Week 8 Fantasy Football Awards

Fantasy Football Fantasy Football Awards

By Guest Writer John Belaska:


Week eight was the week of the wide receiver. There were huge performances from stars like Calvin Johnson, sleepers like Marvin Jones, and rookies like Kenny Stills. The best part about this past weekend is there were very few busts. The only thing fantasy owners really had to worry about was how well their players performed; not how poorly. It is nice to get weeks like this one every once in a while. It allows teams to rack up a ton of points right before playoff berths are given out. This is very important because most leagues use the number of points a team amassed throughout the entire season as a tie-breaking system. Here are the best of the best for the eighth week of the 2013 season.


Quarterback of the Week- Drew Brees (New Orleans Saints)

Drew Brees has taken this award home a couple of times this season. This week, he threw for 332 passing yards and five touchdowns. These numbers are almost identical to Andy Dalton’s, but Dalton threw an interception and Brees did not. Dalton’s turnover ended up costing him the top fantasy quarterback spot for this week. Brees’ performance was helped along by Jimmy Graham, who came back from a foot injury this week, and rookie wide receiver Kenny Stills. Graham was not back to full strength, but he will be by next week. The addition of Graham back into the line-up and the emergence of Stills really benefitted Brees, who looked unstoppable this weekend. Next weekend the Saints play the Jets on the road. The Jets have a strong defense, but nobody is strong enough to give a fantasy owner any reason to bench Drew Brees.


Running Back of the Week- Andre Ellington (Arizona Cardinals)

Andre Ellington made a huge claim for the starting job in Arizona this past weekend. Ellington broke off an 80 yard run in the first half and ended the game with 154 rushing yards and a touchdown. It is amazing to think he amassed this yardage total on just 18 carries. If this does not convince everyone he should start over Rashard Mendenhall, nothing will. Next week the Cardinals have a bye, but Ellington looks like he will be carrying the load for the Cardinals when they return to action.


Wide Receiver of the Week- Calvin Johnson (Detroit Lions)

No surprise here. Calvin Johnson’s record day featured 14 receptions for 329 yards and a touchdown. Think about what his numbers would look like if he had not been stopped within the Cowboys’ five yard line twice. Adding two more touchdowns onto this already amazing performance would have put Johnson’s day in the top ten fantasy football outings of all time. It is very easy to see why Johnson was the top wide receiver taken in all drafts. It looks like he is back to full strength and nobody is going to stop him. Johnson’s 329 receiving yards puts him on top of all receivers this year in the yards category. He is the absolute best going forward after his bye week.


Tight End of the Week- Jimmy Graham (New Orleans Saints)              

After a scary injury in week six and bye week, Jimmy Graham showed fantasy owners they do not need to be afraid. Graham, who was still a bit banged up, caught three passes for 37 yards and two touchdowns against the Buffalo Bills. What is most encouraging is his health is only going to improve going forward. Even when Graham is not at full strength, he is still the best tight end in the league. Next week he will be playing against the Jets’ 14th ranked pass defense. The Rex Ryan defense is physical, but there is still no reason Graham should not be in fantasy line-ups this week.


Kicker of the Week- Dan Bailey (Dallas Cowboys)

Week eight did not hold many impressive performances from the kicker position. Most of the top ranked players at the position only posted six or seven fantasy points. Dan Bailey, who is most likely on the waiver wire, showed he can kick with the best of them. He hit all three of his point after attempts and made all three field goals he attempted. These stat look pretty average, but when you take in account two of his attempts were from beyond 50 yards, the picture becomes very pretty. Fantasy owners love a guy who can hit it from a mile away. The big foot is going to make Bailey a tempting option down the stretch. Next week he plays the Vikings. More than likely the Vikings defense will not be able to stop Romo. Bailey might not get many chances to kick field goals, but he will be able to get some point after attempts. He is worth a start in deeper leagues if your kicker has a bye week.

Team Defense of the Week- Cincinnati Bengals

Andy Dalton and Marvin Jones were not the only Bengals to have an impressive fantasy outing. The whole defense completely took charge of the game. They recorded four sacks and only allowed nine points against the Jets. They also scored two touchdowns off inceptions from rookie quarterback Geno Smith. One defensive touchdown is always a treat, but two is a thing of beauty. Next week the Bengals are travelling to Miami to play a Dolphins team that just has not been making it happen recently. Once again, the Bengals defense will be a very good starting option.


Rookie of the Week- Andre Ellington (Arizona Cardinals)

There was only one way Ellington was going to get this award over Kenny Stills and it was if Marshawn Lynch did not show up on Monday night. Well, that is what happened. Ellington was the top running back of week eight. The half back position is very thin this year, so having a young guy step up and play big as a number two back or flex player is huge for fantasy owners. Ellington should become the starter after the Cards come back from their bye week and he should definitely be in starting line-ups in all fantasy leagues.


Sleeper of the Week- Marvin Jones (Cincinnati Bengals)

Marvin Jones came into week eight having scored a touchdown in each of his past two games. He was a good option to have a roster position and possibly start for owners who had a wide receiver on a bye week or are very thin at the position. If you started him, the Bengals wide receiver rewarded you with eight catches on eight passes for 122 yards and four touchdowns. Jones would have been the absolute best wide receiver of the week had Calvin Johnson not put up the crazy numbers he did. So is Jones worth starting from now on? Andy Dalton has come back to life in the second half of the season and A.J. Green is the defense’s first priority when it comes to Bengals’ receivers. So,the answer is simple. Yes, Jones is definitely worth starting in fantasy leagues. The Bengals are firing on all cylinders and Jones will be a huge factor in what they do on offense. He should be able to have another good game next week against the Dolphins, but do not go hoping for another four touchdowns.


Bust of the Week- Marshawn Lynch (Seattle Seahawks)

Once again, there were not many bust performances this week. Steven Jackson had 11 total yards, but he was injured for a while and probably should not have been in fantasy owners’ starting line-ups. RGIII had a terrible outing against the Broncos, but hopefully by now owners had sent him to the bench. The only true bust from a player who is always in every fantasy line-up was Lynch. Hopefully, you did not have to rely on him to give you a comeback win on Monday night. Beast Mode carried the ball only eight times for 23 rushing yards and fumbled. His total fantasy points were zero. Once again Lynch is showing his major weakness: consistency. After three good games, he does nothing. The worst part is he should have put up the most fantasy points by any running back this week. The Rams have surrendered huge games to Frank Gore and DeMarco Murray who are both good backs, but nowhere near the caliber of Lynch. Next week Seattle plays the Buccaneers. It is hard to say what Lynch will do, but if history shows us anything, he will probably follow up this pitiful game with a huge day.

Comeback Player of the Week- Stevie Johnson (Buffalo Bills)

Over the past five weeks, Stevie Johnson has averaged 33 receiving yards and no touchdowns. This weekend, he finally made a comeback posting seven receptions for 72 yards and a touchdown. Johnson was hampered by a hamstring injury for the past five weeks, but it looks like it is behind him. He has a little more time to rest with the Bills’ bye week coming up in week nine. It would not be surprising to see him explode soon. The key to starting Johnson in week ten is to monitor his health. If the Bills believe he is completely recovered he should be considered a mid range to low end second wide receiver or a strong third wide receiver or flex option.


Fanspeak.com Most Valuable Player of Week Eight- Calvin Johnson (Detroit Lions)

As we said in the beginning, it was the week of the wide receiver. At the top of the wide receiver mountain was Calvin Johnson, who torched the Cowboys’ defense and claimed a spot in the record books. There should be no doubt going forward who the best wide receiver in the league is, which is good because the top five rankings were changing all the time. It will now be easier because at least one spot is going to be claimed for the rest of the season.



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