Start or Sit - Week 8

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Like I tell you every week, you probably won't find your stud players on this list. Guys like Adrian Peterson, Drew Brees and LaDanian Tomlinson should always be started, regardless of who they're playing so it's a waste of time to even mention them.

If you have any questions about your lineup, send me an email at

and between Ricky and myself, we'll do the best we can to help you out.

Otherwise, good luck this weekend.


Must starts: Drew Brees


Donovan McNabb - Eagles vs. Falcons - Coming off the bye week, McNabb and company is ready to roll against an overachieving Falcons squad. The Falcons' young and inexperienced secondary will give McNabb plenty of opportunities to throw downfield, meaning big points for you come Sunday.

Jeff Garcia - Bucs vs. Cowboys - The 'Boys down in Big 'D' are hurting something fierce with a secondary that's been ravaged by injuries.

Bad for them, good for Jeff Garcia.

The Cowboys are ripe for the picking and the wiry vet knows how to take advantage.

Phillip Rivers - Chargers vs. Saints - He's statistically the best fantasy quarterback out there right now and you need to start him every week.

Playing in London might make things difficult due to unfavorable weather conditions, but Rivers will deliver.

J.T. O'Sullivan - 49ers vs. Seahawks - This may be his only chance to show new head coach Mike Singletary what he's made of.

When these two teams met earlier in the season, O'Sullivan tallied 321 yds and a TD. Here's to hoping history repeats itself in Week 8.


Peyton Manning - Colts vs. Titans - You're going to start him regardless of what I tell you. But be serious with me for a moment.

How bad did he look against the Packers last week?

Now imagine how bad he'll look against an even better defense in Tennessee.

It's always tough when you're on the brink of benching one of your blue chip players, I understand that. But just consider it if you have a more favorable matchup with a QB on your bench.

Brad Johnson - Cowboys vs. Bucs - Count me among the idiots who though the old man would deliver last week. I guess I remember Johnson being better the last time he played. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized I was thinking BJ circa 2003 with the Bucs when he threw for 3,811 yds and 26 TD.

Those days are obviously long gone and so too are his chances for becoming your starting QB.

Derek Anderson - Browns vs. Jags - Derek Anderson, I'd like to introduce you to the bench.

Brady Quinn, I'd like to introduce you to the starting job (might want to pick him up if you're running thin at the QB position).

Running Backs

Must starts: Adrian Peterson (Min), Brian Westbrook, Steven Jackson, Frank Gore, Clinton Portis


Steve Slaton - Texans vs. Bengals - I'll make this short and sweet.

The Bengals are garbage and Slaton is going to run wild.

Nuff said.

Sammy Morris - Patriots vs. Rams - He looked like a spring chicken against the Broncos on Monday night and rewarded you waiver wire workers with 138 yds and a TD.

I think he'll get just as many opportunities against a soft Rams defense, but then again, I don't trust Bill Belicheck and his preference for running backs.

Sometimes it seems like he refuses to give carries to the best back on the team and instead likes to tinker with the running game by getting guys like LaMont Jodan and BenJarvus Green-Ellis involved.

Earnest Graham - Bucs vs. Cowboys - The expectations for Graham hinge primarily on the health of fellow Bucs back Warrick Dunn.

Dunn has a pinched nerve and may miss the game Sunday, giving Graham his first shot at getting all the carries instead of half. Even in limited duty Graham has made owners happy with his propensity to break off at least one lengthy run per contest.

The Cowboys are reeling and a bruiser like Graham could deal the knockout punch.

Thomas Jones - Jets vs. Chiefs - There's a possibility this Chiefs team goes down in history as the worst run defenders in the history of football. As most Chicagoans can attest, TJ is a tough load to tackle and could gash this defense for big chunks of yards at will.


Darren McFadden/Justin Fargas - Raiders vs. Ravens - A defense like the Ravens knows exactly what to expect from the Raiders and will be ready and waiting for them in Baltimore.

They know JeMarcus Russel can't beat them and so they'll stack the box and stop the run, rendering McFadden and Fargas useless on your roster.

Julius Jones - Seahawks vs. 49ers - While this may be a great matchup on paper for Jones, there's more than meets the eye here that you should take into account.

There are rumors that Jones had a big blowup after last week's loss to the Bucs. And don't look now, but Maurice Morris is back in the picture and will challenge Jones for carries from now until the end of the year.

JJ might be D.O.A.

Deuce McAllister - Saints vs. Chargers - He'll be counted upon heavily now that Reggie Bush is out with a knee injury for the next six weeks.

But this week McAllister will find the road a rugged one and may need a week before working himself back into the horse he's been for so long.

Wide Receivers

Must starts: Randy Moss, Terrell Owens, Larry Fitzgerald, Reggie Wayne, Plaxico Burress, Andre Johnson


Lee Evans - Bills vs. Dolphins - I have no idea how he does it every single week, but somehow Evans always finds himself wide open deep and eventually the end zone.

Steve Smith - Panthers vs. Cardinals - Slowly but surely he's getting back to being one of the top wideouts in the NFL.

DeSean Jackson - Eagles vs. Falcons - Everyone talks about how amazing this rookie crop has been at the running back position, but DeSean Jackson has done plenty to merit mention in the very same breath.


Marvin Harrison - Colts vs. Titans - How the mighty have fallen.

Unless there's a coverage breakdown or his defender slips, Harrison can't create any separation and Manning can't get him the ball. It's a sad state of affairs for this Colts team, suddenly getting old in a single offseason.

Laveranues Coles - Jets vs. Chiefs - Because this Chiefs team is so bad against the run, expect a heavy dose of TJ and not so much of an aerial assault typical of a Brett Favre offense.

Even in the red zone, Favre will have no problem finding a guy like Chris Baker and not Coles or Cotchery.

Braylon Edwards - Browns vs. Jaguars - I think he just dropped another pass.

By now you know how big of a bust Edwards has been and you've probably entertained thoughts of benching him too.

This is the week.

Tight Ends

Must starts: Antonio Gates, Chris Cooley, Kellen Winslow Jr., Jason Witten, Owen Daniels, Dallas Clark


L.J. Smith - Eagles vs. Falcons - This is shaping up to be a perfect game for the typical L.J. Smith out of nowhere game. He'll probably score a touchdown and proceed to disappoint every single one of you that snags him off the waiver wire Monday morning.

That's just how L.J. Smith rolls.


Zach Miller - Raiders vs. Ravens - He's the only receiving threat on this team. The Ravens know that and will take advantage of it.

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Since when is it "the QB position" instead of QB?

Olsen responds: Um, really?

Quarterback is the name of the position one plays on the field is it not?

Thanks for stopping by and I'm glad I could help.

I have some depth at RB, but do I sit LT this week? I'm tired of getting 6-9pts from him every week. Besides LT, I have Lynch, Thomas Jones & McGahee. I'm thinking of going Jones & Lynch.

Olsen responds: First of all Mr. Burgundy, let me just say that I'm a huge fan of yours.

And secondly, I think you're making the right decision on this one. Thomas Jones has a great matchup against the Chiefs and while Lynch hasn't broken the 100-yd barrier yet, he's still scored in every game besides two.

Sorry L.T., but you've been benched.

You stay classy Chicago.

Hey All,


Scratch Sammy Morris too. He's out two to three weeks. Kevin Faulk could perform...

I agree that L.J. Smith is going to be a Monday morning headache.

Peace, Sow Some LOVE!!!


Olsen responds: Thanks for the injury update J.

Sammy Morris going down and being declared out happened after I had written this column.

That being said, I think BenJarvus Green-Ellis is the more alluring pickup if you're going to replace Morris.

When Morris missed most of the second half on Monday night against Denver, Green-Ellis stepped in admirably, picking up 65 yds on 15 carries (5 ypc). Faulk, on the other hand, only received 8 carries and seems to be destined to remain in that third down role.

Brandon Marshall's on bye this week, so I wouldn't consider him a "must start."

Olsen responds: You're the second person to say it, he gone.

Start Brandon Jacobs or Maurice Jones Drew?

NYG Defense or Charger Defense?

Olsen responds: You've got to go with the hot hand in MJD.

The Jags seem like they've finally come to the realization that MJD should be their featured back and not the aging Fragile Freddie Taylor.

And he's made that realization pay off for both the Jags and fantasy owners everywhere. The Browns do not present much of a challenge and MJD should roll.

As for the defense, I think it's basically a toss up. But I might go with the Giants simply because their level of consistency this year. The Chargers could potentially be a great unit, but they've had too many lapses of mediocrity that make it hard to believe in them. Especially now that they're playing in London.

G-Men and MJD.

My league includes tight end as wide receiver. Right now I have one too many players so I have to drop one of the following wide receivers:

Antwaan Randle El
Dallas Clark
Anthony Gonzalez

PPR league
I have to drop one. Advice?

Olsen responds: The problem here is that you have two players on the same team who I would prefer to keep instead of Randle El.

The entire Colts offense has underperformed, making it extremely difficult to justify having Clark and Gonzalez on your roster simultaneously.

Randle El, on the other hand, has been fairly consistent on a Redskins that is contending for the NFC East crown. Plus, QB Jason Campbell has yet to throw an interception this season and counts upon Randle El in a variety of ways.

So I think Randle El is definitely a lock in this situation.

Out of Gonzalez and Clark, I'd say that you have to stick with Clark. He's Manning's must trusted receiver and he'll have to lean on Clark if this team has any chance of turning this nightmare of a season around.

Looking years down the road, Gonzalez will eventually become an extremely valuable fantasy commodity. Just not this year.

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Matt Wood is a web editor for and editor of He is also a contributor for satirical sports publication The Heckler. Have a fantasy question? E-mail him.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Matt Olsen published on October 23, 2008 9:32 AM.

Can Week Seven's stars keep it going? was the previous entry in this blog.

Injuries to monitor through the weekend is the next entry in this blog.

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