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Tuesday, April 24, 2018

DeMarco Murray, Knowshon Moreno, and Marion Barber are Week 8 Fantasy Pickups

Last week we suggested a few running backs, namely DeMarco Murray, as fantasy adds. Murray went off and hopefully carried your team to victory. With bye weeks adding up and injuries piling at the running back position, we examine many situations and advise on players worth looking at. We’re looking mostly at running backs and wide receivers here.

DeMarco Murray, Cowboys – We hope you took our advice last week and picked up Murray who only ran for a franchise record 253 yards and a touchdown on 25 carries. Dallas has Philadelphia next, and though the Eagles are great following bye weeks, their run defense is shaky. Murray should be good for at least 15 carries. Hopefully you have the top waiver priority to add him if he’s still available.

Knowshon Moreno, Broncos – Knowshon got hurt week one and lost the starting job to Willis McGahee who rushed for over 100 yards three times. It took a hand injury to knock out Willis and give Knowshon a second chance. He’ll split carries with Lance Ball, but he’s a good athlete and should be somewhat productive. He gets Detroit, Oakland, and Kansas City before McGahee might be back. He’ll be a good option if he’s available.

Marion Barber, Bears – MBIII has scored in three of the last four weeks and has become somewhat of a goal-line back for Chicago. Barber’s presence was actually the big reason I shied from drafting Matt Forte — he was supposed to be their goal-line guy. He has similar value to Mike Tolbert, only he doesn’t catch as many passes. Just hope for the touchdowns.

Pierre Thomas, Saints – Pierre is a player, and he’s a versatile back who can break tackles and catch passes. He’s capable of being a three-down back. Coming off his best game of the season Sunday, he’ll be a fantastic pickup if Mark Ingram’s heel injury causes the Heisman Trophy winner to miss a game.

Alfonso Smith, Cardinals – He had 17 carries for 54 yards when he replaced Beanie Wells in week three. The yards will be tough going against the Ravens defense, so I wouldn’t expect more than six points.

Roy Helu, Redskins – The Skins’ change of pace back saw plenty of work when Tim Hightower exited with an injury. Now that Washington is down to him and Ryan Torain, he’ll continue to see enough work to warrant a flex play.

Kregg Lumpkin, Buccaneers – He looked like a good pickup when Earnest Graham went down, but Tampa Bay is on its bye. LeGarrette Blount could return from his knee injury at that point, making Lumpkin less valuable. He’s not a high-priority add for that reason.

Maurice Morris, Lions – Another player we recommended last week, he got the six points we said he would. He has a good matchup against Denver, and should be good for another six. He’s a good flex play before Detroit heads to its week 9 bye.

Michael Bush, Raiders – We doubt the Oakland bruiser is available in your league, but if he is, you should grab him. Darren McFadden’s foot checked out fine, but he might be shaky after they return from the bye. Bush is another guy like Tolbert and Barber where he gets goal line looks, so he has value even if McFadden plays. He has more value now with McFadden banged up.

Antonio Brown, Steelers – The second-year man out of Central Michigan had 7 catches for 102 yards Sunday. He’s recorded at least 6 fantasy points 4 of 7 weeks this season, but he’s also put together a few one-point weeks. If you pick him up, prepare to drop him after Sunday when the Steelers go on a bye. He still should be a decent play Sunday.

Jason Hill, Jaguars – It’s not saying much, but Hill has become the best receiving option in Jacksonville. Blaine Gabbert tends to look his way, and he delivers. He’s had at least six fantasy points each of the last three weeks, including two touchdown grabs.

Michael Jenkins, Vikings – The former first-round pick had his first career 100-yard game Sunday despite being an eight-year veteran. He made a great touchdown catch against the Packers, and had 3 catches for 111 yards. It’s too early to tell if he’ll be a consistent option, but the encouraging sign is that Christian Ponder moved the ball well and looked at him often.

Roy Williams, Bears – Laugh all you want, but Roy has actually been a factor the last two weeks. He had 3 catches for 50 yards in week six, and 4 catches for 59 yards and a touchdown in week seven. Don’t expect a throwback to his Pro Bowl years, but he’s a decent option.

LaRod Stephens-Howling and Lance Ball are handcuffs for Arizona and Denver respectively, but I wouldn’t expect much from either one.

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