Start Em Sit Em Week 8: Top Players to Start and Bench at Each Position

Shawn Brubaker@@63brubakerContributor IIMarch 28, 2017

SAN DIEGO, CA - OCTOBER 15:  Peyton Manning #18 of the Denver Broncos looks to pass during the game against the San Diego Chargers  at Qualcomm Stadium on October 15, 2012 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

This week's slate of NFL games features some top offensive matchups, promising huge numbers for some players. 

Let's get right into it. Here are this week's top starts and benches at each position.



Start 'Em—Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos

When an elite quarterback like Peyton Manning takes on the league's worst defense, take notice. Sparks are going to fly.

Making this an even better start is the fact that the opposing Saints have an elite offense of their own that should have no problem turning this game into a shootout. 

Both teams will need to pass to keep pace in this game, so expect both Manning and Saints quarterback Drew Brees to throw at least 40 times.

The difference is where the Broncos have a solid pass defense, the Saints are among the league's worst at defending the pass. Opposing quarterbacks are completing just under two-thirds of their passes for 8.9 yards per attempt.

Manning should have no trouble meeting or exceeding these numbers, which will make him a must-start this Sunday.


Sit 'Em—Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers

The struggling Cam Newton will look to get his season on track in Chicago against one of the toughest defenses in the NFL.

Not gonna happen.

The Bears are athletic enough in the linebacker corps to contain Newton as a running threat, while he will struggle to find open receivers all day. 

Meanwhile, Newton has struggled all season long. He's thrown more interceptions than touchdowns, has a sub-60 percent completion percentage and is on pace for approximately half as many rushing touchdowns as last season's 14.

These numbers won't get any better against the Bears. Keep Newton on the bench.


Running Back

Start 'Em—Marshawn Lynch, Seattle Seahawks

There might be running backs with seemingly juicier matchups this week, but Lynch should beat them all against a mistake-prone Detroit Lions squad.

Against the Lions, the Seahawks will likely play conservatively and let the Lions implode, as they are so prone to doing. That would involve lots of running the ball and lots of Marshawn Lynch.

There is no reason for the Seahawks to put the game on Russell Wilson's shoulders with a running back like Lynch to pound the rock.

Expect plenty of carries and plenty of success for Marshawn Lynch. After all, if he can rush for 100 yards against the 49ers, he can do it against anybody.

Sit 'Em—Felix Jones, Dallas Cowboys

Last week's chic add has become this week's must-bench. We've seen what Jones is capable of as a bell-cow back, and the answer is...not much.

Last week, Jones managed just 44 yards on 15 carries against a mediocre Carolina Panther defense. Expecting any better than that against a tough New York Giants' defense is folly.

Keep Jones firmly on the bench.


Wide Receiver

Start 'Em—Randall Cobb, Green Bay Packers

With Greg Jennings sidelined and Jordy Nelson hobbling, Randall Cobb should go off in a big way against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

The Jaguars have surrendered 264.5 passing yards per game, and they have yet to face a passing game quite like the Packers.

Meanwhile, has managed 273 yards and three touchdowns over the past three weeks. He's become the second receiver in Green Bay, and with Aaron Rodgers distributing the ball, expect a big performance from multiple receivers against the Jaguars.


Sit 'Em—Jordy Nelson, Green Bay Packers

As good as Jordy Nelson has been the past few weeks, he does not belong in starting lineups this week. His hamstring is cause for severe concern, and the Packers simply have better options to choose from.

Randall Cobb and James Jones should both out-produce Nelson. Further, with a cushy matchup, it wouldn't be surprising to see the Packers rest Nelson for most, if not all, of the game.

This prediction has nothing to do with how talented Nelson is. His injury just leaves him as too much of a question mark, and he's not worth the risk this week.