Each week during the NFL season FST brings you our Fantasy Football Start’em column, which takes a look at favorable matchups 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 starting lineup for Week 8. If you have any start’em sit’em questions feel free to post them in our Fantasy Football Forum.
2013 Fantasy Football: NFL Week 8 Start’em
The Cheeseheads are finding their stride as they enter week 8. After a slow start to the season Rodgers and the Packers are finding their new resurgence behind an effective running game led by Eddie Lacy and a wide receiving corps minus Randall Cobb. Even though Jermichael Finley took a scary hit last weekend, it appears Rodgers is primed for a big performance against a reeling Vikings team that is playing musical chairs at QB. Expect a big game performance from Rodgers and the Pack to roll.
SuperCam to the rescue. The Panthers are quietly making some noise in the NFC South. Tolbert is punching it in around the goal line, but Newton has found Smith and LaFell in space and his numbers have picked up as a result. With Tampa Bay in a full-fledge re-building mode, expect Cam to attack the younger secondary away from Darrelle Revis. Newton has monster game potential this week.
The Steelers 2 game winning streak is thanks in large part to Big Ben’s ability to find his targets down the field in key situations. While Pittsburgh is not the same team from years past, the Raiders are still a cellar dweller and look the part of a floor mat for a statistical big game. Brown has 100 yards receiving and at least 1 score in store. If Oakland can keep it close then perhaps the Steelers could really air it out.
The ghost of Peyton Manning’s air attack in Denver had been Decker prior to last week’s bust-out performance against the Colts. Decker has another favorable matchup back in mile-high against the Redskins. The Skins gave up large chunks of yardage to the Bears and I fully expect the Broncos to eclipse that 50 point mark again this season. With so many options, Decker’s numbers have suffered with the addition of Wes Welker. The Skins lack size in their secondary so Decker and Thomas appear to be great plays this week.
Reggie is healthy and that means he’s a must start. Dallas isn’t a defensive juggernaut and I expect this game will have fireworks. Calvin Johnson opens up the middle of the field for Reggie to operate. I see more points in the passing game than the running this week. Yet I think over 150 all-purpose yards is attainable. Look for Bush to turn on the burners in Big D this weekend.
The 49ers are hitting their stride after an early season stumble out of the gates. It appears that the ship has been righted and Gore is a huge reason for that turnaround. I expect Harbaugh to wear down the Jaguars with Gore early and then throw in some bombs to Boldin and Davis. The red zone will be visited frequently and expect Gore to capitalize on his opportunities. Gore for 100 plus rushing and 2 TDs is my bet.
The latest coming of Shannon Sharpe according to coach Mike Shanahan is Jordan Reed. This rookie out of the University of Florida has become a favorite target of RGIII. Against the Bears last weekend he was able to find the end zone and filled the stat sheet nicely. Don’t expect this Gator to slow down anytime soon either. The Redskins will be passing early and often to keep pace with Denver. Reed is a great play in all formats this Sunday.
Worth noting is the return of the Gronk to the Patriots. Widely criticized as not being ready to play, he still put forth a formidable effort and performance in a losing effort to the New York Jets. The Dolphins are another divisional foe and Brady will look to get back on track by attacking down the middle of the field. Expect the Gronk to find the end zone for the first time this season and for Brady to breath a sigh of relief with his big target back in action.
San Francisco 49ers
The Niners are a very physical defensive unit. They didn’t play to begin the season but it appears there would be no better week to utilize them then against a team that has Chad Henne or Blaine Gabbert playing QB. While I don’t expect a shut-out, I only expect a garbage time TD or 2 for the Jags. I’m willing to bet that San Fran has a couple of turnovers in store for that Jag offense.