Fantasy Football Week 8 Start 'Em, Sit 'Em

Eric MackFantasy Football Lead WriterOctober 26, 2013

Fantasy Football Week 8 Start 'Em, Sit 'Em

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    The decision on Danny Amendola (concussion) is one of the ways we're left in fantasy limbo until game time.
    The decision on Danny Amendola (concussion) is one of the ways we're left in fantasy limbo until game time.

    Fantasy footballers tend to believe the NFL is a game of matchups. Right now it is merely a game of survival.

    Ask Sam Bradford (knee). Ask Reggie Wayne (knee). Ask anyone struck by the myriad injuries.

    They are coming right at the midseason point, which is why the NFL wanted to stack so many teams on bye in these next three weeks. Half of the league will be idle this Sunday through Week 10, and the rash of injuries are examples of why the time off is needed.

    We help you sort through the mess caused by six teams on bye and all of the injuries that have players out (Roddy White) or among the dreaded game-time decisions: Danny Amendola (concussion) and Jimmy Graham (foot).

    This is Bleacher Report's Start 'Em, Sit 'Em in a six-part, position-by-position slideshow.

Quarterbacks: Mobile Quarterbacks Lead Our 'Starts' This Week

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    Start 'Em

    Robert Griffin III, Washington Redskins

    RG3 hasn't been great yet, but he is running more and should put up some monster numbers in that shootout with the Broncos this week. Denver has given up the most passing yards per game and is second to only Dallas in terms of giving up points to opposing quarterbacks. RGIII has a newfound weapon in rookie tight end Jordan Reed too. This should be a bonanza you won't want to miss.

     

    Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco 49ers

    Speaking of disappointing new-wave quarterbacks, Kaepernick is facing a Jaguars team that is in the bottom 10 of fantasy against quarterbacks despite struggling to slow anyone on the ground either. It should be a field day for the entire 49ers offense in London.

     

    Michael Vick, Philadelphia Eagles

    So much for Nick Foles (concussion) taking hold of the Eagles' quarterback job. Vick has to rush back to the field before he's ready, and it should prove to be good timing for his fantasy owners. Despite shutting down the Vikings on Monday night as they debuted (horribly) Josh Freeman at quarterback, the Giants are still the sixth-worst team in fantasy against the position. Vick had poor numbers in their past meeting, but this one should be different at home, especially because Vick's hamstring will force him to stay in the pocket and find targets downfield.

     

    Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers

    Those guys above might be relatively obvious options, but Big Ben is not necessarily. The Raiders are middle of the pack against the pass and fantasy quarterbacks, but Big Ben is still what makes the Steelers offense go.

    He has a healthy Heath Miller now and a running game to take the pressure off too with the return of Le'Veon Bell. Big Ben is just on the fringe of a sure-fire fantasy starter, but you can use him with six teams on bye and injuries ravaging the other fringe options this season. Go with the veteran over some unknown.

     

    Sit 'Em

    Terrelle Pryor, Oakland Raiders

    As poorly as this season has started for the Steelers, it is a bit too easy to lose track of the fact Pittsburgh is still the No. 1 team in fantasy against quarterbacks. Troy Polamalu's health has a lot to do with that. Pryor should be left out of lineups outside of two-quarterback formats this week.

     

    Ryan Tannehill, Miami Dolphins

    Lost in the Pats' frustrations with their receivers and injuries to their run-stuffers is the fact they have played much better this season against the pass. The Pats are just out of the top 10 there and have been the sixth-toughest team against quarterbacks. They are also one of five teams to have intercepted more passes than allowed passing touchdowns. 

     

    Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals

    He has posted back-to-back 300-yard, three-touchdown passing days, and he has found some secondary targets to complement A.J. Green. The problem is the Jets defense comes to town. This game should be a lot closer to the vest like the Pats-Bengals game was in Week 5, where Dalton had one of his worst performances of the season. The Jets are top 10 against the pass and fantasy quarterbacks, so move away from trusting Dalton this week.

     

     

    Week 8 Quarterbacks Rankings - Eric Mack
    RankQuarterbacksTeamOpponentECRvs. ECR
    1Peyton ManningDenvs. Was10
    2Aaron RodgersGBat Min3+1
    3Drew BreesNOvs. Buf 2-1
    4Cam NewtonCarat TB8+4
    5Matthew StaffordDetvs. Dal4-1
    6Matt RyanAtlat Ari11+5
    7Tom BradyNEvs. Mia12+5
    8Colin Kaepernick SFat Jac 10+2
    9Robert GriffinWasat Den5-4
    10Russell WilsonSeaat StL 9-1
    11Tony RomoDalat Det 6-5
    12Michael VickPhivs. NYG 7-5
    13Ben RoethlisbergerPitat Oak16+3
    14Eli ManningNYGat Phi13-1
    15Andy DaltonCinvs. NYJ 14-1
    16 Terrelle PryorOakvs. Pit15-1
    17Carson PalmerArivs. Atl 170
    18Alex SmithKCvs. Cle 180
    19Ryan Tannehill Miaat NE190
    20Geno SmithNYJat Cin 200
    21Thaddeus LewisBufat NO210
    22Christian PonderMinvs. GB23+1
    23Mike Glennon TBvs. Car22-1
    24Jason CampbellCleat KC27+3
    25Chad Henne Jacvs. SF24-1
    26Kellen ClemensStLvs. Sea28+2
    Expert Consensus Rankings (ECR) from over 100 experts provided by FantasyPros

Running Backs: Eddie Lacy, Knowshon Moreno Give Offenses Added Dimensions

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    Start 'Em

    Eddie Lacy, Green Bay Packers

    This one has become obvious amid the Packers' absences in the passing game. Lacy leads the NFL with 301 yards rushing the past three weeks, and that comes after James Starks and Johnathan Franklin each rushed for 100 yards in the two games prior due to Lacy's concussion. The Packers are a legit running team now, and the Vikings have allowed the most points to running backs in fantasy.

     

    Knowshon Moreno, Denver Broncos

    He has put away the running back committee with his performances this season—and surprising health. The Redskins are the fourth-worst team in fantasy against running backs, so Moreno not only has to stay active, but you might consider his backup as well. That will be Montee Ball this week. Mike Klis of the Denver Posts tweets Ronnie Hillman will be inactive because of his issues with fumbles. This will be another big week for Moreno, and the rookie Ball might even find the end zone in garbage time.

     

    Stevan Ridley, New England Patriots

    He has been a fantasy enigma, but he rebounded a couple of weeks ago and should continue to see more carries as the Pats lean on their feature back amid their struggles in the passing game. Ridley faces a Dolphins defense that has allowed the fifth-most points to backs in fantasy. He reaches 100 yards and the end zone at least once, if not twice, here.

     

    Fred Jackson, Buffalo Bills

    The Bills apparently are no longer willing to play C.J. Spiller through an ankle issue, according to Bills insider Joe Buscaglia, so Jackson will assume the feature-back role against the Saints, who have allowed an average of 114 rushing yards per game.

    Jackson is the best thing the Bills have going for them offensively, and we should expect the Saints to pile on the points early and often. There should be garbage time for Jackson, perhaps a couple of short touchdowns.

     

    Andre Ellington, Arizona Cardinals

    The doubtful status of Rashard Mendenhall (toe) thrusts Ellington into a feature role this week, and he is good enough to keep it for the rest of the season perhaps. Ellington told Darren Urban of AZCentral.com: "I was already getting the majority of the plays on offense, but my role is just a little bit bigger." The Falcons are a top-10 team against running backs, but Ellington will be a factor in the passing game too. He picks up a receiving touchdown and over 100 total yards.

     

    Sit 'Em

    Willis McGahee, Cleveland Browns

    The 32-year-old has needed time off practice for his ongoing knee issue, and Chris Ogbonnaya has surpassed him as the back of choice for the Browns in most of the crucial situations. It also doesn't help that the Browns are facing the Chiefs, a team that is third in fantasy against running backs. McGahee is closer to hitting the street than anyone's fantasy starting lineup right now.

     

    Zac Stacy, St. Louis Rams

    Not only will the Rams have to rely on Kellen Clemens at quarterback after the loss of Sam Bradford for the season, but they will also have to contend with the Seahawks defense. That spells bad news for the Rams offense, which was going to feature Stacy more. It will be tough to feature him against an eight-man box and a Seahawks defense that is No. 5 against the run and No. 6 against fantasy backs.

     

    Giovani Bernard and BenJarvus Green-Ellis

    Byes and injuries likely force you to rely on these timeshare backs, but the matchup should force you to think twice about it. The Jets are the second-best team in the NFL against the run. Bernard has the juice to break a long one, but it is more likely the Jets bottle him up and force BGE into a game of 15 carries for 35 yards. Sit these two if you have viable alternatives.

     

    Bilal Powell, New York Jets

    Chris Ivory emerged as a workhorse last week for the Jets, so we have to assume they stick with their hot hand against the Bengals run defense this week. The Bengals boast a top-10 team against fantasy backs and are in the top 10 against the run. Ivory is a marginal play, and Powell should be left out of lineups in standard leagues. 

     

    Week 8 Running Backs Rankings - Eric Mack
    RankRunning BacksTeamOpponentECRvs. ECR
    1Adrian PetersonMinvs. GB4+3
    2 LeSean McCoyPhivs. NYG 3+1
    3Jamaal CharlesKCvs. Cle 1-2
    4Frank GoreSFat Jac 5+1
    5Marshawn LynchSeaat StL 2-3
    6 Knowshon MorenoDenvs. Was60
    7Reggie BushDetvs. Dal8+1
    8Alfred MorrisWasat Den10+2
    9Eddie LacyGBat Min7-2
    10 Stevan Ridley NEvs. Mia12+2
    11Darren SprolesNOvs. Buf 14+3
    12 Le'Veon BellPitat Oak9-3
    13Steven JacksonAtlat Ari18+5
    14DeMarco MurrayDalat Det 25+11
    15Fred JacksonBufat NO11-4
    16Andre EllingtonArivs. Atl 22+6
    17Darren McFaddenOakvs. Pit13-4
    18Lamar MillerMiaat NE24+6
    19Pierre ThomasNOvs. Buf 20+1
    20Chris IvoryNYJat Cin 23+3
    21 Giovani BernardCinvs. NYJ 15-6
    22Maurice Jones-DrewJacvs. SF19-3
    23Peyton Hillis NYGat Phi29+6
    24DeAngelo WilliamsCarat TB17-7
    25 Jacquizz RodgersAtlat Ari30+5
    26 Zac StacyStLvs. Sea16-10
    27Roy Helu Wasat Den26-1
    28 Joique BellDetvs. Dal31+3
    29Kendall HunterSFat Jac 40+11
    30Chris Ogbonnaya Cleat KC41+11
    31 BenJarvus Green-EllisCinvs. NYJ 28-3
    32Mike JamesTBvs. Car21-11
    33 Montee BallDenvs. Was46+13
    34 Bilal PowellNYJat Cin 36+2
    35 Stepfan TaylorArivs. Atl 52+17
    36Willis McGaheeCleat KC35-1
    37Robert Turbin Seaat StL 50+13
    38Bryce BrownPhivs. NYG 51+13
    39Brandon Bolden NEvs. Mia34-5
    40Michael CoxNYGat Phi49+9
    41Joseph RandleDalat Det 27-14
    42Lance DunbarDalat Det 48+6
    43Daniel ThomasMiaat NE38-5
    44James StarksGBat Min57+13
    45Johnathan FranklinGBat Min55+10
    46 LeGarrette Blount NEvs. Mia59+13
    47Daryl RichardsonStLvs. Sea53+6
    48Felix JonesPitat Oak62+14
    49Anthony DixonSFat Jac 68+19
    50Mike Tolbert Carat TB39-11
    51Toby Gerhart Minvs. GB63+12
    52Justin Forsett Jacvs. SF66+14
    53Christine MichaelSeaat StL 74+21
    54 Fozzy WhittakerCleat KC61+7
    55 LaMichael JamesSFat Jac 69+14
    56Brian LeonardTBvs. Car47-9
    57 Khiry RobinsonNOvs. Buf 45-12
    58Mark IngramNOvs. Buf 60+2
    59Phillip TannerDalat Det 64+5
    60 Knile DavisKCvs. Cle 76+16
    Expert Consensus Rankings (ECR) from over 100 experts provided by FantasyPros

Wide Receivers: Trust Your Giants, but Not Your Patriots or Rams Receivers

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    Start 'Em

    Victor Cruz, Hakeem Nicks and Rueben Randle, New York Giants

    Eli Manning has been terrible, and he hasn't gotten any help from the running game or offensive line, but the Eagles have allowed NFL highs 122 catches, 1,555 yards and 14 touchdowns to receivers for a well-deserved worst in the NFL ranking against wide receivers. Randle and Nicks had big games against the Eagles last time out despite a big Giants loss. All three are starter-worthy in fantasy now, even the struggling Nicks.

     

    Marques Colston, New Orleans Saints

    Not only is Jimmy Graham (foot) banged up and likely to be on the wrong side of a game-time decision, but the Bills are the second-worst team in fantasy to wideouts. Colston rebounds from his past two quiet games (two catches for 15 yards and one catch for 11) with a 100-yard, two-touchdown performance here. The matchup is so good for the Saints receivers, you might even consider Lance Moore (hand) an option for your starting lineup off waivers. Moore is finally probable on the NFL Injury Report.

     

    Pierre Garcon, Washington Redskins

    He hasn't performed like an elite receiver, and Robert Griffin III might be favoring rookie tight end Jordan Reed as his go-to man, but the Broncos are last in the NFL against the pass and the third-worst team against wide receivers. Garcon should have his best week of the season in this shootout in Denver.

     

    Terrance Williams, Dallas Cowboys

    We have to relent here. Miles Austin (hamstring) is unlikely to play, according to Bryan Broaddus of DallasCowboys.com, so Williams will get another week getting the leftover targets that don't go to the double-teamed guys, Dez Bryant or Jason Witten. The injury circumstances and the matchup against the Lions (seventh-worst team against wide receivers) make Williams a top-25 fantasy wideout.

     

    Harry Douglas, Atlanta Falcons, and Jarrett Boykin, Green Bay Packers

    It is rare when the most popular waiver pickups prove to be fantasy starters off a big week, but Douglas and Boykin are true NFL starters for two of the best quarterbacks in the league. You should feel confident starting them because of the targets they are going to receive, especially Boykin against a Vikings defense that has given up the fourth-most passing yards per game.

     

    Sit 'Em

    Julian Edelman, Kenbrell Thompkins and Aaron Dobson, New England Patriots

    If Tom Brady has been skittish of this group of unproven NFL receivers before, you have to be really wary of them now. Rob Gronkowski is back and will get more targets by the week, while Danny Amendola (concussion) has passed his medical tests, according to ESPN's Mike Reiss, and should be active. That will leave less for the trio above, particularly against a Dolphins team that has been the third best against fantasy wide receivers.

     

    Tavon Austin, Chris Givens, Austin Pettis and Brian Quick, St. Louis Rams

    You should not have liked them after Sam Bradford (knee) went down, if you had liked them. Against the Seahawks secondary, No. 2 in the NFL against the pass, forget it.

     

    Dwayne Bowe, Kansas City Chiefs

    Andy Reid is going to get Bowe involved more, but facing the Browns and shutdown corner Joe Haden is a bad time to expect it in fantasy. Buy low on Bowe perhaps, but don't dare trust him in your starting lineup this week. 

     

    Week 8 Wide Receivers Rankings - Eric Mack
    RankWide ReceiversTeamOpponentECRvs. ECR
    1Calvin JohnsonDetvs. Dal10
    2 Dez BryantDalat Det 20
    3A.J. GreenCinvs. NYJ 4+1
    4Jordy NelsonGBat Min3-1
    5Wes WelkerDenvs. Was6+1
    6Demaryius ThomasDenvs. Was5-1
    7Eric DeckerDenvs. Was11+4
    8Victor CruzNYGat Phi7-1
    9DeSean JacksonPhivs. NYG 8-1
    10Larry FitzgeraldArivs. Atl 13+3
    11Marques ColstonNOvs. Buf 16+5
    12Antonio BrownPitat Oak10-2
    13Josh GordonCleat KC18+5
    14Vincent JacksonTBvs. Car12-2
    15Pierre GarconWasat Den9-6
    16Danny Amendola NEvs. Mia34+18
    17Justin Blackmon Jacvs. SF14-3
    18Hakeem NicksNYGat Phi19+1
    19Anquan BoldinSFat Jac 17-2
    20Mike WallaceMiaat NE22+2
    21Harry DouglasAtlat Ari210
    22Jarrett Boykin GBat Min15-7
    23Terrance WilliamsDalat Det 26+3
    24Steve SmithCarat TB20-4
    25 Rueben RandleNYGat Phi24-1
    26Greg JenningsMinvs. GB31+5
    27 Denarius MooreOakvs. Pit270
    28Lance MooreNOvs. Buf 50+22
    29Michael FloydArivs. Atl 25-4
    30Cecil ShortsJacvs. SF23-7
    31Golden TateSeaat StL 32+1
    32Steve JohnsonBufat NO28-4
    33Julian Edelman NEvs. Mia330
    34Kris DurhamDetvs. Dal37+3
    35Brian HartlineMiaat NE29-6
    36 Kenbrell Thompkins NEvs. Mia39+3
    37Emmanuel SandersPitat Oak35-2
    38Mike WilliamsTBvs. Car41+3
    39Donnie AveryKCvs. Cle 53+14
    40Dwayne BoweKCvs. Cle 36-4
    41Brandon LaFell Carat TB38-3
    42Jeremy Kerley NYJat Cin 30-12
    43Stephen HillNYJat Cin 40-3
    44Ted GinnCarat TB57+13
    45Brandon GibsonMiaat NE43-2
    46Sidney RiceSeaat StL 44-2
    47Riley CooperPhivs. NYG 48+1
    48Jason Avant Phivs. NYG 56+8
    49Aaron Dobson NEvs. Mia47-2
    50Robert WoodsBufat NO42-8
    51Jerricho CotcheryPitat Oak64+13
    52Rod Streater Oakvs. Pit59+7
    53Doug BaldwinSeaat StL 62+9
    54Jon BaldwinSFat Jac 90+36
    55Santana MossWasat Den76+21
    56Kenny StillsNOvs. Buf 52-4
    57Chris GivensStLvs. Sea60+3
    58Austin Pettis StLvs. Sea61+3
    59Jerome SimpsonMinvs. GB45-14
    60Leonard Hankerson Wasat Den55-5
    61David NelsonNYJat Cin 72+11
    62Greg LittleCleat KC70+8
    63Andre RobertsArivs. Atl 69+6
    64 Davone BessCleat KC79+15
    65Mohamed Sanu Cinvs. NYJ 71+6
    66Marvin JonesCinvs. NYJ 49-17
    67Nick Toon NOvs. Buf 96+29
    68Ryan Broyles Detvs. Dal75+7
    69 Tavon AustinStLvs. Sea63-6
    70Brian QuickStLvs. Sea78+8
    71Dexter McCluster KCvs. Cle 86+15
    72Cole BeasleyDalat Det 58-14
    73 Cordarrelle PattersonMinvs. GB730
    Expert Consensus Rankings (ECR) from over 100 experts provided by FantasyPros

Tight Ends: Jimmy Graham Starts If He's Active, Ben Watson Doesn't Regardless

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    The dreaded "game-time decision" clouds Jimmy Graham's status, but you start him if he's active Sunday.
    The dreaded "game-time decision" clouds Jimmy Graham's status, but you start him if he's active Sunday.

    Start 'Em

    Heath Miller, Pittsburgh Steelers

    The Raiders are more of a neutral matchup than a favorable one, but Miller is getting steadily more healthy and involved in offensive coordinator Todd Haley's offense. Despite just two catches a week ago, he reached the end zone, something he did eight times a year ago. Expect him to do so again here—this time with six-plus catches.

     

    Kyle Rudolph, Minnesota Vikings

    This is not one to bet the farm on, but the Vikings are going back to Christian Ponder, the quarterback who made Rudolph a top-10 fantasy tight end coming into the season. Also, the Packers have allowed the third-most fantasy points to the position to date. Rudolph is a solid option during the heavy bye weeks at the very least.

     

    Jordan Cameron, Cleveland Browns

    Chalk this one up in the vote-of-confidence category. Cameron has been a superstar at times, but there has to be some uncertainty with him, as Jason Campbell gets the start for the Browns at quarterback. The Chiefs defense has been the best in fantasy against tight ends, allowing a league-low 204 yards to them and no touchdowns.

     

    Sit 'Em

    Ben Watson, New Orleans Saints

    The only reason his name is a blip on the fantasy radar is because of the game-time decision Jimmy Graham (foot) finds himself to be. Graham was limited in his return to practice Friday and is questionable for the game. If Graham plays, you have to start him. If he doesn't, don't bother going to the well on Watson. The Bills have been the third-toughest team on fantasy tight ends.

     

    Brandon Myers, New York Giants

    He was supposed to bust the seam for the Giants' pass-heavy team this season; instead, he has been left in for max protection. That leaves him busting pass-rushers instead of the seams. Myers is a bad fantasy option right now, especially against an Eagles team that has been the second best in fantasy against tight ends. Like the Chiefs, they haven't allowed a touchdown reception to one.

     

    Jared Cook, St. Louis Rams

    Forget starting Cook at this point, you need to cut him. He has been waiver fodder since his huge first game, and the loss of Sam Bradford (knee) and the involvement of Lance Kendricks hurts. Cook is a bad, bad play against a Seahawks secondary that is No. 2 against the pass and No. 5 against fantasy tight ends.

     

    Week 8 Tight Ends Rankings - Eric Mack
    RankTight EndsTeamOpponentECRvs. ECR
    1Jimmy GrahamNOvs. Buf 5+4
    2Rob Gronkowski NEvs. Mia1-1
    3Julius ThomasDenvs. Was4+1
    4Jason WittenDalat Det 6+2
    5Tony GonzalezAtlat Ari3-2
    6Jordan CameronCleat KC8+2
    7Vernon DavisSFat Jac 2-5
    8Kyle RudolphMinvs. GB12+4
    9Greg OlsenCarat TB10+1
    10Charles ClayMiaat NE11+1
    11Jordan ReedWasat Den7-4
    12Heath MillerPitat Oak9-3
    13Brandon Pettigrew Detvs. Dal16+3
    14Jared CookStLvs. Sea17+3
    15Anthony FasanoKCvs. Cle 24+9
    16Joseph Fauria Detvs. Dal14-2
    17Rob Housler Arivs. Atl 18+1
    18Brandon MyersNYGat Phi25+7
    19Tyler Eifert Cinvs. NYJ 15-4
    20Jeff CumberlandNYJat Cin 13-7
    21Jermaine GreshamCinvs. NYJ 19-2
    22Tim WrightTBvs. Car21-1
    23Zach MillerSeaat StL 22-1
    24Lance KendricksStLvs. Sea29+5
    25Zach Ertz Phivs. NYG 28+3
    26Scott ChandlerBufat NO23-3
    27 Marcedes LewisJacvs. SF31+4
    28Brent Celek Phivs. NYG 27-1
    29Sean McGrath KCvs. Cle 32+3
    30Ben WatsonNOvs. Buf 26-4
    31Mychal RiveraOakvs. Pit33+2
    32Levine Toilolo Atlat Ari34+2
    Expert Consensus Rankings (ECR) from over 100 experts provided by FantasyPros

Defense/Special Teams: Bengals and Pats a Lot More Important During Heavy Byes

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    Start 'Em

    Cincinnati Bengals

    The Jets might be a lot more capable of competing than anyone anticipated, but they are still a team with a rookie quarterback and one that has been the sixth worst in fantasy against defenses. You should continue to play the Bengals defense at home against anyone.

     

    New England Patriots

    They have suffered significant defensive injuries, but they have proven to be a lot tougher against the pass this year too. The Dolphins have an improving young offense, but a road game at New England and sitting seventh worst in fantasy against opposing defenses make the Pats a must-start option in all leagues.

     

    Green Bay Packers, New Orleans Saints and Pittsburgh Steelers

    It is possible, if not likely, the above defenses are owned. These are likely available this week. When in doubt with your defense, play against the bad quarterbacks. That is what the Packers (Christian Ponder) and Saints (Thad Lewis) will do. Meanwhile, the Steelers are looking a lot more capable of late and should get after Terrelle Pryor and the Raiders, who are fifth worst in fantasy against defenses.

     

    Sit 'Em

    Dallas Cowboys

    We cannot necessarily explain the Cowboys' No. 2 standing among defenses in standard-scoring leagues, but starting them against the Lions on the road is likely a bad move. Detroit is quietly the third-best team in fantasy against defenses.

     

    Arizona Cardinals

    Coming into the season, there was promise here. You cannot trust this unit in fantasy right now, though, especially not against Matt Ryan. The Falcons have been the toughest on opposing defenses in fantasy to date.

     

    Denver Broncos, Cleveland Browns and Miami Dolphins

    These units have all been a bit disappointing for fantasy owners, and they are on the wrong side of the matchups this week. You should not own them amid these heavy byes that are stressing out rosters, much less be starting them at this point.

     

     

    Week 8 Defenses and Special Teams Rankings - Eric Mack
    RankDefenses and Special TeamsTeamOpponentECRvs. ECR
    1Seattle SeahawksSeaat StL 2+1
    2San Francisco 49ersSFat Jac 3+1
    3Kansas City ChiefsKCvs. Cle 1-2
    4New England PatriotsNEvs. Mia5+1
    5Cincinnati BengalsCinvs. NYJ 4-1
    6Carolina PanthersCarat TB60
    7Green Bay PackersGBat Min8+1
    8New Orleans SaintsNOvs. Buf 7-1
    9Pittsburgh SteelersPitat Oak10+1
    10Philadelphia EaglesPhivs. NYG 9-1
    11New York JetsNYJat Cin 15+4
    12Tampa Bay BuccaneersTBvs. Car16+4
    13Dallas CowboysDalat Det 17+4
    14Atlanta FalconsAtlat Ari140
    15Arizona CardinalsArivs. Atl 12-3
    16Denver BroncosDenvs. Was13-3
    17Oakland RaidersOakvs. Pit11-6
    18Detroit LionsDetvs. Dal180
    19Cleveland BrownsCleat KC190
    20Miami DolphinsMiaat NE21+1
    Expert Consensus Rankings (ECR) from over 100 experts provided by FantasyPros

Kickers: Big Legs of Walsh, Zuerlein and Janikowski Are Bad Plays This Week

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    Start 'Em

    Dan Bailey, Dallas Cowboys

    He came out of the gate scorching, but he has been held to a field goal or less in four of the past five weeks. It should get a lot better in Detroit this week. First, it is a climate-controlled dome, and second, the Lions have given up 18 made field goals. Only the Ravens (19) have given up more.

     

    Alex Henery, Philadelphia Eagles

    The move back to Michael Vick (hamstring) should do wonders for Henery's fantasy production. The Eagles are going to be able to score at will against that suspect Giants team that has given up the second-most touchdowns in the NFL (24). The Giants are the fifth-best matchup for an opposing kicker to date.

     

    Phil Dawson, San Francisco 49ers

    This has been a disappointing year for the veteran who was supposed to rise to the fantasy elite this season. This won't be a down week for him, though, not against the Jaguars. They have allowed the most points in the NFL thus far (222).

     

    Sit 'Em

    Blair Walsh, Minnesota Vikings

    He was coming off a record-setting rookie year, but he has succumbed to a sophomore swoon. He registered just one extra point Monday night, and the Packers have been the fourth-best team in fantasy against kickers.

     

    Greg Zuerlein, St. Louis Rams

    Speaking of sophomore slumps, Zuerlein has been unable to rekindle his fantasy magic. Not only does the loss of Sam Bradford (knee) hurt, but the Seahawks are also next on the schedule. It should be a long night for the Rams and a quiet one for Zuerlein.

     

    Sebastian Janikowski, Oakland Raiders

    Yet another week we should fear SeaBass and the Raiders getting shut out, no matter what you think of the Raiders' offensive progress and the maturation of Terrelle Pryor as a legit NFL starter. The Steelers have played a lot better defensively of late.

     

    Week 8 Kickers Rankings - Eric Mack
    RankKickersTeamOpponentECRvs. ECR
    1Stephen GostkowskiNEvs. Mia10
    2Matt PraterDenvs. Was20
    3Mason CrosbyGBat Min9+6
    4Garrett HartleyNOvs. Buf 40
    5Alex Henery Phivs. NYG 3-2
    6Matt BryantAtlat Ari60
    7Ryan Succop KCvs. Cle 10+3
    8Phil DawsonSFat Jac 80
    9Steven Hauschka Seaat StL 5-4
    10Dan BaileyDalat Det 7-3
    11Blair WalshMinvs. GB110
    12Caleb Sturgis Miaat NE21+9
    13Shaun Suisham Pitat Oak15+2
    14Kai Forbath Wasat Den12-2
    15Mike NugentCinvs. NYJ 14-1
    16David AkersDetvs. Dal13-3
    17Sebastian JanikowskiOakvs. Pit16-1
    18Jay FeelyArivs. Atl 17-1
    19Josh BrownNYGat Phi23+4
    20Nick FolkNYJat Cin 18-2
    Expert Consensus Rankings (ECR) from over 100 experts provided by FantasyPros