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Four-Down Duel: Rocky Mountain High

Kevin Payne

Kevin has worked for Rotowire just under a decade and has covered basketball, baseball and football. A glutton for punishment, he roots for his hometown Bills, Sabres and the New York Yankees. He hosts the RotoWire SiriusXM show every Wednesday and Friday and you can follow him on Twitter @KCPayne26.

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Here’s a look at some recommended plays on FanDuel for Week 8:


Peyton Manning, DEN, $8800 – I rarely recommend players who are this high-priced but Manning is an exception this week. Coming off a bye week, he’ll had two weeks to prepare for the incoming Saints and he has home field advantage with the thin Colorado air. The New Orleans defense is terrible, as they’ve given up 305 passing yards per game, which ranks 30th in the league. They’ve been especially bad as of late, giving up 420 passing yards to Josh Freeman last week and 354 the game before to Philip Rivers. The setup is perfect for Manning, too, since New Orleans can score points which should keep him throwing for most of the game.

Running Back

Rashad Jennings, JAC, $5600 – Jennings was the hot waiver pickup this week in season-long leagues. With Maurice Jones-Drew out, Jennings makes for a solid play this week at this price. Jennings caught a whopping seven passes in relief of MJD last week and could be a rare three-down back. He was the recipient of a smart play-call against the Raiders in which they spread out the field near the goal line and allowed him to pick his running lane en route to a touchdown. The Green Bay defense is allowing 4.2 yards per carry (22nd in the league), and based on the heavy workload Jennings will receive, he has a good floor this weekend.

Vick Ballard, IND, $5000 – Ballard finished Sunday’s contest with 20 carries for 84 yards and one catch for 19 yards. While those numbers don’t jump off the page, 10.5 fantasy points for his price tag isn’t too bad. Ballard walks into a great matchup this week, going against a Titans defense allowing 4.3 yards per carry and 134.7 yards per game on the ground (25th in the league). Just keep an eye on the long shot that Donald Brown suits up this weekend, otherwise Ballard will handle most of the workload once again.

Peyton Hillis, KC, $5100 – Ready for the crazy darkhorse pick of the week? Obviously, check back Sunday and monitor Hillis’ progress to make sure he plays, but it appears he’s on track to suit up. As a result, he should get slotted right into the backup role to Jamaal Charles. In that backup role, Hillis should get the 15 touches per game that Shaun Draughn was seeing as well as some possible goal-line work. This recommendation is a one that you should take as a pot-odds play in tournament formats provided Hillis is healthy.

Wide Receiver

Eric Decker, DEN, $6200 – Remember the Peyton Manning recommendation made above? It comes without saying he’ll need someone to throw the ball to and Decker has led the Broncos in targets this season with 53 over six games. As already stated, this game is expected to be high scoring, which bodes well for a big fantasy day. Decker has either scored a touchdown or surpassed 100 receiving yards in five of the six games he’s played this season, showing he’s been a consistent producer.

Stephen Hill, NYJ, $5100 – The rookie wide receiver made some untimely drops against the Patriots that may have cost his team the game, but overall Hill has been impressive when healthy. Since he’s returned from a hamstring injury, he’s scored 9.8 and 7.5 points. While those are mediocre numbers, his role continues to expand in the offense with Santonio Holmes out for the season. Hill has great size (6-4) and above average speed that makes him a great target in the red zone. He’ll make the occasional rookie mistake but will also improve the nuances of playing wide receiver as the season goes on.

Titus Young, DET, $4800 and Ryan Broyles, DET, $4500 – I realize it’s kind of a hedge to mention two wide receivers from the same squad, but both Young and Broyles could actually have value with Nate Burleson suffering a season-ending broken leg. Young finished Monday night’s affair with six catches for 81 yards (11.1 fantasy points) while Broyles finished with three catches for 51 yards and a touchdown (12.6 fantasy points). Young will likely line up opposite Calvin Johnson as the No.2 wide receiver while Broyles sees action as the third receiver on passing downs. The $300 doesn’t play much into it but for my money I’d gamble on Broyles who I think has more upside.

Tight End

Brandon Myers, OAK, $5000 – Myers has seen his role grow in the Raiders passing game, accumulating 17 targets over the last two games. He’s turned those targets into 12 catches for 106 yards or an average of 8.3 fantasy points per game. With Denarius Moore and Darrius Heyward-Bey stretching the field on the outside, Myers has had plenty of room to work over the middle. Kansas City is tied for last in the league in YPA against (8.9), so a big game could be in store for the Oakland passing attack.