Setting Your Lineup for Week 8

Well, my favorite fantasy team lost for the first time last week, and in years gone by I would be tinkering all week hoping to figure out a way to avoid another loss. But not now. Now I am only analyzing what happened to see what was different. First off, my opponent had Aaron Rodgers, who scored 44 points, and, secondly, I played Nick Foles. This week I’m playing against a team that features Matthew Stafford, and Foles is back on the waiver wire where he always belonged.

Because, you see, that was my biggest problem last week: overthinking. I didn’t trust Tom Brady to deliver the points necessary to match up against Rodgers. I put my faith instead in a quarterback who hadn’t ever earned it in the first place because of what I felt about the potential matchup. I won’t do that again. That is especially important when playing against one of the “Big 3,” (Peyton. Rodgers. Brees.) because they can drive someone crazy thinking about the points they will score. This week is different, and I’m back to feeling confident. It also helps that I have Michael Vick back just in time.

Time for Setting Your Lineup…

Either/Or:

Joique Bell or Jacquizz Rodgers

Both of these guys are RB2s on their own teams, but on occasion they can score like RB1s, at least when it comes to your fantasy team. While Steven Jackson’s been out in Atlanta, Rodgers has had the hot hand, but with Jackson slated to return this week, what can you expect from Rodgers? And Bell is playing against that Dallas defense that has given up quite a few points to running backs who can catch the ball. Reggie Bush can’t play every single down, and Bell might be a good flex option this week. In fact, both of these players can be good flex options right now, but I would trust Rodgers more this week. Jackson will probably be on some kind of a snap count due to the lingering injury, being his first game back. I would count on 12 fantasy points from Rodgers this week, including a touchdown.

Victor Cruz or Antonio Brown

With the Steelers a revived team and with the Giants remaining putrid despite their first win of the season, is now the time to get on board the Brown train? Do you expect a lot fewer salsa dances from Mr. Cruz? A lot of fantasy owners are doing just that, sitting Cruz and playing Brown, and if you have both players on your team both should be active this week. However, if you’re a Cruz owner and he’s currently on your bench, get him active. No, he wasn’t particularly good against the Eagles the first time through, but now that Philadelphia is aware of Randle and how he can hurt them, I think they play him tougher this time. Which will open up room for Cruz. Brown, on the other hand, is playing on the road at Oakland, and did you see how they shut down the previously hot Chargers in Oakland? I would go with Cruz over Brown this week. Cruz will score a touchdown in Philly and get you at least 14 fantasy points, restoring your faith in him as a WR1.

What to Expect From:

Tony Romo

Romo has been pretty good this year by all accounts, but I’ve noticed a few trends over the years with him that he seems to be starting this year as well. He will start off well, and keep down the mistakes. The Cowboys will get a winning record. Then he will start to go the other way, and the turnovers will follow. Against the horrible Eagles defense last week, Romo should have had a field day, but he didn’t. He came back down to earth, and I think he stays there this week in Detroit. A lot of the experts are predicting a shootout, but I don’t think it will even come down to that. Detroit only needs to shut down Jason Witten. Dez Bryant can’t do the rest on his own, and the running back situation is muddied. Romo will be forced to throw into small windows, hence the turnovers. I say sit him this week. He will get over 200 yards passing, but he will turn the ball over at least twice, and he won’t get many scores to go along with them.

Broncos’ Defense/Special Teams

Everyone has nothing but praise for the offense and nothing but ridicule for the defense. As the year began, people actually thought this would be an elite unit, but after giving up 48 points to the Cowboys and 39 to the Colts, people are down on the Denver D. I think it has to do with expectations and results, but Denver isn’t too far off from that team you thought they would be before the season began. They finally got Von Miller back from suspension, and once he gets up to speed watch the sacks ratchet up. And they still have the possibility for turnovers, with a solid cornerback crew and a date with the Redskins this week. I’m not saying you should play them over the New Orleans defense, but if your choice is between the Cowboys’ D and the Broncos, it should be a no-brainer. They should get you at least 10 fantasy points this week.

Tight End Roulette:

The position of tight end is still a revolving door, but with six teams on a bye this week, you can’t afford to be too choosy. Any combination of them can get you solid points, but think about it another way. Odds are the team you’re playing in fantasy this week is having the same issues trying to get points from the position, and they’re guessing. You have an ace on your side. This week you should go with Charles Clay against the New England defense, Joseph Fauria playing against Dallas, Jordan Reed against Denver, and Tyler Eifert against the Jets. Clay has become the go-to man for Ryan Tannehill in Miami, and the New England defense was great against Jimmy Graham, but they put Talib on him. Talib will be going with Wallace this week, making Clay a great play. I am using him myself in two of my fantasy leagues this week. Clay will give you at least 12 fantasy points, including a touchdown.

Any other lineup questions, just drop me a line and I’ll let you know what I think.

FA

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