Start Em Sit Em Week 8: Best and Worst Plays at Quarterback

Darin Pike@darinpikeContributor IOctober 27, 2012

SAN DIEGO, CA - OCTOBER 15:  Quarterback Peyton Manning #18 of the Denver Broncos calls out a play against the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium on October 15, 2012 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

Week 8 of the 2012 NFL schedule could pose some difficult start em/sit em decisions. There are several really good matchups for some of the top quarterbacks, while a few have have disaster sitting on the horizon. 

What you won't find on this list are quarterbacks that should only be used in extreme situations such as filling in on a bye week. The likes of Kevin Kolb, Sam Bradford and Mark Sanchez should already be considered as "sit em" or "cut em" if they are on your roster.

Following are the top quarterback starts along with several normal starters that should be on owners' benches this weekend.


Start Em

6. Andrew Luck at Tennessee Titans

Barely cracking the list above the likes of Tom Brady and Matt Ryan is the rookie. Well, one of the rookies.

The Titans are playing good offense with Matt Hasselbeck under center, but their defense hasn't been producing as consistent as they'd like. Look for Luck to find open receivers and put some points on the board on Sunday.

Projected Stats: 20-of-33 for 286 yards, 2 TDs, 0 INT


5. Robert Griffin III at Pittsburgh Steelers

Wait...a rookie playing against the Steel Curtain? How could it be?

To be blunt, the curtain has fallen. As players drop from the lineup, so does Pittsburgh's performance.

Griffin will do work through the air and with his feet on Sunday to try to keep up with the Steelers scoring attack.

Projected Stats: 19-of-31 for 267 yards, 2 TDs, 2 INT, 77 yards rushing


4. Philip Rivers at Cleveland Browns

The Chargers have been a bit erratic the season as has Rivers. But the Bolts are still tied atop the AFC West and they'll likely need a win against the Cleveland Browns to keep pace with the Denver Broncos.

The Browns are one of the worst passing defenses in the NFL and surrender around 24 fantasy points per game depending on the point system.

The Chargers have had their bye week to work on their passing game and should be primed to put up some points.

Projected Stats: 26-of-39 for 326 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT


3. Ben Roethlisberger vs. Washington Redskins

The Pittsburgh Steelers have been hoping their running game would get going with Rashard Mendenhall. They'll settle for Jonathan Dwyer, though, as he'll still help open up their play-action passing attack. 

Roethlisberger is having a good season and has had a few big fantasy days. This should be his biggest.

Few teams give up as many passing yards as the Redskins, and none of them play in the NFL. 

Projected Stats: 23-of-40 for 333 yards, 2 TDs, 0 INT


2. Drew Brees at Denver Broncos

The Denver defense isn't an easy proposition. They are ranked 10th in average yards and average passing yards per game.

For comparison, the Broncos held Philip Rivers to 241 passing yards and Brady only threw for 223. 

But Rivers did much of his damage in one half and Brady had a big lead and didn't need to air out the ball.

Then there is Brees—he's throwing for more yards than any other passer in the NFL this season with an average of 350 yards per game. 

He'll need Marques Colston to step up and fill the void created if Jimmy Graham can't play, but Brees will put up big numbers regardless of the defense. 

Projected Stats: 29-of-40 for 318 yards, 3 TDs, 2 INT


1. Peyton Manning vs. New Orleans Saints

Manning is poised to do something special this week. The Saints have simply been terrible on defense this season and Manning is still Manning.

Josh Freeman, Rivers and Aaron Rodgers averaged 365 yards passing and three touchdowns against New Orleans.

Manning will top that.

Projected Stats: 32-of-42 for 410 yards, 4 TDs, 1 INT

Sit Em

3. Eli Manning at Dallas Cowboys

This could be a difficult decision for fantasy owners that don't have a viable backup for the younger Manning, but he has a difficult matchup waiting for him in Dallas. Then again, this wouldn't be the first time this matchup ended up in a shootout.

Projected Stats: 18-of-30 for 240 yards, 1 TD, 2 INT


2. Cam Newton at Chicago Bears

Newton was a high draft pick for many owners, and they are still optimistic that Newton will get his act together.

Don't expect it to happen against a tough Chicago Bears defense.

Newton is only 15th in total fantasy points this season for a reason. If this is your best option, it is time to look at the waiver wire or trying to pull off a trade.

Projected Stats: 14-of-27 for 227 yards, 0 TD, 1 INT, 56 yards rushing, 1 TD


1. Matthew Stafford vs. Seattle Seahawks

This one is just too easy to be fair. Stafford hasn't been producing against average defenses and has just five touchdowns on the season. He's now facing the best secondary in the NFL.

Calvin Johnson hasn't been himself this season either and will have his hands full this weekend. More aptly, Richard "Optimus Prime" Sherman will have his hands full of Johnson.

The key to the Lions' offense this weekend could actually be Ryan Broyles. He may very well score again, but Stafford will get lured into testing the Seahawks corners and pay the price.

Projected Stats: 18-of-34 for 210 yards, 1 TD, 3 INT


Darin Pike is a writer for Bleacher Report's Breaking News Team and a Featured Columnist covering the NFL and Seattle Seahawks.


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