Each week, I will be finding one player not expected to be in the top-5 at these fantasy positions: QB, RB, WR, TE, D/ST, that will put up top-5 numbers. I’ll also list one player at each position that is ranked in the top-5, but will put up numbers outside of the weekly top-5. I use www.fantasypros.com’s consensus weekly rankings. These rankings are a very valuable tool, and I highly recommend using them. Here are Week 8’s HIGH-FIVES and HEAD SLAPS:
Quarterback–Tony Romo (Cowboys vs. Giants). Romo is ranked #11 for QBs this week.
The Giants defense is ranked 21st vs. the pass this year. In Week 1, Romo put up 307 yards passing with 3 TDs and 1 INT at New York. This game will probably be one of the most exciting games of the weekend, and you can expect Romo to put up similar numbers, propelling him into the top-5.
Running Back–Stevan Ridley (Patriots at Rams). Ridley has gone over 100 yards three times in the Patriots first seven games. New England could very well blow the Rams out of the building on Sunday, and the main beneficiary will be Ridley. Involved heavily in the offense, Ridley should top 100 yards and find the end zone at least once. For a guy ranked at the number 14 spot, I’d be glad to pencil Ridley into my lineup.
Wide Receiver–Julio Jones (Falcons at Eagles). After the bye week, I’ll take Julio, who was a pre-season top-5 WR pick to do better than his #11 ranking this week. In fact, I predict a top-3 performance. Going against a team that fired their defensive coordinator after last week’s loss can’t hurt, right?
Tight End–Heath Miller (Steelers vs. Redskins). Heath Miller gets targeted on average 7 times per game, and catches an average of 5 passes each week. He has already scored 5 TDs. This week, he is going against the worst pass defense in the league, and is ranked #7 for TEs. I say he should be ranked #1. Yes, higher than the “4 Gs” (Gronkowski, Graham, Gonzalez, and Gates). Look for 80+ yards and 2 TDs. a great play this week.
Defense/Special Teams–Detroit Lions (vs. Seahawks). The Lions played better than expected at Chicago on Monday night, and if the offense wouldn’t have lost the game by turning the ball over too many times in the red-zone, the story would have been the play of their defense. Playing better at home, and facing a Seahawks team that also plays better at their home, look for the Lions to surpass their #13 ranking, sliding into the top-5.
Quarterback–Tom Brady (Patriots at Rams). Ranked #5 for QBs, I see the Patriots getting out to a large lead, and having the opposite of “garbage time”–just trying to run out the clock. Brady may have a big first half, but when the Patriots take the foot off the pedal, Brady will drop out of the top-5 in QB performance this week.
Running Back–Chris Johnson (Titans vs. Colts). Look, I was as surprised to see Johnson go off against the Bills as the next guy, but I’m not buying that he has finally “gotten it” and is returning to his former dominant self. He is ranked as the consensus #4 RB. If he has a big game against the Colts, then maybe my tune will change, but I don’t back “CJ2K” as a top-5 performer. Yet.
Wide Receiver–Victor Cruz (Giants at Cowboys). Cruz, ranked #4 in the consensus rankings, is the only receiver in the top-5 going against a solid defense against the pass. The others (Marshall, D. Thomas, Harvin, and J. Nelson) all go against softer defenses. Of the five, I see Cruz still having a decent game against the Cowboys, but not top-5 worthy.
Tight End–Aaron Hernandez (Patriots at Rams). I’m going against Hernandez again this week. He’s listed as the #5 option at TE. While I own Hernandez in two leagues, and will start him in one of them, I see others (especially Heath Miller) having a better weekend than Hernandez. Five catches for 45+ yards and 0 TDs is what I expect.
Defense/Special Teams–Seattle Seahawks (at Detroit). I see these two teams “swapping out” in the rankings this week. If Detroit can reverse their turnover problem, and somehow get Calvin Johnson the ball, they should be able to win this game at home, and take the Seahawks DST down from the #5 ranked defense/special teams unit to the middle of the pack.
-Ryan Dickey (@ffbninja)