We are now 7 weeks into the 2010 Fantasy Football season and my combined record in six leagues is 32-10. In only one league am I not at least two games over .500. I don’t keep records of these sorts of things, but I cannot ever remember jumping out to such a strong start in so many leagues.
Making this especially exciting is that in one of my leagues, the P&G-sponsored Blogger Fantasy Football League*, the stakes are a trip to the Super Bowl for the winner. Those are the highest stakes I’ve ever played for. Add in the potential for bragging rights among my blogging buddies, and you can undoubtedly understand why I spend so much time attempting to optimize my lineup each week.
Speaking of the Super Bowl, do yourself a favor and check out the Text It To The House promotion. It’s a fun, easy weekly game you should be taking part in where you pick the five players who will have longest plays from scrimmage this week (Pierre Garcon! Pierre Garcon!).
Anyway, so far in BFL2010, despite making a few boneheaded decisions (dropping Thomas Jones) and losing one of my top WRs before the season even started (Sidney Rice), I’m sitting in a three-way tie for the best record in the league. Please, if you would, do me a favor and knock on some wood.
All of this early season success, of course, has me terrified.
Success in fantasy football is oftentimes as much about injuries and the whims of head-to-head matchups as it is about making good lineup choices. Oh sure, you have to know what you’re doing to have a chance to win, but you could also finish second in your league in points every week…and still never win a game, through no fault of your own.
So how will I deal with this unprecedented success? Work harder to make sure I am leaving no stone unturned on the waiver wire or with regard to my lineups. I have a legitimate chance to make the playoffs in every league, and there is no time for resting on laurels. Now is the time to up the ante and increase the focus. That way, once the whims of injuries and head-to-head decide to make me their target, I can at least be in the best possible position to overcome them.
So let’s turn our attention to our Week 8 lineups with this week’s Start ’em, Sit em recommendations.
First, as always, here is how I did in Week 7 with the top-line picks:
- Start ’em hits: Joe Flacco, Knowshon Moreno, Seattle Seahawks
- Start ’em misses: Jeremy Maclin, Heath Miller,
- Sit ’em hits: Jay Cutler, Ronnie Brown & Ricky Williams, Deion Branch, Dallas Cowboys
- Sit ’em misses: Zach Miller
Fantasy Football Week 8 Start / Sit Projections and Q&A
Note: the Falcons, Ravens, Bears, Browns, Giants, and Eagles are on bye in Week 8.
Remember when reading this post that everything is relative. Just because I say “sit Player X” doesn’t mean I’d sit him in all cases. It just means that, in comparison to the general opinion of that player, who likely is not a consensus must-start (because that is who I try to pick for these columns, so that they are useful), I either like him or dislike him more than others.
If you want specific player-to-player comparisons, I’ll be posting my rankings later in this week, which will give you a more clear indication of how I view one guy versus another. This post is meant to provide general guidance on borderline starters and whether I think, generally, they should be in lineups or not.
Fantasy Football Week 8 Start ’em QB: Drew Brees, New Orleans (vs Pittsburgh)
You might think that this is an obvious choice – it’s Drew Brees! – but I guarantee that if you troll the comments and Twitter questions this week, lots of people will be questioning Brees after his 4-INT performance against the Browns. That’s just the nature of the beast. We are all prone to overreacting; my job is to tell you when such a reaction is warranted and when it’s not.
I had Brees as my #1 overall QB last, so no one was more disappointed or surprised by his Week 7 performance than I was. But Brees still has thrown a TD in every game this year, and two or more in five out of seven games. So while he’s not Brees vintage 2009, he’s still a guy you need to have in your lineups every single week.
The other reason I feel compelled to list Brees here is that when you look at his matchup and see Pittsburgh, you might be intimidated. If you have Chris Ivory or Pierre Thomas? Yes, be intimidated. But the fact that the Steelers shut down every running game means that teams will throw on them. If Chad Henne could have a productive day against Pittsburgh, Brees certainly can as well. The Steelers don’t give up a lot of passing TDs, but they do give up a lot of yards.
I think the pride of Drew Brees and the Saints was wounded against the Browns. This team is too talented and too experienced to not bounce back with a vengeance. Being at home only helps the cause. I like Drew Brees a lot in Week 7, and you’ll regret it immeasurably if you sit him.
Drew Brees fantasy football week 8 projection: 300 yards passing, 3 TDs, 1 INT
Other start ’em QBs for Week 8:
- I like all of the guys I highlighted in our Week 8 sleepers post: Sam Bradford, Matthew Stafford, Matt Cassel, and Ryan Fitzpatrick.
- If you have Donovan McNabb, he’s not a bad start this week against Detroit.
Fantasy Football Week 8 Sit ’em QB: Matt Schaub, Houston (at Indianapolis)
I have recommended Matt Schaub consistently this season. Because of the emergence of Arian Foster, and injuries to his receiving corps, Schaub has rewarded me with some decent games but also some clunkers.
Week 1 against the Colts – perhaps the biggest win in the Texans’ history – was one of Schaub’s clunkers. He completed just 9 passes for 107 yards and only 1 TD. Granted, Arian Foster ran wild…but he just might run wild against Indy in Week 8 as well. Remember that the Colts are terrible against the run, but they are pretty solid against the pass (206 yards per game, 7 TDs total).
In his career, Schaub has started four games against the Colts and has thrown just 5 TDs against 7 INTs against the Colts. That’s a decent sample size. Add in the fact that the game is in Indy, and there are are lots of QBs who are usually backups who have great matchups this week, and this is a good week to sit Matt Schaub on your bench.
Matt Schaub fantasy football Week 8 projection: 205 yards passing, 1 TD, 1 INT
Other sit ’em QBs for Week 8:
- I don’t like whoever starts for Tennessee, whether it’s Vince Young or Kerry Collins. The San Diego Chargers entered Week 7 #1 in the NFL against the pass and then held Tom Brady to just 159 yards and 1 TD. Plus, the Chargers’ D plays its best at home.
Honestly, it’s hard to find other guys to tell you to sit that you wouldn’t be sitting anyway. You either have studs playing good defenses, so you’ll play them anyway, or lower-tier guys with good matchups. Looks like an advantageous week for six teams to be on bye.
Fantasy Football Week 8 Start ’em RB: Ryan Torain, Washington (at Detroit)
Here is the first positive stat about Ryan Torain: he has carried the ball at least 16 times in four straight games.
Here is the second positive stat about Ryan Torain: he has rushed for 100+ yards in two straight games.
Here is the third positive stat about Ryan Torain: in Week 8 the Redskins play the Lions, and the Lions give up nearly 140 yards per game on the ground.
Add all of that up, plus the fact that six running backs who usually start are on bye, and Ryan Torain is an absolute must start in Week 8.
Ryan Torain fantasy football Week 8 projection: 125 yards, 1 TD, 1 reception, 10 yards
Other start ’em RBs for Week 8:
- Wow Darren McFadden. Wow. Uhh, start him. He’s healthy again. And if you needed me to tell you that, just quit right now.
- Beanie Wells showed signs of life in Week 7. He ran for 54 yards and a TD on only 14 carries against Seattle’s very good run D. In Week 8, Wells gets to face a Tampa Bay run defense that has been good this year. This is the week to play Beanie.
- BenJarvus Green-Ellis has scored TDs in four straight weeks. Granted, his yardage has dipped a lot in the last two weeks, but TDs are TDs, and I think the Patriots will score a few in Week 8. In a week with this many bye weeks, a guy who gets goalline carries for a good offense is valuable. Play The Lawfirm.
Note than commenting is disabled on this post, but you can ask any and all lineup questions over in the comment section at MSF Fantasy Sports.
* – The P&G Blogger Fantasy League (BFL) is a group of 12 digital sports influencers competing on the NFL.com fantasy platform for the chance to win P&G product, a donation to a local charity, and a trip to Super Bowl XLV, all furnished by P&G. The NFL Entities have not offered or sponsored the sweepstakes in any way.