Week 8 has been the week many fantasy owners have been dreading as there are six teams on bye. Baltimore, Chicago, Houston, Indianapolis, San Diego and Tennessee are all off this week, leaving some fantasy owners to rely on the waiver wire for points. There are many teams who have an entire bench on bye or on the injured list. Be sure to scavenge the waiver wire to find the best starts for this week. The good news is, after Week 8, your roster will be set after the bye week.
Without further ado, here are the starts and sits for Week 8 in fantasy football.
Robert Griffin III vs. the Broncos
Ben Roethlisberger vs. the Raiders
Griffin and Brady were two disappointing fantasy quarterbacks in the first half of the season, but RG3 is heating up and Tom Brady is going to be Tom Brady before too long. Both were good "buy-low" candidates, but that window may be closed now. Get them both into your starting lineup. Ben Roethlisberger faces the Oakland Raiders this week and will look to exploit the Raiders' 28th ranked defense according to PFF (ProFootballFocus).
Roy Helu vs. the Broncos
LeVeon Bell vs. the Raiders
Roy Helu had a career day last week with three touchdowns, and no one expects him to repeat that, but Helu is getting more and more snaps each week. 170 of 213 snaps that Helu has played this season have been on passing plays. The Redskins will need to pass the ball this week to keep up with the Broncos, so Helu should be in the game more than he has all season. By comparison, Alfred Morris has only played 107 snaps on passing plays. LeVeon Bell discounted anyone who thought he was a one week wonder last week after rushing for 90 yards against a good Ravens front seven, and is a RB2 for the rest of the season. Daniel Thomas keeps getting more and more carries for the Dolphins, and although Lamar Miller is much more talented, Thomas seems to be the better fantasy back in Miami at the moment. Start him as a bye week fill-in.
Antonio Brown vs. the Raiders
Pierre Garcon vs. the Broncos
As aforementioned, the Raiders have PFF's 28th ranked defense, and Antonio Brown has been one of the more consistent PPR receivers in fantasy this season. Michael Floyd is benefitting a ton this season from teams focusing on Larry Fitzgerald, and is a great bye week fill-in. Floyd has had five or more catches in the last four games. Pierre Garcon against the Broncos should be a must start, but I have still seen some who have their doubts. Garcon's worst game this season was five catches for 58 yards. That is an incredibly high floor for a WR2, and should be starting in all formats.
Charles Clay vs. the Patriots
Jordan Reed vs. the Broncos
Rob Gronkowski vs. the Dolphins
Jordan Reed broke out as the Redskins finally decided to sit Fred Davis. Reed showed his explosiveness and playmaking ability at Florida, and was just waiting for an opportunity. Now he has it, and should be starting in nearly every format. Charles Clay has a touchdown in four of six games this season, and is Ryan Tannehill's favorite target in the red zone. The Patriots have struggled defending the tight end all season long. This is a fantasy owners dream, especially for those with Martellus Bennett or Antonio Gates on bye week. Rob Gronkowski should not be sitting for anyone, he had 17 targets last week in his first game back.
Cincinnati vs. the Jets
Pittsburgh vs. the Raiders
The Bengals and Steelers have been playing great defensive football in the last few weeks, and should be good starts this week in fantasy. The Steelers will look to get to Terrelle Pryor like the Chiefs did last week, making them a top tier fantasy start this week.
Alex Smith vs. the Browns
Geno Smith vs. the Bengals
These two Smiths face off against two of the better pass defenses in the AFC this week in Cleveland and Cincinnati, respectively. Many fantasy owners will be forced to play a less than enticing quarterback with all the byes and injuries this week, but try to stay away from Alex and Geno Smith. A good waiver add would be Ryan Tannehill for this week.
Lamar Miller vs. the Patriots
Spiller is likely out this week, but if by some chance he plays it will be as a decoy. Spiller has been battling injury all season in addition to the ageless wonder in Fred Jackson. Keep Spiller on the bench until he is fully healthy. Lamar Miller has been a disappointment this season, and has seemingly lost his job to Daniel Thomas. Sit Miller for now, until he is able to get the majority of the carries in Miami. Miller's case is frustrating because in his limited action, he has actually impressed with a 4.3 yards per carry average.
Dwayne Bowe vs. the Browns
Miles Austin has lost his job as the number two receiver for the Cowboys, and is struggling with a hamstring injury. Dwayne Bowe has not been a focal point of the Chiefs offense this season and he goes against Joe Haden. Neither one of these players should start for you this week.
Jordan Cameron vs. the Chiefs
Jeff Cumberland vs. the Bengals
Jordan Cameron has been one of the best tight ends in football this season, and is one of the better young players in football. But the Kansas City Chiefs are the best in the NFL at defending the tight end allowing 25 catches and 2014 yards for the entire season. Cumberland has not had more than four catches in a game this season, and is battling a hamstring injury.
Detroit vs. the Cowboys
Dallas vs. the Lions
These two high powered offenses face off in Week 8, and neither defense is a recommended play as this game has the makings of a shootout. Look to the waiver wire for other plays.
Good luck this week, and join me on Sunday's for a live fantasy thread where I will answer your questions from 11 to Noon EST.
Any other questions, ask me on Twitter @PFF_JCollacchi.