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Start 'Em, Sit 'Em: Quarterbacks for Week 8

Start 'Em & Sit 'Em is the ultimate look at the weekly NFL matchups and how they'll affect your fantasy football team. Sleeper alert features an under-the-radar player who could produce good numbers. Owners beware features a regular fantasy starter who could fail to meet expectations based on the strength of his opponent. Obvious fantasy starters like Aaron Rodgers and Arian Foster will not be featured in this column. For your final lineup decisions, check our lineup rankings.

Byes - Baltimore Ravens, Buffalo Bills, Cincinnati Bengals, Houston Texans

Start of the week


Peyton Manning vs. New Orleans Saints: Manning has been an absolute star in fantasy land, scoring 20-plus points in all but one game this season (neck surgeries, what neck surgeries?). Next on the schedule is a matchup against the Saints, who have allowed more fantasy points to quarterbacks than any other team in the league. Look for a shootout in this contest.

Start 'em


Andrew Luck at Tennessee Titans: It's true, Luck has not been as good on the road as he's been at home as a rookie. However, this matchup is too good to pass up. The Titans have allowed the third-most fantasy points to quarterbacks, and every single-caller that's faced them has scored better than 15 points no matter where the games have been played. Start Luck this week.

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Ben Roethlisberger vs. Washington Redskins: Roethlisberger hasn't been the most consistent fantasy quarterback this season, but he does rank in the top 10 in points at his position. He should improve that level of status against the Redskins, who have surrendered 15 touchdown passes and an average of just fewer than 20 fantasy points per game to opposing field generals.

Philip Rivers at Cleveland Browns: I admit, it will take a leap of faith to start Rivers this week and you shouldn't do it unless you're other options at quarterback are limited. Still, the veteran does have a good matchup against a Browns defense that has given up the fourth-most fantasy points to signal-callers. Proceed with caution, but the matchup is a favorable one.

Sleeper alert - Brandon Weeden vs. San Diego Chargers: Weeden has become a legitimate fantasy option, scoring 15-plus fantasy points in each of his last three contests. Is he a sure bet to continue to produce at a high level? No, but he has been rolling lately and a matchup against the Chargers is a favorable one. Get him in your lineup if you need a one-week quarterback.

Paul Spinelli/Associated Press
Tony Romo has scored 14-plus fantasy points in each of his last two games. Is he worth a look in Week 8? (Click image for further analysis.)

Sit of the week


Michael Vick vs. Atlanta Falcons: It's tough to sit Vick, and you shouldn't do it unless you have a viable alternative. Just keep in mind that he's been inconsistent at best in 2012, and this weekend's matchup against the Falcons isn't attractive. Atlanta's defense has allowed an average of fewer than 14 fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks this season.

Sit 'em


Matthew Stafford vs. Seattle Seahawks: Where have you gone, Stafford? A fantasy superstar in 2011, the veteran hasn't had a repeat performance in 2012. While he's still tough to bench because you likely took him in Round 1 or 2, keep in mind that this week's matchup against the Seahawks is a tough one. Their defense has given up the third-fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks.

Alex Smith at Arizona Cardinals (Mon.): Just when you think you can trust in your fantasy lineup, he goes out and puts up a stinker. He's had several of those performances in recent weeks, in fact, and Monday night's matchup against the Cardinals isn't favorable. Arizona's defense has given up the second-fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks, so keep Smith on the bench.

Ryan Tannehill at New York Jets: Tannehill has recorded 17-plus fantasy points in two of his last three games, but that's not enough to start him against a team like the Jets. The Men in Green have been tough on quarterbacks this season, allowing the sixth-fewest fantasy points to the position in 2012. I also don't like the fact that this game is on the road, either.

Owners beware - Cam Newton at Chicago Bears: You should not bench (repeat, NOT bench) Newton if you are without a viable alternative. Just keep in mind that this week's matchup against the Bears at Solider Field is a terrible one. Chicago's defense has allowed the fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks and has held down some of the league's best, including Aaron Rodgers.

Michael Fabiano is an award-winning fantasy football analyst on NFL.com. Have a burning question on anything fantasy related? Tweet it to @Michael_Fabiano or send a question via Facebook!

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