In most leagues, you have made it halfway through the season. Congratulations for existing! In all serious though, this is when playoff pushes are built – a good start is key, but this middle part of the season will determine what kind of shape you’re in to not only make the playoffs, but win the playoffs. The injury replacements and waiver wire gambles you try now could be the guys still in your starting lineup for the championship in Week 16 – so choose carefully. Who to go with in Week Eight?
D/ST Sleeper: Cleveland Browns – Yes, they fell back to earth last week – in fact, they went splat – but now they come home to frigid Cleveland, hosting a lousy Oakland team that can barely play in warm weather at home, let alone the frigid disaster off the Cuyahoga river. Expect sacks and picks.
DL Sleeper: Marcell Dareus, Buffalo Bills – Five sacks the last two weeks, and a very sack-able schedule coming up, including at the New York Jets this week. The Jets just added Percy Harvin of course – so they will probably try to air the ball out a bit more, which means more chances for Dareus to get his hands on Geno Smith. A slow start scared some owners off, but Dareus now has sacks in four of his last five games.
LB Sleeper: J.T. Thomas, Jacksonville Jaguars – with Paul Posluszny out for the year, Thomas slides from outside to inside linebacker to replace him – and though he won’t match PP’s production, he’ll get plenty of tackles in his own right and be a sneaky bye-week fill-in.
DB Sleeper: Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Green Bay Packers – he has firmly claimed the starting free safety job, and will continue to get better each week – in keeper and dynasty leagues, he should already be owned. He doesn’t project as a guy who will get a ton of sacks or picks, but he can definitely be a 10-tackles-per-week machine as he improves. A steady long-term investment is nothing to laugh at.