Start/Sit Week 8
October 24, 2013 | Mike Braude
QB: Robert Griffin III at DEN – While rushing for 161 yards over his past two games, Robert Griffin III has helped solidify the belief that “he’s back.” Rushing for 55.1 yards per game last season, RGIII finished as the No. 5 fantasy quarterback – despite missing a game. Facing a Broncos defense that is allowing the most fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks, RGIII couldn’t have a better matchup this week. For fantasy owners that need a streamer, Carson Palmer also has a great matchup against a Falcons defense that has struggled mightily against the pass.
RB: Eddie Lacy at MIN – Until further notice, Eddie Lacy is a RB1. Since returning from his concussion, in three games, Lacy has rushed 68 times for 301 yards (4.42 YPC) and a touchdown. With those games coming against the Lions, Ravens, and Browns, this will be Lacy’s first truly favorable matchup. The Vikings are allowing the 2nd most fantasy points to opposing running backs. Lacy is a must-start.
Knowshon Moreno vs. WAS – Despite rushing for just 82 yards combined in his last two games, Moreno has now scored in four straight games. Coming into this week with eight touchdowns, Moreno is tied with teammates Wes Welker and Julius Thomas for the NFL non-quarterback lead in touchdowns. Coincidentally, the Redskins are tied for the most rushing touchdowns allowed to running backs with eight. No team has allowed more fantasy points to opposing running backs than the Redskins.
Frank Gore at JAC – Few running backs have run as well this season as Frank Gore, it’s fair to say “he’s eatin’.” Since Week 2, Gore has rushed 97 times for 487 yards (5.02 YPC) with four touchdowns. This week he squares off with a Jaguars defense that has allowed the 3rd most fantasy points to opposing running backs. In seven games this season enemy running backs have rushed 190 times for 882 yards (4.64 YPC) and eight touchdowns against Jacksonville.
Roy Helu at DEN – Many may believe that I threw Helu on here because of last week’s game – this is not the case. Here’s why he’s on here: Helu is part of the Redskins’ turbo package, their hurry-up offense, which they use when they’re in catch-up mode. This is prominent because this week the Redskins face the Broncos, who have jumped out to big leads in virtually every game. If this is the case for the Redskins, Helu will be heavily involved.
WR: DeSean Jackson vs. NYG – With just 21 total yards, last week was the lowest fantasy output of Jackson’s season. Despite that, there are reasons to expect a bounce-back performance. Not only does Jackson get Vick back, but also faces a Giants’ secondary that he lit up for 132 yards and a touchdown in Week 5.
Larry Fitzgerald vs. ATL – Coming off a 17-yard dud on Thursday Night Football against the Seahawks, expect Larry Fitzgerald to bounce-back. Not only did 10 days of rest do him wonders but he has a much more favorable matchup this week. While the Seahawks allow the 7th fewest fantasy points to opposing wide receivers, the Falcons allow the 3rd most.
Pierre Garcon at DEN – While last week was his worst game of the season, there are encouraging signs. Garcon hasn’t dipped below 5 catches or 58 yards this season and is facing 4th most favorable defense for opposing wide receivers. He’ll see a lot of targets in catch up mode against the Broncos. Over weeks 3-7, Garcon leads Washington in red zone targets, he has 9 compared to 2nd place Jordan Reed’s 2. In a game that should be a high scoring shoot out, his odds of scoring a touchdown are good.
Marques Colston vs. BUF – Despite struggling through the first six games, Colston has a very good matchup this week. With Jimmy Graham iffy, Colston could see an uptick in targets against a Buffalo secondary that is allowing the most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers. He hasn’t looked like himself this season but did have at least 63 receiving yards in each of the first four games. There’s a good chance he could relied upon heavily in this plus matchup. I also like Kenny Stills for deep leaguers who are in a bye-week crunch.
TE: Tony Gonzalez at AZ – Despite catching just two passes for 30 yards in the Falcons first game without Julio Jones, Tony Gonzalez faces a Cardinals defense that has allowed the most fantasy points to opposing tight ends. The Cardinals have allowed the most catches (49), receiving yards (717), and touchdowns (8) to opposing tight ends.
QB: Terrelle Pryor vs. PIT – In many of my leagues, I’ve seen owners who are comfortable with starting Pryor every week – this week I would call that a bad idea. Pryor has thrown just five touchdowns in five games and now faces a Steelers’ defense that is allowing the 3rd fewest fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks. In six games this season, the Steelers have allowed just five passing touchdowns with only one opposing quarterback topping 248 passing yards.
RB: Willis McGahee at KC – Over the last two weeks, McGahee has carried the ball 21 times for 76 scoreless yards. At this point in his career, he is simply a volume dependent running back. McGahee isn’t involved in the passing game so he doesn’t see enough touches to be successful in tough matchups. This week he faces the Chiefs, who have allowed the fewest points to opposing running backs out of the teams playing this week.
Zac Stacy vs. SEA – While Stacy has proven to be the Rams’ best running back; the Sam Bradford injury hurts his value. Against teams like Seattle, the box will be stacked, daring the Rams to pass. I like Stacy to take advantage of cream-puff matchups, but I’d bench him against a Seahawks defense that is allowing the 2nd fewest fantasy points to opposing running backs.
BenJarvus Green-Ellis vs. NYJ – Now receiving fewer snaps and touches than rookie Giovani Bernard, Green-Ellis is only worth playing in favorable matchups. When he’s facing a Jets’ defense that has allowed opposing running backs to top 80 yards just once this season, I’d look for other options.
WR: Mike Wallace at NE – With the Dolphins heading to Foxboro, I would call Mike Wallace a shaky WR3. He’s put together two solid games in a row but now squares up with a Bill Belichick defense that is notorious for taking away the opposing team’s best weapon. It’s also probable that the Patriots get Aqib Talib back, who has been arguably the league’s top shutdown corner when healthy this season.
Harry Douglas at AZ – Despite last week’s explosion, Harry Douglas has historically been just “a guy.” Over his first four seasons, he’s caught just one touchdown each year and hasn’t been able to take advantage of spot starts when Julio Jones or Roddy White have missed games. Last week he managed to do his damage against the Buccaneers’ zone defense, this week he’ll be tested by cover corner Patrick Peterson. Don’t trust Douglas as more than a flex play.
Dwayne Bowe vs. CLE – Coming off his best game of the season, 5 receptions for 66 yards, Dwayne Bowe plays the Browns. The Browns are sure to stick corner Joe Haden on Bowe, who is playing at a very high level this season. Considering Bowe hasn’t been able to take advantage of any of his solid matchups this season, I wouldn’t trust him against Haden.
TE: Jordan Cameron at KC – While I know many owners don’t have the option to sit Cameron, no team has been better against tight ends than the Chiefs. The Chiefs have allowed a league low 204 yards to opposing tight ends and are one of just two teams yet to allow an opposing team’s tight end to score a touchdown. Throw Jason Campbell in the mix and things aren’t looking good for Cameron’s prospects this week.
Thanks for reading, good luck this week. Hit me up on Twitter @BraudeM or post below for any lineup questions you guys have!