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Murray, Scott headline top fantasy sleepers in Week 8

Looking for a sleeper to fill out your starting lineup? These 10 under-the-radar players could be on the verge of solid stat lines based on the matchups. For more lineup help, check out Start 'Em & Sit 'Em and our player rankings.

John Beck, QB, Redskins: If you're in a deeper league and need a quarterback this week, I'd roll the dice with Beck. He scored better than 18 fantasy points against the Panthers in his first start of the year, and this week's opponent, the Bills, have not been great against the pass. In fact, Buffalo's defense has surrendered an average of close to 18 fantasy points per game to opposing field generals in 2011.

Delone Carter, RB, Colts: Carter is coming off his best fantasy game of the season, rushing for 89 yards and a touchdown in a blowout loss to the Saints. With Joseph Addai ailing once again, the Syracuse product is a viable flex starter against the Titans. After the first seven weeks, Tennessee's defense has allowed an average of 22.98 fantasy points to running backs -- that's the fifth-most in the National Football League.

DeMarco Murray, RB, Cowboys: Murray was listed in this column last week, and he went off for a Cowboys' franchise record 253 yards and a touchdown in a win over the Rams. Next on the slate is a Sunday night matchup against the Eagles, who have allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to running backs. With Felix Jones still out and Tashard Choice dealing with an injured shoulder, Murray is a terrific fantasy option.

Bernard Scott, RB, Bengals: Cedric Benson is out of action this week due to a league-imposed suspension, so Scott is going to see a ton of work against the Seahawks. Their defense has been better than advertised, but the fact that Scott will see a featured role for coach Marvin Lewis makes him an attractive option in fantasy land. Look for him to see 18-plus touches this week, making him a viable starter option in most formats.

Pierre Thomas, RB, Saints: Thomas has taken a backseat to Darren Sproles in the Saints backfield, but he could see more work in Week 8 if the team is without rookie runner Mark Ingram. What's more, this week's matchup against the Rams is very favorable. In fact, St. Louis' defense has allowed the second-most fantasy points to running backs this season. Consider Thomas a nice flex starter in the event that Ingram is inactive for the contest.

Ryan Torain, RB, Redskins: Trying to predict what will happen in the Redskins backfield is next to impossible, but the absence of Tim Hightower should mean a starting role for Torain. While he will lose some work to Roy Helu, the Arizona State product is still worth a look as a potential flex starter against the Bills -- their defense has allowed the ninth-most fantasy points to opposing running backs after the first seven weeks.

Antonio Brown, WR, Steelers: Brown came out of nowhere last week to post seven catches and 102 yards in a win over the Cardinals, so he's clearly on the fantasy radar. Next on the schedule is a date with the Patriots, who have surrendered more fantasy points to wideouts than any other team in the league. With Hines Ward at less than 100 percent, Brown should see plenty of targets and is worth a roll of the dice.

Darron Cummings/AP
The NFL Fantasy LIVE crew talks about Colts RB Delone Carter and his potential value for Week 8. (Click image for further analysis.)

Torrey Smith, WR, Ravens: Smith has had just one big day from a fantasy perspective this season, but he's clearly become a threat for Joe Flacco in the Ravens pass attack. This week he faces a favorable matchup, as the Cardinals and their porous pass defense come to town. Arizona has surrendered the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers, so the rookie out of Maryland has some value in leagues with 12-plus teams.

Nate Washington, WR, Titans: Washington has not been a reliable fantasy option since the Titans lost Kenny Britt, but he can still be a viable matchup-based No. 3 wideout when the matchup is favorable. That's the case this week against the Colts -- their defense has allowed the third-most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers this season. Washington is also a free agent in close to 40 percent of NFL.com leagues right now.

Jake Ballard, TE, Giants: If you're in need of a tight end this week, take a chance on Ballard. The second-year wideout from Ohio State has put up just two fewer fantasy points than Vernon Davis after seven weeks (no, that's not a misprint), and a matchup against the Dolphins makes him a legitimate option in most fantasy leagues. Miami's defense has give up a ton of points to tight ends, so Ballard is worth a roll of the dice.

Michael Fabiano is an award-winning fantasy football analyst on NFL.com. Have a burning question on anything fantasy related? Tweet it to @Michael_Fabiano or send a question via Facebook!

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