Wally Spurlin
Start/Bench - Week 8

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There are a few tweaks to the “studs” lists this week as injuries and lack of performance keep things very fluid on the fantasy football landscape.

Also, with six teams being on a bye, it leaves quite an eclectic group of players to grace this week’s selections. Let’s get to it …

QUARTERBACKS

STUDS

Peyton Manning
Aaron Rodgers
Drew Brees
Matthew Stafford
Philip Rivers * bye week *
Michael Vick * may not play Week 8 *
Cam Newton
Matt Ryan
Tony Romo
Robert Griffin III

Parting is Such Sweet Sorrow

Tom Brady: It’s stunning, but, even with the return of tight end Rob Gronkowski , Brady is a middle-of-the-pack fantasy quarterback. Eight touchdowns against six turnovers are not stud-worthy numbers. Brady is no longer a weekly must-start option.

START

Russell Wilson, SEATTLE at St. Louis: Wilson is on a roll rushing for an average of 67 yards per game the last four weeks and tossing five touchdowns in that time span. St. Louis is circling the drain and wide receiver Percy Harvin is returning to the Seahawks offense soon (possibly for this matchup). Wilson torches the Rams this week.

Colin Kaepernick, SAN FRANCISCO ‘at’ Jacksonville (in London): Eleven carries for 68 yards and one touchdown last week are the key numbers. Kaepernick ran the ball out of the read option as well by escaping the pocket and looked somewhat like the quarterback that took the league by storm last season. It’s the Jaguars … enough said.

Ben Roethlisberger, PITTSBURGH at Oakland: The Steelers are getting their swagger back and now have a legitimate ground game to help set up play-action passes. Last season Roethlisberger lit up the Raiders for 384 yards and four touchdowns. Oakland’s defense isn’t any better this year so look for a very productive day for Roethlisberger.

Andy Dalton, CINCINNATI vs. New York Jets: Over the past two games Dalton has put up more than 700 passing yards and tossed six touchdowns. He’s spreading the ball around to every skill position and faces a Jets pass defense that has picked off only one pass in the past four games while allowing seven touchdowns. Ride the hot hand and get Dalton into your fantasy lineup.

Terrelle Pryor, OAKLAND vs. Pittsburgh: It’s all about Pryor’s ability to pick up yards on the ground. He’s averaging 57 yards rushing per game and that will serve him well against a Steelers defense that is allowing less than 200 yards passing per game. Pryor will do plenty of damage on the ground this week and finish with very nice fantasy stats.

BENCH

Kellen Clemens, ST. LOUIS vs. Seattle: That flushing sound you hear is the Rams' season going down the drain. St. Louis shot down the Tim Tebow rumors and that is too bad. He at least would have made this offense interesting whereas Clemens just makes it bad.

Mike Glennon, TAMPA BAY vs. Carolina: The Buccaneers are on a short week with a Thursday night game and just lost their No. 1 running back Doug Martin for an extended period of time, if not the season. The rookie quarterback has been locking in on wide receiver Vincent Jackson (22 targets last week) and the Panthers will look to take that option away. The loss of Martin, inexperience and the short week are too much for Glennon to overcome.

Ryan Tannehill, MIAMI at New England: The Dolphins lack of a running game will hurt as the Patriots can now be run on with the injuries to defensive tackle Vince Wilfork and linebacker Jerod Mayo . Tannehill is prone to turn the ball over (four fumbles lost and seven interceptions) and cornerback Aqib Talib should be back for the Patriots. That doesn’t bode well for Tannehill.

Josh Freeman, MINNESOTA vs. Green Bay: Freeman was simply brutal in his Vikings' debut completing only 20-of-53 passes for 190 yards with an interception. He may improve with another week of practice … but not enough. The Packers’ middle-of-the-road pass defense will still be enough to keep Freeman from posting fantasy relevant numbers.(*Freeman has a concussion and Christian Ponder will start this week. He is also a bench candidate.)



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