Our Week 8 start ‘em features regular fantasy starters, as well as lesser-known players, who are likely to exceed expectations based on a favorable matchup. For your final lineup decisions, check out our Week 8 player rankings and if you have any fantasy football questions, feel free to post them in our Fantasy Football Forum.
Do we have a Kyle Orton sighting in the Starts column? I cannot believe it either. So for all those Colin Kaepernick and Eli Manning owners who are on bye week, here is a great spot fill-in for your squad. While Tannehill has an apparent juicy matchup against Jacksonville, I encourage fantasy owners to look at what Orton has brewing with Sammy Watkins and start him against a poor Jets secondary; one that could cost Rex Ryan his job. Orton has 20 plus points in him this week.
The matchup on paper looks less than ideal for the Ravens signal caller. Cincinnati recently let Cam Newton run wild on them a couple weeks ago and they’ve been playing less than spectacular recently, so there’s reason to think Flacco can beat this defense. If the Ravens are going to take control of this division then it will be squarely on the former Super Bowl MVP’s shoulder to muscle up. The Ravens can take hold of the AFC North with a win and Flacco will need to air it out to all his weapons. He’s been on a roll of late, so I like 3 TDs for him.
Is the post-Adrian Peterson era among us? OK, well let’s not get too excited, but McKinnon is an exciting runner for the Vikings that should have a field day on Sunday. The Bucs have a very suspect rush defense and McKinnon is coming off his first 100 yard game. I like the odds for him to make it consecutive 100 yard performances. Expect a TD to boot in this matchup too.
The Jaguars are on the schedule, it’s time for all fantasy opponents to salivate and get ready to start their Jags opposition. Miami has been moving the ball much more effectively of late against Chicago and Green Bay. In this battle of sunshine state, it appears Miller will be in for a heavy dose of carries. Expect 15 plus points in your lineup Sunday with a solid chance of Miller time in the Jaguars end zone and in their fancy stadium pool.
Bad boy Brandon Marshall mouthed off after an embarrassing loss to the Dolphins last week. Specifically, he called out his Quarterback, Jay Cutler. So owners might be worried Cutler will shy away from him this week. Well, this isn’t junior high or JV football boys and girls, that’s not going to happen. Marshall is going to be needed big time to keep up with the Pats in Foxborough. I actually expect a big game (not the size of his 49ers game), but 20 plus points could be in store for this bad boy.
Sammy turned in a beastly performance last week and I expect him to build on the found chemistry with journeyman, Kyle Orton. Watkins is easily twice as good as anyone that the Jets are going to throw against him in the secondary this week. I like Watkins to assert his dominance running some post routes that wind up in touchdowns in the Meadowlands. Big game Sammy Watkins should have a big game against Rex and the Jets. Expect this rookie to keep growing up fast.
Olsen is turning in another fantastic season at the tight end position. Seattle is atrocious at covering tight ends and they’re coming off an abysmal defensive performance against St. Louis. It appears with the Percy Harvin trade and the surrounding locker room stories, that the hinges are falling off for the Super Bowl champs. I expect Olsen to shine very bright for Cam and the Panthers Sunday. Seattle better buckle their chin straps if they want to corral Olsen and find the suddenly elusive win column.
I am going for broke with Cameron this week. If he cannot get it started against the Raiders, then he’ll be a personal sit for my fantasy team going forward. I just believe he’s not as terrible as his 1 catch performance against Jacksonville from last week. I expect him to be more like the beastly game he had against the Steelers the week prior. It makes for that scary boom or bust scenario. I say, if you have him then go ahead and start him. If he disappoints you again, then I’ll accept all the criticism for this and will be prepared for the trolls to take it to the Interwebs.
Kansas City Chiefs
This is the week to pick up the Kansas City Chiefs. Only the Dolphins have a juicier matchup this week against Jacksonville, as St. Louis generally is exceptionally generous to opposing defenses (aside from the Seahawks last weekend). Kansas City knows how to sack the quarterback, and I expect Austin Davis to be on his back a handful of times as a result. With Oakland, Buffalo and the Jets coming up in 3 of the next 4 weeks, this is a squad you want to own.