It's Week 8, and it's time to decide who to sit and start in your fantasy football league. With six teams on Bye's this week, it's bound to be some fun trying to set your lineup, especially in the flex position. In what follows there will be plenty of matchup based information to help you through the morass of mediocrity that's out there. Who do you start with confidence? Who do you start but do so with a bit of trepidation?
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BYE: Baltimore, Chicago, Houston, Indianapolis, San Diego, Tennessee
WEEK 8 MATCHUPS
Justin Blackmon leads the NFL in receptions (25) and yardage (384) since Week 5. The Niners allow an average of only 219.4 passing yards a week though, the 6th best mark in football.
In his last 19 games at home Drew Brees has thrown for an average of 326 yards and 3.4 TD passes a game. The Bills are allowing 257 yards an a league worst 15 scores allowed through the air.
Antonio Brown is averaging 7.8 receptions and 91.3 yards per game this season. He's also caught at least nine balls for 86 yards in three of his last four games. The Raiders are allowing the 10th most points to wide outs in PPR setups this season.
Dez Bryant is the #1 WR in fantasy the last month and he's scored three times the last two times he's faced the Lions.
Brent Celek scored the last time he faced the Giants. The Giants have allowed five scores to tight ends this season and have allowed the 5th most points to tight ends this season on a per game basis.
Jamaal Charles has gone for 100 yards from scrimmage an a touchdown in every game this season. He faces the Browns a team he's run for 368 yards against in three games.
Marques Colston has been a disappointment this season. No way around that. Still, he's caught at least five balls in his last five home games and has scored in three of the past four games. The Bills are also allowing the second most fantasy points to wideouts in a PPR league including 12 scores.
Victor Cruz has scored five times in his last five games against the Eagles. Hakeem Nicks had nine receptions for 142 yards the last time he faced the Eagles. Rueben Randle has scored four times the last two times he's faced the Eagles (two in each game).
The last four weeks Jeff Cumberland has been a top-12 PPR option at tight end. He's scored in two of his past three games on the road. The Bengals have allowed four scores in seven games to the tight end.
Fred Jackson has four rushing scores in his last five games. The Saints have allowed only four rushing scores in six games.
Pierre Garcon has caught at least five passes in all six games he's played in 2013.
Brandon Gibson has caught at least five balls in five of seven games. He's also gone over 70 yards in two of his last three games. The Patriots allow an average of 225.6 yards a game through the air and just 20 completions, the 7th fewest in the game.
Tony Gonzalez faces the Cardinals, the worst team in the league at stopping tight ends. They've allowed eight scores and an average of more than 102 yards a week to tight ends.
Josh Gordon has 450 receiving yards since Week 3, the 4th best mark in football. He'll be catching passes this week from Jason Campbell and facing a Chiefs defense that is not to be trifled with – they are about as tough a pass defense as there is in the league allowing only 195 yards pass a game and six passing scores through seven contests.
Frank Gore leads the NFL in yards from scrimmage since 2006 (11,368). He faces the Jaguars this week and he should keep the success train rolling. The Jags have allowed the third most fantasy points a week to running backs in PPR, and part of that is because of the eight scores they've allowed.
Jimmy Graham has scored in 4-straight home games. In those four games he's averaged six receptions, 99 yards and more than a TD per contest.
BenJarvus Green-Ellis has four rushing scores in the past three games against the Jets. He's scored only three times this season but he has averaged 16 carries a week over the last three contests.
Rob Gronkowski has scored three times in his last four games. He's scored 38 times in 44 career games. Oh yeah, he was targeted 17 times last week.
Chris Ivory came out of nowhere last week to tote the rock 34 times on his way to 104 yards. He faces a tough Bengals defense this week and would probably be lucky to see half as many touches as he got last week. Still, he did run for 117 yards and two scores in his lone matchup with the Saints (back in 2010), so maybe there's enough positivity here for Ivory to be a Bye Week option.
DeSean Jackson has scored twice with 13 receptions and 231 yards in his last two games against the Giants.
Vincent Jackson has picked up 36 targets, that's not a misprint, the past two weeks. He's gone for at least nine catches, 100 yards and two scores in both games.
Eddie Lacy has run for at least 80 yards with 95 yards from scrimmage the past three games. The Vikings are the worst defense in fantasy football at holding down the runner. Look for Lacy to have a big game.
Brandon LaFell has scored in 3-straight games versus the Buccaneers. He's averaged 47.3 yards a score. The Bucs have allowed seven scores to wideouts in six games.
Marshawn Lynch has run for 100 yards the last three times he's faced the Rams.
Eli Manning has thrown for 18 scores in his last six games against the Eagles (that includes three games with at least four scores). The Eagles are allowing a league worst 320 yards passing a game, and 14 scores in seven contests this season which seems to set up Eli for a solid outing. At least it seems that way.
LeSean McCoy has 10 touchdowns in his last 10 games in October. He's averaging 116 yards from scrimmage in his last seven games against the Giants. He's averaging 136 yards from scrimmage per game this season. The Giants wont stop him.
Darren McFadden should be healthy after getting a Bye week to rest his legs. The last time he faced the Steelers he went for 113 yards an a score. The typically tough Steelers defense hasn't been great allowing six rushing scores in six games.
Rashard Mendenhall has to share the backfield with Andre Ellington but he's scored in all three of his home games this season. He faces the Falcons, in Arizona, a team that has allowed only two rushing scores in six games.
Heath Miller scored twice the last time he faced the Raiders. The Raiders though have been solid against tight ends this season permitting the 10th fewest points to TEs (though they have allowed six scores, a big number).
Zach Miller has scored in 3-straight games. Don't look for that to continue. The Rams have allowed only two scores to TEs this season and allow the 5th fewest points to tight ends in PPR setups.
Denarius Moore is averaging five receptions, 89 yards an 0.75 scores his last four games.
Knowshon Moreno has scored in 4-straight games leading to a career best eight scores on the season. The Redskins have allowed nine rushing scores, the most in football, and 126.2 rushing yards a game (4th worst).
Alfred Morris is losing a lot of snaps to Roy Helu but he's still a solid weekly play. Morris is averaging 101.3 rushing yards a game since Week 12 of last season and he's scored 11 times. Both of those numbers are second in football. Tough matchup this week though as the Broncos allow a league low 77.7 yards a game on the ground, though they have permitted seven rushing scores.
Jordy Nelson has scored three times in his last three games against the Vikings.
Cam Newton simply kills the Bucs. In four career matchups he has rushed for four scores and 163 yards, an in the last two matchups he's thrown for four scores while completing 81.4 percent of his passes.
Carson Palmer has thrown for 1,031 yards and six touchdowns in three games against the Falcons. He's looked nothing like that QB this year and it's foolish to expect a performance on par with his previous efforts. I just liked the fact the numbers were so huge so I mentioned it.
Adrian Peterson has been down the past few weeks but that might change in Week 8. AD has run for a touchdown in nine of his last 10 outings against the Packers. In the last two meetings he's scored twice while running for 409 yards.
Stevan Ridley has scored three times in his last two games versus the Dolphins. He's rushed for three scores the past two weeks.
Aaron Rodgers has thrown for an average of 300 yards and 2.7 touchdowns in his last seven games against the Vikings.
Jacquizz Rodgers has four scores in his last two games. Looks like Steven Jackson will play though as the Falcons take on the Cardinals. The club from Arizona has allowed only two scores to running backs this season.
Ben Roethlisberger threw for 384 yards and four scores the last time he faced the Raiders. The team from Oakland has been pretty solid against the pass this season allowing only nine passing scores and permitting a middle of the road total of 241 passing yards a game.
The last three times that Tony Romo has faced the Lions he's thrown for 300 yards and two scores. On the year Romo is averaging 287 yards and 2.14 passing scores a game.
Mike Tolbert has two rushing and one receiving score the past two weeks. He faces the Bucs who have allowed running backs only two scores this season.
Alex Smith is 26-5-1 since 2011. He's also thrown only 14 interceptions in those 32 games. Too bad he has only 37 touchdown passes. The Browns have allowed just nine passing scores, against five interceptions, through seven games.
Zac Stacy is averaging 70 yards a game on the ground the last three contests. He faces a stout Seahawks defense that is allowing less than 92 yards a game on the ground and four rushing scores in seven games.
Matthew Stafford has thrown for seven scores in his past two games. Calvin Johnson caught two of those scores last week and the last time he faced the Cowboys he also scored twice.
Mike Wallace has 15 catches for 206 yards and two scores versus the Patriots in the last two matchups. Of course, that was when he was a Steeler. In his last two games this season he's seen a whopping 26 targets leading to 12 receptions and 181 yards. He hasn't gotten into the end zone though.
Terrance Williams has scored in 3-straight for the Cowboys. The Lions have not been very good against wide outs allowing them to score the 6th most points in a PPR including six scores.
Ray Flowers can be heard daily on Sirius/XM Radio on The Fantasy Drive on Sirius 210 and XM 87, Monday through Thursday at 7 PM EDT & Friday's at 9 PM EDT. For more of Ray's analysis you can check out BaseballGuys.com or the BaseballGuys' Twitter account where he tirelessly answers everyone's questions.
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The co-host of The Drive on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio (Sirius 210, XM 87: Mon-Thurs 7 PM, Fri. 9 PM EDT), Ray also hosts a show Sunday night (7-10 PM EDT). Ray has spent years squirreled away studying the inner workings of the fantasy game to the detriment of his personal life. Specializing in baseball, football and hockey, some consider him an expert in all three.
- DeMarcus Cousins practiced again Wednesday
- WR Julian Edelman has a concussion
- Hyde not expected to play Sat
- Gore has "no symptoms" from concussion
- 49ers have released DT Ray McDonald
- Giants are re-signing Sergio Romo
- Kipnis had surgery to repair a tendon in finger
- Noah is likely to play on Thursday
- Newton split reps fairly on Wednesday
- Tim Duncan (rest) will play Wednesday