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Fantasy Football Buy/Sell & Trade Candidates For Week 8

By Mike Morbeck (Flickr: Vernon Davis) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (], via Wikimedia CommonsIf you think the stock market has been volatile lately, just check out what happened in Week 7 of the NFL. The Bills lost both of their primary running backs last week. Fred Jackson should miss about a month with a groin injury, and he was putting up so very good numbers for PPR fantasy players.

C.J. Spiller, whom I recommended you sell last week, is done for the season. That has left everyone speculating as to which of Anthony Dixon or Bryce Brown will be the Bills primary back. My guess is that Brown will fill Jackson’s role of catching passes out of the backfield, and Dixon will actually try to do what C. J. Spiller was supposed to be doing, which is running the ball for positive yardage.

We've also seen a big shakeup in the St. Louis backfield. The Rams finally tired of Zac Stacy’s ineptitude and gave Tre Mason a bunch of reps.  They claim that they will go with the hot hand approach, choosing between Stacy, Mason and Benny Cunningham. With all of this uncertainty what is a fantasy football player like yourself to do during these troubled times? Don’t worry-- I’ve got your back. I’ll monitor the situations in Buffalo and St. Louis, and I’ll let you know if any of those names are worth investing in.

Until then, I’ve found four fantasy football players who can help your team for this week and beyond.  As usual, I’ve also chosen two players whom you should jettison before they wreck your fantasy season. Let me know what you think about my selections in this article. Also follow me on Twitter @joegallina and feel free to ask me any fantasy football questions you may have. Good luck in Week 8!


Week 8 Fantasy Football Buys

Torrey Smith, WR, Baltimore Ravens

Owned in 81% of Fleaflicker leagues

The Ravens offense has really taken off the past couple of weeks, with seven passing touchdowns scored. Three of those touchdowns were caught by Torrey Smith, his first three of the season. Torrey has sort of been the forgotten man in the Ravens offensive attack. Although I expect Steve Smith will continue to be a solid play, the offensive landscape in Baltimore is changing. For the first four weeks of the season, Smith Sr. averaged 10 targets per week. Over the last three weeks, he's averaged six targets per week. At 35 years of age, Smith Sr. might be slowing down a bit, or maybe he was just playing at such a high level that it was unsustainable. Raven fans have nothing to fear, because Torrey Smith is heating up at just the right time. His average targets and receptions per game have slowly increased as the season has progressed, and let’s not forget that QB Joe Flacco thinks that Torrey Smith has the ability and talent to catch 100 passes. Strike while the iron is hot and try to work out a deal to get Torrey Smith into your fantasy football lineup.


Doug Baldwin, WR, Seattle Seahawks

Owned in 52% of Fleaflicker leagues

Adding Doug Baldwin to your fantasy football roster is a no-brainer. With the trade of Percy Harvin to the New York Jets, Seahawk QB Russell Wilson looked to Baldwin, who led the Seahawks with 11 targets this past week, hauling in seven passes for 123 yards and a touchdown. Baldwin has always been a quick and agile receiver, and with last week’s trade, the Seahawks showed how confident they were in his abilities going forward. Although he is not considered a big playmaker, his career 5.2 YAC shows that once he catches the ball he can make something happen. Baldwin’s got great hands, having never lost a fumble in his four-year career, and if your league settings give you points for kickoff return yardage, picking up Baldwin can provide you with an added bonus, since the Seahawks occasionally use him to return kicks. With top receivers like Calvin Johnson and A.J. Green on the shelf with injuries, you can’t pass up the opportunity to add a wide receiver like Baldwin.


Sammy Watkins, WR, Buffalo Bills

Owned in 84% of Fleaflicker leagues

Sammy Watkins’s reputation preceded him as the 2014 fantasy football season began. In college, he was known as a big-time playmaker with phenomenal speed and great hands. For his college career, Watkins had over 14 yards per catch, using those skills to turn short receptions into huge gains. Since the Bills installed Kyle Orton as their starting QB, Watkins has averaged six receptions per game, a 50% improvement over what E.J. Manuel had been sending his wat.  During that same period, Watkins has also seen a 25% increase in targets.  Plainly speaking, Kyle Orton will help Watkins reach his full potential, something that doesn’t often happen to rookie wide receivers. He is a star on the rise, and by next year, he could legitimately be considered a top-five NFL wide receiver, so Watkins is especially valuable in dynasty leagues. Don’t miss out on this dynamic player-- acquire him today.


Ronnie Hillman, RB, Denver Broncos

Owned in 74% of Fleaflicker leagues

After watching Ronnie Hillman’s explosiveness on the ground against a good San Diego D on Thursday night, you wonder why it took an injury to Montee Ball for the Broncos to install him as their number one back this season. With 109 yards on the ground and another 29 yards on three catches in Week 8, Hillman gives opposing defenses even more to worry about as they prepare for the Broncos amazing offense. Sure, they're a pass-first team, but with Hillman in the lineup, opposing defensive coordinators have to guard against Hillman’s fiery speed and elusiveness. Hillman has great moves, and he's able to change directions without skipping a beat, averaging 4.7 yards per carry on the ground and 7.4 yards per reception this season. Even though he has only played in five of the Broncos seven games, he's on pace to break 1000 yards rushing, and the Broncos have been so impressed with him that there are whispers that he will continue to play a big role in the rushing attack even after Montee Ball returns from his injury. If you own shares in Ronnie Hillman, hold on to them. If you don’t, try to work out a deal for this agile back ASAP.


Week 8 Fantasy Football Sells

Zac Stacy, RB, St. Louis Rams

Owned in 87% of Fleaflicker leagues

Leading up the Rams Week 7 encounter with the Seattle Seahawks, offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer confirmed that the team would be using the “hot hand” approach in determining which of their running backs would get the most touches. The team had increasingly been dissatisfied with the performance of starter Zac Stacy, and they were looking to get rookie Tre Mason and second-year back Benny Cunningham more carries in order to energize their running attack. Stacy wasn’t even lukewarm, as he failed to register a single carry in Week 7. Tre Mason led the team in carries, and Cunningham chimed in with five receptions; that combination resulted in both an upset victory over the Seahawks and substantial doubt as to Zac Stacy’s future role. Even if the Rams decide to get Stacy more touches in future games, his days of being the featured back are long gone. With a 3.9 yards per carry and just one touchdown thus far this season, you can try trading him, but don’t expect to get much in return. The Rams have given up on Stacy, and it’s just about time that you did, as well.


Vernon Davis, TE, San Francisco 49ers

Owned in 92% of Fleaflicker leagues

Vernon Davis has been one of the better tight ends in the NFL for several years, but it is time to cut ties. Think about it: how many weeks have you been able to put him into your starting lineup this year? He has missed two of the 49ers seven games while nursing a back injury, and when he has played, he has been largely ineffective. After a good Week 1 performance in which he scored two touchdowns, Davis has averaged just over four targets per game, and he hasn’t scored. Davis’s career success has been built on his great athleticism, and it appears his chronic back issues are getting in the way of his biggest strength. He just hasn’t been himself this season, as evidenced by the two dropped passes in Week 6.

Back injuries can be tricky, and maybe the Week 8 bye is just what the doctor ordered to help get Davis back on track. If this week off helps him get healthy, you’ve got a very good tight end with a history of making big plays. If not, you’re going to be questioning whether or not to put him into your starting lineup every week. Don’t let him burn a hole in your fantasy football team’s bench. Put him on the trading block.