Rank's 11 Sleepers: Byes boost Palmer's value

It's Week 8 and there are six teams on a bye. Many of them have first-tier running backs. Matt Forte, Arian Foster, Ray Rice and Trent Richardson will all be on a bye this week.

Oh wait, did I mention Trent Richardson? Sorry, this is first-tier class only, Trent.

Since his trade from Cleveland, Richardson has done absolutely nothing. And when you watch him closely, there really isn't much burst there. In fact, I would like to see a foot race between him and Peyton Hillis. I'm just not sure we all have the time to watch these two try to cover 100 yards over the course of an afternoon.

So running backs are going to be big this week. I hesitate to add Hillis or Joey Randle to this list of sleepers because we need to see what happens to the respective starters for the Giants and Cowboys. So if you're here early in the week, first off, hello. Second of all, be sure to check back because I could add to this list if certain guys get ruled out.

I'll for sure clear out the guys who play on Thursday night. All right, are you ready for Rank's 11 sleepers for Week 8?

Carson Palmer, QB, Arizona Cardinals: It's always weird to have a QB sleeper because there are so many of them. But with six teams on a bye, it warrants mentioning. Palmer has been a huge disappointment. I like the matchup against the Falcons, who have allowed the fifth-most points to fantasy quarterbacks this year.

Jacquizz Rodgers, RB, Atlanta Falcons: Sure, Steven Jackson could return to the team, but the Falcons would be crazy to take the Quizz Show out of the lineup. He's scored more than 17 points in back-to-back games. He also has four touchdowns in his last two games.

Zac Stacy, RB, St. Louis FC: I know, this isn't the greatest matchup against the Seattle Seahawks. But realize the Seahawks have allowed a rushing touchdown in six of their last seven road games. Stacy has had his fantasy points increase in three consecutive games, and he's really the only option for a team that lost its quarterback.

Mike James, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: James wasn't overly impressive in his first extensive action against the Falcons last week. But understand he's going to have opportunities. And that's what we're talking about here. He had 17 touches last week, and it will get even better in the wake of Doug Martin's injury.

Montee Ball, RB, Denver Broncos: I would be shocked if Ronnie Hillman isn't dropped into running back oblivion after his crucial fumble. If that happens, Ball could get into the mix here. The Redskins have allowed the second-most fantasy points per game to running backs this season. Washington also has allowed eight rushing touchdowns this year, most in the NFL.

Terrance Williams, WR, Dallas Cowboys: He's close to graduating from this list, too, as he's scored at least a touchdown in three consecutive games. The Lions have allowed the sixth-most fantasy points to receivers this season. And he opened the week as owned in 34 percent of leagues.

Leonard Hankerson, WR, Washington Redskins: Love the matchup this week for Hankerson, who was a bit of a disappointment last week. But now he has the Broncos, who've allowed the third-most points to fantasy receivers this year. Plus the Broncos are prone to the big play: They've allowed 39 completions of more than 20 yards this year (tops in the league).

Kenny Stills, WR, New Orleans Saints: It's rather frustrating to not have a clear No. 2 to start from the Saints. That's, of course, if you count Jimmy Graham as the top guy. But I like Stills as a sleeper this week. The Bills have allowed the second-most fantasy points to receivers this season, and have allowed at least two touchdown passes in six of the last seven games.

Waiver wire: Pick Percy pronto

Michael Fabiano writes that Percy Harvin's debut makes the WR a must-have waiver wire commodity.. More ...

Jordan Reed, TE, Washington Redskins: Reed put on a show last week against the Bears, and he's got another great matchup against the Broncos this week. Tight ends have been targeted 66 times against the Broncos this year. That's the most in the NFL. Reed has become a bigger part of the Redskins' offense with each passing week.

New Orleans Saints defense: The Saints defense has recorded at least three sacks in four consecutive games. The Saints have scored at least eight fantasy points in each home game this year. And now the Bills have allowed 23 sacks in the last five games.

Wait, you say you want one more? Fine, I'll give you one more.

LaVon Brazill, WR, Indianapolis Colts: A lot of people believe it's going to be Darius Heyward-Bey who will get the majority of looks now with Reggie Wayne out. But Brazill is the better long-term prospect in Indianapolis. Pick him up this week to stash, because the Colts are on a bye. Then in a few weeks when he has a huge game, all the managers in your league will be morose because Brazill will already be on your roster.

Did you know that Adam Rank won last year's Expert's League title? Oh that's right, it's like the only thing he ever talks about. Well congratulations, Rank. You finally did something. What have you done for us lately? Let's worry about 2013 and stop living in the past. Typical Lakers fan, am I right? Oh, if you found this useful (as if) check him out on the latest "Dave Dameshek Football Program". And follow him on Twitter, please. He's taking us to lunch if he gets 17 more Twitter followers today. And we only got 15 the last time, so step up fantasy enthusiasts!

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.