Week 8 Starts and Sits
October 30, 2015 | Chet
Happy Halloween, fake footballers, and welcome to the Week 8 Starts and Sits. If this week’s lineup decisions are sending menacing chills down your spine, you’ve come to the right place. The tools provided below should help you navigate the Week 8 corn maze (shout out Denny Cornter) en route to more treats than tricks on game day. One treat most of us will receive this weekend is an extra hour of sleep, which should make the early-morning London game a little more manageable. This assumes, of course, that you don’t ensure a zombified Sunday by spending All Hallows Eve imbibing creepy cocktails. If that admittedly boring plan doesn’t boil your cauldron, use the following resources to get a head start on your lineups before donning your costume and howling at the moon with all the other werewolves:
- Drew Brees vs. NYG: The Giants don’t rush the passer well, so Brees should have plenty of time in the pocket to pick them apart.
- Eli Manning @ NO: Meanwhile, the Saints’ pass defense isn’t good either. This game has the makings of a shootout.
- Matthew Stafford @ KC: It’s much easier to pass on Kansas City than to run and Stafford has shown us that he can still be fantasy-relevant in positive match-ups.
- Ryan Fitzpatrick @ OAK: If Fitzmagic is actually a magician, the Jets’ schedule is his lovely assistant.
- Jameis Winston @ ATL: Atlanta can’t pressure quarterbacks, so the improving Winston should have time to throw in a game flow conducive to passing.
- Chris Johnson @ CLE: The Browns have the worst rushing defense DVOA in the league.
- Jonathan Stewart vs. IND: Apparently J-Stew simply needs a few weeks each season to get up to speed. He performed well in the face of difficult match-ups over the past two weeks and I expect him to keep rolling against the softer Colts.
- Danny Woodhead @ BAL: The Ravens defend the run better than the pass — not that San Diego can effectively run the ball anyway — so this should be another good spot for Woodhead.
- LeGarrette Blount vs. MIA: A pre-TNF pick that didn’t pan out especially well, but at least Blount didn’t defecate all over our lineups like he did last week.
- Darren McFadden vs. SEA: Tough match-up, but the volume should be there for McFadden with Joseph Randle is out of the picture. Dallas will need to establish the run to have a chance in this game.
- Theo Riddick @ KC: See Matthew Stafford above.
- Reggie Bush @ STL: Merely a desperation play for PPR owners, but Bush could see an expanded role with Carlos Hyde on the mend from a foot injury.
- Eric Decker @ OAK: Ties in with my Ryan Fitzpatrick love. Fantasy owners have to appreciate the Jets’ predictable ball distribution on offense.
- Martavis Bryant vs. CIN: All systems are go if Roethlisberger plays.
- Stefon Diggs @ CHI: It took a guy named Stefon to make Urkel Bridgewater tolerable, natch. The Bears are a nice match-up for both personas.
- Kendall Wright @ HOU: My fingers are crossed for Mariota, but Mettenberger kept Wright involved last week and Houston is a nice match-up, so I like this play regardless of quarterback.
- Nate Washington vs. TEN: The match-up is nice on the other side of the ball, as well. My concern here is potential for Houston to lean hard on the run against a terrible Tennessee rush defense, but Arian Foster’s injury tempers that fear.
- Stevie Johnson @ BAL: See Danny Woodhead above. San Diego’s offensive limitations and Baltimore’s defensive strengths should dictate a lot of passing from the Chargers, as usual.
- Danny Amendola vs. MIA: Oops. The Patriots coasted through this game with their primary producers carrying the load. Amendola clearly let the Wookiee win this week.
- Ladarius Green @ BAL: In sounds like Antonio Gates will stay on the sidelines and I love Ladarius in that situation. Even if Gates plays, Green should be usable by rationale used above for Stevie Johnson.
- Eric Ebron @ KC: See Matthew Stafford above. The Chiefs have been pretty tough on opposing tight ends in terms of fantasy points allowed, but I like the opportunity for volume with Ebron and he has the talent to overcome challenging match-ups.
- Crockett Gillmore vs. SD: This game could be a shootout and Gillmore is Joe Flacco’s primary red zone target.
- Larry Donnell @ NO: See Eli Manning above. Plus, the Saints allow the 4th-most points to opposing tight ends.
- Ryan Tannehill @ NE: My best pre-TNF call by a lot. Tannehill can’t be easily trusted in tough match-ups like this.
- Andrew Luck @ CAR: Luck doesn’t look healthy and the Panthers have the NFL’s 2nd-best passing defense. It wasn’t hard to find 12+ quarterbacks I liked more this week.
- Peyton Manning vs. GB: Speaking of good passing defenses, Green Bay’s is the 5th-best by DVOA and we still have no evidence of Peyton being a good QB this season.
- Derek Carr vs. NYJ: If the wheels are going to come off for Carr and the Oakland offense, this is the match-up that should do it.
- Colin Kaepernick @ STL: I will not stream Kap against good defenses.
- Latavius Murray vs. NYJ: See Derek Carr above.
- Carlos Hyde @STL: See Reggie Bush above.
- Ameer Abdullah @ KC: Not completely unusable because we don’t know if he’ll see more action with Detroit’s recent coaching shake-up, but try to do better this week than Abdullah in a semi-tough match-up.
- Andre Ellington @ CLE: Not enough volume for my tastes.
- James Starks @ DEN: Oh how quickly the narrative turns. Now Eddie Lacy is the healthy back in Green Bay and Starks is nursing an injury.
- Chris Polk vs. TEN: I prefer Alfred Blue this week based on Tennessee’s struggles defending the run. Polk is better suited for pass-heavy game scripts.
- Melvin Gordon @BAL: Sitting Gordon has become a weekly tradition.
- James Jones @ DEN: This match-up boils down to whether Jones can score or not. I don’t feel safe making that bet against the formidable Denver defense.
- Michael Crabtree vs. NYJ: See Derek Carr and Latavius Murray above.
- Tavon Austin vs. SF: The match-up is juicy, but the Rams might only need to score 10 points in this game to win and we all know that Todd Gurley is good for those points by himself.
- Dez Bryant vs. SEA: I’m not convinced Dez is 100%. Why run him out for a full workload against the hard-hitting Seahawks? The Cowboys shouldn’t and neither should his fantasy owners.
- Torrey Smith @ STL: See Colin Kaepernick above.
- Eddie Royal vs. MIN: This game sets up better for Chicago’s running game and Royal must compete for tertiary targets with Martellus Bennett and Marquess Wilson now that Alshon Jeffery is healthy.
- Brandon LaFell vs. MIA: He got more work than I was expecting, but didn’t do a ton with his 7 targets (4 rec. for 47 yards). I’ll take it.
- Jason Witten vs. SEA: Because Matt Cassel.
- Vernon Davis @ STL: Because Colin Kaepernick.
- Richard Rodgers @ DEN: Same story as James Jones above. It wouldn’t surprise me if one of the two scored, but if we project the wrong one, we risk a 0-3 point performance.
- Coby Fleener/Dwayne Allen @ CAR: See Andrew Luck above.
Thanks for reading/watching, good luck this week, and have a safe and happy holiday.