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Fantasy Football 2013: Under The Radar Starts For Week 8

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Six.

Six teams are on a bye in Week 8, making fantasy owners cringe when looking at their lineups. On top of that, there have been about five or six devastating injuries to fantasy stars, forcing owners to find viable replacements not only for this week, but for the foreseeable future as well. With the most teams on a bye this season, under the radar starts are going to be key to escaping Week 8 with a victory.

Let’s do this.

Roy Helu @ Denver Broncos: How about another numbers game? Three, as in the number of touchdowns Helu had in his career coming into last week. Of course, Helu scored three in Week 7 alone, matching his career total. It was odd, too. All three of his touchdowns came inside the red zone, an area where Alfred Morris is normally in the backfield. Morris is still the featured back, but if you don’t think Helu is part of this offense, think again. Through seven weeks, Morris is seeing 52.9 percent of the snaps, but Helu is right behind him with 47.4 percent. And Helu is obviously the passing downs back, as well as the up-tempo package. As for this week, the Broncos defense is one of the stingiest against the run, allowing just 77.1 rushing yards per game, but Helu is opportunity here. The Broncos should be ahead, which means Washington will be chasing points. If that’s the case, Helu will be in the backfield on the majority of passing downs, which gives him a huge uptick in volume.

Khiry Robinson vs Buffalo Bills: A deeper league play here, Robinson has been one of the more quiet producers on the high-powered Saints offense. The last time New Orleans was on the field, Robinson carried the ball seven times for 53 yards and a touchdown against the Patriots. This week’s matchup, believe it nor not, isn’t as favorable as it once was, as the Bills are allowing the 8th-fewest fantasy points to opposing runners. They are giving up yards, but have only surrendered two rushing touchdowns, one of which was to quarterback Geno Smith. Still, I think the Saints should be ahead in this contest, and as long as that’s the case, Robinson should get a fair amount of touches late in the game. He’s seeing a healthy 19 snaps per game.

Cole Beasley @ Detroit Lions: Beasley has quietly been serving as a big piece of the Dallas passing game as of late. Over his last four contests, he’s been targeted 20 times, hauling in 17 balls for one score. With Miles Austin slowly becoming an afterthought in this offense, Beasley’s role is set to expand even more. This week’s matchup is a pretty strong one, as the Lions are currently allowing the seventh-most fantasy points to opposing wideouts (33.90 per game). This game has all the signs of an absolute shootout, and Beasley could reap the benefits. Quarterback Tony Romo trusts him heavily, and especially in PPR leagues, Beasley is a strong play. He has caught at least four balls in each of his last three games.

Sidney Rice @ St. Louis Rams: Rice is coming off his second-best fantasy outing of the year, hauling in three balls for 50 yards and a beautiful touchdown pass from Russell Wilson. Although he has been limited in practice, wideout Percy Harvin still isn’t quite ready to play, making Rice the top receiver in Seattle. Now would be a wise time to play him, especially with six teams on a bye. The Rams are a mess right now, and their secondary is allowing the ninth-most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers. This unit has alos surrendered nine passing touchdowns, which is only less than Buffalo, Philadelphia and Jacksonville.

Adam Pfeifer is a featured fantasy sports columnist for Rant Sports.

You can follow him on Twitter @aPfeiferRS.