Fantasy Football Week 8: Start'em / Sit'em

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Last week: 12-10-4: Season: 70-49-18

Week 7 Recap: I barely squeaked out a positive record last week to bring my winning streak to 6 weeks in a row. I apologize for my start ‘em picks because they were awful (5-7) with almost all my WR picks backfiring (Gordon, Hilton, Blackmon, Allen), but my sit’em picks were pretty solid (7-3) except for my QBs (Kaep & Ryan) who both outperformed their projected point total.

With 6 teams on bye this week (Chi, Bal, Hou, Ind, SD, Ten) and a rash of injuries in week 7 (Martin, Wayne, Finley, Cutler, Foster) some fantasy teams are scrambling to fill their starting lineups. Check out my waivers picks if you are short on players, but keep reading if you are debating who to start this week. I’ll give you my insights on who will over or under perform their fantasy projections in week 8.

Note: Only players started in less than 75% of yahoo leagues will be listed in Start’em section. These recommendations are for players you may be on the fence about that I think will over (Start) or under (Sit) perform their projections (Yahoo).

Start ‘em:

QB:

Colin Kaepernick @JAX (72%, 19): After spending the last 4 weeks on the sit’em list, Kaepernick gets a start’em recommendation this week after his first 20 point game since week 1. His stats weren’t great, but he passed the eye test and his match-up this week couldn’t be easier. If you don’t trust Kaepernick enough to start him vs the Jags you may as well  get rid of him.

Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

RG3 @DEN (62%, 20): Is RG3 back or did he just play against the worst defense in the NFL (Bears)? The read option was in full effect last Sunday (84 rushing yards) and RG3 was effective through the air as well (298 passing yards). Denver has the highest scoring offense in the league and their defense is giving up the most fantasy points to opposing QBs. On paper this is a great match-up and I see RG3 getting close to  20 fantasy points by halftime.

RB:

Steven Ridley MIA (67%, 10): It was frustrating to see Ridley go back to 11 carries after getting 20 in week 6. In the last 4 weeks, Ridley has 3 games with 11 carries and 1 with 20. So why do I think Ridley is worth playing Sunday when the trends show he’s only going to get 11ish carries? I don’t have a good reason except that when I watch the Pats, Ridley is clearly the best RB on the team. Eventually talent wins out right? Even diabolical Bill Belichick has to that see right? Miami is giving up the 5th most points to opposing RBs, so even 11 carries might be enough for Ridley to put up double-digit fantasy points.

Le’Veon Bell @OAK (57%, 11): Since his 2 TDs in his first NFL game, Bell has been kept out of the end-zone. I think that changes against Oakland this week. Bell averaged just under 5 YPC last week and I expect similar output this Sunday with a few catches and a TD.

Andre Ellington ATL (22%, 9): He had 12 total yards last week, but Seattle’s defense is pretty damn good. Ellington should have a much easier time vs Atlanta and their 20th ranked defense. Mendenhall is still terrible and Ellington was averaging over 7 yards a touch before the Seattle game. I think 100 total yards and a TD is realistic this week.

WR:

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Steve Smith TB (73%,11): Smiff is angry. That’s good for fantasy owners. He’s had a quiet year so far for fantasy purposes, but he’s been in the news all week and I think he’s going to back up all the attention with an old-school Steve Smith game of 100+ receiving yards and a TD. The Bucs have given up 6 passing TDs over the last 2 weeks.

Harry Douglas ARI (48%, 11): I recommended sitting Douglas until he proved he could handle #1 WR duties. After 7 catches for 147 yards in his first start, I’m on board. Douglas has a tough matchup vs Arizona who has allowed the 3rd least fantasy points to WRs, but as Matt Ryan’s main target I think he will do enough to warrant a spot your starting lineup.

Marques Colston BUF (50%, 10): Is Colston done? Has he hit the wall at 30? He hasn’t scored since week 1 and only has 5 targets over the last two weeks, but I think Buffalo’s  depleted secondary is just what he needs to get back on track (2nd best match-up for WRs). Jimmy Graham being banged up doesn’t hurt Colston’s chances for a big game either. If Colston is a non-factor this week, I might re-evaluate but just last season he had one of his best (83-154-10) and I don’t think he lost all his talent over the course of 8 months.

Jarrett Boykin @MIN (46%, 12): I think if I suited up as GB’s 2nd WR, Aaron Rodgers would find a way to make me look decent. With Cobb, James Jones and Finley all injured, Boykin is in a prime spot as GB’s #2 so get him in your lineup at least until James Jones comes back. Boykin showed some skills in his first start (8-103-1) and it’s possible he could still be fantasy viable even after Jones returns in a few weeks.

Michael Floyd ATL (37% 11): ATL is allowing the 3rd most fantasy points to WR and Floyd is leading the Cardinals in targets over the last 6 weeks. I’ve been predicting a big game from Floyd since week 5 and I think this is the week (again).

Terrance Williams @DET (48%,8): There isn’t enough buzz about guy. In his last three games he was 3 TDs and is averaging 83 YPG. The Cowboys are considering shutting down Miles Austion for as long as it takes for him to be 100% healthy (never), so Williams looks to be the Cowboys #2 WR the rest of the season. This game looks like a shoot-out to me and there should be plenty of targets for Williams.

TE:

Kyle Rudolph @GB (41%, 8): Only 3 catches last week in Josh Freeman’s first game with the Vikes, but he was targeted 9 times. The Vikes will probably have to throw to keep up with the Packers and I expect another high-target game for Rudolph. Hopefully Freeman will be a little more accurate and give Rudolph a chance to catch a few more.

Jordan Reed @DEN (35%,9): He was RG3’s go-to target last Sunday and I expect him to get plenty of looks against Denver as the Redskins try to keep pace with the Broncos prolific offense. I’m betting Reed gets a ton of garbage time points.

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