Every fantasy owner has star players that they can rely on, but picking the right sleeper during the week can tilt the odds in your favor. Listed below are several individuals poised to make the most of their Week 8 matchup:
QB Jay Cutler, Chicago Bears
Jay Cutler suffered a devastating hit by Ndamukong Suh in the Bears' Monday night 13-7 win over the Detroit Lions. He suffered bruised ribs, but returned for the entire second half. Cutler should be fine and makes for a viable bye-week replacement option against the Carolina Panthers. Chicago was able to move the ball against the Lions for the most part, but had to settle for three field goals. With the Bears defense shutting down Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson, Cutler was not needed to air the ball out and accounted for just 184 total yards and a touchdown. Look for a better performance from him this week.
RB Daryl Richardson, St. Louis Rams
On eight carries and three receptions last week against the Green Bay Packers, Richardson totaled 79 yards. While Steven Jackson scored on a six-yard touchdown run, he only had one more touch. Even though Richardson is the backup, he has put up productive numbers in that role over the past two weeks (99 total yards against Miami in Week 6). With the New England Patriots coming to town, the Rams want to control the clock. The Patriots rank eighth in run defense, but St. Louis ran effectively over the last three weeks, averaging 127 yards per game. Richardson has recorded 5.3 yards per carry in the month of October, so consider him in deep leagues.
WR Brandon Stokley, Denver Broncos
Playing behind Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker, Jacob Tamme and even Joel Dreessen, Stokley can get lost in the Broncos' passing attack. But playing against the New Orleans Saints, owners in deep leagues should consider the 14-year veteran. The Saints yield 305 passing yards per game and with Drew Brees and Peyton Manning squaring off, there will be plenty of points scored. While receptions will be hard to come by, Stokley has scored in three of his last four games.
WR Santana Moss, Washington Redskins
The 12th-year wideout finds his role in the Redskins offense growing. When you combine his most recent play with injuries to Fred Davis and Pierre Garcon, he suddenly has value as a No. 3/4 fantasy receiver. Moss has averaged 64 receiving yards per game and three touchdowns over the past three weeks. Robert Griffin III will continue to look the veteran's way when they take on the Pittsburgh Steelers. With much of the attention directed towards Griffin and the ground game, Moss can take advantage of a secondary missing its best playmaker in Troy Polamalu.
TE Brandon Myers, Oakland Raiders
Myers has been one of Carson Palmer's favorite targets this season. In five of his six games, Myers has recorded at least four receptions for 44 yards. He does not put up spectacular numbers and has yet to record a touchdown this year, but is a safe, bye-week option against the Kansas City Chiefs.
San Diego Chargers Defense/Special Teams
The San Diego Chargers fell apart two weeks ago on Monday night in part to Philip Rivers' six turnovers and the flawless play of Peyton Manning. After shutting out the Broncos in the first half, San Diego surrendered 35 straight points. But with a bye week to recuperate, the Chargers head to Cleveland to take on the Browns' 27th-ranked offense. Brandon Weeden has played well as a rookie so far, but the Browns have turned the ball over multiple times in four of their seven games. On the opposite end, the Chargers have recorded an interception in five straight games while doing a superb job against the run.
Travis Chan is a fantasy sports enthusiast and contributor for the Yahoo! Contributor Network. You can follow him on Twitter @Travischan1.
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