Snap, Crackle and Pop
Injuries, busts and sleepers for Week 8 of the fantasy campaign
Snap, Crackle & Pop Snap, Crackle and Pop is a weekly column that reviews the major injuries (Snap) and then projects both busts (Crackle) and sleepers (Pop) for the coming week.
The Jets wide receiver corps is decimated by injuries: Jerricho Cotchery (questionable, hamstring), David Clowney (questionable, ankle) and Brad Smith (questionable, quadriceps). Who's left? Wallace Wright could get the start opposite Braylon Edwards. The running backs are depleted as well: Leon Washington was put on injured reserve with a leg injury. That's an awful lot of pressure on Thomas Jones to carry the team Sunday against Miami.
Eagles RB Brian Westbrook suffered a scary-looking concussion Monday night in Washington. He is listed as questionable for the big NFC East showdown with the Giants. Westbrook did not practice on Wednesday and, unless he practices on Friday, don't expect to see him on Sunday. Anther key part of the Eagles offense, dynamic wideout DeSean Jackson, also skipped practice. Jackson has a sore foot -- It's probably sore from running past the Redskins secondary on a 57-yard bomb Monday night. The move is precautionary and Jackson will play against the Giants.
The Lions have some good news and bad news. The good: QB Matt Stafford is practicing and his knee seems fine. Expect to see him play Sunday after for the first time since Week 4. The bad: WR Calvin Johnson's knee injury is preventing him from practicing and he will probably miss a juicy match-up against the Rams.
Houston WR Andre Johnson has one of the nastier-sounding injuries of the week: a bruised lung. Even so, as long as he practices on Friday consider him a must-start.
Except for a 110-yard performance in Week 6 Panthers RB Jonathan Stewart has had a very disappointing season. Now his has a bum Achilles' and could very well miss Sunday's game in Arizona.
The 6-0 Broncos have won this season with stellar defense. I do not like the Baltimore offense against them, particularly RB Ray Rice. No running back has rushed for 100 yards against Denver this season.
49ers QB Alex Smith got the start last week and responded with an impressive performance against Houston: 15 for 22 for 206 yards, 3 TD and 1 INT. Don't expect those numbers this week against a better defense. Indianapolis has the sixth-best pass defense in the NFL.
The Chiefs suspended RB Larry Johnson for two weeks for conduct detrimental to the team. That means he will miss one game since Kansas City has their bye this week. Johnson has been terrible, with no TDs and averaging only 2.7 yards per rush. Johnson had a tough schedule early in the season, but he has failed to improve even against weaker opponents. If you were thinking of cutting LJ, this is the tipping point. Pick up RB Jamaal Charles off waivers this week -- you might catch lightning in a bottle.
Don't forget to bench all your Bengals, Patriots, Steelers, Buccaneers, Redskins and Chiefs -- They are all on their bye.
In points-per-reception leagues Houston RB Steve Slaton has been productive this season. He has 27 receptions to go with 645 total yards and 4 TD. In non-PPR leagues, he's been disappointing. He has yet to rush for more than 76 yards in a game. That should change this week however. Slaton is a very strong play against the NFL's worst run defense, Buffalo's.
The worst pass defense? That would be Tennessee's unit. That elevates David Garrard to must-start status as well as his favorite receiver Mike Sims-Walker.
Speaking of bad defenses, Cleveland has the worst defense overall. This Sunday's beneficiary will be Cutler's Bears. Cutler, RB Matt Forte, TE Greg Olsen and WR Devin Hester are all strong plays at home against the Browns.
John Rakowski is a senior writer for SportsGrumblings.com, a fantasy sports portal. John is a 2007 winner of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association award for journalistic excellence, for his "Snap, Crackle and Pop" column. Please visit Sports Grumblings for all your fantasy football needs, so you can DOMINATE your league this season!
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