Week 8 Start 'Em, Sit 'Em: Tim Tebow and 5 QBs Who Will Surprise Everyone
Fantasy football leagues are won by owners who take chances on underrated players at just the right time. In Week 8, there are plenty of unheralded starting quarterbacks prime for the picking.
What allows a passer to have a career day?
Sometimes it is a favorable match-up against weak defensive backs or a poor pass rush. In other cases, he benefits from having teammates return from prior injuries.
To assure yourself a winning week, give one of these five guys a start on Sunday.
John Beck (Washington Redskins) vs. Buffalo Bills
The 30-year-old Beck prepares to make his second start of the season without a number of key offensive players, including wideout Santana Moss, tight end Chris Cooley and tackles Jammal Brown and Trent Williams.
Still, Beck should be in for a statistical boost against the surprising Buffalo Bills (4-2).
The Bills' high-powered attack will trounce Washington. Quick drives—several of them likely resulting in scores—for Washington's opponent will mean more total possessions for both teams.
If the Redskins fall behind early, Beck will be prompted to throw more than usual.
Furthermore, Beck faces a defense that ranks third-worst in the NFL in passing yards allowed. It can be exploited even without Moss and Cooley.
On Sunday, Buffalo will be missing defensive tackle Kyle Williams and linebacker Shawne Merriman.
Win or lose, expect Beck to produce in Week 8.
Curtis Painter (Indianapolis Colts) vs. Tennessee Titans
Painter is available in nearly every fantasy league after the Colts were thoroughly humiliated by the Saints last week, 62-7.
Now, though, he faces a Titans team that can't tackle.
Painter will not have to make perfect throws to have success. He'll simply look to make short passes to his receivers in open space and give them opportunities for yards after the catch.
He's has a pair of awesome players in Pierre Garcon and Reggie Wayne.
Painter can opt for safe choices and still finish the day with a fine game and his first win as a starter.
Christian Ponder (Minnesota Vikings) vs. Carolina Panthers
Vikings rookie Christian Ponder is a player to not only pick up, but retain on your team.
Although not particularly accurate, Ponder is very mobile and capable of fixing broken plays with his legs. He's comfortable outside the pocket and bound to dominate against the Carolina Panthers.
Carolina cannot stop the run and Minnesota has the league's best all-around back in Adrian Peterson.
Peterson hasn't made many plays as a receiver in 2011, but his presence will force the Panthers to stack the box with defenders. That will open up the passing game.
Wide receiver Percy Harvin will be limited by a rib injury, but is expected to be available in some capacity.
Regardless, Ponder could carry the ball a few times himself.
Andy Dalton (Cincinnati Bengals) vs. Seattle Seahawks
Dalton is king in the realm of underrated rookie quarterbacks. He has posted quality numbers with one of the youngest receiving corps imaginable.
He'll attempt to dissect a mediocre Seahawks' defense with a banged-up secondary.
First-round draft pick AJ Green has obvious chemistry with Dalton; tight end Jermaine Gresham is a stud as well.
Starting running back Cedric Benson will not be available, which means more pass attempts for Dalton, who already averages more than 30 per game.
Seattle's offense is dysfunctional, so Cincinnati should have no problems controlling field position and the game clock.
Tim Tebow (Denver Broncos) vs. Detroit Lions
Lastly, we have Tebow. Unlike the others, his Week 8 opponent is a tough one.
The Lions (5-2) will be playing angry after back-to-back losses. They rank ninth against the pass and lead the NFL in takeaways.
Their defensive line gets great penetration, a concern if Tebow aims to rush up the middle.
Anyway, the choices he makes are fantasy-friendly.
Yes, Tebow is inaccurate, but he's been intercepted merely thrice in 119 career pass attempts and zero times in 2011. This is because he doesn't try to force anything through tight coverage.
With starting running back Willis McGahee out for this matchup, Tebow can be expected to call his own number deep in the red zone (provided that the Broncos get there).
His game isn't pretty, but I'm confident that it can get the job done this Sunday.