This post is from 2009!
Go to MSF Fantasy Sports for the 2010 Fantasy Football Week 8 Start Sit Projections.
First of all, my apologies to anyone who asked questions in the comment section last week from Friday afternoon on. I was hoping I’d have time to get some of those answered once I got to Cleveland, but I did not.
I don’t have any more trips planned between now and the NFL playoffs, so that should not be a problem again.
Secondly, my apologies to anyone who started Jay Cutler and Greg Olsen last week. I really miscalculated how the Bears-Bengals game would go — as did most everybody — and had to take my medicine on that one.
Otherwise, Week 7 was relatively prosperous. The good: Laurence Maroney, Austin Collie, and the Patriots D/ST as starts; Donovan McNabb, Jerome Harrison, Zach Miller, and Steve Smith (Carolina…if you needed a TD) as sits. The bad: Cutler and Olsen obviously, and the Pittsburgh D as a sit.
Now let’s look forward and gaze into the crystal ball for Week 8. A little bit different format this week; hopefully you like it.
Week 8 Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em Lineup Advice
Week 8 Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em Quarterbacks
Start ’em: Kyle Orton, Denver Broncos (at Baltimore Ravens)
Did you know that Baltimore is 23rd in the NFL against the pass and has surrendered nine touchdown passes on the season? And that Kyle Orton has throw two TDs in the each of the Broncos’ last three games? Denver is going to be able to score against Balitmore. Take advantage.
Kyle Orton Week 8 fantasy projection: 245 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT
Other start ’em QBs for Week 8:
- David Garrard is facing Tennessee’s 32nd ranked pass defense (19 passing TDs allowed).
- Matt Hasselbeck should be fresh coming off a bye, more in sync with his WRs, and is facing Dallas’ 22nd ranked pass defense (10 passing TDs allowed).
- Matt Ryan and the Falcons face New Orleans, a team that has given up only five passing TDs this season and has picked off a whopping 13 passes. However, we know that the Falcons will have to throw a lot to stay in this game, especially with their struggling run game, and Ryan is good enough to find some success.
Sit ’em: Eli Manning, New York Giants (at Philadelphia Eagles)
What the hell happened to Eli? He and his WRs came out of the gates like gangbusters but have really struggled since. Manning has barely over 400 yards to go with two TDs and four INTs over the last two weeks.
This week, he and the Giants face an Eagles’ D that is 9th against the pass. There are better options and I’d sit Manning until he proves he can play effectively against good defenses with his foot injury.
Eli Manning Week 8 fantasy projection: 195 yards, 1 TD, 2 INT
Other sit ’em QBs for Week 8:
- Alex Smith the new starter in San Fran and threw three TDs in the second half last week. The Colts are sixth in the NFL against the pass and have only given up two TDs. Yes, Smith will be passing a lot, but I’d only start him in an emergency.
- Donovan McNabb has only one TD pass over his last two games. The Giants’ secondary has been struggling, so make sure you have a good alternative, but I wouldn’t rate McNabb among the top 10 QBs for this week.
- Joe Flacco is having a terrific season so far, but Denver is 8th against the pass and has given up only three TD passes all year. You can do better (I hope).
Week 8 Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em Running Backs
Start ’em: Matt Forte, Chicago Bears (vs Cleveland Browns)
Matt Forte owners, I know how pissed and upset you are. I am in your boat and I feel your pain. Forte was drafted in the first round by many of us and has rewarded our faith in him by recording all of one TD this year. Whoopdie-f’ing-do.
However, you have to start him this week against the awful Browns. And if you don’t believe me, ask frustrated Ryan Grant owners how last week worked out. (I’m one of those too! And it worked out great: 148 yards and a TD). The Browns give up 170.6 yards per game on the ground and have given up 10 TDs this year.
Matt Forte Week 8 fantasy projection: 120 yards rushing, TD; 5 rec, 45 yards, TD
Other start ’em RBs for Week 8:
- LaDainian Tomlinson is another Forte-like guy who has disappointed fantasy owners. LT gets Oakland’s 30th ranked run defense this week though, and should be a great start.
- If you drafted Beanie Wells and have hung onto him this long, this is a week to start him. Beanie is coming off his best game of the season and faces Carolina’s 26th ranked run D.
- Ricky Williams has to be an every-week start for you right now. He had 138 total yards earlier this year against the Jets and is coming off of a three-TD performance against New Orleans.
- Lots of people are saying sit Ryan Grant this week against Minnesota. I disagree. He has a career 5.3 yard average against the Vikings and had over 100 total yards against them earlier this year.
Sit ’em: Jonathan Stewart, Carolina Panthers (at Arizona Cardinals)
I’ve been touting Stewart’s virtues in this column over the past few weeks. It worked out two weeks ago but did not work out last week. One thing I have said about Stewart is that he is a matchup play who has the potential for very productive weeks.
This week presents one of those matchups for which I would sit Stewart. The Panthers play Arizona’s #1 ranked run D (67.5 yards per game, three TDs allowed) and any production Stewart gets will have to be stolen away from DeAngelo Williams.
Jonathan Stewart Week 8 fantasy projection: 35 yards rushing, 0 TDs
Other sit ’em RBs for Week 8:
- LenDale White isn’t scoring TDs this year (only one) and Jacksonville actually has a decent run defense that has surrendered only three rushing TDs all year.
- Tashard Choice has to be a sit now. His burst of production was nice while it lasted, but until the Cowboys’ coaching staff shows that it will treat Choice like more than a #3 back when Barber and Jones are healthy, you can’t take the chance.
- Willis McGahee is done. Stick a fork in him. I just didn’t want anyone to forget over the bye week. He has 13 carries for 12 yards over the last three weeks. Ouch.
- Donald Brown needs to sit as well until he starts getting more touches. Look at the last four weeks: 15, 10, 8, 2. That’s not a good trend, especially with Joseph Addai being more productive.
Week 8 Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em Wide Receivers
Start ’em: Miles Austin, Dallas Cowboys (vs Seattle Seahakws)
How can I put anyone else in this space?
I admit, I was skeptical of Austin’s breakout performance against Kansas City. However, he then went out and did it again against Atlanta, and not one bit of it has seemed fluky.
Plus, did you know that Austin is 6’3, 214 pounds? I always thought he was smaller. And did you know that he’s in his fourth season in the NFL, when many young WRs break out? Well you do know.
And you also know to start him.
He can’t possibly keep up his current pace, but he’s clearly earned the trust of Tony Romo and will continue to be a solid player this season. Also, if you needed any more reason to believe in Austin for Week 8, Seattle has a middle-of-the-pack pass D (16th, 220.3 yards per game, 7 TDs allowed).
Miles Austin Week 8 fantasy projection: 5 catches, 95 yards, 1 TD
Other start ’em WRs for Week 8:
- Vincent Jackson is having a great season that is going under the radar. He has four TDs total and has scored in back-to-back games. He’s a solid play against Oakland.
- Lee Evans has quietly caught at least four passes and a TD in his last two games. Houston does not have a great secondary. Evans is a solid #3 WR this week.
- Over the last two weeks, Nate Burleson has been on bye and had a forgettable 2 rec, 40-yard performance against Arizona. But don’t forget about him. He still leads SEA in catches, and has Matt Hasselbeck back. Plus, Dallas’ pass defense is not great (238.5 yards per game, 10 TDs).
Sit ’em: Kevin Walter, Houston Texans (at Buffalo Bills)
This guy has really disappointed me this year. After a breakout 60-catch, 8-TD season in 2008 I was hoping that big things were in store for Walter this year. But he battled injuries early in the season and has not have more than 40 yards receiving since his solid debut against the Jags in Week 3.
This week Houston faces Buffalo, which gives up only 190.4 yards through the air and has picked off twice as many passes as they’ve allowed TDs. I think this will be a great game for Steve Slaton, but not so much for Walter.
Caveat: If Andre Johnson cannot play and Walter becomes the #1 WR, obviously his value increases. But Johnson appears ready to go for Sunday.
Kevin Walter Week 8 fantasy projection: 3 catches, 33 yards
Other sit ’em WRs for Week 8:
- Ted Ginn Jr. continues to drop big passes in key spots. Miami’s coaching staff is about fed up with him and you should be too.
- I know that Michael Crabtree had a solid debut last weekend, but the Colts’ secondary is much better than the Texans’. I want to see Alex Smith successfully lead the 49ers offense for more than a half, and see Crabtree for more than one game, before I buy into any hype.
- All Cleveland WRs. I don’t know why I thought starting Mohamed Massaquoi would be a good choice last week (yes I do…because I was going to the game and — like an idiot — thought it would be fun to have someone starting in the actual game starting on my fantasy roster), but I did it in two leagues. Never again. Don’t start any Cleveland WR unless they have two consecutive good weeks. And good luck waiting for that to happen.
Week 8 Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em Tight Ends
Start ’em: Greg Olsen, Chicago Bears (at Cleveland Browns)
Yes, I’m going back to Greg Olsen. Before last week he’d caught TDs in three straight games, and he still had four catches against Cincinnati, so the opportunities were there. The Browns’ linebackers are not good in coverage and I think Olsen will be able to have a very strong game.
Greg Olsen Week 8 fantasy projection: 5 catches, 69 yards, TD
Other start ’em TEs for Week 8:
- Vernon Davis is a must start. I told you about him before the season started and I hope you listened. He is awesome.
- Visanthe Shiancoe is still a guy I like too, despite being down on him early in the year. He scored against the Green Bay earlier this year and has 5 TDs total. Plus, he’s consistent: four catches in each of the last three games.
Sit ’em: Brent Celek, Philadelphia Eagles (vs New York Giants)
This one honestly pisses me off a little bit. Celek was terrific earlier this year and appeared poised to become a weekly starter. Then Donovan McNabb came back from his injury and forgot about his emerging weapon at TE. It hit rock bottom with last week’s three reception, eight yard performance, for which I blame Andy Reid and McNabb more than Celek.
The ability is there, but I’m holding Celek out of the lineup until I see him become a more integrated part of the Philly offense again.
Brent Celek Week 8 fantasy projection: 4 catches, 21 yards
Other sit ’em TEs for Week 8:
- John Carlson faces a Cowboys D that did a nice job against Tony Gonzalez last week and that struggles more against the deep ball than against underneath and/or over-the-middle passing. Plus, Carlson has had to block more recently.
- Zach Miller is a sit for me as long as JaMarcus Russell is the QB. Miller may flash his ability every once in a while (like he did two weeks ago), but I don’t want to deal with the games where he does nothing (like last week, as I predicted).
Week 8 Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em Defense / Special Teams Units
Start ’em: Chicago Bears D/ST (vs Cleveland Browns)
You should be noticing a theme here: START YOUR BEARS! Or, to be more apt, start whoever is playing the Browns!
The Bears defense has not been great this year, but the matchup could not be better. Until the Browns show some competence on offense, opposing defenses will be solid starts on a weekly basis.
Chicago Bears D/ST Week 8 fantasy projection: 13 points or less given up, 3 sacks, 1 INT
Other start ’em D/ST units for Week 8:
- Arizona’s defense is an underrated unit that faces the Panthers this week. Starting at QB for Carolina will be either INT machine Jake Delhomme or who-the-hell-is-he Matt Moore. Good matchup either way.
- The Chargers’ D has been up and down this year, but matchups for defenses don’t get much better than Oakland and JaMarcus Russell at home.
Sit ’em: New York Giants D/ST (at Philadelphia Eagles)
What happened to the Giants? The team with the greatest defensive line in the league (or so we thought) has only 16 sacks for the season. The Giants are also a mind-boggling 18th in the league in scoring defense, despite playing no one good through their first four games.
New Orleans and Arizona have exposed the Giants’ D as being very suspect, and now the Giants have to face another explosive offense on the road in Philadelphia. I wouldn’t drop the Giants’ D, but I am taking a wait and see approach right now.
New York Giants D/ST Week 8 fantasy projection: 24 or more points given up, 2 sacks
Other sit ’em D/ST units for Week 8:
- The Browns. Haha…just saying this for shits and giggles. If you were thinking of starting them in the first place, you’re an idiot.
- Baltimore is a D/ST unit that I’d consider sitting this week. I’m wary of sitting them at home, where they can be extra fired up and intimidating, but the Ravens are giving up a lot of yards and points this year and are playing a Denver team that is very sound . The Broncos do not make the type of mistakes guys like Ed Reed can take the other way for seven points. It’s a toss-up for me, so if you have a solid alternative, I’d take it.
- You have to sit San Francisco’s D against Indy and I wouldn’t talk you out of dropping them. The 49ers are improved, but may have become overrated as a fantasy defense early in the year.
Thanks for reading and for your continued support of our fantasy coverage here at MSF. The comment section is yours for questions and I will do my best to answer them all as promptly as I can. Please report any issues (i.e. comment not showing up, not getting a reply, etc) to me via email: jerod [at] midwestsportsfans [dot] com).
And for more fantasy reading, check out Fraschetti’s columns from earlier this week:
Good luck in Week 8 everyone. In my six leagues I am 6-1, 5-2, and then 4-3 in four of them, so it’s a pivotal week for me just as it is for you. I’ll post a few more times this week with other interesting start/sit or pick-up recommendations I find.
* – Matt Forte photo credit: Sports Maven
* – Miles Austin photo credit: crazylilsportslady at PhotoBucket