Start These 10 Players In Week 8

October 28 4:37pm
Joe Fortenbaugh

Before we get to our Week 8 fantasy starts, lets take a look a two plays worth considering heading into Sunday’s action (last week: 1-1):

BUFFALO BILLS (-6) vs. Washington Redskins:  Without top wideout Santana Moss (fractured hand) and running back Tim Hightower (torn ACL), the ‘Skins will have a tough time keeping pace with a Buffalo offense that is currently scoring an average of 31.3 points per game (3rd in NFL).

Dallas Cowboys/Philadelphia Eagles UNDER (51): In the 12 games these two teams have played in 2011, only three have gone over 51 total points.  Keep in mind that the UNDER is 14-2 in the last 16 games in which Philadelphia has come off a bye week (playoffs included).

10 Players To Start

Eli Manning, QB, New York Giants (vs. Miami): He’s thrown for 290+ yards in each of his last three games, has rolled up double-digit touchdown numbers in three of his last four starts and is coming off a bye week rested and ready to rock.  To make matters a bit more enticing, Manning takes on a Miami Dolphins team this Sunday that ranks 21st in the NFL in pass defense (258.5 yds/gm) and is surrendering an average of 23.6 fantasy points per game this season (2nd-most in NFL).  This is a very appealing situation.

Chris Johnson, RB, Tennessee Titans (vs. Indianapolis): Can you believe it’s actually come to this?  A former must-start no matter what the schedule looked like, the artist formerly known as CJ2K has been an absolute bust so far in 2011, with just one touchdown and one 100-yard rushing game on his resume.  But we predict the tides will turn Sunday in Nashville against an Indianapolis Colts team that ranks 31st in the NFL against the run (150.9 yds/gm) and is giving up more fantasy points to opposing running backs than any other team in the league (26.0 pts/gm).  If Johnson can’t do it this week, it’s time to throw in the towel.

Jabar Gaffney, WR, Washington Redskins (at Buffalo, in Toronto): Gaffney hasn’t found the end zone since Week 1, but with starting wideout Santana Moss on the shelf for the next 5-7 weeks (fractured hand), the former Florida Gator should expect to see plenty of targets coming his way as the new top receiver in our nation’s capital.  Good thing his first order of business is a date with the Buffalo Bills, who are currently surrendering an average of 25.1 fantasy points per game to opposing wide receivers (8th-most in NFL).  Consider Gaffney a solid WR2/3 for Week 8.

Owen Daniels, TE, Houston Texans (vs. Jacksonville): After scoring a touchdown in three consecutive games from Week 2 to Week 5, Daniels has been shutout of the end zone in each of his last three starts.  No worries, as we want you to make sure he’s in the lineup this Sunday against a Jaguars team that is coming to town on short rest after their Monday night upset of the Baltimore Ravens.  Remember, for as good as Jack Del Rio’s defense looked in Week 7, the Jaguars are still surrendering an average of 9.5 fantasy points per game to opposing tight ends this season (t-7th-most in NFL).  This is a good spot for Daniels.

New Orleans Saints, D/ST (at St. Louis): This unit held the hapless Indianapolis Colts to seven points and 252 total yards while forcing three turnovers in their Week 7 blowout win.  Feel free to ride them again this Sunday as the Saints travel to St. Louis to take on a Rams offense that is not only averaging a league-worst 9.3 points per game, but is also surrendering an average of 13.7 fantasy points per game to opposing D/STs this season (most in NFL).  Don’t be surprised if the New Orleans D/ST puts up more points than any other defense this weekend.

Joe Flacco, QB, Baltimore Ravens (vs. Arizona): Granted, Flacco was awful Monday night against the Jaguars, but he’s walking into a very soft matchup this Sunday against an Arizona Cardinals team that currently ranks 28th in the NFL in pass defense (274.2 yds/gm) and is surrendering an average of 23.2 fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks (4th-most in NFL).  It doesn’t get much easier than this, so if Flacco can’t deliver some quality numbers against Arizona, it may be time to start thinking about a replacement.

DeMarco Murray, RB, Dallas Cowboys (at Philadelphia): Murray didn’t waste any time showing the NFL what he can do as the rookie from Oklahoma rushed for a head-turning 253 yards and one touchdown against the St. Louis Rams last Sunday in his debut as a starting running back.  While we don’t expect the same gaudy performance against Philadelphia on Sunday night, we definitely want him in the starting lineup against an Eagles defense that currently ranks 23rd in the NFL against the run and is giving up and average of 25.3 fantasy points per game to opposing running backs (4th-most in NFL).

Vincent Jackson, WR, San Diego Chargers (at Kansas City): It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Jackson failed to produce a half-decent stat line against All-World cornerback Darrelle Revis in Week 7.  However, don’t let that one outing sour your appetite for one of the game’s most dangerous deep ball receivers.  Jackson should rebound nicely Monday night at Arrowhead against a Kansas City team that currently ranks 17th in the NFL against the pass and is giving up an average of 24.8 fantasy points per game to opposing wideouts (9th-most in NFL).

Jonathan Stewart, RB, Carolina Panthers (vs. Minnesota): The big offseason contract may have gone to DeAngelo Williams, but the bulk of the workload is starting to go to Stewart.  The three-year veteran has found the end zone in each of his last two games and is coming off a season-high 14 carries against the Washington Redskins in Week 7.  Consider J-Stew a solid RB2/flex option for Week 8 against a Minnesota defense that is currently surrendering an average of 19.9 fantasy points per game to opposing running backs (12th-most in NFL).

Mike Wallace, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers (vs. New England): Wallace may be a bit banged up, but he’s coming off a monster performance against the Arizona Cardinals (3-118-1) and should have his way with a New England Patriots defense that currently ranks dead-last in the NFL against the pass (322.2 yds/gm) and is giving up more fantasy points to opposing wide receivers than any other team in the league (29.3 pts/gm).  Remember, this is the same guy who caught eight passes for 136 yards and two touchdowns against the Patriots last season.  Don’t be surprised if he does it again.

Joe Fortenbaugh wants you to know that if you ever have a fantasy question, you can hit him up at National Football Post.com or on Twitter:  @JoeFortenbaugh

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