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Week 8 Start 'Em and Sit 'Em

Senior Fantasy Writer
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Disclaimer ... Before you start reading, understand that we are not in the business of stating the obvious and wasting your time (or ours), so you won't be reading here why you need to start Aaron Rodgers, Adrian Peterson, Calvin Johnson or any other top-tier players. We're here to help you evaluate players you might be on the fence about.

Sometimes it pays to ride the hot hand -- or in this case the hot feet. With that in mind, plan on starting DeMarco Murray in all leagues in Week 8.

I'm starting Murray over ...
Chris Johnson, TEN vs. IND
Ryan Mathews, SD at KC
Rashard Mendenhall, PIT vs. NE
BenJarvus Green-Ellis, NE at PIT
Peyton Hillis, CLE at SF

You know the story by now. Murray stepped in for Felix Jones (ankle) in Week 7 against St. Louis and had 25 carries for 253 yards and a touchdown. He displayed a dynamic playmaking ability that has been missing from this Dallas backfield for years, and we expect it to continue for at least another week.

The Cowboys play at Philadelphia in Week 8, and this is another favorable matchup for Murray, who was started in 63 percent of leagues on CBSSports.com against the Rams. The Eagles are No. 23 in run defense at 124 yards per game, and they have allowed seven running backs to reach double digits in Fantasy points.

The only game where a running back did not reach double digits in Fantasy points against Philadelphia was in Week 6 at Washington, but the Redskins only had 12 rushing attempts from Ryan Torain and Roy Helu thanks to Rex Grossman and his four interceptions. While Tony Romo can get careless with the ball -- and the Cowboys will definitely still be a pass-first team -- they will be able to rely on Murray to make plenty of plays.

He will not be as successful as he was against St. Louis, but he should still perform like a Top 20 Fantasy running back. As we said, we expect him to remain hot as long as Jones is out.

Full Disclosure from Week 7
Start of the Week
Player Fantasy Points (projected) Fantasy Points (actual) Start percentage Rank at position
Tim Tebow, QB, Broncos 21 26 60 No. 5
Recommended starts that made us look good
Player Fantasy Points (projected) Fantasy Points (actual) Start percentage Rank at position
Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Steelers 21 32 77 No. 2
DeMarco Murray, RB, Cowboys 10 31 63 No. 2
Fred Davis, TE, Redskins 7 14 62 No. 2
Kellen Winslow, TE, Bucs 7 8 56 No. 9
Recommended starts that made us look bad
Player Fantasy Points (projected) Fantasy Points (actual) Start percentage Rank at position
Colt McCoy, QB, Browns 19 8 36 No. 18
Greg Little, WR, Browns 9 3 45 No. 35
Reggie Wayne, WR, Colts 6 3 80 No. 41
Matt Cassel, QB, Chiefs 20 2 39 No. 21
Nate Washington, WR, Titans 8 1 64 No. 69
Dallas Clark, TE, Colts 7 0 68 No. 35
Recommended sits that made us look good
Player Fantasy Points (projected) Fantasy Points (actual) Start percentage Rank at position
Matt Hasselbeck, QB, Titans 16 6 34 No. 19
Dustin Keller, TE, Jets 6 4 56 No. 18
Lance Moore, WR, Saints 3 4 35 No. 33
DeAngelo Williams, RB, Panthers 5 3 44 No. 44
Jacoby Jones, WR, Texans 5 2 16 No. 47
Vincent Jackson, WR, Chargers 7 1 84 No. 63
Recommended sits that made us look bad
Player Fantasy Points (projected) Fantasy Points (actual) Start percentage Rank at position
Mark Sanchez, QB, Jets 16 24 29 No. 6
Matt Schaub, QB, Texans 16 24 70 No. 7
Kevin Kolb, QB, Cardinals 15 21 17 No. 8
Plaxico Burress, WR, Jets 5 20 32 No. 2
Delone Carter, RB, Colts 4 12 15 No. 8
Heath Miller, TE, Steelers 4 11 25 No. 4
Jared Cook, TE, Titans 4 8 16 No. 11

Quarterback

Start 'Em

Week 8 sleeper QBs
Andy Dalton, CIN at SEA
Christian Ponder, MIN at CAR
Matt Hasselbeck, TEN vs. IND

Eli Manning (vs. MIA): Manning should come off his bye and play well against the Dolphins, who have allowed at least 300 passing yards or multiple touchdowns to every quarterback they have faced this year. In his past three games after a bye, Manning is averaging 314 passing yards with eight touchdowns and one interception. Manning also has done well at home recently with multiple touchdown passes in three of his past four games at Giants Stadium. (Started in 66 percent of leagues in Week 6)
Ben Roethlisberger (vs. NE): We're starting to see the best of Roethlisberger based on his recent outings. He has nine touchdowns and one interception in his past three games, with two games with at least 32 Fantasy points over that span. He played well against New England last year with 387 passing yards, three touchdowns and one interception, and the Patriots have allowed at least 300 passing yards or multiple touchdown passes against every quarterback they have faced this year. (Started in 77 percent of leagues in Week 7)
Matt Schaub (vs. JAC): Schaub might get Andre Johnson (hamstring) back this week, which will only make him that much better. I'm done betting against Schaub since I had him as a sit or bust alert each of the past three weeks and finished 1-2 with those recommendations. Schaub has averaged 276 passing yards with 10 touchdowns and two interceptions in his past five games against the Jaguars, who have allowed at least 300 passing yards or multiple touchdown passes against four quarterbacks this season. (Started in 70 percent of leagues in Week 7)
Tim Tebow (vs. DET): If Tebow was graded on style points then his value would be limited, but we're only concerned with the final stats, which have been positive. Despite an ugly game at Miami last week, Tebow was able to finish with 26 Fantasy points, which gives him at least 24 Fantasy points in all four career starts. He has a tough matchup this week against the Lions, who have done well against opposing quarterbacks this year with the exception of Romo in Week 4 (25 Fantasy points). But it's not like the Lions have faced premier Fantasy passers in Josh Freeman, Matt Cassel, Donovan McNabb, Jay Cutler and Alex Smith. This will be Tebow's first home start this year, and I'd stick with him as a starter this week if you need him because he should come through. (Started in 60 percent of leagues in Week 7)
Joe Flacco (vs. ARI): It's difficult to count on Flacco based on his performance last week at Jacksonville and his inconsistent play all year. He has just two games with more than 15 Fantasy points, and he has one touchdown and three interceptions in his past three games. But the matchup with the Cardinals suggests he should play at a high level. Arizona has allowed four quarterbacks to throw multiple touchdown passes, and Flacco should rebound with a good performance. I can understand your hesitancy to use him, but if you're stuck this week then he could help you based on a favorable opponent. (Started in 54 percent of leagues in Week 7)

Sit 'Em

Matt Cassel (vs. SD): Cassel's best game against the Chargers as a member of the Chiefs came in Week 3 when he had 176 passing yards, two touchdowns and one interception, which was good enough for 17 Fantasy points. In his past five meetings with San Diego, Cassel has averaged 144 passing yards with five touchdowns and six interceptions. Now, it does help his cause that the Chargers struggled last week against Mark Sanchez, allowing three touchdowns to Plaxico Burress, but we expect this defense to rebound in a division matchup. Cassel also struggled last week at Oakland with just two Fantasy points despite 30 pass attempts. (Started in 39 percent of leagues in Week 7)
Alex Smith (vs. CLE): Smith is proving to be a very good game manager, but his Fantasy prospects are marginal at best. Sure, you'll get a solid performance every now and then, like the back-to-back 20-point performances he had against Philadelphia and Tampa Bay in Week 4 and 5. But you also get the single digit outings like he had against Cincinnati in Week 3 and Detroit in Week 6. This should be a tough matchup for Smith against the Browns, who have locked down most passing games with cornerback Joe Haden healthy. Matt Hasselbeck is the only quarterback to pass for multiple touchdowns against Cleveland, and Haden was hurt in that matchup in Week 4. Chad Henne in Week 3 is also the only quarterback to top 250 passing yards against the Browns, and they should be able to limit Smith, even at home. (Started in 16 percent of leagues in Week 6)
Colt McCoy (at SF): McCoy had his first bad game of the season in Week 7 against Seattle with just eight Fantasy points. He had 178 passing yards with an interception, and this was the first game he failed to score. He should rebound against the 49ers, but it won't be enough to make him a starting option in the majority of leagues. San Francisco has been vulnerable in pass defense this season, but the 49ers did a good job in their last home game against Josh Freeman in Week 5 and should play well against McCoy, who could be missing Benjamin Watson (concussion) and Mohammed Massaquoi (concussion). (Started in 36 percent of leagues in Week 7)
Kevin Kolb (at BAL): Kolb is coming off an impressive performance against the Steelers with 272 passing yards, two touchdowns and one interception. Hopefully it will give him confidence following three consecutive down games, but he should struggle in this matchup at the Ravens, who just got embarrassed on Monday night at Jacksonville. Baltimore has yet to allow multiple touchdown passes in a game this season, and only Hasselbeck in Week 2 passed for more than 280 yards. (Started in 17 percent of leagues in Week 7)
Curtis Painter (at TEN): Painter went from a work of art to a disaster with his performance the past two weeks at Cincinnati and at New Orleans where he combined for 11 Fantasy points. Prior to that, Painter had at least 21 Fantasy points in matchups against Tampa Bay and Kansas City, but he's looking more like a backup these days. He might play well against the Titans, who have struggled the past two weeks against Roethlisberger and Schaub, but he's too risky to trust. Keep him on your bench for the foreseeable future. (Started in 19 percent of leagues in Week 7)

Bust alert: Ryan Fitzpatrick (vs. WAS): The Redskins defense has struggled the past two games against quarterbacks from a Fantasy perspective with Michael Vick and Cam Newton each running for more than 50 yards. But if you take that away -- and most quarterbacks in the NFL don't run like Vick or Newton -- the Redskins have been solid against Fantasy passers. Washington has limited Manning, Romo, Vick and Newton to one passing touchdown or less, and no quarterback has thrown for 300 yards against the Redskins. Fitzpatrick has struggled of late with three touchdowns and three interceptions in his past three games, and his best game over that span was 17 Fantasy points in Week 6 at the Giants. It's hard to bench Fitzpatrick, but he could struggle in this matchup. (Started in 44 percent of leagues in Week 6)

Running back

Start 'Em

Week 8 sleeper RBs
Delone Carter, IND at TEN
Bernard Scott, CIN at SEA
Knowshon Moreno, DEN vs. DET
LaRod Stephens-Howling, ARI at BAL
Leon Washington, SEA vs. CIN

Pierre Thomas (at STL): No one needs to tell you to start Darren Sproles. That's obvious since he's become a must-start Fantasy option in the majority of leagues. Mark Ingram would be in this spot, but he's likely out or limited with a heel injury, which will open the door for Thomas to see increased playing time. He had a solid outing in Week 7 against the Colts with 10 carries for 57 yards and five catches for 68 yards. The Rams are a mess in run defense after Murray torched them last week, and five running backs have reached double digits in Fantasy points against St. Louis. Look for Sproles and Thomas to add to that total. (Started in 26 percent of leagues in Week 7)
Jackie Battle (vs. SD): Battle was serviceable in Week 7 at Oakland with 16 carries for 76 yards, and he should be better this week in a favorable matchup. The Chargers have struggled with defensive lineman Luis Castillo (broken leg) out, and they have allowed either 100 rushing yards or a touchdown in each of the past three games against Miami, Denver and the Jets, with Willis McGahee and Shonn Greene doing the most damage. Battle should continue to get the majority of carries while sharing time with Thomas Jones and Dexter McCluster, but Battle has a solid chance to reach double digits in Fantasy points this week. (Started in 65 percent of leagues in Week 7)
BenJarvus Green-Ellis (at PIT): The Steelers run defense as we know it has not been the same this season, with two running backs rushing for more than 100 yards, five scoring rushing touchdowns and five reaching double digits in Fantasy points. Green-Ellis has scored five touchdowns in four of his games this season and played well at Pittsburgh last year with 18 carries for 87 yards and a surprising four catches for 36 yards. He is candidate for double digits in Fantasy points each week, including this matchup against a disappointing Pittsburgh run defense. (Started in 61 percent of leagues in Week 6)
Ryan Torain (at BUF): Roy Helu has some sleeper potential this week, but Redskins coach Mike Shanahan is running out of healthy bodies in his running back misdirection game. He can't toy with Fantasy owners like he has the past two games now that Tim Hightower is out for the season with a torn ACL. Shanahan could give increased touches to Helu, but we're counting on Torain to dominate the carries against the Bills, who have allowed six touchdowns to opposing running backs (five have reached double digits in Fantasy points). In Buffalo's last game in Week 6 at the Giants, Ahmad Bradshaw had 26 carries for 104 yards and three touchdowns, so there is plenty of upside for Torain in this game. (Started in 47 percent of leagues in Week 7)
Jonathan Stewart (vs. MIN): It's time to give Stewart his credit as a starting option after he has scored in consecutive games and got the majority of carries last week against Washington with 14 carries for 68 yards. He also has been solid as a receiver with at least three catches in four games. Even though Cam Newton dominates the offense and Stewart still shares time with DeAngelo Williams, he should have success this week. The Vikings have allowed eight touchdowns to opposing running backs and five to reach double digits in Fantasy points. (Started in 43 percent of leagues in Week 7)

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Sit 'Em

Marshawn Lynch (vs. CIN): There's no guarantee that Lynch will play in Week 8, and if he does he could be limited after being a late scratch in Week 7 with a back injury. Anyone with a back problem knows it can flare up at any time, and the Seahawks will likely be cautious with him this week. Coach Pete Carroll said Lynch will be a game-time decision against the Bengals, but our advice is to plan on benching him because of this issue. (Started in 70 percent of leagues in Week 7)
DeAngelo Williams (vs. MIN): You're seeing just how bad Williams has been for Fantasy owners the past two games with 22 carries for 79 yards and one catch for 2 yards against Atlanta and Washington. He's just not a significant factor when you compare him to Newton and Stewart with their production. Newton is still the best goal-line option for the Panthers, and Stewart also has a higher potential to score and is the better receiver. Williams has one game with double digits in Fantasy points this season, and it took a 69-yard touchdown run for that to happen in Week 5 against the Saints. Williams is a risky starting option in all leagues even with all the running backs injured and on a bye in Week 8. (Started in 44 percent of leagues in Week 7)
Reggie Bush (at NYG): Maybe I'm missing something, but why is Bush being started in any leagues at all? His best value is in leagues where receptions count, but the Dolphins have stopped using him as a receiver. He has just eight catches for 41 yards in his past five games, and he also hasn't scored a touchdown since Week 1. This is a good matchup for the Dolphins since the Giants have struggled in run defense, but Daniel Thomas is the only Miami running back to consider as a starting option. I didn't think that needed an explanation, but some Fantasy owners are still putting Bush in their lineup on a weekly basis. (Started in 25 percent of leagues in Week 7)
Maurice Morris (at DEN): Morris will start against the Broncos in place of the injured Jahvid Best (concussion) like he did last week against the Falcons, but Morris struggled against Atlanta. He had nine carries for 50 yards and two catches for 13 yards, and Keiland Williams nearly had equal production with nine carries for 44 yards. Williams will continue to steal touches, and he should work at the goal line. And this isn't necessarily an easy matchup since the Broncos have yet to allow a running back to score on the ground and only Marcel Reece in Week 1 to score on a reception. Only two running backs have reached double digits in Fantasy points against Denver, and Morris is unlikely to make it three based on how he ran against Atlanta. (Started in 44 percent of leagues in Week 7)
Brandon Jacobs (vs. MIA): Jacobs is expected to return this week after being out the past two games with a knee injury. We'd give him another week before using him in the majority of leagues. If Jacobs doesn't score then his value is limited, and he's only had one game this season with double digits in carries. Ahmad Bradshaw also proved he can handle goal-line carries with his performance against the Bills in Week 6, and the Dolphins have only allowed two rushing touchdowns to running backs this year, with only one coming in the past five games. (Started in 32 percent of leagues in Week 4)

Bust alert: Peyton Hillis (at SF): The Browns are hopeful that Hillis will play this week, but a late-week setback at practice leaves some doubt. This has been a tough season for Hillis with his strep-throat saga in Week 3, his stalled contract negotiations and the injury. And now he faces a tough defense against the 49ers, who have yet to allow a rushing touchdown to an opposing running back, with only LeSean McCoy scoring on a pass in Week 4. Hillis, who has just one game with double digits in Fantasy points this season in Week 2 against the Colts, will also continue to share carries with Montario Hardesty, and based on his situation and the matchup, we would consider benching Hillis in the majority of leagues. (Started in 92 percent of leagues in Week 6)

Wide receiver

Start 'Em

Week 8 sleeper WRs
Jason Hill, JAC at HOU
Jabar Gaffney, WAS at BUF
Jerome Simpson, CIN at SEA
Mario Manningham, NYG vs. MIA
Torrey Smith, BAL vs. ARI

Demaryius Thomas (vs. DET): Big receivers have hurt the Lions this season with Mike Williams of Tampa Bay, Dwayne Bowe, Michael Jenkins, Dez Bryant and Roddy White all having a solid performance with at least eight Fantasy points. Thomas, who is 6-foot-3, is coming off a quality outing against Miami with three catches for 27 yards and a touchdown on 10 targets. Eric Decker also has the chance to play well, but Thomas showed more upside in his first start with Tebow. (Started in 3 percent of leagues in Week 7)
Deion Branch (at PIT): It's a good thing for Branch that Aaron Hernandez is healthy because in each game the two have played this year Branch has played well. It's likely because Branch gets single coverage, but he has at least six Fantasy points in the four games Hernandez has played and six combined in the two games Hernandez missed with a knee injury. Branch had seven catches for 71 yards last year at Pittsburgh, and the Steelers have allowed four touchdowns to opposing receivers this year. (Started in 64 percent of leagues in Week 6)
Nate Washington (vs. IND): Washington was brutal last week against Houston with one catch for 10 yards, but we'll give him another opportunity this week as a starting option against the Colts. Indianapolis has allowed 10 touchdowns to opposing receivers and eight have reached double digits in Fantasy points. Washington has at least six Fantasy points in five games this year, and he has at least nine Fantasy points in two of his three home games. (Started in 64 percent of leagues in Week 7)
Brandon Lloyd (vs. NO): Lloyd played well in his St. Louis debut last week at Dallas with six catches for 74 yards on 12 targets, and he should have similar production this week even with A.J. Feeley expected to start for the injured Sam Bradford (ankle). Lloyd showed that he's still very comfortable in Josh McDaniels' offense from their days together in Denver, and the Rams will likely be chasing points in this game, meaning plenty of passing. The Saints have allowed eight touchdowns to opposing receivers and five to reach double digits in Fantasy points. (Started in 68 percent of leagues in Week 7)
Antonio Brown (vs. NE): This is a good week to count on Brown since he's coming off his best game of the season in Week 7 at Arizona with seven catches for 102 yards on nine targets, and the Patriots have allowed the most Fantasy points against opposing receivers. New England has allowed seven touchdowns to opposing receivers and seven to reach double digits in Fantasy points. Hines Ward (ankle) could also be out or limited for the Steelers, and Brown should be able to attack this secondary down the field since the Patriots lead the NFL with the most pass plays allowed of 20-plus yards at 37. (Started in 13 percent of leagues in Week 7)

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Sit 'Em

Percy Harvin (at CAR): Harvin is dealing with a rib injury, which limited his production last week against Green Bay and could hinder him this week against the Panthers. Harvin was held to two catches for 15 yards against the Packers, and he is still looking for his first receiving touchdown on the year. The Panthers have only allowed four touchdowns to opposing receivers and none since Week 3 against Green Bay, including matchups with Marques Colston, Roddy White and Santana Moss. (Started in 54 percent of leagues in Week 7)
Reggie Wayne (at TEN): Wayne should play better than his performance last week at the Saints when he had just three catches for 36 yards, but he's not going to post enough stats to help your Fantasy team based on his body of work this year. Wayne has just one touchdown on the season and one game with double digits in Fantasy points, which was Week 1 at Houston. Since then his best game was Week 5 against Kansas City with four catches for 77 yards. Painter has limited what Wayne is able to do, and the Titans should be able to keep his production minimal as well. Tennessee has only allowed three receivers to score this year. (Started in 80 percent of leagues in Week 7)
David Nelson (vs. WAS): Nelson's Fantasy production has tailed off following a hot start, and he has just 13 Fantasy points in his past three games. The Bills have had to move Nelson around with Donald Jones (ankle) out, and that has likely limited his production. This could also be a difficult week for him against the Redskins, who have allowed just two touchdowns to receivers. The receivers who have done damage against Washington have been No. 1 options like Hakeem Nicks, Larry Fitzgerald and Steve Smith, which bodes well for Steve Johnson, but Nelson should struggle in this matchup. (Started in 43 percent of leagues in Week 6)
Nate Burleson (at DEN): It appears as if Burleson's performance in Week 6 against San Francisco was the exception and not the rule. He had his first touchdown of the season against the 49ers, but then he followed that up with one catch against Atlanta last week. He's just not consistent enough to trust as a starting Fantasy option in the majority of leagues. Even though the Broncos have allowed eight touchdowns to opposing receivers and seven to reach double digits in Fantasy points, Calvin Johnson is the only receiver to trust for the Lions in this matchup. (Started in 29 percent of leagues in Week 7)
Michael Crabtree (vs. CLE): Crabtree had his best game of the season in Week 6 at Detroit with nine catches for 77 yards, but don't expect him to build off that performance in a matchup with Haden. The Browns have only allowed two receivers to score this season, and Haden has been able to shut down Brandon Marshall, Sidney Rice and Wayne. He should be able to limit Crabtree, who is still looking for his first touchdown on the year. (Started in 18 percent of leagues in Week 6)

Bust alert: Sidney Rice (vs. CIN): Rice was a tremendous disappointment last week against the Browns with two catches for 38 yards, and he now has just six catches for 76 yards in his past two games. He has played well at home this season with 11 catches for 192 yards and a touchdown in two games, but he's too risky to trust, especially if Charlie Whitehurst starts again for the injured Tarvaris Jackson (pectoral). The Bengals have also allowed just two receivers to score against them this season and two to reach double digits in Fantasy points. (Started in 60 percent of leagues in Week 7)

Tight end

Start 'Em

Week 8 sleeper TEs
Visanthe Shiancoe, MIN at CAR
Jared Cook, TEN vs. IND
Jake Ballard, NYG vs. MIA

Fred Davis (at BUF): We like Jabar Gaffney as a sleeper this week, but Davis should be the best receiving option for the Redskins against the Bills and as long as Santana Moss (hand) is out. It helps that Chris Cooley (knee) is out for the season, and Davis has been a star the past two games against Philadelphia and Carolina with 12 catches for 175 yards and a touchdown. He has 19 targets over that span, and we don't see any reason for him to slow down. It helps that Buffalo has struggled with tight ends recently with Rob Gronkowski, Jermaine Gresham and Jake Ballard each scoring at least eight Fantasy points in three of the past four games. (Started in 62 percent of leagues in Week 7)
Aaron Hernandez (at PIT): Coming off New England's bye week, Hernandez should be fully healthy following the knee injury that kept him out for two games earlier in the season. He has three games with double digits in Fantasy points on the year, and he should play well even in a tough matchup. The Steelers have struggled with athletic tight ends this year with Ed Dickson in Week 1 and Owen Daniels in Week 4 scoring touchdowns. Hernandez is more of a receiver anyway, and he should present matchup problems for Pittsburgh this week. (Started in 70 percent of leagues in Week 6)
Jermaine Gresham (at SEA): Gresham had a disappointing game prior to his bye week when he had just four catches for 23 yards against the Colts in Week 6. He should rebound this week against the Seahawks, who have struggled with tight ends recently. Seattle has allowed a tight end to score in two of its past three games with Tony Gonzalez in Week 4 and Ballard in Week 5. Gresham has three touchdowns on the season, and he has a solid chance to add to that total in this matchup. (Started in 46 percent of leagues in Week 6)

Sit 'Em

Heath Miller (vs. NE): Miller has played well of late with two touchdowns in his past three games and at least seven Fantasy points in three of his past five outings, but it always seems like when you need to depend on him is when he lets you down. That could happen this week with a tough matchup against the Patriots. New England has only allowed two touchdowns to opposing tight ends and only Jason Witten has reached double digits in Fantasy points. The Patriots held Antonio Gates and Dustin Keller to a combined one catch for 7 yards in two games. (Started in 25 percent of leagues in Week 7)
Dallas Clark (at TEN): How can you trust Clark at this point? He had no targets in Week 7 at New Orleans. Not one catch. Not one yard. Not one attempt in his direction. There's taking a zero because the other defense is better, but the Saints were among the worst teams at defending tight ends prior to the game. It doesn't matter that the Titans are also bad at defending tight ends, Clark has yet to play at a high enough level to warrant starting unless you're stuck. He has yet to reach double digits in Fantasy points in any game this season, and he has five games with four Fantasy points or less. The loss of Peyton Manning has ruined Clark, and I would consider dropping him for someone better if you need a bye-week replacement. (Started in 68 percent of leagues in Week 7)
Marcedes Lewis (at HOU): The ball was right there for Lewis last week against the Ravens. He was in the end zone, the ball hit him in the hands and the tight end who scored 10 touchdowns last year couldn't pull it in. He is still looking for his first touchdown, and he will likely struggle again this week. The Texans have only allowed two tight ends to score this season, and Lewis has just one touchdown against Houston in his past five meetings. He's just not reliable anymore and is worth dropping in all leagues. (Started in 11 percent of leagues in Week 7)

Bust alert: Greg Olsen (vs. MIN): The turf toe problem that Olsen is playing through is likely taking a toll since he has just six catches for 46 yards the past two games against Atlanta and Washington after scoring a touchdown in his previous three outings. He had a season-low three targets against the Redskins, and Jeremy Shockey is becoming more involved in the passing game. Hopefully we can see Olsen get healthy during the bye in Week 9, but for Week 8 you might want to keep him on your bench. It doesn't help that the Vikings have only allowed one touchdown to a tight end this season. (Started in 58 percent of leagues in Week 7)

Defense/Special teams

Start 'Em

Week 8 sleeper DSTs
Bengals at SEA
Texans vs. JAC
Bills vs. WAS

Giants (vs. MIA): The Giants are hopeful of getting defensive lineman Justin Tuck back for this game after he missed the past three outings with an injured neck and groin. That will only make their pass rush that much better against Dolphins quarterback Matt Moore, who has already been sacked 11 times and has four turnovers since taking over for the injured Henne in Week 4. The Giants DST has at least one turnover in their past four games with 15 sacks over that span, but this should be their best game of the season. Outside of Thomas and Marshall, the Dolphins don't have many quality weapons on offense. (Started in 63 percent of leagues in Week 6)

Sit 'Em

Steelers (vs. NE): The Steelers defense got off to a terrible start this season when the Ravens scored 35 points against them in Week 1, and it feels like they have been playing catch up ever since. They have done a nice job of late with only the Cardinals scoring more than 17 points since Week 1, but this Pittsburgh defense is still not generating enough turnovers or sacks. It won't be easy facing the Patriots, who average more than 30 points a game, and Tom Brady should be ready coming off a bye. It's hard to bench the Steelers DST in the majority of leagues, but this is not a good week to rely on them as a starting option based on their opponent. (Started in 95 percent of leagues in Week 7)

Kicker

Start 'Em

Week 8 sleeper Ks
Rian Lindell, BUF vs. WAS
Matt Prater, DEN vs. DET
Alex Henery, PHI vs. DAL

David Akers (vs. CLE): Akers is coming off two of his best games of the season prior to the bye last week. He had five field goals and eight extra points combined against Tampa Bay and Detroit, and he likes kicking in his new home in San Francisco with seven field goals in three home games without a miss and a combined 35 Fantasy points in those outings. The Browns have allowed three kickers to make multiple field goals against them this season with Mike Nugent, Adam Vinatieri and Dan Carpenter, and there's a good chance Akers will add his name to that list. (Started in 69 percent of leagues in Week 6)

Sit 'Em

Josh Scobee (at HOU): Scobee had a career day last week against Baltimore with four field goals, including three from 50-plus yards. He now has three games in a row with multiple field goals and four on the season. Yet despite making 14 field goals this year without a miss, he only has two games with double digits in Fantasy points. That's because Scobee has only made six extra points on the season with Jacksonville's inept offense. This week could be a letdown for Scobee since the Texans have only allowed two kickers to reach double digits in Fantasy points in Sebastian Janikowski and Billy Cundiff. Scobee also has just one game with multiple field goals against the Texans in his past five meetings, and he has made just three field goals in his past five trips to Houston. He was a popular pick up this week with his start percentage at 38 percent for Week 8, but don't be surprised if he struggles after his big game against the Ravens. (Started in 9 percent of leagues in Week 7)

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Player News
Report: Pierre Thomas to miss 2-3 weeks
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(10:22 am ET) Saints running back Pierre Thomas, who suffered a shoulder injury Sunday at Detroit, will miss two or three games, reports NFL Network. Thomas has rushed 30 times for 133 yards and two touchdowns and caught 26 passes for 204 yards and another score.

Thomas will miss Week 8 against the Packers and Week 9 at Carolina, according to the report. The Saints, however, have not updated Thomas' status. Travaris Cadet will fill in as New Orleans' pass-catching back while Thomas is sidelined.


Reggie Bush guarantees he'll play Sunday in London
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(10:12 am ET) Lions running back Reggie Bush, who was bothered by an ankle injury Week 7, guaranteed he'll play Sunday in London against the Falcons, reports MLive.com.

"I'm fine," Bush said, per the website. "I mean, I'm not 100 percent. But I haven't been 100 percent since high school.

"Got rolled up on a few times and injured in the (Saints) game," he added. "But I felt fine after the game, though. Didn't have any setbacks, and that's the most important thing. Looking to just continue to progress every week. I'll be on the field Sunday."


Ryan Fitzpatrick fades in MNF loss
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(12:44 am ET) Texans quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick got off to a great start Monday against the Steelers, leading three straight scoring drives. But he forced a throw into traffic late in the first half, and it got deflected and picked off by defensive end Brett Keisel.

Fitzpatrick finished 21 of 32 for 262 yards and two touchdowns with the one interception. When he was playing well early, the team converted its first three third downs. Houston finished 4 of 12 on third down. Fitzpatrick has accounted for nine touchdowns and eight turnovers this year.

Both of Fitzpatrick's scoring passes went to running backs, with Alfred Blue taking a short pass 11 yards for a first-quarter touchdown and Arian Foster hauling in a 1-yard score late in the fourth.

Fitzpatrick visits the Titans in Week 8.


Randy Bullock redeems himself
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(12:34 am ET) After missing a 37-yard field-goal try Week 6, Texans kicker Randy Bullock converted all three of his attempts in Monday's loss at Pittsburgh. Bullock was good from 39, 38 and 31 yards and added two PATs for 11 points.

He'll visit Tennessee in Week 8.


Texans' role players contribute Week 7
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(12:30 am ET) The Texans got contributions from several role players in Monday's 30-23 loss at Pittsburgh. Backup running back Alfred Blue ran five times for 14 yards and took a dumpoff pass 11 yards for his first career touchdown.

Tight end Garrett Graham caught two of three targets for 24 yards, and wideout Damaris Johnson had a 15-yard reception and a bad drop. Tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz hauled in a 9-yard pass, while receiver Keshawn Martin added a 5-yard grab.

They'll all visit the Titans in Week 8.


Shaun Suisham stays hot on MNF
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(12:27 am ET) Steelers kicker Shaun Suisham improved to 14 of 15 on field goals by drilling three in Monday's win over Houston. Suisham connected from 44, 30 and 40 yards and added three PATs for a 12-point night.

He'll face the Colts in Week 8.


Steelers get offensive contributions
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(12:25 am ET) The Steelers got a variety of offensive contributions in their 30-23 win over the Texans. Among them, running back LeGarrette Blount ran seven times for 9 yards and caught an 8-yard pass. Running back Dri Archer carried twice for 7 yards.

Tight end Heath Miller secured his only target for 13 yards, while wideout Markus Wheaton was targeted twice without a catch. They'll all play the Colts in Week 8.


Lance Moore scores again Week 7
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(12:22 am ET) Steelers No. 3 receiver Lance Moore caught a touchdown pass for the second straight game Monday, hauling in a 3-yard bullet from fellow wideout Antonio Brown on a trick play. Moore caught both his targets for 12 yards, and his two catches represented a season high.

He'll play the Colts in Week 8.


Big Ben throws for 265 yards, two TDs in victory
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(12:18 am ET) Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger threw multiple touchdown passes for the first since Week 4, completing 23 of 33 throws for 265 yards and two scores Monday against the Texans. Roethlisberger did not toss an interception but lost a fumble while getting sacked.

It was a nice bounceback for Roethlisberger, who had accounted for two touchdowns and two turnovers in Weeks 5-6.

Roethlisberger found rookie Martavis Bryant for a 35-yard touchdown and running back Le'Veon Bell for a 2-yard score in a 24-point onslaught right before halftime. He had a touchdown pass called back when it was ruled Antonio Brown did not get both feet down.

Roethlisberger plays the Colts in Week 8.


Steelers WR Martavis Bryant makes immediate impact
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(12:12 am ET) Getting his first NFL action Monday, Steelers rookie wideout Martavis Bryant made his presence felt in the second quarter. He ran past Texans rookie corner Andre Hal and hauled in a 35-yard touchdown, dragging his left toe for the score.

Bryant caught another 5-yard pass later, giving him two catches on five targets for 40 yards. He likely earned more playing time Week 8 against the Colts.


 
 
 
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