Fantasy Football Week 8: Who to Start and Who to Sit
Fantasy Football Week 8 pro Football

So, that wasn’t as positive as I thought it would be. 

When it comes to Fantasy Football, and sports betting in general, I’m never afraid to go against my team.  I went against the New Orleans Saints this past Sunday thinking that Indianapolis QB Curtis Painter would exploit the Saints pass defense.  My usual starter, the incomparable Tom Brady, was on a bye.  I wrote in an article to my fellow FF players to sit Denver’s QB, Tim Tebow, and to start Painter.

Unless you’re the only NFL fan left on the planet that lives in a cave, you know what happened.  Drew Brees and the Saints torched the Colts for 62 points.  The Colts scored 7 and Painter yielded an incredible -1.93 points in my league.  Suffice to say, I suffered a horrible, ridiculously bad, beat.

Touchdown Jesus, that’s Tebow, racked up 21.55 points in his first game as the starter for the Broncos in my league. Forgive me new football lord, I knew not what I did!

Fantasy Football:  Who to Start and Who to Sit

QB:  Start Cam Newton, Sit Alex Smith

Cam Newton, the Carolina Panthers’ QB savior, has been more than impressive this season.  The Panthers are sitting at 2 and 5.  Not great, but not bad for the worst team in the NFL last season because Carolina lost to New Orleans by only 3 points, Green Bay by only 7 and Chicago by only 5.  Newton has thrown for 2,103 yards and 8 touchdowns and has rushed for 266 yards and 7 touchdowns.  This Sunday, Newton and Carolina take on the Minnesota Vikings who are ranked 29th against the pass.  The Vikings are ranked 4th against the rush, but Newton threw for 256 yards and a TD for a 125.5 QB rating against Washington’s 11th ranked pass defense.  If the Vikings commit to stopping the run, Cam will torch them through the air.  If the Vikings try to stop the pass, Cam will run all over them.  Either way, Cam Newton owners should be giddy, like they should be most Sunday’s, about his point prospects.

Smith, the San Francisco 49’ers signal caller, is more Troy Aikman, doesn’t make a lot of mistakes, puts up just okay numbers, as it is, but this Sunday he figures to be no more than an up the middle or toss for the sweep QB.  The Cleveland Browns, the Niners’ opponent, ranks 2nd against the pass.  The Browns allow, on average, 172 passing yards per game.  Cleveland is ranked 19th against the rush allowing 119 yards per game meaning that SF running backs Frank Gore and Kendall Hunter could put up points.  Sit Alex Smith if you can.

RB:  Start Rashard Mendenhall, Sit Beanie Wells

Pittsburgh’s ultra-talented RB Rashard Mendenhall has not been as kind to fantasy owners as we (yes, he’s on my team) had hoped.  RM is more reminiscent of RIM, the stock ticker for the Blackberry maker that has lost close to 57% of its value this season, then a Top 6 Fantasy Football pick.  That should change somewhat this Sunday.  Mendenhall should perform more like he did against the Jacksonville Jaguars two weeks ago, when he produced 15.73 points in my league, then how he performed against the Arizona Cardinals in Week 7 when he provided only 2.47 points.  The New England Patriots, Pitt’s opponent, give up only 101.9 yards per game on the ground on average and are ranked in the Top 8 against the run, but the Pats have to shut down Big Ben and the Steelers’ passing game or they’ll end up putting Brady and the Patriots’ offense into a corner.  And, as everybody knows, nobody puts Baby Brady in a corner!  

You’ve got to love Fantasy Football, right?  Most FF players wrote off Beanie Wells this offseason.  What a mistake that was.  The Arizona Cardinals running back has produced a 4.6 average for 423 yards and 6 touchdowns in only 6 games.  Great stuff so far, but I’m against starting Beanie this Sunday versus the Baltimore Ravens.  Yes, the Ravens’ vaunted D allowed Maurice Jones-Drew to rush for 135 yards this past Monday night, but it kept MJD out of the end zone and allows, on average, only 85.8 yards per game on the ground.  Expect the Ravens to return to their glorious stop the run ways on Sunday.  I advise sitting B-Dub.

WR:  Start A.J. Green, Sit any New Orleans’ WR not named Marques Colston

A.J. Green is playing like a veteran wide receiver for the Cincinnati Bengals.  He’s not playing like the rookie that he is.  What’s even more impressive is that Green’s QB is also a rookie, Andy Dalton.  A.J. has 29 catches for 456 yards, a 15.6 average, and 4 touchdowns this season in only 6 games.  Seattle’s D is surprisingly decent, ranked 20th against the pass this season, and 11th against the rush.  Green has his work cut out for him, but since Cincy’s starting RB, Cedric Benson, will be out versus the ‘Hawks because of a one game suspension, he figures to get plenty of looks and he’s one of those special wide-receivers that can easily beat the double-team.  Start A.J. Green with confidence in Week 8.   

New Orleans Saints’ QB Drew Brees has the reputation for spreading the ball around.  Maybe, overall, that’s true, but in the past couple of weeks, that hasn’t really been the case.  In the past two weeks, Colston has 216 receiving yards and 3 touchdowns off of 14 catches.  When Drew isn’t throwing the pigskin to Marques, he’s throwing it to tight-end Jimmy Graham.  So, there’s no reason to consider starting Robert Meachem, Lance Moore, or Devery Henderson this week.