Week 8: Start 'Em
Another wild and crazy week in the NFL, with some wild games (Ravens vs. Bills) and some big upsets (Browns beating the Saints). Week 8 is the 1st of back to back weeks when there will be 6 teams on bye. This week there be a lot of openings in fantasy line ups as the Ravens, Eagles, Giants, Falcons, Browns and Bears are all on bye this week. There is the regular list of injured players missing this week ( Collie, Addai, Portis) and then the few that might miss the game -- Favre, yes the Brett Favre might actually have to miss the game, and if he does that could have a bad effect on all Vikings players. Based on all the players off this week, you might be in need of some help deciding who to start this week. If that's the case, please take a look at some of the options below. Please note that you should still always start your fantasy studs and that the players I mention are only to be considered if you're dealing with serious injury or bye week issues, maybe you're in a deep league. Good luck this week, and may the force be with you.
You got it, I am recommending the starting QB of the Buffalo Bills, Ryan Fitzpatrick as a good start this week. Since Fitzpatrick took over as the Bills' QB 4 games ago, he has been pretty damn good -- passing for 969 yards and 11 TD passes, not to mention rushing for 116 yards. Those numbers are comparable with most of the 10 fantasy QB's, and two of the games were against the Jets and Ravens, top notch defenses. With so many QB's on bye, you might be trying to figure out who to start at QB; well, if you have Fitzy on your bench don't think twice and get him in your line up and watch him carve up the Chiefs' defense and put up another solid fantasy performance.
The Tampa Bay running game isn't what it is was when Warrick Dunn and Mike Alstott were part of the team, but the Bucs have a good match up this week vs. the Arizona Cardinals (and well someone has to run the ball). Despite being inactive for 3 of the first 6 weeks, it seems that LeGarrette Blount has become the go-to RB in Tampa due to injuries and the ineffectiveness of all the other RB's on the Bucs' roster. Last week when Blount had his most extensive action, he rushed the ball 11 times for 72 yards and this week he will look to build on that. If you're in need of help at the RB position, Blount might be the solution for you.
Any RB who gets a lot of touches playing in the Colts' backfield is worth owning and starting, just by the fact that he would be playing on one of the best offenses in the league. In the last 2 games before the bye, Hart had become the Colts back up RB with Donald Brown out with an injury. In those two weeks Hart rushed 22 times for 93 yards and 1 TD. Now that starter Joseph Addai is gone for a few a weeks and Donald Brown might not be ready to play (let alone take on a full load and the Colts have an above average match up vs. the Texans this week), if you need some help with a starting RB, Hart makes for a good start.
Things didn't start off so well for Burleson in Detroit -- with only 2 catches and 23 yards in his first two games -- before being injured again and missing the next 2 games. Since his return, he has started to show some of the reasons why the Lions were so happy to sign him during the off season. Over his last two games Burleson has had 10 catches for 106 yards and he scored a touchdown in each game. With Calvin Johnson seeing double and sometimes even triple teams, Burleson often finds himself open to make big plays and score TD's. Start Nate this week and enjoy the results.
I wrote about Gettis 2 weeks ago and that was probably a little premature. It seems that now with Matt Moore back at QB and Steve Smith lining up on the other side of him, Gettis is fulfilling the potential the Panthers believed he had in him. Last week Gettis blew up, setting career highs in all categories as he caught 8 passes for 125 yards and 2 touchdowns (his first touchdowns of his career). With Steve Smith garnering most of the defense's attention, Gettis is able to get open to make plays. Gettis is now in a better position to succeed than 2 weeks ago. Forget about 2 weeks ago and give him a chance.