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Start/Bench List – Week 8

Several key offensive players are either returning from a bye week or get to watch the week eight action from the comfort of their living rooms. Be prepared to start as many Eagles, Redskins and Patriots as you can find this week as the stats will be plentiful.

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. This list will change from week to week.

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.

Enough of the chit-chat, onto the list!!

Teams on a bye week:

Chicago,

Green Bay,

Minnesota,

Denver

Quarterbacks

Bye Weeks: Kyle Orton, Aaron Rodgers, Gus Frerotte, Jay Cutler

Studs

Peyton Manning, Indianapolis at Tennessee

Donovan McNabb, Philadelphia vs. Atlanta

Drew Brees, New Orleans vs. San Diego

Philip Rivers, San Diego vs. New Orleans

Start

Jason Campbell, Washington (at

Detroit):

Campbell was very unimpressive last week against the Browns by throwing for only 164 yards, but he did throw a TD and has yet to throw an interception this season. This week, Campbell and the Redskins face the Lions who are ranked 31st in the NFL in passing yards allowed. The Clinton Portis show will make way for Jason Campbell to steal the spotlight this week.

Matt Cassel, New England (vs. St. Louis): A collective sigh of relief was released on Monday night as Cassel had his way with the Broncos, throwing three TDs and completing 18 of 24 passes. Look for more success from Cassel with a banged up

New England backfield and the porous Rams pass defense next up on the schedule.

Bench

Brett Favre, N.Y. Jets (vs.

Kansas City): Thomas Jones to the left, Thomas Jones to the right, Thomas Jones up the middle. You’ve just received the classified information of the Jets offensive game plan this week against the Chiefs. With all that running Favre won’t need to do much of anything besides handing the ball off this week. I’m sure Favre will find a way to throw an interception for the sixth straight game, but other than that, you can’t count on much.

Eli Manning, N.Y. Giants (vs.

Pittsburgh): Manning posted his lowest passing totals of the season last week throwing for only 161 yards against

San Francisco. This week, Manning has the tough task of facing the Steelers who have allowed the fewest passing yards in the NFL this season. Look elsewhere if at all possible.

Running Backs

Bye Weeks: Matt Forte, Brandon Jackson, Ryan Grant, Adrian Peterson,

Chester Taylor, Michael Pittman, Selvin Young

Studs

Clinton Portis, Washington at Detroit

Ladainian Tomlinson, San Diego vs. New Orleans

Frank Gore, San Francisco vs. Seattle

Marion Barber, Dallas vs. Tampa Bay

Steven Jackson, St. Louis at New England

Start

Maurice Jones-Drew,

Jacksonville (vs.

Cleveland): A well-rested Jones-Drew returns from a bye week after rushing for a season-high 125 yards against the Broncos in week six. After watching Clinton Portis rush for 175 yards against the Browns last week, you’d be crazy not to start Jones-Drew and watch the yardage pile up quickly.

Chris Johnson, Tennessee (vs. Indianapolis): Yes, LenDale White may have had a better game against the Chiefs last week, but Johnson’s 168 yards on only 18 carries was not too shabby either. Look for Johnson to be the top dog in the Titans backfield against the Colts as

Tennessee attempts to gain a stranglehold on the AFC South.

Brian Westbrook/Correll Buckhalter,

Philadelphia (vs.

Atlanta): Check your injury reports leading up to game time as Westbrook’s status is not known despite returning from a bye week. Whether it’s Westbrook or Correll Buckhalter, the Eagles will move the ball on the ground and the running backs will continue to make a significant contribution in the passing game.

Bench

DeAngelo Williams,

Carolina (vs.

Arizona): Despite their struggles defending the pass, the Cardinals defense has done well stopping the run this season. Williams continues to split carries with Jonathan Stewart and with neither back flashing any consistent signs of brilliance, this RBBC is one to be avoided unless the ideal matchup is encountered.

Edgerrin James

,

Arizona (at

Carolina): The biggest casualty to the Cardinals high-powered passing attack is the production of James. James has carried the ball 20+ times only twice this season and has surpassed 60 yards rushing only twice (coincidentally, in both games that he received 20+ carries). Tim Hightower may have some success this week against the Panthers, but James will be limited again in his production.

Justin Fargas,

Oakland (at

Baltimore): The Ravens have held opponents to a league-best 67.2 rushing yards per game this season. The Fargas/Darren McFadden/Michael Bush trifecta is unlikely to do much of anything on the ground as the Raiders struggle to move the ball offensively.

Wide Receivers

Bye Weeks: Brandon Lloyd, Rashied Davis, Devin Hester, Donald Driver, Greg Jennings, Bernard Berrian, Bobby Wade, Sidney Rice, Brandon Marshall, Eddie Royal, Brandon Stokley, Darrell Jackson

Studs

Randy Moss, New England vs. St. Louis

Reggie Wayne, Indianapolis at Tennessee

Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona at Carolina

T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Cincinnati at Houston

Marques Colston, New Orleans vs. San Diego

Calvin Johnson, Detroit vs. Washington

Terrell Owens, Dallas vs. Tampa Bay

Steve Smith, Carolina vs. Arizona

Andre Johnson, Houston vs. Cincinnati

Plaxico Burress, N.Y. Giants at Pittsburgh

Start

Wes Welker, New England (vs.

St. Louis): Unlike Randy Moss who has posted huge numbers then below average numbers, Welker has caught at least six passes for 50+ yards in every game this season. With Matt Cassel likely to throw more than usual this week, look for Welker to match or exceed the totals of Moss this week as Welker cracks the 100-yard mark in receiving yards for the first time this season.

DeSean Jackson,

Philadelphia (vs.

Atlanta): Reggie Brown‘s inability to remain healthy has sped up the learning curve for

Jackson as his 439 yards receiving in the first six games can attest to. Look for continued success from

Jackson against the Falcons who are ranked 26th in the NFL in passing yards allowed.

Santana Moss

,

Washington (at

Detroit):

Miss. Hit. Hit. Hit. Miss. Miss. No, I’m not playing a game of battleship, I’m trying to guess which weeks Moss will dominate or post a clunker. I’ll wager on the dominate side this week against the Lions as they’ll struggle stopping Jason Campbell and the Redskins passing attack.

Anquan Boldin

,

Arizona (at

Carolina): Check your injury reports close to game time, but if Boldin is playing, don’t hesitate starting him even against the tough Panthers defense. Kurt Warner will need all his weapons available and with

Arizona likely playing from behind for most of the game, they’ll need to pass early and often to keep pace. Look for a strong return from Boldin if he gets medical clearance.

Bench

Dwayne Bowe, Kansas City (at N.Y. Jets): While Bowe somehow managed to catch seven passes for 86 yards last week with about six different QBs throwing to him, temper your expectations with Tyler Thigpen as the Chiefs starting QB. With Larry Johnson not likely to play, the Chiefs offense could be running in reverse for most of this game.

Derrick Mason, Baltimore (vs.

Oakland): No, Mason hasn’t found the fountain of youth. He has been blessed with some solid matchups that have inflated his stats beyond those that were expected. Look for the Mason bandwagon to get a flat tire this week as the Raiders bring the pain to Joe Flacco limiting Mason’s chances and keeping the veteran in check.

Jerricho Cotchery

,

N.Y. Jets (vs.

Kansas City): Cotchery caught only one pass last week and he left the field during the first half with an undisclosed injury. As Laveranues Coles and Chansi Stuckey continue to steal chances away from Cotchery, he becomes less attractive of a starting option. Wait for a better matchup to place Cotchery back in your starting lineup.

Isaac Bruce, San Francisco (vs. Seattle): Don’t expect a repeat performance of Bruce’s totals from the last time the 49ers faced the Seahawks back in week two when Bruce caught four passes for 153 yards. The Seahawks will have their hands full trying to slow down Frank Gore, but they’ll keep Bruce from doing any major damage this week.

Tight Ends

Bye Weeks: Greg Olsen, Desmond Clark, Donald Lee, Visanthe Shiancoe, Tony Scheffler, Daniel Graham

Studs

Dallas Clark, Indianapolis at Tennessee

Chris Cooley, Washington at Detroit

Jason Witten, Dallas vs. Tampa Bay

Owen Daniels, Houston vs. Cincinnati

Antonio Gates, San Diego vs. New Orleans

Tony Gonzalez, Kansas City at N.Y. Jets

Start

L.J. Smith,

Philadelphia (vs.

Atlanta): Offense aplenty for the Eagles this week. Start as many Eagles as you can find including Smith who caught his second TD pass of the season two weeks ago in

San Francisco.

Jeremy Shockey,

New Orleans (vs.

San Diego): Shockey returned from his groin injury to catch five passes for 50 yards last week against the Panthers. Despite his mouthing off to the media, Shockey made the trip to

London and should play an integral role in the Saints passing attack without Reggie Bush.

Bench

Kevin Boss, N.Y. Giants (at

Pittsburgh): Do you think the Giants still believe that Boss is as good as Shockey? Boss was held without a catch against

San Francisco last week and won’t fair much better against the Steelers this week.

Robert Royal,

Buffalo (at

Miami): Kudos to the Bills this season as a 5-1 start was truly unexpected. Royal has posted three solid games this season including four catches for 53 yards last week against the Chargers. Look for Royal to do more blocking as the Bills try to establish the run behind Marshawn Lynch against the Dolphins in this AFC East battle limiting Royal’s chances in the passing attack.

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