Fantasy Football Week 8: 6 Best Matchups This Week

Alex SandersonCorrespondent IIIOctober 26, 2011

Fantasy Football Week 8: 6 Best Matchups This Week

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    Fantasy football comes down to so much more than just having a great roster. It's important to know which guys have the best matchups on a weekly basis, especially if you have a deep roster with tough decisions on who to start.

    Most teams will have their studs that you have to put in the lineup on a weekly basis, such as the Adrian Peterson's and Calvin Johnson's. While those players might go a long way in driving you to a title, playing the right matchups can be just as important.

    There are certainly some nice fantasy matchups around the league in Week 8. It is another very costly bye week as well as Chicago, Atlanta, Green Bay, New York (Jets), Oakland and Tampa Bay are home resting.

    If you have a stud such as Matt Forte or Greg Jennings sitting this week, it becomes even more crucial for you to know which players have an opportunity to shine. Here are six of the top Week 8 fantasy matchups.

Ben Roethlisberger, QB, PIT

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    After getting off to a slow start in 2011, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has really picked it up over the last few weeks. Over the last three games, he has nine touchdowns with just one interception.

    Combine Big Ben's hot play with a porous Patriots secondary, and the two-time Super Bowl Champion quarterback should have a nice week. New England is giving up the second most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks in all of football.

    Steelers top wide receiver Mike Wallace has made great strides in 2011 to become a lot more than just a speedster. Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders are also emerging, giving Roethlisberger plenty of options to throw to.

    The Steelers and Patriots game could easily turn into a shootout, which is great for Roethlisberger owners. Look for him to throw for about 300 yards and at least two touchdowns.

Marques Colston, WR, NO

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    After scorching the Colts on Sunday night football, it's clear that Marques Colston's collarbone injury is a thing of the past. He had 98 yards and two touchdowns, putting himself back on the map as a top-flight fantasy wide receiver.

    Colston will get to ride the momentum from Week 7 into a Week 8 encounter with the hapless St. Louis Rams. Not much has gone right for the Rams in 2011, and their defense against wide receivers certainly fits that trend.

    Baltimore Ravens rookie wide receiver Torrey Smith had three touchdowns in the first quarter against the Rams in Week 3. If an unknown player can do that kind of damage, you should be a happy owner of Colston right about now.

DeMarco Murray, RB, DAL

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    Dallas Cowboys rookie running back DeMarco Murray heads into a nice matchup against the Eagles this week coming off a 253-yard rushing effort. He should enjoy another strong performance in Week 8 with starter Felix Jones sidelined again.

    I'm sure many owners will start Murray just based on his explosion last week, but the fact of the matter is that any starting running back should be employed against Philadelphia.

    While the Eagles did bottle up Ryan Torain in Week 6, they allowed at least 100 yards in each of their first five games. The likes of Frank Gore, Michael Turner and Fred Jackson absolutely torched their front seven.

New York Giants, DEF

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    The New York Giants have been a middle of the road fantasy defense in 2011. But that doesn't mean you shoudn't take a long look at them employing them in Week 8.

    While there are a few fantasy defenses out there that you would start on an every-week basis, the best way to use defenses are by matchups. Jason Pierre-Paul and company have one of the best in the league this week against the Miami Dolphins.

    Miami has averaged just 15 points a game this season and Chad Henne is out for the season. Add in the fact that backup quarterback Matt Moore is also a little banged up, and the Giants defense should have no trouble having a great fantasy day this Sunday.

Anquan Boldin, WR, BAL

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    While Anquan Boldin hasn't put up eye popping stats in 2011, his season overall has been better than his first one with Baltimore in 2010. It could become even better for him with a Week 8 matchup against his former team, the Arizona Cardinals.

    Not only will Boldin be pumped up to face his former mates, but Arizona has had an atrocious pass defense in 2011.

    Other top flight wide receivers such as Boldin have put up at least 100 yards and a touchdown against the Cardinals this year (Steve Smith, Hakeem Nicks, Mike Wallace). Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco will also be looking to bounce back from an abysmal outing in Week 7 against the Jaguars as well, all pointing to a great game from Boldin.

Vernon Davis, TE, SF

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    The tight end position in fantasy football has been pretty deep this season. The normally top-flighted Vernon Davis has been just a low-end starter in standard leagues, but that could change this week.

    Even though the Cleveland Browns have not faced a top tight end this season, they are near the top in touchdowns allowed by opposing tight ends. That's a great omen for Davis, as he is the most talented tight end they will have faced this season.

    Cleveland has allowed touchdowns to Kevin Boss, Craig Stevens, Jared Cook, Dallas Clark and Jermaine Gresham in 2011. You have to think that Davis will at least get one touchdown in Week 8, especially with quarterback Alex Smith looking better of late.