Fantasy Football: Week 8 starts, sits

October 24, 2014 - 7:35 am
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WEEI_FantasyFootball_2014_hdr Welcome to the Week 8 starts and sits. With only two teams on their bye weeks, it's not a tough week to find options at most positions. I've done my best to isolate a few options that stand out both on the positive side and the negative side. If you have questions about any players not listed in this space, head over to my free site, Rotobahn, and dig into my full Week 8 lineup rankings. And don't forget to tune in Sunday morning for another episode of the Fantasy Football Hour with my buddy Jim Hackett. If you want to keep track of all my fantasy football content, both here and at Rotobahn, follow me on Twitter. I send out links to all fresh content. QUARTERBACKS Start Tom Brady, Patriots vs. Bears Brady is a good play this week. You can throw on the Bears and they have issues at cornerback with Kyle Fuller banged up. The Bears have been a get-well matchup lately, and Brady's already well. He might just have a big game. Keep him active in all leagues. Joe Flacco, Ravens at Bengals The Bengals haven't stopped much lately, and Flacco is rolling with a healthy array of weapons and a balanced offense. He also gets his starting LT back this week. Things are looking very positive for Flacco. He can help you in any league this week. Ryan Tannehill, Dolphins at Jaguars Tannehill is a solid option, but it's a road game and the Jags are looking a little stronger than they did early in the year. This mirrors their 2013 season when HC Gus Bradley's defense got better as the year progressed. So don't expect a total demolition here. What you should get is serviceable numbers worthy of a play in most leagues. Sit Blake Bortles, Jaguars vs. Dolphins You should be able to find a better option. Bortles is viable in deep formats, but the Miami defense is playing very well right now and big plays may be tough to find -- even at home. Bortles does add points with his scrambling ability, but he's also going to turn it over. I'd avoid him this week. RUNNING BACKS Start Jerick McKinnon, Vikings at Buccaneers If you've been reading your Rotobahn, then you know how much we like McKinnon's game. We never thought he'd be a factor in 2014 because of Adrian Peterson. Well, we all know how that played out, and now McKinnon has a chance to shine. He also has a chance to help your fantasy team. He has a very appealing matchup this week, so I'd have him active. Tre Mason, Rams at Chiefs I really hope you added Mason when he was there for free, because he has a chance to be an impact player down the stretch. There is a sizable group of backs in St. Louis, but Mason is the one with star potential. He must be owned in all leagues, so add him if he's somehow available. You also want him active this week as an RB2 in most formats. Bryce Brown, Bills at Jets This is for deeper formats. Brown has not been active all year and he faces a tough defense this week in the Jets. At least, they are tough against the run. Brown probably will be splitting time, but his propensity to hit the big play makes him an appealing flex option in bigger leagues. If he has a strong outing, his value could expand in future weeks. This guy has serious big-play potential. Starter Fred Jackson should be out at least a month and C.J. Spiller is pretty much done for the year. Sit Alfred Morris, Washington at Cowboys He is playable, especially in large leagues, but Morris is likely to let you down in smaller formats, especially if they are using PPR scoring. Be careful here. Morris has not had a 20-carry outing in quite some time, and the end zone has proven to be elusive as well. WIDE RECEIVERS Start Mike Evans, Buccaneers vs. Vikings He's healthy now, and he has solid touchdown potential in this game. Evans is having a good rookie campaign and he can help you in all formats this week. DeSean Jackson, Washington at Cowboys While interim starter Colt McCoy's lack of arm strength is a potential issue for the offense, don't rule out DeSean Jackson on that issue alone. The mercurial weapon can take a short pass to the house just as easily as he can get behind the defense. Jackson still is a good WR3 option in all leagues. Torrey Smith, Ravens at Bengals He's back, and you should have him active in most leagues. Smith is seeing some No. 2 corners, and the big plays should continue. The Bengals have nobody to contain him this week. Brian Quick, Rams at Chiefs I like him as a flex play in large formats this week. Quick has been caught in some tough matchups lately, but I think he can outplay the KC cornerbacks. He has a very good chance to score or to make a few big plays. He can help you this week. Sit Dwayne Bowe, Chiefs vs. Rams I'm just not a big believer in Bowe for fantasy purposes. Sure, you might want him active in a 14-team league or the like, but he's just not explosive enough for typical formats, so I'd look for other options this week. TIGHT ENDS Start Zach Ertz, Eagles at Cardinals He's a fringe TE1 in smaller leagues, but I think he makes a nice start in large formats if you can stomach a little risk. I expect Ertz to have a strong second half of the season, and it could begin this week in Arizona. Get him active in 12-team leagues. Travis Kelce, Chiefs vs. Rams He's got sore ribs, so check his status on game day just to be sure, but I like Kelce as a play in most formats this week. There's some risk, because the Rams are solid against tight ends, but after the elite options I think Kelce offers nice upside and the Chiefs use him in nontraditional fashion. Think Aaron Hernandez vs. Jason Witten. Kelce is worth a look this week. Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Buccaneers vs. Vikings In deep leagues he's a an option to consider. Serefrian-Jenkins has flashed at times this year but has battled a minor foot injury. He should be as healthy this week as we've seen him after Tampa's bye week. Seferian-Jenkins should get you some decent numbers, and he has outstanding red zone potential. Sit Delanie Walker, Titans vs. Texans I worry about the evolution of his offensive role with the strong-armed Zach Mettenberger under center. Walker is playable, especially in large leagues, but I have a feeling that his value will dip a bit over the second half of the season. I'd avoid him in smaller leagues this week as he may have to block a bit more than normal with J.J. Watt coming after the rookie quarterback.