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2009 Start/Bench List Week 8

This is
the last bye week with six teams off. The potent offenses of the Bengals,
Patriots and Steelers all rest while no one will really miss the Chiefs,
Redskins and Buccaneers. Look for plenty of passing offense from both the
Dallas/Seattle game and the Minnesota/Green Bay game this week, but the Texans
will lead the way in offense running and passing at will against the Bills. All
Texans in your lineup, pronto!

When using this list, try and remember a couple basic rules:

1) Studs – Always play your studs. Each position will include a list of players
that are considered studs and should not be benched. If you have the luxury of
needing to decide between studs, check out the matchups or feel free to let the
shark tank assist you in your decisions.

2) Depth – Every fantasy team is different and some have more depth than
others. Only follow the recommended moves if your team depth allows you to make
such a move.

Bye weeks: Cincinnati, Kansas City, Pittsburgh, Tampa
Bay, Washington, New England


Bye weeks:
Carson Palmer, Matt Cassel, Ben Roethlisberger, Josh Johnson, Jason Campbell,
Tom Brady


Matt Schaub, Houston at Buffalo

Peyton Manning, Indianapolis vs. San Francisco

Drew Brees, New Orleans vs. Atlanta

Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay vs. Minnesota

Philip Rivers, San Diego vs. Oakland


Tony Romo, Dallas vs. Seattle: Romo returned from the bye week and
dominated the Falcons last week completing 21-of-29 passes for 311 yards, three
touchdowns and no interceptions. Look for Romo to continue to use his new
favorite target in Miles Austin once again this week against the Seahawks, who
are still licking their wounds from the beating the Cardinals gave them two
weeks ago.

Matt Hasselbeck, Seattle at

Hasselbeck returns from a bye week looking to make amends from his last start
when he posted 112 yards passing, no touchdowns and one interception against
the Cardinals. The Dallas defense has played better against the run than the
pass this season, which works out well for Hasselbeck and the Seahawks, as they
will be passing all day since they haven’t been able to run the ball all
season. Look for a shoot-out in

this week as both quarterbacks post very nice stats.


Donovan McNabb,

vs. N.Y. Giants: Despite losing two straight games, the Giants still boast one
of the best pass defenses in the league, allowing the second fewest passing
yards per game at 158.4. The Eagles easily took care of

Washington on Monday night, but let’s face
it: we could probably give the Redskins a good game with 11 Fantasy Shark
members these days. With Brian Westbrook’s status in question, McNabb will rely
on Brent Celek, but the Giants will be ready. This is McNabb’s first true test
since returning from a rib injury and it will show. Explore all your options at
QB before giving McNabb the nod this week.

Joe Flacco, Baltimore vs.

Flacco returns from a bye week after throwing for 385 yards and a touchdown
against the Packers in Week 6. The Broncos are much better defending the pass than
the Packers and will give Flacco trouble this week.

Denver averages 3 1/2 sacks per game, which
is tied for the most in the league with the Eagles. Look for Flacco to use Ray
Rice out of the backfield once again as his safety valve, but with very limited

Running Backs

Bye weeks:
Cedric Benson, Larry Johnson, Rashard Mendenhall/Willie Parker/Mewelde Moore,
Cadillac Williams/Derrick Ward, Clinton Portis, Laurence Maroney/Kevin
Faulk/Sammy Morris/Fred Taylor/BenJarvus Green-Ellis


Adrian Peterson, Minnesota at Green Bay

Ray Rice, Baltimore vs. Denver

Maurice Jones-Drew, Jacksonville at Tennessee

Steve Slaton, Houston at Buffalo

DeAngelo Williams, Carolina at Arizona

Chris Johnson, Tennessee vs. Jacksonville

Steven Jackson, St. Louis at Detroit

Michael Turner, Atlanta at New Orleans

Matt Forte, Chicago vs. Cleveland

Frank Gore, San Francisco at Indianapolis


Ronnie Brown, Miami at N.Y. Jets: The Dolphins faced the Jets just three
weeks ago in a classic Monday night game. Ronnie Brown ran for 74 yards on 21
carries and scored twice, including the game-winning touchdown with just six
seconds left to play. With Brown leading the wildcat, he is the league’s best
red zone option as his seven touchdowns on the season can attest to. Look for

Miami to continue to
pound the ball until the Jets prove they can stop them. Another big day on tap
for Brown.

Thomas Jones, N.Y. Jets vs.

Even though Drew Brees threw for close to 300 yards against the Dolphins last
week, it was the Saints running game in the second half that really won that

Miami had defended the run well all
season, but seeing how well Mike Bell ran last week, it’s hard to imagine

Miami being able to stop
Thomas Jones this week. With Leon Washington done for the season, look for Jones
to be more involved in the passing game as well, raising his value even more.
There will be lots of yardage on the ground to be found in the Meadowlands this

LaDainian Tomlinson,

San Diego vs.

Oakland: This much is
painfully obvious – Tomlinson is not the same runner he was even a year ago.
However, he rushed for 55 yards and a score against

Oakland back in Week 1, and the Raiders have
allowed the third most yards on the ground this year. Look for Tomlinson to
continue his success against the Raiders, but doubling his Week 1 performance, giving
his fantasy owners a nice walk down memory lane when he was a stud.


Brian Westbrook,

vs. N.Y. Giants: Just when you thought Westbrook tuned a corner and he’s about
to produce at the high levels his owners expect, he left Monday night’s game
with a concussion leaving his status for this week’s game in question. First an
ankle injury and now a concussion; things can’t get much worse for Westbrook
owners. Even if Westbrook is cleared to play, he’ll split time with LeSean
McCoy and neither back will experience much success against the Giants.

Knowshon Moreno,

Denver at

Baltimore: Every time the Broncos try and give

Moreno the starting job,
Correll Buckhalter out-performs him, leaving doubts about the rookie.

Moreno carried the ball
an average of 19.5 times the past two games and will get the majority of the
snaps this week. However, he faces the Ravens, who have held opposing running
backs to less than 55 yards four times this season. Running back by committee and

Baltimore’s defense should be enough reason to
pass on

this week.

Joseph Addai,

Indianapolis vs.

San Francisco: Even though
Donald Brown is likely to miss at least two weeks with a shoulder injury, don’t
expect Addai’s numbers to suddenly shoot through the roof. Anthony Gonzalez is
on target to return this week and the

defense has played very well against the run
this season, allowing only 3.3 yards per carry (third in the NFL). Peyton Manning
will do what he does best – distribute the ball to anyone and everyone, which
will make up for the deficiencies in the running attack this week. Don’t rely
on Addai to carry your running backs this week.

Wide Receivers

Bye Weeks:
Chad Ochocinco/Andre Caldwell/Lavernaues Coles/Chris Henry, Dwayne Bowe/Bobby
Wade/Mark Bradley, Hines Ward/Santonio Holmes/Mike Wallace, Antonio
Bryant/Sammie Stroughter/Michael Clayton, Santana Moss/Antwaan Randle El, Randy
Moss/Wes Welker/Julian Edelman/Sam Aiken


Steve Smith, N.Y. Giants at Philadelphia

Andre Johnson, Houston at Buffalo


* questionable for Week 8 *

Reggie Wayne, Indianapolis vs. San Francisco

Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona vs. Carolina

Vincent Jackson, San Diego vs. Oakland

Roddy White, Atlanta at New Orleans

Marques Colston, New Orleans vs. Atlanta

Calvin Johnson, Detroit vs. St. Louis


Miles Austin, Dallas vs. Seattle: How’s that for an encore performance?
10 receptions for 250 yards and two touchdowns in Week 5, then 6 receptions for
171 yards and two touchdowns last week. He can’t do that three weeks in a row,
can he?

is tied for the fewest INTs on the season, and Austin and the Cowboys present
several matchup problems for the Seahawks defense. With Jason Witten roaming
the middle of the field and Austin streaking down the sidelines, Seattle will
need to pick its poison and Austin will once again be open for the deep ball
enough to make him worthy of a start.

Donald Driver,

Green Bay vs.

Minnesota: Driver is
averaging 95.5 yards receiving over the past two weeks and should improve on his
four-catch, 55-yard performance against the Vikings in Week 4. The

Minnesota secondary is banged up, so Aaron Rodgers will
look to take advantage of their injuries by going deep to Driver to fire up the

Green Bay crowd
for Brett Favre’s coming home party.

Nate Burleson, Seattle at

Expect Burleson to be the main target of Matt Hasselbeck this week as the
Seahawks take to the air to keep pace with the Cowboys offense. Burleson has
posted solid numbers every other game this season. For the record, Burleson’s
last game: two catches, 40 yards. Uh-oh Cowboys fans, looks like Burleson is

Sidney Rice,

Minnesota at

Green Bay: Nobody is
enjoying the Brett Favre era more than Sidney Rice. Rice has caught 17 passes
for 312 yards over the past two weeks and will continue to be Favre’s main
target this week. Rice caught five passes for 70 yards and a touchdown the last
time he faced the Packers back in Week 4. Look for Rice to improve on those
numbers as Favre puts on a show in

just like old times.


Derrick Mason, Baltimore vs.

Mason has posted three games of five catches or more this season, but he’s also
posted some clunkers including no catches against the Bengals two weeks ago.
The Broncos are the toughest pass defense that the Ravens have faced this
season, and Flacco and Mason will struggle. Only Ray Rice comes recommended
this week from the Ravens offense as this one will be a defensive battle.

Anquan Boldin,


Boldin caught three passes for 75 yards last week against the Giants, but he
had a noticeable limp and no breakaway speed. The Panthers have allowed the
fewest passing yards in the NFL this season and the constant pressure on Kurt
Warner will prevent him from giving his receivers time to get open this week.
Look elsewhere for your starter as Boldin is clearly still hurting from his
ankle injury.

Ted Ginn Jr,

at N.Y. Jets: Continued dropped passes and the emergence of Brian Hartline
should be enough to keep Ginn out of your lineup.

Eddie Royal,

Denver at

Baltimore: You can’t rely on special teams
touchdowns to bail you out every week. Royal returns from a bye week after
catching no passes in Week 6, but scoring twice, once on a kick return and once
on a punt return. Kyle Orton has yet to find a groove with Royal and that won’t
change this week against the Ravens.

Tight Ends

Bye Weeks:
Daniel Coats /J.P. Foschi, Sean Ryan/Leonard Pope, Heath Miller, Kellen Winslow/Jerramy
Stevens, Chris Cooley/Fred Davis, Ben Watson/Chris Baker


Owen Daniels, Houston at Buffalo

Dallas Clark, Indianapolis vs. San Francisco

Vernon Davis, San Francisco at Indianapolis

Antonio Gates, San Diego vs. Oakland

Brent Celek, Philadelphia vs. N.Y. Giants

Tony Gonzalez, Atlanta at New Orleans

Jason Witten, Dallas vs. Seattle


John Carlson, Seattle vs. Dallas: All hands on deck for Seattle
receivers as Matt Hasselbeck will spread the ball well against the Cowboys.
Look for Carlson to approach the numbers he posted in the first two games of
the season when he averaged six catches for 71 yards and a touchdown.

Visanthe Shiancoe,


Green Bay:
If Sidney Rice is Brett Favre’s No. 1 fan, Shiancoe is a close second. Shiancoe
has caught four passes in each of the past three weeks, including three
touchdowns. Shiancoe caught only three passes for 18 yards the last time he
faced the Packers, but one of those catches was for a touchdown. Look for
continued success for Shiancoe as Favre is constantly looking for the big man
in the red zone.


Zach Miller, Oakland at San Diego: As expected, Miller dropped way off
from his six-catch, 139-yard, one-touchdown outing in Week 6, catching only two
passes for 15 yards last week against the Jets. This week, Miller gets the
Chargers, who remember his six-catch, 96-yard performance in Week 1 all too
well. Look for the Chargers to make the necessary adjustments keeping Miller in

Tony Scheffler,

Denver at

Baltimore: Scheffler had his
best game of the season in Week 6, catching six passes for 101 yards and a touchdown
against the Chargers before the bye last week. This week, Scheffler faces a
tougher Ravens defense, who will require Scheffler to play a bigger role as a
blocker than a receiver. Look for a return to the 1-3 catch, 25-yard range for


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