-TURNING THE PAGE: For owners in keeper and dynasty leagues that has fallen out of the race for a playoff spot this the year, now is the time to start thinking about trades. If you are sitting at 2-5 or worse right now there’s no sense in waiting. The early-bird gets the worm sometimes. Each fantasy team’s situation is unique. A bad season is one of the reasons why keeper/dynasty leagues are fun because you can always start building until next year.
The new magical number for a breakout wide receiver by Year 2 rather than Year 3…
--AJ Green (CIN): Even with his disappointing effort last week vs. the Steelers, AJ Green remains fantasy football’s top scoring wideout (2nd to Victor Cruz in PPR) through seven weeks. He scored in six straight games while averaging 10.3 targets for 6.3 receptions and 94.3 yards per game during that span. While there is plenty of concern surrounding the Bengals as they hit their bye week, there’s no reason to fret of their top player.
--Julio Jones (ATL): Despite being drafted as a top 5 player at the position, Jones has been producing more like a low-end. He flashed what he is capable of in Week 1 when he turned out a 100-yard day while scoring two TD’s. He has only made two trips to the end zone since and has yet to hit the century mark again this season. With a favorable slate ahead and immense talent I still expect a big finish from this Falcon.
--Randall Cobb (GB): With Greg Jennings appearing that he’s getting no closer to return expect the recent streak of success to continue for the Packers’ dynamic second-year wideout Randall Cobb. He has registered 273 yards and three touchdowns on 19 receptions over the last three games. This week the Packers face a Jaguars’ defense that has surrendered 170.5 receiving yards per game to wide receivers on the year while allowing five TD’s to the position over the last four weeks.
--Denarius Moore (OAK): Perhaps one of the rawest receivers from the 2011 draft class has been the Raiders’ fifth-rounder. Moore has battled injuries throughout his brief career, but when on the field he has made a splash. He has good chemistry with Carson Palmer and now that he has shook the hammy injury that plagued him since the summer, Moore is starting to produce. He scored in back-to-back games and has pulled in nine ball for 140 yards in that span.
--Maurice Jones-Drew (foot): He will miss at least a couple of weeks, maybe 3-4 games as he deals with a foot sprain. With Jacksonville sitting at 1-5 though it seems there’s no reason for the team to rush him back. Expect plenty of opportunities for Rashad Jennings to be a productive fantasy option for the foreseeable future. MJD owners shouldn’t cut him though as he could provide a nice boost come fantasy playoff time if he recovers quickly.
--Trent Richardson (rib): The Browns’ rookie running back participated in practice again on Thursday and appears to be much better than he was last week at this time. It appears that he will play if healthy in Week 8 against the Chargers. There has been some speculation the team would opt to sit him a couple weeks to rest through their Week 10 bye week, but as this point nothing has been formalized as it is very much a day-to-day evaluation. Montario Hardesty is a must-own handcuff for owners that want to cover their bases.
--Jordy Nelson (hamstring): After missing practice for a second straight day with a sore hamstring injury there is reason for concern for Nelson. At best he will be a game-time decision for the Packers’ tilt with the Jaguars on Sunday. He currently ranks No. 1 in our Week 8 rankings, but look for that to change on Saturday’s refresh. Still, if Nelson plays it would be hard to sit him as no receiver has been hotter over the past two weeks.
--Jimmy Graham (ankle): The Saints’ tight end remained limited in practice for the second straight day as he tries to return to action after missing Week 7’s win at Tampa Bay. It appears that Graham is nearing a return, but his status for Sunday’s game at Denver is still very much up in the air. Owners will want to ensure that he continues to make progress before inserting Graham in the lineup.
--Rashard Mendenhall (Achilles): The Steelers running back was held out of practice for the second straight day on Thursday. His chances are playing this week aren’t looking good. Isaac Redman (ankle) did return in limited fashion after missing Wednesday’s practice. Jonathan Dwyer will get the nod if both players sit, but expect a running back-by-committee approach for Pittsburgh in Week 8 vs. Washington.
Others of injuries note: Ahmad Bradshaw (foot), Danny Amednola (clavicle), Felix Jones (knee), Donald Brown (knee) all listed as questionable
--QB Sam Bradford (STL): One week after posting solid numbers against the Packers, Rams’ signal caller Sam Bradford has an appealing matchup in Week 8 as the Rams travels to London to face New England. The Patriots have ceded 300-yard passing days to four of the last five quarterbacks they’ve faced with 13 passing touchdowns allowed during that span. Bradford makes a decent bye-week filler option in Week 8 in a game that you figure the Rams will have to air it out in.
--RB Michael Bush (CHI): With just 20 carries for 91 yards and no touchdowns over his past three games, it may be hard for owners to trust Bush. However, with the Panthers paying a trip to Solider Field this could be the week to use them. If Chicago builds a big lead as expected Bush could get plenty of touches against a defense the 8th most points to fantasy running backs this season.
--WR Ryan Broyles (DET): With Nate Burleson put on the IR with a broken leg there are opportunities for increased targets for the struggling Titus Young and rookie Ryan Broyles. Young has shown little to this point of the season, but could be worth a second look off the waiver wire. The higher ceiling is likely to come from Broyles, who was college football’s all-time leader in receptions while playing at Oklahoma. He had six catches after Burleson went down on Monday night.