Week 8 Start/Sit October 25, 2012  |  Mike Braude



QB: Ben Roethlisberger vs. WAS – Despite throwing just three touchdowns over his last three games, Ben Roethlisberger is a solid start this week. Only Sam Bradford, Peyton Manning, Andrew Luck and Phillip Rivers have been better matchups than Big Ben this week. Allowing a league worst 328.4 passing yards per game, the Redskins will be torched by Mike Wallace and Antonio Brown this week.

RB: Willis McGahee vs. NO – Speaking of good matchups, no running back has a better matchup than Willis McGahee this week. He faces a porous New Orleans defense that has allowed an awful 161 rushing yards per game, good for 2nd worst in the league. Despite looking iffy at times this season, McGahee should be started with confidence this week.

Chris Johnson vs. IND – Arguably the most difficult player in the league to predict, Chris Johnson simply has to be started this week. With Arian Foster, Ray Rice, CJ Spiller, and Fred Jackson on bye, it’s a slow week for running backs. Facing the putrid Colts run defense that allowed Shonn Greene to run for 161 yards and three touchdowns, CJ could quite possibly match last week’s totals.

Reggie Bush at NYJ – Despite rushing for just 132 yards on 48 rushes (2.75 YPC) in his last three games, Reggie Bush should be started this week. Bush has struggled since injuring his knee but had last week’s bye to get healthy. Also, it’s reported that the Dolphins focused on fixing their struggling run game during the bye. Allowing a third-worst 147.7 rushing yards per game, the Jets aren’t the imposing defense that owners used to fear. Don’t be afraid to start Bush this week.

Darren McFadden at KC – Darren McFadden has underperformed throughout and season and while it seems like a good idea to sit him, owners have to stay the course. He’s still receiving a heavy workload each week and has a nice matchup with the Chiefs 22nd ranked run defense. Denarius Moore should help distract some of the defensive attention away from McFadden. Like Chris Johnson last week, there are many reasons to believe that McFadden will breakout of his slump soon.

WR: Demaryius Thomas vs. NO – Despite catching just two passes in his last game, there may not be a better wide receiver play this week than Demaryius Thomas. Facing a Saints defense is ranked 30th against the pass, he’ll have little problem roasting them for big plays like Vincent Jackson did a week ago.

Dez Bryant vs. NYG – Another maddeningly inconsistent player – Dez Bryant struggled last week, with just 14 total yards. The dud can be attributed to Bryant’s lack of being part of the game plan because of his missed practice, due to his nagging groin injury, and his possible in-game concussion that forced him to miss several offensive possessions. Still, Bryant is capable of exploding in a shootout with the Giants, who will force the Cowboys to pass throughout the game – wasting fewer plays on running the football and focusing more on throwing the ball downfield. Just 24th against the pass, the Giants secondary will provide Bryant with ample opportunities to make plays.

James Jones vs. JAX – Considering Rodgers has gone off to the tune of 1,234 passing yards and 16 touchdowns over his last four games, there’s plenty to go around in the Green Bay. James Jones was inches away from having a big game last week and could benefit from Jordy Nelson’s new hamstring injury. Despite the slow game last week, I’d feel confident starting Jones as a WR2 against the Jaguars.

Jeremy Kerley vs. MIA – Since the Dolphins run defense is among the best in football, the Jets will be forced to gain most of their yards through the air this week. Although Santonio Holmes was still starting the last time the Jets faced the Dolphins, Jeremy Kerley finished with 73 yards and a touchdown. Now he’s drawing a full slate of snaps and has a growing connection with Mark Sanchez, who called Kerley a “special talent” this week.

TE: Heath Miller at WAS – Heath Miller isn’t my favorite option at tight end, but he’s been surprisingly solid this year. Already up to five touchdown catches on the season, Miller is averaging six catches over his last four games. Don’t be afraid to start him against Washington’s leaky secondary this week.




QB: Matthew Stafford vs. SEA – Still yet to top one passing touchdown in any game this season, I’d be sitting Stafford this week against Seattle. Allowing the third fewest points per game at just 15.1, Seattle is a quarterback’s worst nightmare. Already in the midst of a season-long slump, Stafford can’t be trusted this week.

RB: LaRod Stephens-Howling vs. SF – Before last week’s game against the Vikings, LaRod Stephens-Howling had 23 rushes on the season for a measly 23 yards. Simply not an every-down back, LSH is more of a scat-back who should only be used in passing situations. Last week the Vikings weren’t too concerned about Stephens-Howling and gave him plenty of room to run but I wouldn’t be betting on the same outcome against the 49ers.

Mikel Leshoure vs. SEA – Despite being his team’s every-down back, Mikel Leshoure will run into Seattle’s brick wall run defense this week. Allowing just 85 yards per game and two touchdowns on the ground this season, Leshoure will struggle to find much running room. It doesn’t help that he’s yet to show much difference-making talent.

Michael Turner at PHI – Running for just 33 yards against the Raiders, Michael Turner shouldn’t be trusted against the Eagles solid run defense. Turner gains most of his points by rushing for touchdowns and the Eagles have allowed just of those this season. I know it’s a bye week and not everyone has this luxury, but if you do, bench Turner.

WR: Titus Young vs. SEA – Despite being one of my favorite wavier wire additions this week, owners will have to wait another week to play their newest player. Although he’s an intriguing talent, Titus Young matches up very poorly with Seattle’s strong physical corners. Young’s weakness has been his physicality and no one harasses receivers at the line more than Seattle. Young could still prove to be a valuable addition, just not this week.

Brian Hartline at NYJ – In his last start Brian Harline didn’t record a catch; he struggled with the physicality of Rams cornerback Cortland Finnegan. This week’s matchup against shutdown corner Antonio Cromartie is even more difficult. Cromartie has arguably been playing at the highest level of any cornerback this season, impressively holding Brandon Lloyd to one catch for 6 yards last week. Don’t expect much from Hartline this week.

Andre Roberts vs. SF – Despite topping 100 yards and a touchdown last week, Andre Roberts remains a shaky fantasy play against the 49ers. Considering the 49ers are allowing the second-fewest points per game at 14.3, there’s little reason to believe that the Cardinals will have many yards or touchdowns. Don’t rely on Roberts for production.

TE: Brandon Pettigrew vs. SEA – With just one touchdown on the season, Brandon Pettigrew isn’t a solid starting option – although he is acceptable in PPR leagues. Throw in the fact that he faces the Seahawks this week and I’d leave him on fake football benches.


Thanks for reading! Hit me up on Twitter @BraudeM or post below for any lineup questions you guys have!


65 Responses

  1. Icaro says:


    Who u like more ROS. Mendy or J Stewart ?!

    Sit one WR this week: Nelson, Nicks, Wallace, Britt

    Right now, better to stash A. Brown or D. Wilson?!


    • Mike Braude says:

      Stewart, I’m worried about Mendy’s health. I’d sit Britt. Very close, Brown is closer to getting on the field but Wilson is the superior talent. At this point, I’d say Brown because I don’t know when Wilson’s opportunity is coming.

  2. Josh says:

    Hey Mike… I need 1 spot filled for my RB spot.. I played AP and sat D martin who had of course a career game.. So now i have to decide on either sproles and freshly picked R Jennings( JAX) for that last RB spot.. Damnit Martin!!! Thanks for your time..

  3. fred says:

    i got 4 potential flex spot players:

    V. Ballard (@TEN)
    A. Green (JAC)
    B. Lloyd (@STL)
    J. Gordon (SD)

    who would you start? Ballard will be limited when D. Brown is back I guess.

  4. Brandon says:

    last one: who makes the better flex this week: Jonathan Stewart, Dwyer, or Denarius Moore?

  5. Bryan says:

    I’ve been rotating these two all season based on match-ups and it always seems like I pick the wrong one. Packers D or Patriots D?

  6. Pete k says:

    Mike, Great column! Tanner or Crabtree in my flex? Alex Smith is downright awful, but I fear a shootout with Dal/Nyg, so Tanner may be limited in opportunity. Thoughts?

  7. Marc says:

    Thanx! Trade Q if you’d be so kind; In a 1qb, 1qb/wr/rb/te league, already have Matty Ice. Trade my Andre Johnson and Ray Rice for his Michael Vick and Megatron? I have rb depth, tho shaky with Murray, Bradshaw, F Jax, S jax. Thanx

  8. Victor says:

    Who Should I start Darren sproles or Michael turner at rb. I have Doug Martin who had a beast game yesterday and yes I started him 32 points! Also should I start desean Jackson or macolm Floyd for my felx. I have megatron and welker as my WR.

  9. Jake says:

    +1 PPR, 2 RB league…

    My RB1 is Doug Martin, and usual RB2 is CJ Spiller. With a 3-4 record, and Spiller on BYE (my current fill-in is Phillip Tanner), is it worth trading Spiller for an active Shonn Greene?

  10. Brandon says:

    Would you give up Antonio Brown and LSH for Cobb and Keller? (I have Hernandez)

    • Mike Braude says:

      Another tough one… Brown leads the Steelers in targets with 57 up to this point and is very talented. Cobb, in his own right is incredibly efficient and has electrifying playmaking ability kinda like some guy named Percy Harvin. The other two players don’t have near the impact except it would be nice for you to get Keller for the next two weeks. I’d go for it because I love Cobb, Rodgers and the Packers offense. Could go either way though.

    • Brandon says:

      thanks on these Mike, you da man.

  11. Brandon says:

    would you give up LeShoure for Jonathan Stewart?

    • Mike Braude says:

      Very close, I’m gonna be honest – it’s about a coin-flip. Possibly you could get him for cheaper?

    • Brandon says:

      dont you think that if steward is the lead back in carolina his upside is huge compared to the struggling lions?

    • Mike Braude says:

      Totally agree about his ability and upside but the Carolina offense has struggled because of Newton’s progression as a passer. Both the Lions and Panthers showed us their great potential for offense last season but both have been pretty ineffective up to this point this season. It’s anyone’s guess who will recover first. I agree with you, I would rather have Stewart because his schedule is pretty nice after this week. Tough one though

    • Brandon says:

      maybe i can afford the risk, I have Rice, T-Rich, Murray also. my bench is LSH, and LeShoure. You think I should make the trade or hold onto Mikel?

    • Brandon says:

      plus doesnt Cam vulture those short and goal TDs from Stewart, whereas LeShoure is the main guy in DET? Im fine to take the risk if you think it would pay off. Ill do whichever you recommend!

    • Mike Braude says:

      Yeah Cam stealing TDs is of mediocre concern but if that offense plays as well as it was last year, its enough running back stats to support at top-5 back. The main concern with that is Cam hasn’t performed well this season. I’d go ahead and do it cause I’m worried about the Lions and I don’t think Mikel is that good. Stewart, on the other hand, is really talented.

  12. Jacob Lueth says:


  13. Jacob Lueth says:

    I am in a very low scoring standard league (15 yrds = 1pt recieveing and rushing). For players to put up big numbers I have to get touchdowns. Who should I start Antonio Brown or Denarius Moore? I also have Eli Manning and Ben Rothlisberger.

  14. Marc says:

    What up Mike. Q: pick up L Moore, Ballard, Dwyer, or Britt for flex this week? Thanx

  15. Rick says:

    should i start RG 3 or Brady

  16. The U says:

    Donald Brown or Vick Ballard?

  17. Adam says:

    Would you be confident to call Pierre Thomas the Saints’ clear #1 rushing back over the next few weeks? And by #1 back I mean 10+ carries a game and most of the goal line touches.

    I’m gonna need him to be my RB2 the next couple weeks due to BYEs. Ingram just hit the wire, but adding him to my roster would require a drop I really don’t want to make. This league doesn’t give me a lot of room on the bench.

    • Mike Braude says:

      Ingram isn’t worth anything so don’t worry about picking him up. Thomas has increased snaps because of Ingram’s ineffectiveness but the presence of Sproles will always cap his value and leave him as a low-end RB2/flex. He’ll produce for you some weeks but he’s also going to have bad games. If your lineup is good enough around him, you can survive.

  18. jesse says:

    Start as WR2, Lance Moore or Desean Jackson? Have Vick as QB and Atlanta D.

  19. Elliott says:

    Woops, meant Stephens-Howling or Ballard.

  20. Elliott says:

    Ballard-Stephens or Ballard? Also have a feeling Palmer will have a good week and Eli may have a rough one. Thoughts?

  21. Keets says:

    1) Should I trade MJD+BMarshall for RBush? I’m stacked on WR (Harvin, Demaryius, BMarshall & Bowe) and low on quality RB. Do you have any other realistic RB targets I could look at w/ MJD+WR above? Currently 2-5 even though I have 2nd highest point total in the league. Need wins now for playoff hopes; can’t wait for MJD to return.

    2) Need to drop one tonight: Dwyer, JStewart, Bowe, or Leshoure? And of the two remaining, who do I start this week? I’m thinking drop Dwyer and start Stewart? Again, low on quality RB.


    • Keets says:

      Oh for 2):
      Which of the remaining do I start* (must be RB)

      Thanks again!

    • Mike Braude says:

      1) I would aim a little higher for a guy like BMarsh, the guys that come to my head are Ryan Mathews and LeSean McCoy, both have started slow but are great targets. If you can’t get those guys, aim for McFadden and use Bush as a fall-back option.
      2) Out of those you gotta drop Dwyer, the rest are locked into starting positions. I’d start Stewart, he should be locked into the workhorse role this week despite the tough matchup. And he’s a special talent so if they give him enough chances, he’ll come through.

  22. Marcus says:

    Ppr, TE, Pettigrew, Cook, or pick up Dressen or Keller, thanks!

  23. Matthew Blanford says:

    If Jordy sits, would you start James Jones over Miles Austin?

  24. Colin says:

    0.5 ppr, bench one: Roddy, Reggie, Decker, Sproles. thanks.

  25. Robert says:

    Hey Mike…looking to start one at WR, one at RB, and one at FLEX: Julio Jones, Wayne, Britt, Ridley, Felix Jones, SJax. Thoughts?

  26. Don says:

    This site is a big help, need a bye week fill in: d Moore or Vick Ballard. Thanks

  27. Zandercage says:

    Love the column Mike. Need your help, pick two please – Welker,Reggie Bush, D. Bowe and Colston. .5PPR League.

    Another team – Hankerson, Stephen Hill or Sidney Rice this week?


    • Mike Braude says:

      Thanks man, you’ve been reading my stuff from the Razzball days – I appreciate it. Gotta play Welker with Hernandez out and Colston in a shootout against the Broncos. For your other team, there all very close but I’d go with Sidney Rice. Good luck this week!

  28. Adam says:

    Is Jared Cook vs IND a better start than Pettigrew this week? I would imagine so, given your sit recommendation for Pettigrew.

  29. PhilB says:

    Hey Mike, nice write up. I have Cam Newton with a tough match up @ Chicago. Because of that, I’ve decided to pick up Weeden, who’s been playing well and has a decent match up at home vs SD.
    What do you think?

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