Start/Sit Week 8
October 23, 2014 | Mike Braude
Tony Romo vs. WAS
While they’ve been stout on the ground, the Redskins have been weak through the air. In five straight games they’ve allowed the opposing quarterback to pass for at least two touchdowns. Romo has been on a hot streak of his own – after throwing for just one touchdown in each of his first two games, Romo has passed for at least two touchdowns in five straight. Fire him up as a top five quarterback this week.
Joique Bell at ATL
There’s no question that Joique Bell has been shaky this season – averaging 3.3 yards per carry, he’s been the definition of touchdown dependent. His involvement in the pass game has also dwindled under Joe Lombardi. This week, however, Bell draws the best matchup possible. While no other team has allowed more than seven rushing touchdowns to opposing running backs, the Falcons have allowed 12. With Calvin Johnson likely out, the Falcons defense will receive a heavy dose of Joique.
Ben Tate vs. OAK
After his latest showing against the Jaguars, it’s possible that Tate owners are getting cold feet. The fact of the matter is Tate has received massive workloads when healthy. The Browns are 6th in the league in total rushing production. The Browns face the Raiders this week who are allowing the 2nd most points to opposing running backs. They’ve allowed an opposing running back to rush for a touchdown in five of their six games this season. Fire Tate up as a high-end RB2.
Travaris Cadet vs. GB
The Saints use two different types of running backs: big backs (Mark Ingram and Khiry Robinson) and satellite backs (Pierre Thomas and Travaris Cadet). In the pass game, they love to target their satellite backs. Over their last three games, Cadet and Thomas have combined for 29 catches for 238 receiving yards and two touchdowns. With Pierre Thomas out, Cadet will be thrust in to a more prominent role. I like him as a RB2 for PPR leagues.
Jeremy Maclin at ARI
Maclin’s volatility doesn’t scare me. In fact, it is reminiscent of DeSean Jackson’s volatility as the Eagles’ top wideout last season. Coming off their bye-week, expect Chip Kelly’s offense to be sharp. With the Cardinals allowing the 5th most points to opposing wide receivers, I expect Kelly to get Maclin going.
Michael Floyd vs. PHI
The Eagles have also been lousy against opposing wide receivers. Since the return of Carson Palmer, Floyd has scored in two straight. Still, he’s yet to have that ever elusive breakout performance. In a high scoring game against the Eagles’ secondary, I believe this could be the game.
Eric Decker vs. BUF
Since joining the Jets, Eric Decker also hasn’t had his breakout game. There are however promising signs: he’s had at least four catches in every game (except for his hamstring injury game) and he’s already scored three touchdowns. Playing against a Bills’ secondary that has allowed an opposing wide receiver to score in each of their seven games, Decker is a good bet to score this week. The Percy Harvin acquisition will help Decker by relieving some of the defensive attention that’s focused on him.
Owen Daniels at CIN (UPDATE: Daniels had his knee scoped and will now miss 2-4 weeks)
After a solid performance last week, Owen Daniels draws the best possible matchup for a tight end. The Bengals have already allowed 609 receiving yards to opposing tight ends – only one other team has allowed more than 455. Over the last three weeks, the Bengals have allowed 26 catches for 399 yards and four touchdowns to opposing tight ends.
Matt Ryan vs. DET
As a quarterback, the one team you don’t want to mess with this year is the Detroit Lions. Drew Brees is the only passer to throw for more than one touchdown against them – even Aaron Rodgers struggled. The Lions are allowing the fewest points to opposing quarterbacks and have more interceptions than passing touchdowns allowed. For a team that has an offensive line with protection issues, this is a matchup nightmare.
Chris Ivory at BUF
After rushing for 100+ yards and a touchdown last week, owners are likely in favor of starting Ivory. I, however, would advise against it. The Bills have been remarkable against the run this season, allowing just 3.2 yards per carry – the lowest mark in the NFL. The Bills are also one of just two teams to not allow an opposing running back to score a touchdown this season.
Bryce Brown at NYJ
While the Bills are especially stout against the run, the Jets are also adept in that facet of the game. Along with a difficult matchup, we believe the Bills will use a timeshare between Bryce Brown and Anthony Dixon this week. This should be a wait-and-see week for both members of the Bills’ backfield.
Jeremy Hill vs. BAL
Early in the season Jeremy Hill was consistently productive, with the Bengals’ offense sputtering, his production has halted. I do believe he’ll be valuable later in the season but he faces a stout Ravens’ run defense this week. The Ravens are allowing the fewest points to opposing running backs.
Roddy White vs. DET
Although Roddy White performed last week, the Ravens were playing prevent defense for much of the 4th quarter. This allowed White to rack up catches with relative ease. Production will be harder to come by against the stout Lions’ defense. The Lions are allowing the 3rd fewest points to opposing wide receivers. They have allowed opposing wide receivers to score touchdowns in just three of their seven games.
Pierre Garcon at DAL
Despite scoring a long touchdown on Colt McCoy’s first pass of the day, I don’t believe that McCoy will save Garcon’s fantasy value. McCoy has proven that he does not have NFL starting caliber talent. It doesn’t help that the Cowboys have allowed the 5th fewest points to opposing wide receivers. I would advise owners to stream the Cowboys defense against the Redskins.
Steve Smith at CIN
Since decimating the Bengals’ secondary in Week 1, Steve Smith has come back to earth. The same is true for the Bengals secondary. The Bengals are allowing the 4th fewest points to opposing wide receivers and I’d expect much of their attention to be focused on Steve Smith.
Delanie Walker vs. HOU
While he’s been productive this season, Walker has cooled down from his scorching start. This week simply isn’t a favorable matchup for him. The Texans have done a good job defending tight ends this season.