James Morris hails from Rio Rancho, NM and has been playing fantasy sports for well over a decade. Not only does he write the Bengals fantasy section, but he also does the Jacksonville Jaguars and Arizona Cardinals fantasy sections, as well as the Boston Celtics, Indiana Pacers and Minnesota Timberwolves fantasy basketball sections in the NBA. Just send him an email and he will reply back the same day with your answer.
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Week 8 of the NFL season was Halloween weekend, time for some tricks and some treats. The problem is that fantasy owners need to be treated while their opponent that week is tricked, and things don't always work out that way. To start with there were several teams on their bye this week (Falcons, Ravens, Bears, Browns, Giants and Eagles) and on those teams there are several starters that owners had to find replacements for. If you were lucky, you had bench depth and were able to sustain the hit; if you were not so lucky, you were left scouring the waiver wire hoping to find a one-week wonder like Nate Washington or Mike Tolbert for your squad. Then, as if things couldn't get any freakier, the Vikings go out and release Randy Moss and throw the proverbial monkey wrench into everyone's plan.
Chances are none of you were lucky enough to have Washington or Tolbert in your lineup, so let's look at some of the winners and losers from this freaky Halloween weekend.
Matthew Stafford: I told you to start him. Did you? Stafford didn't rack up the yards with just 212. But, what he did do was throw four touchdowns on the day. In standard scoring formats, the TDs alone are worth 36 points. It doesn't get much better than that.
David Garrard: Garrard had a career game on Sunday as he threw for 260 yards and four TDs, then ran another one in to give him five, yes count them, 5 TDs on the day. The Cowboys really are just that bad, but I know Garrard will take it however he can get it and so will fantasy owners.
LeGarrette Blount: Blount is best known his Youtube highlight reel knockout in college, but it was his NFL game that got his name in this article. Blount put up 120 yards and 2 TDs on the ground and that means he will be the hot waiver wire addition this week. I would go ahead and pick him up, but don't stick him in there as a starter just yet.
Jamaal Charles: OK, I give up trying to figure out the Chiefs backfield, but hopefully you didn't and you started Charles in this one. He finished the game with 177 rushing yards and 61 receiving yards on four receptions. He did fail to score, despite the crazy stats, but yardage and catches should make him one of the top performers at RB this weekend.
Calvin Johnson: I got a lot of emails asking if you should sit Megatron this weekend and I told you all the same thing: no, play him! What he did was catch nine passes for 101 yards and three TDs on Sunday, and that makes him one of the biggest winners this weekend.
Brandon Lloyd: I am not a big fan of Lloyd, but I also can't ignore it when a WR puts up 169 yards and a score. I personally think the Denver passing game is a bubble waiting to pop, but you might as well ride the wagon until the wheels fall off in the meantime.
Antonio Gates: Gates is always going to be a must-start TE, so it isn't really a shock when he goes out and posts five catches for 123 yards and a touchdown. TE is an all-or-nothing position, but Gates gets you something more times than not.
Detroit Lions defense: I know, you thought the Packers defense was going to be No. 1 because of their shutout of the Jets right? Nope. Despite giving up 25 points on defense, the Lions still take the top spot in most formats due to the seven sacks, one INT, one fumble recovery and defensive touchdown they scored. Only 10 percent of all fantasy players own the Lions defense, and I bet less than one percent actually started them this weekend.
Brett Favre: If any of you follow me on Facebook or Twitter, then you know that I said Favre would start on Tuesday. And, you should also know that I have said time and time again that Favre is not a starting fantasy QB at this point in his career. He proved that on Sunday as he threw for 259 yards, no TDs and an INT. Tell me he isn't the single-most overrated "star" in the NFL and I will tell you that you are wrong.
Aaron Rodgers: Rodgers was a projected in the top five for fantasy QBs this week, but finished in the lower end of all QBs after throwing for an empty 170 yards on Sunday. The Jets offense isn't nearly as prolific as their defense is, and that fact was proven this weekend.
Jonathan Stewart: When people saw that DeAngelo Williams wouldn't be playing this weekend, they went crazy and thought Stewart was an RB1 waiting to happen. So, to fulfill those high hopes, he went out and put up 30 yards rushing and eight yards receiving and didn't find the endzone once.
Felix Jones: Jones was just another victim of the Cowboys dreadful season as he finished the game with 22 rushing yards and three catches for 14 yards. Jones had just eight carries and this type of offensive gameplan is indicative of the Cowboys problems as a whole this season. If owner Jerry Jones doesn't fire HC Wade Phillips this week, Phillips should buy a lottery ticket because he is the luckiest man on Earth.
Wes Welker: Welker is the victim of the post-Randy Moss era in New England and he finished Sunday's game with three catches for 24 yards. Welker's value is dropping like a rock as he has failed to score since Week 2 and hasn't registered more than 70 yards this season. Now might be the time to dump him if you still can.
Randy Moss: Moss is the victim of playing in the modern-day Brett Favre era in Minnesota. Moss finished the day with one catch for eight yards and no endzone dances. It could be worse I suppose. You could have started Kenny Britt and got completely shut out this weekend. I sure missed on that one!
Zach Miller (Oak): Miller has been one of my favorite TEs this season because he flew under the radar and was available late in many drafts. And, despite a great game by Jason Campbell, Miller finished with a single catch for eight yards.
Dallas Cowboys defense: Too many people were thinking this would be one of those games where the Cowboys got their season back on track and stomped the Jaguars. What happened was the exact opposite as the Cowboys defense allowed 35 points while adding just three sacks and a recovered fumble to the tally. Dump them if you haven't already.
On a side note, I was only wrong on one pick this weekend (Kenny Britt) as Ryan Torain was injured and Jon Kitna's INTs negated his 379 yards passing. I'd love to see you go to one of those other sites and get a 15-16 week (94% right) out of them!