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NFL fantasy football: Week 8 matchups

  • By Marcas Grant NFL.com
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We've reached the point where there's less fantasy season in front of us than behind us. That means it's time to start making moves to get your team ready for the postseason. But I'm getting ahead of myself here. You all came for this week's matchups. So in the immortal words of the O'Jays, it's time for me to give the people what they want.

Byes: Ravens, Bills, Bengals, Texans

Sunday, Oct. 28
QB
RB
WR
TE
K
DEF
Panthers fantasy points scored
15.03
11.44
15.86
5.49
2.86
5.71
Bears fantasy points allowed
8.86
9.22
20.08
7.53
5.33
7.50
Bears fantasy points scored
11.29
16.69
20.76
3.14
8.00
16.14
Panthers fantasy points allowed
15.83
21.75
18.57
7.52
12.33
9.17

Analysis: There isn't much about this matchup that looks favorable for the Panthers' offense. Cam Newton could do better than most QBs against the Bears, but it won't be anything to write home about. Look for Greg Olsen to see a few targets if you're in need of TE help. Ride Matt Forte against Carolina's run defense while Michael Bush could see some goal-line carries. Robbie Gould is a good option at kicker.

Sunday, Oct. 28
QB
RB
WR
TE
K
DEF
Chargers fantasy points scored
10.94
18.34
13.81
9.14
7.43
7.57
Browns fantasy points allowed
19.94
18.84
30.76
5.76
6.86
8.29
Browns fantasy points scored
13.05
16.96
21.81
5.19
8.43
8.29
Chargers fantasy points allowed
18.86
15.30
27.53
6.53
4.83
10.17

Analysis: For everyone down on Philip Rivers, this is the week to believe in him. Look for Rivers to toss a couple of touchdown passes and connect with Robert Meachem on more than a few throws. Antonio Gates? Not so much. Although with a dearth of productive tight ends, he's hard to bench. Quarterbacks have fared well against San Diego, but start Brandon Weeden with caution against a team desperate for a win. Stay with Josh Gordon while he has the hot hand and look for Cleveland's defense to score at least one intereception.

Sunday, Oct. 28
QB
RB
WR
TE
K
DEF
Seahawks fantasy points scored
10.73
15.47
17.70
4.13
7.43
9.43
Lions fantasy points allowed
15.94
11.83
19.80
7.80
10.00
12.50
Lions fantasy points scored
16.26
14.21
21.01
7.29
8.71
4.43
Seahawks fantasy points allowed
10.88
11.59
17.47
7.17
7.71
8.29

Analysis: The Lions' secondary has had its problems this season, but that doesn't mean you need to rush Russell Wilson or any of his receivers into your lineup. You should start Marshawn Lynch, but don't be surprised if his numbers aren't what you expect. However, the Seahawks' defense should perform well. If you can find an option to replace Matthew Stafford this week (it's tough, I know), do it. Avoid anyone in Detroit's backfield as well.

Sunday, Oct. 28
QB
RB
WR
TE
K
DEF
Jaguars fantasy points scored
8.37
12.77
11.14
3.71
5.71
3.00
Packers fantasy points allowed
15.97
17.04
23.77
7.61
8.43
6.00
Packers fantasy points scored
22.81
11.24
36.00
7.84
8.00
7.43
Jaguars fantasy points allowed
16.90
25.25
22.38
5.15
10.67
10.17

Analysis: Blaine Gabbert could have an above-average day this week, though this isn't a reason to start him if you have other options. If you're looking for a sleeper flex play, look in Cecil Shorts' direction. Aaron Rodgers and his pass-catchers are must-starts, but Alex Green could be a quality play -- especially if the Packers jump out to a big lead. It should also be a quality week for Mason Crosby and the Green Bay defense, even without Charles Woodson.

Sunday, Oct. 28
QB
RB
WR
TE
K
DEF
Dolphins fantasy points scored
10.14
20.36
15.41
4.23
4.86
7.29
Jets fantasy points allowed
13.07
20.57
15.44
11.63
8.86
8.71
Jets fantasy points scored
12.20
15.73
20.41
5.73
7.57
8.71
Dolphins fantasy points allowed
16.94
14.10
25.00
6.87
8.17
7.67

Analysis: Reggie Bush should be motivated to perform after a week of trash talk, and with so many RBs on byes, he's as good a start as you'll find this week. It's hard to recommend starting Anthony Fasano, but his matchup is a favorable one if you are at your wit's end trying to find a TE. After a couple of good weeks, Shonn Greene will have a tough road this week. Consider Jeremy Kerley as a sleeper play this week in deeper leagues.

Sunday, Oct. 28
QB
RB
WR
TE
K
DEF
Falcons fantasy points scored
17.85
13.99
22.36
9.67
8.71
9.57
Eagles fantasy points allowed
13.45
13.88
21.00
6.08
10.50
12.17
Eagles fantasy points scored
13.97
11.46
18.59
7.66
6.14
4.14
Falcons fantasy points allowed
13.51
19.37
19.25
7.23
5.17
4.83

Analysis: Matt Ryan is a must-start, but he might not look great against a desperate Eagles team. Tony Gonzalez could also be held in check this week. However, look for the Falcons' defense to force at least two turnovers against Philly's offense. This might finally be the week Andy Reid emphasizes LeSean McCoy in the offense. If there's an Eagles receiver to target, it's Jeremy Maclin, who has torched the Dirty Birds during his career.

Sunday, Oct. 28
QB
RB
WR
TE
K
DEF
Redskins fantasy points scored
24.34
15.90
23.00
6.06
5.43
5.14
Steelers fantasy points allowed
13.92
14.67
20.02
6.95
6.67
5.33
Steelers fantasy points scored
16.07
13.96
20.30
9.14
8.00
4.29
Redskins fantasy points allowed
19.41
15.11
33.30
11.99
9.71
5.71

Analysis: There's no way you're sitting Robert Griffin III, but this isn't a great matchup, so temper your expectations. The same goes for Alfred Morris, though his prospects looks slightly better. The Steelers passing game should excel, which means good things for owners of Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown and Mike Wallace. This should also be the week that Heath Miller returns to fantasy good graces.

Sunday, Oct. 28
QB
RB
WR
TE
K
DEF
Patriots fantasy points scored
19.87
25.39
20.74
15.01
10.71
9.57
Rams fantasy points allowed
14.90
15.70
20.60
5.61
7.57
8.86
Rams fantasy points scored
13.35
13.26
22.61
4.20
10.00
8.14
Patriots fantasy points allowed
19.81
12.86
27.44
10.61
7.29
3.14

Analysis: Rob Gronkowski has played well lately, but the Rams should find a way to slow him down. You should still have Gronk in your lineup because he's Gronk. With Aaron Hernandez out, don't be surprised to see Julian Edelman with a few extra targets. New England's poor pass defense should mean better-than-usual production from Sam Bradford. Brandon Gibson and Chris Givens are sleepers this week in leagues with 12 or more teams.

Sunday, Oct. 28
QB
RB
WR
TE
K
DEF
Colts fantasy points scored
14.92
10.11
20.71
6.23
7.00
3.14
Titans fantasy points allowed
20.47
23.57
22.77
14.44
11.14
9.14
Titans fantasy points scored
13.69
13.84
20.17
9.90
6.71
4.29
Colts fantasy points allowed
17.26
23.27
27.67
3.38
6.67
7.67

Analysis: This game has fantasy bonanza written all over it. Andrew Luck and Reggie Wayne could connect for at least one score while Vick Ballard looks like a good RB2 play in 12-plus team leagues. Expect Chris Johnson to continue his string of quality games, while Matt Hasselbeck throws at least one touchdown.

Sunday, Oct. 28
QB
RB
WR
TE
K
DEF
Raiders fantasy points scored
13.70
14.86
17.89
5.64
7.86
1.86
Chiefs fantasy points allowed
19.21
22.80
22.18
6.67
9.50
14.33
Chiefs fantasy points scored
7.95
19.01
14.46
3.13
6.00
3.86
Raiders fantasy points allowed
18.50
20.25
22.35
7.98
11.50
8.00

Analysis: If there was ever a week to make sure Darren McFadden's in your lineup, this is it. Both he and Carson Palmer should produce for fantasy owners this week. Denarius Moore and Darrius Heyward-Bey are also WR2 or flex options this week. With Brady Quinn starting at quarterback, look for Kansas City to lean on Jamaal Charles this week with Peyton Hillis seeing a few more touches than he has in past weeks.

Sunday, Oct. 28
QB
RB
WR
TE
K
DEF
Giants fantasy points scored
16.99
21.74
29.67
8.06
11.00
9.14
Cowboys fantasy points allowed
13.12
15.98
17.60
6.82
6.17
10.83
Cowboys fantasy points scored
12.46
13.30
22.34
6.16
6.43
4.14
Giants fantasy points allowed
16.19
14.34
26.03
5.34
7.86
2.86

Analysis: You might be forced to start Ahmad Bradshaw, but he's a risky play against the Dallas defense. The matchup isn't particularly great for Eli Manning or the Giants receivers, either, however they've been able to overcome such obstacles in the past. Get 'em in your lineup. Felix Jones will start, but use him with caution this week. Miles Austin remains a quality play even if Tony Romo struggles against Big Blue's secondary.

Sunday, Oct. 28
QB
RB
WR
TE
K
DEF
Saints fantasy points scored
21.10
18.04
28.04
7.57
6.29
3.86
Broncos fantasy points allowed
15.48
16.50
20.80
10.67
7.00
6.33
Broncos fantasy points scored
17.29
14.69
24.59
8.50
6.29
9.29
Saints fantasy points allowed
21.78
26.57
31.87
5.57
9.00
5.00

Analysis: This is another matchup that could provide plenty of fantasy gold. New Orleans' offense has been on fire lately, so you should have any Saints in your lineup -- that includes Jimmy Graham (if he's playing). Similarly, Peyton Manning looks like the Manning of old and should excel against a struggling defense. Not to be forgotten, Willis McGahee could also approach 100 yards rushing.

Monday, Oct. 29
QB
RB
WR
TE
K
DEF
49ers fantasy points scored
16.86
20.07
18.14
9.87
8.43
9.14
Cardinals fantasy points allowed
9.55
16.37
19.37
4.46
7.71
10.71
Cardinals fantasy points scored
14.21
10.71
23.49
4.81
6.86
10.00
49ers fantasy points allowed
11.32
10.50
15.80
5.66
6.86
7.57

Analysis: There might not be much in the way of offensive fantasy output in this one. The matchup might not look good, but Larry Fitzgerald and Andre Roberts could perform better than expected. San Francisco will look to pound the rock with Frank Gore, who has played well against some tough defenses this year. Both defenses are quality plays in this one.

Follow Marcas Grant on Twitter @MarcasG

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