Thursday Night Football Week 8
This game will be a big test for the Bucs and their new offense, but also their suddenly stout run defense. If they pass both tests, they could be for real and that would be music to fantasy owners’ ears. While the Bucs are striving for growth and respect, the Vikings currently have something to lose. They are in the thick of the scrum at the top of the NFC North and this is not a game they can afford to lose if they have any hopes of coming out on top. So we have a game that means a lot to both teams and it should be a good one.
There are plenty of fantasy options on display tonight. I’ll touch briefly on most of them....
Josh Freeman, QB
Everything I said about the Bucs’ offense applies doubly to Freeman, who has shown signs of getting back to being the player he was in 2010. Some forget the 26 to 6 TD to interception ratio he posted that year. The addition of Vincent Jackson has Tampa fans thinking big again and Freeman will move up boards this week if he can do to Minnesota what he’s done to lesser defenses in recent weeks. We’ll see. Rotobahn has Freeman as the 17 ranked QB this week--a solid QB2.
Doug Martin, RB
Martin has also feasted on lesser opponents the last two weeks and he still has his detractors. Don’t count us among them. We really like the kid as we have been saying since July. Tonight’s game will be a good test for the rookie, but don’t expect the moon against Minny’s solid run defense. Martin is Rotobahn’s 16th ranked back in Week 8.
LeGarrette Blount, RB
We like Blount ok, but not in this offense and he is not at all HC Greg Schiano’s kind of guy. We think Blount will find a new home in 2013 and we are very unsure as to whether he will retain his role on the goal line after last week’s debacle against the Saints. We’ll be watching that closely tonight. We suspect that Doug Martin will be given some chances going forward.
DJ Ware, RB
He may get past Blount and be the 2nd back to own on this team, but it hasn’t happened yet. Unlike Blount, Ware is a Schiano kind of guy. He should be locked into a 3rd down role tonight.
Dallas Clark, TE
He was active last week and has been a few times this year, but he is not productive enough to play outside of very large formats. He’ll probably catch a few tonight and should see softer coverage as team lean even harder on Vincent Jackson.
Vincent Jackson, WR
Speak of the Devil.... V-Jax has always been a favorite of mine. He is a total freak and that has been on display in recent weeks. He’s posted an absurd 65 fantasy points in his last three games in performance scoring. He’s a WR1 tonight in a tough matchup.
Mike Williams, WR
Williams had his worst game in a while last week, but just missed scoring a few times. He could do well tonight as Minny tries do deal with Jackson’s game-breaking antics. He’s Rotobahn’s 27th ranked receiver in Week 8.
Connor Barth, PK
He’s a decent enough bye week replacement, and Minny is a nice place to kick.
Tampa Bay Defense
They are giving up too many points to help you much. You can do better off of most waiver wires.
Christian Ponder, QB
He’s been struggling with a sore knee and it shows in the results. We expect him to bounce back if they can get him healthy, but we’d look for better options this week if you can. Ponder is our 20th ranked QB in Week 8.
Adrian Peterson, RB
This guy is the man. There’s not much more you can say. What he is doing less than a year removed from major knee surgery is astounding. And it is no fluke. AP is running the ball as well as any back in the NFL right now. We expect him to get it done tonight in spite of Tampa’s recent success against the run.
Kyle Rudolph, TE
His ultra weak game in Week 7 was large due to Ponder’s struggles. We expect better on most weeks and still view rudolph as a weekly starter in all formats. He’s our 9th ranked TE in Week 8.
Percy Harvin, WR
Harvin is a great football player and he’s been playing great in 2012. The knee injury appears to be subsiding and we expect gig things from Harvin tonight as Rotobahn’s 4th ranked receiver in Week 8.
Jerome Simpson, WR
We very much want to see Simpson flash his athleticism. We haven’t really seen it this year and we know he had a nasty back strain. He’s a guy to watch tonight as he could be a valuable guy down the stretch if he gets himself right.
They are on a roll coming off of a big game last week. They should be able to get it done tonight and Percy Harvin gives them value in the return game too.
Blair Walsh, PK
Walsh is a solid starting option. Start him if you normally would.