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Scouting Notebook: Moats operandi

You can find more from Michael Salfino at Comcast SportsNet Chicago

The Owen Daniels(notes) knee injury is the biggest news coming out of Week 8. He's done for the year with a torn ACL.

The game was disastrous for fantasy owners who own Steve Slaton(notes) for other reasons. We've been warning you for weeks in this Scouting Notebook about his fumbling problems and advising you to sell high. Now, it's too late. He was benched in the first quarter and Ryan Moats(notes), who once was viewed as very interesting Brian Westbrook(notes) insurance, excelled. Moats, who is just 5-foot-8, 210 pounds, was given goal-line work and scored three fourth quarter TDs in addition to 151 yards from scrimmage. He's the No. 1 waiver pickup this week. Slaton owners: expect Gary Kubiak to give your boy another chance.

Knowshon Moreno(notes) owners shouldn't worry about his latest lost fumble, as it was caused by a fierce hit by Ravens safety Ed Reed(notes) a split second after Moreno established possession.

The Wildcat was neutered again this week, as teams are daring the Dolphins to pass out of it and they can't. This is really going to cut into Ronnie Brown's(notes) explosiveness. Ricky Williams(notes) has looked better of late running out of conventional sets. And Williams showed surprising receiving skills running an out and getting his feet down while lined up wide.

Brown says he throws only four or five passes per week when practicing the Wildcat. He should have kept his mouth shut because now teams can completely discount the pass option even when Brown is moving to his left (he's left handed).

The Dolphins had eight yards in the third quarter but scored 21 points on two kickoff returns by Ted Ginn Jr.(notes) and a fumble return. Ginn is worthless as a receiver.

The good news for those invested in Jets is that the team was forced to take the training wheels off Mark Sanchez(notes) and the rookie responded by going 9-for-10 at one point in the second half for 180 yards with three total TDs (one rushing). His fake on the rushing TD was so good that the Dolphins were trying to recover a non-existent fumble in a pile of flesh about five seconds after Sanchez's emphatic spike.

Leonard Weaver(notes) opened the Eagles scoring barrage with a 41-yard run as the lone back, a formation we might be seeing more of if Brian Westbrook's concussion lingers.

Later, DeSean Jackson(notes) had another 50-plus-yard TD where he was again wide open running a rather ill-defined post corner. But few run them faster, which helps. Seconds later, Jeremy Maclin's(notes) TD catch was more spectacular. Go get Maclin, who looks as fast as Jackson, as coverage should now roll dramatically in Jackson's direction.

Hakeem Nicks(notes) made another spectacular play on a 35-yard heave and had one other one-on-one victory for a long ball wiped out by a penalty. Yet, with Mario Manningham(notes) (shoulder) out, Domenik Hixon(notes) started. As a receiver, Hixon is a good kick returner. Wake up, Giants! Play your best players. It isn't complicated.

Frank Gore's(notes) production is almost exclusively long runs, a tough way to make a living in traditional scoring formats. If your league rewards distance, Gore's worth his preseason price.

Malcom Floyd(notes) has finally supplanted Chris Chambers(notes) as a Chargers starter. Score one for justice. But Antonio Gates(notes) owners can't be happy. Gates, once one of the game's most feared red zone weapons, is an afterthought now when the Chargers get close.

On the other end of the spectrum, Visanthe Shiancoe(notes) has scored nine times in his last 12 games and gets his share of the ever-growing bounty of Brett Favre(notes) TD passes. It's Favre over Aaron Rodgers(notes) now in fantasy, too, given that Rodgers has been sacked 31 times already and is a high injury risk as a result. Too bad Favre doesn't get to feast at the Packers expense again. Green Bay: booing Favre at the beginning of the game was classless. Enjoy your second helping of bad karma.

Rodgers' pass protection was again problematic – especially in the first half. But he doesn't help matters by bolting the pocket at the first flash of color.

The Packers converted LB turned TE Spencer Havner(notes) has scored two straight games. But Jermichael Finley(notes) (knee) should be back next week, so don't bother.

This is your chance to dump the Panthers Steve Smith. Strike up the band for his first TD of the year and hope to attract a buyer. For Smith, 10 or 11 points is the upside now.

Kurt Warner(notes) is not Peyton Manning(notes). He can't beat you by taking what the defense gives because, unlike Manning, Warner most days will make mistakes – especially when the pocket breaks down. The Cardinals must run the ball to draw in the safeties. They've shown some faint signs of doing this the past two weeks.

Chris Johnson and Maurice Jones-Drew(notes) looked like they were running again on Friday nights on homecoming weekend. Vince Young(notes) was in caretaker mode all day. He's not worth rostering in any format.

Downgrade Mike Sims-Walker(notes) from a borderline No. 2 receiver to borderline fantasy starter in deep formats.

Alex Smith is another young QB who hasn't figured out that you bide time to throw, not to run. Keep the focus downfield, son. Michael Crabtree(notes) is a player. Get him if you can.

This is as good as it's going to get for Steven Jackson, too. If someone will pay you more than the market price for a decent No. 2 fantasy back, sell.

If you were sick of Matt Forte(notes), now's your chance with him, too. But do you have the guts to make the move off that big week, which you should discount mightily given that it was at home against the dreadful Browns?

Michael Salfino’s work has appeared in USA Today’s Sports Weekly, RotoWire, dozens of newspapers nationwide and most recently throughout Comcast SportsNet and NESN. Michael also covers the Jets and Giants each week for

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