Week 8: Player Outlooks
As for running backs I would not bother adding some (certainly in 10 team leagues); Kregg Lumpkin comes to mind. Whatever talent exists has yet to emerge in games and the Bucs offense continues to struggle. If LeGarrette Blount is not ready to go after the week 8 bye, only Kellen Winslow would be a worthy starter and that is at the low-end of the TE1 scale.
Let me state the incredibly obvious: Cam Newton has skills. This week was the first time I really was able to watch the dynamic rookie from start to finish and he more than met my expectations. Beyond the athleticism as a runner and the obvious chemistry he has with the venerable Steve Smith, Newton's has the ability to accurately deliver on passes -- deep sideline outs (which scouts wondered if he could make truly stood out). If he were just a threat with his legs who could loft a deep pass or two, defensive coordinators would eventually limit his effectiveness. Witnessing the depth of his talents...scary.
While Fred Jackson has consistently produced at an MVP level, Ryan Fitzpatrick's numbers have dipped after a blistering start. Through three games, the Harvard alum tossed nine touchdown passes, had a 3-to-1 TD to interception ratio and averaged 280 passing yards per contest. Over the next three games Fitzpatrick has thrown an equal number of touchdowns (3) and interceptions, while his yardage output has dipped dramatically to 212 yards per game. This week he faces a Redskins defense that has allowed only five touchdown passes and has been stingy in the red zone. Stevie Johnson remains worthy of starting, but I pray nobody is still holding onto Scott Chandler. After somehow scoring four touchdowns over the first three weeks, the tight end has a combined four receptions for nine yards and zero scores over the next three games.
Looking at the long haul, Demaryius Thomas is the free agent receiver I am targeting this week. Tim Tebow looked to him early and often (10 targets) against the Dolphins. My podcast listeners know I have been on the Eric Decker bandwagon for weeks, but Thomas has the skill set to be a number one option. Not dumping Decker, just getting interested in his running mate...