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News-Herald Assistant Sports Editor Kevin Kleps doesn’t just write headlines and stories. He also checks on his fantasy sports teams. A lot. See if the moves and news from the world of sports affect your fantasy teams.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Fantasy football: Week 8 waiver-wire picks

This week's batch of waiver-wire candidates is the weakest of the season, so we will present a few reminders before we unveil the highly anticipated top five.

-- Bengals running back Cedric Benson will serve his one-game suspension this week, leaving Bernard Scott as the featured back. Don't expect Scott to have a huge game Sunday at Seattle, which is allowing only 3.2 yards per carry, but if you need a one-game replacement because of bye weeks, Scott is a decent option as a low-end No. 2 back or upper-level flex play.

-- We wrote about DeMarco Murray extensively on Monday, but he entered this week available in more than 64 percent of the leagues on, so he has to be mentioned in this space. Murray is a no-doubt-about-it choice as the top waiver-wire candidate if he's still available in your league.

-- We broke down the value of Seahawks running back Maurice Morris here, and mentioned him again here.

On to this week's waiver-wire selections. A quick reminder: We choose players who are available in more than half of the leagues on (this week's group is available in more than 64 percent of the ESPN formats).

1. Steve Breaston, WR, Chiefs (owned in 35.4 percent of the ESPN leagues):
Breaston has 13 receptions for 205 yards and two touchdowns in his last three games, a span in which the Chiefs are 3-0 and averaging 26 points per contest. This week's matchup against the Chargers (No. 3 vs. the pass) isn't great, but Kansas City will face Miami (No. 21 vs. the pass), Denver (No. 19) and New England (No. 32) in Weeks 9, 10 and 11.

2. Demaryius Thomas, WR, Broncos (owned in 2.7 percent of the ESPN leagues): He made his season debut last week at Miami (aka The Game That Gave ESPN Another Reason To Debate Tebow) and had three catches for 27 yards and a TD. Thomas, a first-round pick by the Broncos in 2010, received a team-high 10 targets last week, and the trade of Brandon Lloyd to St. Louis should make Thomas Denver's second-best fantasy option at receiver (behind Eric Decker). I would consider Thomas a No. 4 or 5 receiver in deeper leagues.

3. Delone Carter, RB, Colts (16.9 percent): He is Indy's leading rusher at 259 yards, and last week was the Colts' only bright spot against the Saints (10 carries for 89 yards and a score). With Joseph Addai battling a hamstring injury, Carter -- a rookie fourth-round pick -- has received 36 carries the last three games. Even if Addai is forced to sit this week, Carter likely will share carries with Donald Brown (nine rushes for 47 yards last week), but he seems to have emerged as the Colts' top backfield option. If Addai is out, Carter is a decent flex play Sunday at Tennessee, which ranks 24th against the run.

4. Roy Helu, RB, Redskins (15.3 percent): Mike Shanahan warning! Mike Shanahan warning! As we wrote Monday, who knows what the Redskins will do now that Tim Hightower is out for the season? Ryan Torain would seem to be next in line, but Helu, a rookie fourth-round pick, has value strictly because of the possibility he could earn the featured role at some point this season. Helu has 27 carries for 131 yards this season (4.9), but he has only three rushes for 5 yards in Washington's last two games. I would rather avoid both Torain and Helu until their roles are more clearly defined, but Helu can be a Week 8 desperation play if you base it strictly on the Redskins' matchup (the Bills own the league's third-worst run defense and are giving up 5.1 yards per carry).

5. Heath Miller, TE, Steelers (14.0 percent): Miller has four receptions in each of his last two games, and he has a TD in two of his last three. He caught four passes for 59 yards and a score last week at Arizona, and Sunday the Steelers will play host to the Patriots and their league-worst pass defense (322 yards per game allowed). Miller should be considered a top-10 tight end this week.

Past waiver-wire picks who remain undervalued: DeMarco Murray, RB, Cowboys (owned in 34.6 percent of the ESPN leagues); Bernard Scott, RB, Bengals (4.0 percent); Maurice Morris, RB, Lions (11.9); Greg Little, WR, Browns (9.0); Jerome Simpson, WR, Bengals (33.8); David Nelson, WR, Bills (33.2); Jabar Gaffney, WR, Redskins (6.6); Jermaine Gresham, TE, Bengals (30.6).

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