In college, I worked part-time at a grocery store. One of my coworkers was a kid still in high school, who I’ll call Brad. He was a good guy, easy to get along with and possessing a good sense of humor. But Brad was terrible at his job. He loafed at every opportunity, never did anything right, and routinely irritated every customer he encountered.
He went on like that for a few months, barely escaping termination, until one day we got a new manager, Rick. And for some reason, Brad liked our new boss. All of sudden, Brad was a model employee, getting compliments from customers, doing the chores no one else wanted to do.
Finally, I asked him what brought about such a drastic change in his work ethic. His response?
“I don’t know. I guess I just like how Rick treats us. He’s cool, so it makes me want to work harder for him.”
The point? Good leaders can get maximize the talent of those around them. Look at what Dan Campbell has done with the Miami Dolphins. A team full of fantasy disasters is now producing like everyone thought they would. Be aware of how coaching changes can turn around a player’s season, and you might make a waiver wire move or trade that can turn around your season.
Let’s get to Week 8:
Three Players Who Will Wreck Your Opponents This Week:
Philip Rivers, QB, San Diego—The Chargers are having trouble running, Rivers has been flinging the ball around like a madman lately, and the Ravens are terrible against the pass. Start him if you got him.
Antonio Andrews, RB, Tennessee—This is a tough week for running backs because of injuries and byes. Andrews isn’t a great pickup, but he’s going to get the bulk of the carries for the Titans when they play the Texans, who are giving up 21 points per game to opposing teams.
Michael Crabtree, WR, Oakland —Amare Cooper will be stuck on Revis Island all game, and Crabtree is leading the team in targets. That’s a recipe for a big day. And he’s probably available on your waiver wire. Get him.
Three Players Who Will Wreck Your Team This Week:
Derek Carr, QB, Oakland—The Jets are tough against the pass, and as mentioned above, Cooper will be shadowed by Revis. New York’s pass rush is especially daunting, and Carr isn’t experienced enough to combat that with changes at the line. Go with another option if you can.
Lamar Miller, RB, Miami—I know, I know. It’s LAMAR MILLER. But the Patriots shutdown opposing running backs and it’s a Thursday night game. Add in the fact that I think New England could run away with the game and Miller may not get many carries, leading to mediocre week.
Dez Bryant, WR, Dallas—The Seahawks have allowed the fewest points to wide receivers this year, and Bryant – if he suits up on Sunday – will be playing his first game since Week One. There’s bound to be some rust, not to mention some doubts about whether his quarterback can get him the ball in the first place. Of course, it’s Dez, so this could easily blow up in my face. Go with your gut.
The Guy Who’s Wrecking My Fantasy Season This Week:
I don’t know which Eli Manning is going to show up from week to week. Is it two-time Super Bowl winner Eli, who’s good for 20+ points per game? Or is it the dumpster fire wearing a Giants jersey who’s scored nine points total in the last two weeks. Quarterbacks are killing me this year, guys. Let’s hope Chicken Parm’s little brother gets it turned around.
Ben Zajdel is a ProFootballBeast.com contributor. You can follow him on Twitter at @bzajdel. His last name would be a great Scrabble word.