Fantasy Football Start Em’/Sit Em’ Week 8

by Dustin Dietz | Posted on Thursday, October 25th, 2012

Image: Harry How/Getty Images

By: Dustin Dietz

We have reached the midway point of the fantasy football season, and owners are either crying tears in their beers because of colossal failure, or boasting to indifferent co-workers about how well his or her 8th round draft pick is playing this season.

However exasperating your team may be, especially if one is a Hakeem Nicks owner, unless one’s team is worse than 2-5, your team is still in the thick of the playoff race. In the greatest fantasy football league in history, The Huge Ten Fantasy Football League, there are 3 teams with 2-5 records. However, all 3 are only one game back of a playoff spot.

So, cheer up depressed Calvin Johnson fantasy owners. There is still plenty of time for your season to turn around. Hopefully, my advice is somewhat helpful in your fight to remain relevant in your fantasy league.

Start Em’

QB – Philip Rivers vs. Cleveland Browns

Rivers was absolutely abysmal in his last game as he turned the ball over 6 times, including 2 interceptions returned for touchdowns against Denver. Rivers has already thrown 9 interceptions, third worst in the league. However, he faces a Browns defense this week which is in the bottom third of the league in passing yard and passing touchdowns allowed. The Dog Pound is 5th in the league in interceptions. So, expect Rivers to throw a pick or two, but Rivers should RUN THROUGH IT this weekend. Sorry, the joke is a stretch, but you will enjoy the fantasy gift Rivers will give you Sunday.

RB – Willis McGahee vs. New Orleans Saints

There are no words that come to mind which can describe how incredibly awful the New Orleans defense is. The Saints are last in the NFL in total defense, and next to last in rushing yards allowed. Buccaneers running back Doug  Martin totaled 122 yards and scored a touchdown last week against New Orleans. Willis should shred the Saints this week.

WR – Denarius Moore vs. Kansas City Chiefs

Moore has become Carson Palmer’s go to receiver as he has caught a touchdown in three of the Raiders last four games. Surprisingly, Palmer has thrown the 5th most passes in the league, and with KC’s defense 5th worse in passing touchdowns allowed, I see Moore being successful Sunday.

TE – Martellus Bennett vs. Dallas Cowboys

Many Cowboy fans are understandably frustrated with how well Bennett has played in New York. However, the Giants are using Marty B much differently than the Cowboys did as Bennett is being used more in the passing game. After scoring a touchdown in his first three games with the G-Men, Bennett had a pedestrian next three games as he had 5 catches for 41 yards combined. Last week, Marty B reemerged with 5 catches for 79 yards. He scored a touchdown in Week 1 against the Boys, and with Dallas missing Sean Lee, Bennett has a decent chance of scoring again.

K – Matt Prater vs. New Orleans Saints

Prater has yet to miss a field goal or extra point this season, and the Saints have allowed 24 points or more every game. If Prater does not score more than 5 points, then New Orleans would have allowed 5 touchdowns.

Defense/Special Teams – Oakland Raiders

I realize I advised owners to start the Raiders’ D/ST last week, and they failed to produce against a less than mediocre Jaguars offense. However, this week they will go up against Brady Quinn and the Kansas City Chiefs. Quinn has replaced Matt Cassel at QB, and was horrendous in his start two weeks ago against Tampa Bay as he threw 2 interceptions while posting a quarterback rating of 53.3. The former Notre Dame star has not thrown multiple touchdown passes in a game since 2009. The Raiders should dominate.

Sit Em’

QB – Cam Newton vs. Chicago Bears

After a tough loss to the Cowboys this past Sunday, Newton expressed his anger regarding Carolina’s 1-5 start by going on a bit of a post-game tirade. I am paraphrasing what Newton said, but he basically stated, “Things need to change around here.” The next day the club fired general manager Marty Hurney, and if things do not improve, more heads could roll. Newton is experiencing a sophomore slump as he has thrown more interceptions (6) than touchdowns (5). The Bears are not the team a struggling quarterback wants to see at this point. Chicago has forced the most turnovers in football and has allowed the fewest rushing yards. Newton will continue to generate few fantasy points this week.

RB – Alfred Morris vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

The Butler has been a pleasant surprise for all fantasy owners who were wise enough to pick him up before Week 1 shortly after fantasy Lucifer Mike Shanahan announced Butler will be the starter. The rookie is second in the NFL in rushing and has gained over 100 yards on the ground in 3 of his last 4 games. The Steelers have allowed 100 yards rushing in one game this year. Morris is due for a clunker.

WR – Steve Smith vs. Chicago Bears

After yielding consecutive 100 yard receiving games to start the season, the gritty wide receiver straight out of Compton has not done it since. Smith has also not caught a touchdown as of yet. Chicago just shut down Megatron this past week, and will do the same Sunday against Smith.

TE – Brandon Pettigrew vs. Seattle Seahawks

Seattle has a very formidable defense as they are only allowing 212 yards passing per game, and held 49ers tight end Vernon Davis to without a catch in Week 7. With Matt Stafford and the Lions offense having difficulty scoring touchdowns, Pettigrew is the player you want to avoid playing.

K – Jason Hanson vs. Seattle Seahawks

The Seahawks are allowing 15 points per game so far in 2012. Sit Hanson down on your bench, right over there. If one understands this reference, I admire you.

Defense/Special Teams – Philadelphia Eagles

The Eagles fired former defensive coordinator Juan Castillo during the bye week after his unit underperformed for the last year and a half. While Philly’s defensive statistics do not look terrible, they are no longer pressuring the passer like the Eagles teams of the past. Philadelphia has only 7 sacks thus far in their first 6 games, and this week they counter Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons vaunted offense. If the Eagles do not pressure Ryan, he will destroy them. I’d release Philly’s D/ST and explore other options.

Follow Dustin Dietz on Twitter @DustinDietz18

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