Week 8: Sleepers
Starting Palmer under any circumstances is a huge risk. He's throwing a ton of interceptions (at least two in his last five contests) and Arizona's offensive line is one of the worst in the league. The silver lining here (and believe me it's very thin) revolves around the matchup. Atlanta ranks as the fifth-worst fantasy defense against QBs. Every single QB they've faced has thrown at least two TDs and scored at least 20 fantasy points. This list includes Brees, Bradford, Tannehill, Brady, G. Smith, and Glennon. Some studs and duds in that group and yes, all of them had great games against Atlanta. Admittedly, Palmer might be the worst QB to join that list considering this season's results. With all this said, Palmer still has the more-than-capable Larry Fitzgerald and up-and-coming Michael Floyd at his disposal. There will probably be an interception or two, but you've got to hope for a handful of TDs as well. Only consider Palmer if you're desperate though.
After peaking in Week 2 against the Chargers, Vick struggled in the following weeks before finally being sidelined with a hamstring injury. After a couple weeks off, the 12-year vet will be back under center to face the still-pretty-bad New York Giants. Vick was running well against the Giants when he injured his hamstring and was forced out of action. He already had 79 rushing yards when exiting in the second quarter. Point is, even if the former Virginia Tech signal-caller isn't throwing well, his rushing stats help soften the blow. Let's face it, if Nick Foles can play relatively well in this offense, then so can Vick. Speaking of Foles, in case you hadn't heard already he will be out due to a concussion he suffered last week. The Giants are allowing the sixth-most fantasy points to QBs (24.5 fppg) and rank in the low 20s against the pass and run. Considering Philadelphia's own struggles against the pass, this could shape up to be a shootout.
In case you hadn't heard by now, Doug Martin is out for the foreseeable future. This injury provides a ton of carries and playing time to Mike James (who?) Mike James. The Bucs were supposed to be even better at running the ball this year with a healthy OL but little has gone right for them. The presence of Mike Glennon does little to take pressure off the running game and James will be lucky to contribute as anything more than a weak flex play. Given the extreme lack of depth at the running back position (in the NFL, not just on the Bucs), fantasy owners have to be all over any player who is going to be a No. 1 back. Make room on your bench, cut whoever you need to cut because James is the starter for what will likely be the rest of the season. Well, that's assuming he isn't really bad and loses the job to someone else. In that case, you should add that guy. Tampa hosts the Carolina Panthers next week and they're playing pretty well on defense. So maybe wait a week to start James if you're in a pinch.
You know you're digging deep when Peyton Hillis is on your radar. Such is the state of NFL running backs these days. An injured David Wilson, Andre Brown and Brandon Jacobs (and Da'Rel Scott too) have opened the door for Hillis, a guy who wasn't even in the league a week ago. Ridiculous. The reason you're giving him a shot is the Philadelphia defense. While not terrible against the run, they are generally terrible considering they allow 28 points per game, seventh-most in the NFL. What you're really going to be counting on though is Hillis' involvement in the passing game. He caught five passes for 45 yards and luckily found the end zone on a dive. That's more than enough and sure, it's not pretty, but you've got to go with the players who are frequently touching the ball.
Okay, so we're one week late to the Boykin bandwagon. You'd think a Virginia Tech graduate would've been able to recognize his abilities. Well, the truth is on an individual level, Boykin's greatest asset are his hands. He's not going to blow past anybody on a deep route or out-athlete anybody on the field. He's smart though and runs pretty good routes. With Aaron Rodgers at his disposal, Boykin can and should continue to produce as a quality WR3 for fantasy owners. The Packers travel to Minnesota in Week 8 to face the Vikings' ninth-worst fantasy defense against opposing WRs. They've allowed three WR TDs in their last two games and struggle against No. 2 receivers. Boykin will be lined up outside as Green Bay's No. 2 WR, in case you didn't pick up on that.