Week 8: Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em

Start ‘Em

Banged up backfield and a favorable matchup means solid points for Big Ben in week 8.

Quarterback

  • Ben Roethlisberger (vs Was) – The Redskins have tremendous difficulty against the pass, allowing over 300 yards to every quarterback that has faced them, with the exception of Josh Freeman – who totaled 299. With a banged up backfield, the Steelers should be relying on Ben and the passing game here.
  • Brandon Weeden (vs SD) – Got a starter on bye or an unfavorable matchup in a two-QB league? Weeden has been consistently producing, and consistently improving as well. With Trent Richardson’s ribs still banged up, the Browns are going to need to throw the ball in this game, and the Chargers present a favorable matchup.
  • Andrew Luck (@ Ten) – Similar to the Redskins, the Titans pass defense is at the bottom of the barrel. Donald Brown is still not 100%, and despite the encouraging performance of Vick Ballard, the Colts should have no reservations about challenging Tennessee in the air. Andrew Luck is a very solid start in week 8.
  • Peyton Manning (vs NO) – The Saints are allowing the most points to opposing QB’s out of anyone in the league. Manning has been a stud all season. This is a no-brainer.

Runningback

  • Jonathan Dwyer (vs Was) – The Redskins defense is banged up, and despite being  solid against the run, Dwyer should produce this week if you are in a tight spot with bye weeks or injuries. Mendenhall is officially out for week 8, and Isaac Redman is still banged up. Dwyer should get his.
  • Ryan Mathews (@ Cle) – The Browns have struggled against the run, and Mathews looks to be back to 100%. He should have a very nice game here.
  • Rashad Jennings (@ GB) – The fact that he has nice hands makes this a very attractive start. Even in a likely Packers blowout, Jennings should still factor in the receiving game. Their defense has been hit for over 20 points by opposing RB’s in each of the past two weeks, and the Jacksonville offense has little else to throw at GB in this game.

Wide Receiver

  • Demaryius Thomas/Eric Decker (vs NO) – For the same reasons I like Peyon.
  • Brandon Gibson (vs NE) – The Patriots have allowed a WR to score against them in every game this season, except last week. With Chris Givens presenting more of a downfield threat than a redzone target, Gibson should be in for a nice week 8.
  • Miles Austin/Dez Bryant (vs NYG) – The Cowboys always play the G-Men tough, and with a horribly banged up backfield, their receivers should have a nice day against a defense that has allowed 10 passing touchdowns so far this season.

Tight End

  • Heath Miller (vs Was) – The Skins have allowed a TD to five different tight ends this year, and Heath Miller caught 4 in his first 6 games.

Team Defense

  • Green Bay (vs Jax) – No MJD, and Blaine Gabbert is not 100%. As if this matchup wasn’t enticing enough already…

Sit ‘Em

Quarterback

  • Cam Newton (@ Chi) – The Panthers offense looks horrible, Cam Newton is virtually crying in post-game press conferences, and they are taking on a Chicago defense that has allowed the least points to opposing QB’s of any team in the league. To make things worse, head-coach Ron Rivera said that an shakeup of the offensive gameplan is in the cards, indicating that Cam will be getting far less goal-line read-options (say goodbye to those rushing TD’s).
  • Matthew Stafford (vs Sea) – Not expecting a seemingly lacklustre Detroit offense to all of a sudden bust loose against one of the top defenses in the league.

Runningback

  • Shonn Greene (vs Mia) – Despite his emergence recently, the Dolphins have only allowed two rushing TD’s all season. Keep him on the bench.
  • LaRod Stephens-Howling (vs SF) – Despite his awesome game in week 7, keep LSH on the bench against the Niners.
  • Mikel LeShoure (vs Sea) – Similar to Miami, Seattle has allowed only two rushing TD’s allowed all season. Much better options this week.

Wide Receiver

  • Michael Crabtree (@ Ari) – Hasn’t been a fantasy dud, and that shouldn’t change against Patrick Peterson and the Cardinals D
  • Steve Smith (@ Chi) – If Calvin Johnson struggles against Charles Tillman, what is going to happen to Steve Smith?

Tight End

  • Jared Cook (vs Ind) – The Titans have only allowed one TD to a tight end all season, and Cook has been horribly inconsistent. Find a better matchup this week.
  • Aaron Hernandez (vs StL) – Just like the Colts, St. Louis has only allowed one TD to a tight end this season, and Hernandez still isn’t fully recovered. Gronk should get the lion’s share of targets this week.

Team Defense

  • Philadelphia (vs Atl) – The Eagles defense, despite the big-names and big-contracts, has been residing at the bottom of the pack as far as fantasy defenses go. They weren’t a good start before, and they’re an even worse start against a tough Atlanta offense.
  • Denver (vs NO) – I will not play a defense that faces this Saints offense. Drew Brees will turn this into a shootout.

About John Warmkessel

Operator & head writer for 1UP Fantasy Sports. Contact me at the email provided, or via the contact form on the home page of the website. Follow on twitter @1UPfantasy for up to date player advice, gameday Q & A, and more.
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