Week 8 Start 'Em Sit 'Em: Pittsburgh and 5 Defenses You Can't Start

Matt LeirdahlContributor IIIOctober 28, 2011

Week 8 Start 'Em Sit 'Em: Pittsburgh and 5 Defenses You Can't Start

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    There are several unfavorable matchups for defenses in Week 8. Teams like the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Dallas Cowboys are going to get run over by their opponents.

    Defenses can make or break a game. There is nothing worse than starting a defense that gets you negative points. 

    Avoiding starting those teams is crucial, so taking advantage of matchups is key.

    Here are five teams that you should avoid starting during Week 8. 

Carolina Panthers

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    This week the Carolina Panthers are playing the Minnesota Vikings. It will be ugly—for Carolina at least.

    The Vikings are starting rookie Christian Ponder, and given his performance against the best team in the league in Week 7, the Green Bay Packers, Week 8 will be a big week for him.

    Ponder threw for 219 yards and two touchdowns in his first start. The odds are good that this week will be even better.

    Not to mention, the Minnesota Vikings have one of the most dangerous players in the league in Adrian Peterson. They also have one of the most dynamic players in Percy Harvin.

    It will be a blood bath. Stay away from the Carolina defense in Week 8.

St. Louis Rams

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    The St. Louis Rams are 0-6 for a reason. One of those reasons is their defense, which gives up an average of 23.7 points per game.

    If by some chance you were planning on starting the Rams defense—don't. In Week 8, they are playing the New Orleans Saints, who have scored the most points in the league. 

    The Rams have been ravaged by injury and their backups haven't been helping. They give up more than 410 yards per game. 

    If the Rams can recover from injuries and make a second half comeback, maybe they will be decent enough to start in the future, but for now, you should leave them on the bench.

Pittsburgh Steelers

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    The Steelers have a great defense, the No. 3 defense, in fact. However, Week 8 is not going to be their week.

    The Steelers are playing the dreaded New England Patriots, who score an average of 30.8 points per game.

    By the way, Tom Brady is one of the most accurate passers in the league, so I wouldn't rely on the Steelers for any takeaways. 

    In fact, the Steelers only have two interceptions on the year. This is not a good mix. 

    While most weeks the Steelers can be relied on to keep the score low, it's not going to happen in Week 8. Fantasy football owners should steer clear of this matchup. 

Washington Redskins

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    The Redskins defense has been pretty good this season for fantasy football owners. However, this week they will not be.

    They are playing the surprise team of the season, the Buffalo Bills. Coming off of a bye week, they will be ready to do some damage. 

    The Redskins give up an average of 117.5 yards per game on the ground. Bills running back Fred Jackson averages one touchdown per game and over 100 yards. 

    Ryan Fitzpatrick averages two touchdowns and one interception per game. That's not a good ratio for any defense.

    The Redskins just are not the team to start in Week 8. 

Dallas Cowboys

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    The Philadelphia Eagles are coming off a bye week and are ready to kick some butt. They have started to gain some real momentum after their Week 6 win against the Washington Redskins. 

    After all, the Eagles have one of the most explosive fantasy players in the league in Michael Vick. No doubt, he has worked on his decision making during the week off and will be ready to go.

    The Cowboys are middle-of-the-road as far as takeaways go, so don't expect anything big.

    The Eagles also have LeSean McCoy to bust up the Dallas defense.

    Look for a high scoring game out of these two teams, something that is not pretty for fantasy football owners.