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Kozora: Week Eight Fantasy Football Preview

Happy Halloween Steelers’ Nation! It’s a holiday for the kids of course, much more than adults. And there’s that awkward teenager stage inbetween; the transition from when wearing costumes are acceptable and when it’s just kinda of…weird. When instead of dressing up, you ironically throw on a pair of cat ears or whatever in the snobby way  And I remember the first time that reality hit me.

Somewhere around 13 or 14, I went to a party (still the parent-supervised kind). I dressed up from head to toe in a black “Scream” costume. Very warm, hard to see, you get the picture. I get dropped off.

And I’m the only one in an actual, full-fledged costume. Everyone else wearing like, one thing, painting their face or whatever, to count as dressed up. So there’s me – awkward, out of place, summing up my entire high school life.

I, of course, did the only logical thing. Get out of my costume and try to stuff it all into my pockets. I don’t remember exactly, but surely I looked even more ridiculous.

I have never been cool, and that Halloween made me realize that.

So from a trustworthy, definitely-not-cool nerd, your fantasy football advice!

The Steelers

Ben Roethlisberger is back. He obviously provides immense value to his teammates and it should be full speed ahead for all fellow fantasy owners. Martavis Bryant is almost a must-start with his big play ability and franchise QB in tow.

Of course, the Steelers’ defense is a less attractive play against the Cincinnati Bengals’ high-flying offense. Start the usual Steelers – Ben, Bryant, Antonio Brown, Le’Veon Bell, and sit the rest.

The Rest 

If you’re feeling the bye week crunch, go grab Ryan Fitzpatrick. He’s more than the butt of Harvard jokes – he’s the 15th ranked QB in standard leagues. He’s thrown two touchdowns in every game but one this season and is coming off point performances of 26 and 19 points. The Oakland Raiders’ rank 23rd against quarterbacks, giving up at least two touchdowns in all but one game. It’s nice symmetry that makes Fitzpatrick a viable option. He’s available in over 2/3 of leagues.

For deeper leagues only but if you’re really, throw-a-sheet-over-yourself-call-yourself-a-ghost desperate, take a shot with the San Diego Chargers’ running back Branden Oliver. He might be third fiddle to Danny Woodhead and Melvin Gordon, but the Chargers’ have had a tough time trusting the fumble-prone rookie. Oliver has scored six points in each of the last two weeks and maybe he’s able to find the end zone. Owned in fewer than 6 percent of ESPN leagues.

This one is going to sting, Steelers’ fans, but the Bengals’ Marvin Jones is a solid flex play if you’re looking for aid at receiver. He’s scored in half his games this season and has caught 14 balls in the last two weeks. The Bengals’ love big plays so if you’re willing to take the risk, Jones offers a satisifying payoff.

Somehow, Michael Floyd is still unowned in over 40% of leagues. He’s caught two touchdowns in as many games and with John Brown dealing with a hamstring injury, is likely to start and rack up the targets. Even though Joe Haden is returning for the Cleveland Browns, Floyd is poised to have another big week.

For such a rare talent, he’s become an afterthought in his offense but maybe he makes a revival this week. I’m talking about Vernon Davis, coming off a 4 catch, 61 yard performance last week. Anquan Boldin is iffy and Carlos Hyde has been ruled out, leaving Davis as one of the few weapons left. Colin Kaepernick’s accuracy is dreadful but Davis is a sneaky option for a 8-10 point game. Owned in just 14.7% of leagues.

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