Because this week’s schedule post ran longer than my previous ones had, I am sparing you all from having to read more than 700 words in each post. Therefore, I’m doing the Start and Sit sections as I did in last week’s schedule post here in this one. I’ll also include the FLEX picks at the bottom like I did last Thursday to include some lesser-used players who might help you this week. Let’s go…
Week 8 Starts
- QB – Cam Newton, CAR (at WAS) – Newton has struggled mightily this year, but what better elixir to cure his woes than Washington’s doormat of a pass defense? I also think both young, electric QBs in this game show up big time in a quest to steal the spotlight from one another.
- RB – Felix Jones, DAL (at ATL) – For as good a team as they are (and, therefore, how often they’re ahead in games), Atlanta’s rush defense has been surprisingly mediocre this year. I’m no doctor, but I don’t see DeMarco Murray being ready for this one.
- RB – Mikel LeShoure / Joique Bell, DET (at JAX) – Detroit’s passing game was jump-started last week, so expect Jacksonville to gear the defense toward stopping it. LeShoure missed practice Wednesday. If he plays, he’s the guy you want to FLEX. If he doesn’t, Bell is just as good an option.
- WR – Denarius Moore, OAK (vs TB) – Three straight games with a touchdown, and in his last four games, he has at least 71 receiving yards or a touchdown. In two of those, he’s done both.
- TE – Greg Olsen, CAR (at WAS) – See Newton’s section above. Also consider that Washington allows 71 receiving yards per game to tight ends and has yielded seven touchdowns in eight games.
Week 8 Sits
- QB – Eli Manning, NYG (vs PIT) – Manning certainly isn’t a “must-bench” by any means – especially against a Pittsburgh defense that has been markedly worse on the road this season than at home. But if you have other options, give them more of a look this week. For instance, I am in a league where one owner has Manning and Carson Palmer. I would choose Palmer this week.
- RB – Chris Johnson, TEN (vs CHI) – Johnson has been improving of late, but he’s done so primarily due to matchups against some bad run defenses. This week, he gets Chicago – my system’s best.
- RB – Fred Jackson / C.J. Spiller, BUF (at HOU) – Houston’s run defense is very good; Buffalo is likely to be behind early and often; and these two are both good enough players that they cannibalize each other’s value a little bit. You might be able to do better this week.
- WR – Miles Austin, DAL (at ATL) – Atlanta is among the league’s best at limiting fantasy WRs. Receiving partner Dez Bryant is less reliant on downfield throws, so I’d expect him to do more than Austin but wouldn’t be over the moon about either this week.
- TE – Dennis Pitta, BAL (at CLE) – The Browns overall are a Neutral pass defense, but they’re a top-five team in least points allowed per game to tight ends. Expect a big dose of a bye-week-rested Ray Rice here.
Last week’s FLEX post was highlighted by good calls such as Darren Sproles, Heath Miller, Denarius Moore, Vick Ballard, and Chris Givens. It was low-lighted by Julio Jones, Steve Smith, and Jonathan Dwyer being on the “Maybe They Shouldn’t Play” list. But you’re not here for the past. Let’s get into the future.
Let Them Play (listed from who I like most to least)
Jonathan Stewart – something about this game screams “shootout” to me; maybe it’s the dynamic QBs and crappy defenses.
Antonio Gates – sooner or later, San Diego will realize they have no one else to catch it
Rashad Jennings – I see 22+ touches and at least 100 total yards
Dwayne Bowe – the King of Garbage Time should be behind early and often tonight, and Matt Cassell is the QB on his team actually capable of getting him downfield.
Vincent Jackson – inconsistent but almost on an every-other-week basis; this is his “on” week.
Jared Cook – not a bad low-end TE1 / high-end TE2 option as complaints about lack of targets could be rectified.
Emmanuel Sanders – coming on as Pittsburgh’s third receiver; Giants have struggled against WR3′s and secondary passing game options.
They Should Stay (listed from bad to worse)
Randall Cobb – may get a P.O.’ed Patrick Peterson; offense looked uninspired without Jordy Nelson
Steve Johnson – Houston’s defense with two weeks to prepare; the only positive thing going for him is potential garbage time production.
Torrey Smith – a tale of two Joe’s – Haden and Flacco
Kenny Britt – Cook Factor mentioned above + facing Charles Tillman = no thanks.
Donald Brown / Vick Ballard – bad matchup and they’ll eat away each other’s value
Peyton Hillis – I have a strong feeling that Brian Daboll will utilize Jamaal Charles quite a bit this week and that Romeo Crennel will know why