- Brian Bennett, ESPN Staff Writer
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Finally, we had a close game in fantasy. But it didn't go the way I wanted.
After a series of back-and-forth blowouts, our two Big Ten fantasy teams -- Adam's Trombone Shorties and my The One Who Knocks -- played a tight, high-scoring battle in Week 8. Adam's team emerged victorious by a count of 164-140, our closest matchup of the season. The Shorties got 48 points from Jeremy Gallon's record-setting day, 32 from Melvin Gordon and 27 thanks to Michigan State's shutout. I had the week's high scorer, as Devin Gardner put up 54 big points, while James White added 29 and Carlos Hyde 26. But my free agent pickups of Connor Cook and Ohio State's defense (six points each) fizzled and ultimately cost me.
With the win, Adam cut my season lead down to 5-3 with six weeks remaining. It will once again be a busy week on the waiver wire thanks to those daggone double byes. To the free agent heap:
Brian adds Penn State QB Christian Hackenberg and drops Michigan State QB Connor Cook
Rationale: My gambit on taking Cook last week totally backfired, so I'm turning back to the Nittany Lions wunderkind in hopes that he can take advantage of the Ohio State secondary.
Rationale: I recognize the risk here as Martinez might not play much or at all, but I think he returns to the field against Minnesota and puts up some decent numbers against the Gophers.
Brian adds Nebraska RB Ameer Abdullah and drops Wisconsin RB James White
Rationale: With White on a bye, I'm more than happy to pick up the guy who has been the second best back in the Big Ten so far this year.
Adam adds Iowa RB Mark Weisman and drops Wisconsin RB Melvin Gordon
Rationale: Weisman's lack of touchdowns make him a questionable fantasy choice, but there aren't many other options out there at running back. Northwestern has been vulnerable to power backs, and Weisman certainly fits that description.
Brian adds Nebraska's defense and drops Ohio State's defense
Rationale: The Blackshirts paid off big time when I took them against Purdue. Going against a light-scoring Minnesota offense at home should pave the way for another nice scoring day, in theory.
Adam adds Ohio State WR Corey "Philly" Brown and drops Michigan WR Jeremy Gallon
Rationale: I hate to lose Gallon, but he won't get me any points on a bye and I can't concede weeks at this point in the season. Brown has big-play potential and could find room against a vulnerable Penn State secondary.
Rationale: I was going to hold on to Abbrederis, even through the bye week. But since Adam is dropping superstars left and right, I know there will be lots to choose from on the waiver wire next week. So I'll play for now and go with the Huskers wideout who's been a scoring machine this season.
Rationale: Bell has a big game or two left in him, and perhaps this is the week for a breakout performance. He'll benefit big time if Martinez is back on the field.
Brian adds Northwestern's kickers and drops Michigan's kickers
Rationale: Need some new kicks with the Wolverines on a bye. I'll cast my lot with Jeff Budzien, especially since Northwestern has had trouble locating the end zone of late.
Adam adds Ohio State's kickers and drop Michigan State's kickers
Rationale: The Buckeyes score way more than Michigan State does, and while Drew Basil gets limited chances for field goals, he has plenty of extra-point opportunities. I expect another high-scoring performance from Ohio State against Penn State.
Our complete rosters for Week 8:
The Trombone Shorties (Adam)
Ohio State QB Braxton Miller
Nebraska QB Taylor Martinez
Iowa RB Mark Weisman
Michigan State RB Jeremy Langford
Nebraska WR Kenny Bell
Ohio State WR Corey Brown
Ohio State kickers
Michigan State defense
The One Who Knocks (Brian)
Michigan QB Devin Gardner
Penn State QB Christian Hackenberg
Nebraska RB Ameer Abdulla
Ohio State RB Carlos Hyde
Nebraska WR Quincy Enunwa
Penn State WR Allen Robinson
17hAndrea Adelson and Austin Ward
20hJosh Moyer and Tom VanHaaren
19hAlex Scarborough and Jesse Temple
2dJosh Moyer and Tom VanHaaren