Fantasy Football: Jeremy Maclin Leads 'Start-or-Sit' Scenarios for Week 8

Jay Clemons@ATL_JayClemonsFantasy Sports Lead WriterOctober 25, 2012

Fantasy Football: Jeremy Maclin Leads 'Start-or-Sit' Scenarios for Week 8

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    The following countdown details start-or-sit scenarios for Week 8, factoring in competitions at quarterback, running back and wide receiver.

    For the most part, the rushing and receiving conundrums were broken down with standard-scoring leagues in mind.

    But as routinely stated on The Fantasy Blog, it's hard to make rational decisions about wideouts and tight ends without factoring in receiving targets.

    Enjoy the show!

Start: QB Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts

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    2012 Stats: 1,674 Yards Passing, 10 Total TD

    Week 8 Opponent: Titans (Away)

    Fantasy Reasons To Start

    1. Through six games, Andrew Luck has either accounted for 280 yards passing or two touchdowns in every game.

    2. Luck has thrown for 300 yards three times this season—twice at home, once on the road.

    3. The Colts QB already has a great rapport with Reggie Wayne, an elite fantasy receiver in standard-scoring and points-per-reception leagues.

Sit: QB Jay Cutler, Chicago Bears

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    2012 Stats: 1,359 Yards Passing, 8 TD

    Week 8 Opponent: Carolina (Home)

    Fantasy Reasons To Bench

    1. In standard-scoring leagues, Jay Cutler has a universal ranking outside the top 20 quarterbacks.

    2. Cutler has eclipsed the 20-completion mark only twice in six games, with a pedestrian season high of 23 in Week 5.

    3. To date, only Brandon Marshall and Matt Forte have been consistently good within the Bears' passing game.

    4. Against Carolina last year, Cutler threw for only 102 yards (on nine completions).

Start: RB Reggie Bush, Miami Dolphins

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    2012 Stats: 574 Total Yards (434 Rushing), 3 TD

    Week 8 Opponent: Jets (Away)

    Fantasy Reasons To Start

    1. Through six games, Reggie Bush has racked up 100 total yards and/or one touchdown three times.

    2. In his only matchup against the Jets last year, Bush tallied 6.5 yards per touch.

    3. The Jets have the NFL's No. 30 rush defense, yielding 147.4 yards per game.

    4. I don't live in fear of New York getting 'revenge' on Bush for his thinly veiled what-goes-around-comes-around comments regarding Darrelle Revis' major injury (against Miami in Week 3).

    5. Bush is easily the Dolphins' No. 1 playmaker, and he's due for another breakout performance.

Sit: RB Doug Martin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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    2012 Stats: 553 Total Yards (408 Rushing), 2 TD

    Week 8 Opponent: Vikings (Away)

    Fantasy Reasons To Bench

    1. In two road games, Doug Martin has blah averages of 70 total yards and 0.5 touchdowns.

    2. The Vikings currently have the NFL's 11th-ranked run defense, allowing only 100.3 rush yards per game.

    And Minnesota's status would be considerably higher if Robert Griffin III hadn't called his number on a game-breaking, 73-yard scoring run a few weeks ago.

Start: WR Jeremy Maclin, Philadelphia Eagles

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    2012 Stats: 20 Catches, 295 Yards, 3 TD

    Week 8 Opponent: Falcons (Home)

    Fantasy Reasons To Start

    1. Despite being slowed by injuries for a good chunk of the season, Jeremy Maclin still has three outings of eight-plus targets. In the last two weeks, he's accrued 18 targets.

    2. Maclin caught six balls for 130 yards and one touchdown against the Lions two weeks ago—the healthiest he had been since suffering a hip injury in September.

    3. Here's a track record-based stat of Chris Johnson-against-Buffalo proportions: In his last two games against the Falcons, Maclin boasts absurd averages of 10 catches, 165 yards and two touchdowns!

Sit: WR Steve Smith, Carolina Panthers

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    2012 Stats: 28 Catches, 471 Yards

    Week 8 Opponent: Bears (Away)

    Fantasy Reasons To Bench

    1. Steve Smith has yet to find the end zone this season. The six-game drought is his longest in two years.

    2. Since Week 3, Smith has per-game averages of only 4.5 catches and 65 yards.

    3. The Bears easily rank as the NFL's No. 1 defense. The unit registered five touchdowns in a three-game span (Weeks 3-5).

    4. To demonstrate how far the Carolina offense has fallen, Smith caught eight balls for 181 yards against Chicago last year...but the chances of replicating that performance are nil.

Start: WR Josh Gordon, Cleveland Browns

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    2012 Stats: 14 Catches, 333 Yards, 4 TD

    Week 8 Opponent: Chargers (Home)

    Fantasy Reasons To Start

    1. Josh Gordon has scored a touchdown in three straight games (four in that span).

    2. Gordon has seen a significant targets uptick in recent weeks as well, collecting eight in Week 5 and 10 last Sunday.

    3. Looking ahead, Gordon has a realistic shot at nine or 10 touchdowns by season's end.

    4. The Chargers have the NFL's 26th-ranked pass defense, allowing 268 yards per game.

    Going further, San Diego has surrendered averages of 330 yards passing and 33 team points in its last two games.

Sit: WR Michael Crabtree, San Francisco 49ers

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    2012 Stats: 34 Catches, 368 Yards, 1 TD

    Week 8 Opponent: Cardinals (Away)


    Fantasy Reasons To Bench

    1. In four of his last five games, Michael Crabtree has accounted for 40 or fewer receiving yards and zero scores.

    2. Crabtree has yet to tally double-digit targets at any point this season (he had five last year, including the NFC playoffs).

    3. The 49ers are a run-first operation, and when they pass, tight end Vernon Davis logs the most red-zone targets.

    4. Arizona boasts the NFL's No. 4 pass defense (198 yards per game)—a remarkable stat, considering that Miami receiver Brian Hartline rolled for 253 catches and one TD against the Cards in Week 4.

Start: WR Jeremy Kerley, New York Jets

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    2012 Stats: 25 Catches, 435 Yards, 2 TD

    Week 8 Opponent: Dolphins (Home)


    Fantasy Reasons To Start

    1. Jeremy Kerley is just days removed from his coming-out party at receiver, catching seven balls for 120 yards against the Patriots. He also collected a personal-high 11 targets.

    2. The Jets aren't blessed with great depth at receiver, meaning that Kerley and rookie Stephen Hill will likely be granted every chance to succeed (and occasionally fail) this season.

    3. There is some trepidation here since Kerley has yet to catch five balls for back-to-back weeks. He has never racked up 70-plus receiving yards on consecutive weekends, either.

    But that status will change on Sunday.

Sit: WR Santana Moss, Washington Redskins

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    2012 Stats: 19 Catches, 240 Yards, 4 TD

    Week 8 Opponent: Steelers (Away)

    Fantasy Reasons To Bench

    1. Santana Moss hasn't caught five balls at any point this season. Basically, if he doesn't find the end zone—like he did twice against the Giants last week—fantasy points are hard to come by. Especially in PPR leagues.

    2. The Steelers have the NFL's second-best defense against the pass (only 185 yards per game).

    3. Along those lines, Pittsburgh held Cincinnati's No. 1 receiver (A.J. Green) to one catch and eight yards last week.

Start: QB Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers

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    2012 Stats: 1,752 Yards Passing, 10 TD

    Week 8 Opponent: Redskins (Home)

    Fantasy Reasons To Start

    1. Through six games, Ben Roethlisberger has crossed the QB-elite threshold of 275 total yards and/or three touchdowns four times.

    2. Roethlisberger has attempted 37-plus passes in all but one game this season.

    3. Big Ben has three superb passing options (Mike Wallace, Antonio Brown, Heath Miller) at his regular disposal.

    4. The Redskins have the NFL's worst pass defense, surrendering 328 yards per game.

Sit: QB Sam Bradford, St. Louis Rams

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    2012 Stats: 1,592 Yards Passing, 8 Total TD

    Week 8 Opponent: Patriots (Neutral Field—London)


    Fantasy Reasons To Bench

    1. Sam Bradford already has three passing games of fewer than 200 yards.

    2. When playing away from the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis, Bradford has middling per-game averages of 222 yards passing and 0.66 TDs.

    3. Bradford has four outings of 18 or fewer completions this season.

    4. Unofficially, the Rams have a bottom-five receiving corps. Very little consistency among the group.