Each week during the NFL season FST brings you our Fantasy Football Start’em column, which takes a look at favorable match-ups and how they might impact lineup decisions for your fantasy football roster. Let’s take a look at some players that you’ll want in your lineup for Week 8. If you have any start’em sit’em questions feel free to post them in our Fantasy Football Forum.
He’s Baaack! For all those fantasy owners and pessimists who spelled doom for this former MVP caliber running back, last week was the I told you so week. CJ proved his worth in a big way as he topped all fantasy scores with an unbelievable game, albeit against a poor Bills Defense. CJ2K was elusive, fast and electric as he did his best Gangnum style celebration dance. He’s got the moves and those will be on display again this week at home against the Colts. Indy’s defense is not as generous as Buffalo’s, but the recipe is ripe again for fantasy success. Ride the hot streak for CJ and let him excel – Jamaican Bolt style in week 8.
The biggest surprise outside of RGIII in DC has to be Alfred Morris. Where in the world did this undrafted rookie come from? He is 3rd in the NFL currently in rushing yards, accounting for 5 TDs and has a real knack for pass blocking and catching balls out of the backfield. With a season-ending torn achilles injury to Fred Davis, Morris will need to assume an even greater role for the Redskins to continue their offensive success. The Steelers have not been the same defensively this season. With stud linebacker, Troy Polamalu out again this week there should be running room a plenty for Morris. I don’t expect RGIII to take as many hits vs. this aggressive defense and I expect Morris to break the big one. Topping over 120 yards last week vs. the Giants was impressive so call me crazy but I see the same in store this week. Morris is my “Bullet-Proof Tiger” pick of the week for at least 100 yards rushing and at least 1 TD.
I can hear it now, all the Philly fans calling for Vick’s head after the first 7 weeks of the season. They are rightfully upset about Vick’s plethora of turnovers and carelessness with the football. Let’s be clear, the Eagles need to WIN and win now. Andy Reid’s job is on the line and reverting to a rookie backup QB in Nick Foles is not an option. Coach Reid is 13 and 0 when coming off a bye-week with the Eagles. How about that stat? So I expect Vick to play well and find McCoy and his weapons all over the field. This will surely be an emotional game for Vick against his former team as they look to knock off the only undefeated team left this season. The Falcons have a solid defense, but sometimes you have to play the emotion card and when the chips are low I expect Vick and the Eagles will come out with their best effort this season. I got my dolla dolla bills on Vick this week as my “Panty-Dropping” pick, accounting for 2 TDs and over 250 yards passing and 50 rushing.
Luck hasn’t been RGIII this season, but he’s definitely not playing like a rookie. He’s got the Colts playing above expectations and he leads Indy into a favorable matchup against Tennessee this week. The Titans have been in quite a number of shootouts this season and I expect this game to follow suit. Luck to Wayne promises to be repeated early and often and if the Titans can’t get pressure on the QB, I expect a good chunk of rushing yards for Luck this week as well. There is also the emotional component of winning for their Coach, who is fighting a battle with cancer. Luck has been more skilled than lucky this season, but I expect him to be both this Sunday.
Eric Decker is the equivalent of Reggie Wayne to Peyton Manning in Denver. This mile-high wideout has been reliable and if not for an imaginary tackle on Monday night a couple weeks ago, he would have another TD added to his already impressive season. The matchup on Sunday night is juicier than a Washington Granny Smith to Johnny Appleseed. New Orleans let San Diego and Tampa Bay go bananas in back to back weeks, so expect that to continue. Two of the NFL’s most elite QBs hook up in this matchup so expect fireworks. This isn’t Brooklyn Decker, the Sports Illustrated swimsuit model, but Eric Decker should give fantasy owners just as many smiles on Sunday. Don’t count out multiple TDs for him either, perhaps a triple crown if you’re lucky (sorry Miguel Cabrera).
Mike Wallace, not be mistaken for William Wallace from Braveheart, is a fantasy gladiator. However, he’s coming off one of his worst games and is eager to improve against one of the NFL’s most generous defenses to opposing WRs. Not only does Washington give up the second most points per game, but they lack a true shut down cornerback to match up with Wallace. All it takes is one bomb by Big Ben to Wallace to make your fantasy dreams come true. I expect Wallace to remedy his drops issue. He will get plenty of targets, as evident from last week’s incredible 15 against the Bengals. Going against a quick strike offense in Washington, the Steelers are likely to air it out more this week and expect Wallace to be the beneficiary. Wallace for the fantasy win on Sunday.
Miller time has been on the fantasy sleepers list before this season. He has not disappointed so he must be moved to the must start list. The Redskins have given up the second most yards, touchdowns and total points to tight ends this season. How does that sounds for a fantasy wet dream? If I have Miller I start him and watch those dividends pay off in a big way. With the running back situation in such flux with Mendenhall out again there is no doubt Miller will be used for short yardage and goal line situations. At least 60 yards and a TD grab at minimal are to be expected. Taste the high life this week with Miller in your starting lineup.
Paging Mr. Rudolph, will the real Kyle please stand up, please stand up? This TE has had some awesome games and some that he’s been fairly quiet so far. I expect big things against the Bucs defense at home in Minneapolis, where the Vikings are 4-0 this season. The defense is staunch and the offense just keeps churning fantasy butter. Ponder has built nice chemistry with him and I expect that to grow as they should find the end zone this week.
The Pack-Attack is back! Aaron Rodgers is looking like an MVP the last couple weeks with a TD to INT ration of 9:0. The defense hasn’t been as relentless as it was in week 2 vs. the Bears, but Jacksonville appears to cure that statistic this weekend. Coming off a loss on Sunday to the Raiders where they lost MJD and Gabbert to injuries, the Packers will be ready to knock Jacksonville off the Florida panhandle on Sunday. The weapons for the Jaguars are few and in between. They should be playing from behind most of the game, which will make for even more opportunities to intercept mistakes and score a defensive TD. Jacksonville appears to be sacked even before they suit up on Sunday, so start your Packers and their defense.