this could be the worst week to start Rivers, who has nine turnovers in seven games this season.

Benjarvus Green-Ellis - New England Patriots RB: While Green-Ellis has scored a touchdown in his last two games, he did not gain more than 24 yards in either contest. The Vikings visit Gillette Stadium, so the running back will be looking for running room against the "Williams Wall." Pat and Kevin Williams, along with Jared Allen, have combined for 11 Pro Bowl appearances on the defensive line, so the Patriots might not be forcing the running game in the red zone, where Green-Ellis has done the most damage during the past two games.

Randy Moss - Minnesota Vikings WR: It's now time for every NFL fan's favorite game, "Will or he or won't he?", starring Brett Favre. Ankle injuries could potentially limit Favre from continuing his iron-man streak of 291 regular season games started, and without Favre, Moss's value takes a hit. With Tarvaris Jackson at quarterback, the wide receiver's chances of putting up huge numbers against a Patriots team he started the year with are far less likely.

Dustin Keller - New York Jets TE: The Jets are coming off of a bye week to face Green Bay at home. Only Antonio Gates has more touchdowns than Keller at the tight end position, but here's why the Packers could halt his production. After playing turnover free football for the first five weeks of the season, Mark Sanchez threw two interceptions against the Broncos. The quarterback had the bye to evaluate those decisions, but with the NFL's sack leader, Clay Matthews, breathing down his neck, it will be much harder for him to get the ball to Keller. The pass rush pressure on Sanchez coupled with added attention from Green Bay's secondary could limit Keller from having a big fantasy day.

Miami Dolphins D/ST: The Dolphins travel to Cincinnati this week to square off against a Bengals team that showcased an explosive passing game last week against Atlanta. Carson Palmer posted his first 400-plus yard passing day of the season, Jordan Shipley and Chad Ochocinco both tallied more than 100-yards receiving and scored a touchdown, and Terrell Owens found the end zone, as well. If Cincinnati’s offensive weapons can spread the field for Palmer at home against the Dolphins, Miami's 17th-ranked passing defense could be in for a long day.

RED LIGHT (These players have bye weeks)

Joe Flacco - Baltimore Ravens QB: Fantasy owners were undoubtedly ecstatic over Flacco's second three-touchdown performance of the season last week, but they'll have to bench the quarterback on his day off this weekend.

Michael Vick - Philadelphia Eagles QB: Andy Reid announced that Michael Vick is again the starter in Philly, but the wise fantasy owners who drafted him late or picked him up early in the season will have to wait a week to see what the dual-threat quarterback can do against the Colts.

Ahmad Bradshaw - New York Giants RB: After a victory against the Cowboys on Monday Night Football, Bradshaw leads the NFL in rushing yards. He can't add to that lead this weekend with a bye on the schedule.

Roddy White - Atlanta Falcons WR: After going off for 201 yards against the Bengals, White now leads the league in receiving yards. Brandon Lloyd has a chance to retake that crown without White on the field this weekend.

Benjamin Watson - Cleveland Browns TE: Cleveland's leading receiver won't be catching any footballs from Colt McCoy on Sunday unless they're tossing around the pigskin in the back yard. The Browns have a bye this week after a win against the Saints in New Orleans.

Chicago Bears D/ST: Only the Steelers have given up less points per game, and Devin Hester is tied for the league lead with two punts returned for touchdowns, but fantasy owners don't have the luxury of playing this explosive unit on Sunday.

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