There's a good chance fantasy football owners sitting down after a long week will find their starting lineups decimated due to a high number of byes in Week 8. It will force tough decisions to get made in the final hours leading up to kickoff.
Owners still won't want to start fringe players facing tough matchups, but will probably have to dig deep on their bench or scour the waiver wire for last-minute replacements. In the end, those decisions could very well make the difference between winning and losing.
With that in mind, let's check out where players whom fantasy owners are likely debating should land for Week 8. The lists are followed by a breakdown of the toughest calls in the batch, which are fantasy football's version of game-time decisions.
Start 'Em or Sit 'Em?
|Week 8 Start 'Em or Sit 'Em|
|Position||Start 'Em||Sit 'Em|
|QB||Michael Vick (PHI)||Andy Dalton (CIN)|
|RB||Peyton Hillis (NYG)||Chris Ivory (NYJ)|
|WR||Anquan Boldin (SF)||Kenbrell Thompkins (NE)|
|TE||Joseph Fauria (DET)||Jared Cook (STL)|
|K||Sebastian Janikowski (OAK)||Greg Zuerlein (STL)|
|D||Oakland Raiders||Arizona Cardinals|
|Fantasy Week 8|
Breakdown of Toughest Calls
Start: Michael Vick (Philadelphia Eagles)
Normally, fantasy owners would be best served waiting a week before moving a player back into the lineup upon their return from a lingering hamstring injury. With so many byes and Vick's upside, however, he's worth taking a chance on.
Vick was averaging nearly 20 points per week in standard leagues through five weeks. That includes 11 points against the New York Giants, also the Eagles' Week 8 opponents, which is deceiving because that's the game in which the dynamic quarterback got hurt and missed the second half.
Both teams rank in the bottom third of the league in points allowed, which should lead to a shootout and plenty of fantasy scoring opportunities for Vick. The risk of injury is a concern, but it's not big enough to keep him on the bench for a promising matchup.
Sit: Chris Ivory (New York Jets)
Ivory caught the eye of fantasy owners after receiving an eye-popping 34 carries against the New England Patriots last week. Given the lack of reliable running backs out there, anybody capable of getting that type of workload is going to attract attention.
That said, his other numbers from the team's victory are far less impressive. He averaged barely over three yards per carry and only made one catch, which actually lost yards. So his 10-point fantasy outing was based purely on heavy usage and not particularly great play.
When you consider he hadn't been handed the ball more than 12 times in any game this season before last week and the continued presence of Bilal Powell, it's hard to trust him quite yet. He belongs on the bench against the eighth-ranked Cincinnati Bengals run defense.
Start: Anquan Boldin (San Francisco 49ers)
Boldin entered the year with limited fantasy hype. So when he exploded for 13 catches, 208 yards and a touchdown in the season opener, owners probably thought they had secured one of the top value selections from the draft.
Due to that huge showing in Week 1, the results from the six weeks that have followed are a major disappointment. Aside from a 15-point game against the St. Louis Rams in Week 4, Boldin has failed to score more than seven points in any other contest.
He should finally get back on track in Week 8. The 49ers head to London for a matchup with the Jacksonville Jaguars, who are giving up nearly 32 points per game. With Colin Kaepernick playing better in recent weeks, Boldin should start benefiting in a big way.