Fantasy Football Sunday Morning Start 'Em or Sit 'Em Decisions: Week 8

Eric StashinSenior Writer IOctober 30, 2011

SAN DIEGO, CA - OCTOBER 02:  Running back Reggie Bush #22 of the Miami Dolphins carries the ball against the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium on October 2, 2011 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Just hours before the start of Week 8, I know many people have questions running through their heads.  Who should I start?  Who should I sit? 

Let’s take a look at how some of the recent news changes things:

Reggie Bush, Miami Dolphins: Running Back

According to Andrew Carter (via Twitter), “Vontae Davis and Daniel Thomas out for #Dolphins tomorrow. Hamstring injuries.” 

Thomas was originally listed as questionable for his matchup against the Giants, so this news comes as a little bit of a surprise.  Given the state of the Dolphins passing game and taking on a Giants defense that has been among the worst in the league against the run, Thomas was expected to be a viable option in all formats.  Now, with Thomas out, Reggie Bush should be expected to take the bulk of the carries, with Lex Hilliard (short yardage) and Steve Slaton also getting some touches.

In most weeks, Bush has gotten between 10-13 carries, and I wouldn’t expect him to see a dramatic increase.  He’ll probably get 15-20 touches total, and there’s a good chance he breaks one for a big gain.  Consider him a low-end RB2/FLEX option in all formats, especially with the positive matchup.

Percy Harvin, Minnesota Vikings: Wide Receiver

Tom Pelissero of ESPN 1500 (via Twitter) has reported, “Harvin on rib: “You can kind of feel it pulling, so it kind of makes me nervous at times. But other than that, it’s just pain tolerance.” 

Unfortunately for fantasy owners, the injury has clearly affected his performance on the field.

He’s had two receptions or less and 15 yards or less in two of his past three games and draws a Panthers defense that is allowing just 237.0 passing yards/game.  He also has to get adjusted to a new quarterback, as Christian Ponder targeted him three times last week (fourth behind Michael Jenkins, Visanthe Shiancoe and Devin Aromashodu).  There’s obviously plenty of upside there, but all the factors are working against him right now.  Consider him a WR3, at best, and nothing more.  If you have another option, you may want to consider going with him.

Brandon Lloyd, St. Louis Rams: Wide Receiver

Sam Bradford is out of action once again, leaving A.J. Feeley running the show.  It’s a shame, as everyone was excited to see what Lloyd and Bradford could do together.  That being said, Lloyd was targeted 12 times in Week 7 against Dallas and should continue to be the new focal point of the offense against the Saints. 

Considering that the Rams could fall behind quickly and have to play catchup, Lloyd should once again be a major factor.  He’s a WR2 and a good play in most formats unless you are stacked at the position.

Emmanuel Sanders/Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh Steelers: Wide Receiver

According to Albert Breer (via Twitter), “According to a league source, it’s ‘highly unlikely’ that Steelers WR Hines Ward will play Sunday against New England.” 

That puts Sanders and Brown both playing a prominent role against a Patriots passing defense that has allowed 322.2 passing yards per game (by far the worst in the league).

We saw both Sanders (five receptions for 46 yards and one TD on seven targets) and Brown (seven receptions for 102 yards and zero TD on nine targets) play prominent roles in Week 7.  There is no reason to think that they won’t both be productive once again, so consider them WR3 in all formats.

Mike Tolbert, San Diego Chargers: Running Back

He has officially been listed as doubtful for Monday night’s game in Kansas City.  Given the time of the game, he was already a long-shot to be a viable option.  At this point, consider him unusable and find an alternative immediately.

Antonio Gates, San Diego Chargers: Tight End

He returned to action in Week 7 and looked good, with five receptions for 54 yards and one TD.  He was also targeted seven times, second most on the team (Vincent Jackson led the way with eight).  He has been listed as probable, meaning he’s going to be playing on Monday night and should once again be a major part of the game plan against the Chiefs. Considering Kansas City has allowed 12 passing touchdowns (tied for third most in the league), Gates is a must use option.

Make sure to check out all of Rotoprofessor’s Week 8 Articles: