Week 8 sees another matchup east of the Atlantic Ocean, a pair of surprising top 10 quarterbacks and the Broncos picking themselves up after their first loss of the season. With six teams on a bye, fantasy owners might need to look in some unexpected places to find production this week.
Analysis: The Lions are dealing with injuries in the secondary, which should open opportunities for Tony Romo and Dez Bryant. It also makes the up-and-coming Terrance Williams a nice spot start option. If DeMarco Murray plays, he's worth a start, but temper your expecations: Detroit has been good against the run in recent weeks. Matthew Stafford's quality stint should continue against the Cowboys. Calvin Johnson will match up with Brandon Carr, who has played very well lately ... but fear not, Megatron should play up to his normal standards. Reggie Bush should continue to be a solid play.
Analysis: Speaking generally, the games in London haven't produced big fantasy numbers, but they have normally yielded a 100-yard rusher. That's good news for the ever-enduring Frank Gore. It could also mean good things for Colin Kaepernick, who has started to stretch his legs more often. Vernon Davis will continue to be a must-start. Justin Blackmon has earned a spot in fantasy lineups, regardless of who is under center. Cecil Shorts is a cautious option if the bye weeks have you short-handed. The same goes for Maurice Jones-Drew -- but you don't have to like it.
Analysis: There's not a lot to like offensively in this one. Jason Campbell's start at quarterback could have an adverse effect on Josh Gordon and Jordan Cameron. Nonetheless, it's hard to sit either of those pass-catchers. Jamaal Charles is a must-start, but there aren't many other Kansas City offensive options that demand entry into your starting lineup.
Analysis:Ryan Tannehill has shown improvement over last season, but unless you're in dire straits at quarterback, he's a risky start for this week. Meanwhile a messy Dolpins backfield is best avoided. Brian Hartline and Mike Wallace are decent flex options, though Hartline has been the more productive wide receiver this season. In a full week, it might behoove you to sit Tom Brady, but it's unlikely a lot of fantasy owners have a plethora of other options this week. However, Stevan Ridley could pick up where he left off last week. Look for Rob Gronkowski to continue his return to form.
Analysis:Fred Jackson owners, your patience could pay off. With C.J. Spiller potentially out of action, Jackson should see plenty of work against a run defense that has been gashed in the past couple of weeks. However, New Orleans has been tough on wideouts, which doesn't bode well for Stevie Johnson or Robert Woods. Jimmy Graham's potential absence could mean more targets for Marques Colston, Kenny Stills and Lance Moore. The Bills have had major problems covering wide outs in the past two weeks. It could also mean an increased reliance on Pierre Thomas and Darren Sproles this week.
Analysis:Eli Manning picked a good time to turn things around. He didn't throw a pick last week and this week he matches up against an Eagles offense that has been very forgiving to quarterbacks. That's even better news for Victor Cruz, Rueben Randle and the struggling Hakeem Nicks. Beware of Peyton Hillis this week as Philly has put the clamps on running backs lately. Don't be fooled by last Monday's game against Minnesota, the Giants defense is still bad. Feel good about rolling with the Eagles Big Three as well as considering Riley Cooper a nice flex start.
Analysis: Beware all running backs in this one. It's unlikely that you have the depth this week to sit BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Gio Bernard or Chris Ivory, but you'll need to temper your expecations. This isn't the best week to trust Geno Smith, who has yet to post solid back-to-back weeks. Andy Dalton is also a cautious play, but A.J. Green has been hot recently and should continue to produce. Both tight ends -- Tyler Eifert and Jeff Cumberland -- could be sneaky sleeper plays while both defenses are solid options.
Analysis:Ben Roethlisberger has historically been good against the Raiders, but this Oakland defense is a little better than its predecessors. You might be playing Big Ben, but don't look for huge numbers. Le'Veon Bell should continue to be a nice RB2/flex choice for many fantasy owners while Antonio Brown is a quality wide receiver play. This isn't a week to ride Terrelle Pryor, but Darren McFadden should have good opportunities. Temper your expectations for Denarius Moore, but he is the best Raiders pass-catching option this week.
Analysis:Matt Ryan has defied expecations in recent weeks and should continue to be a good start -- especially for owners dealing with the bye week blues. You should cautiously start Steven Jackson, but the combination of Jacquizz Rodgers and the Cardinals defensive front could depress his production. Harry Douglas is the new No. 1 target in the pass attack, but he'll be hard-pressed to duplicate his Week 7 production. Carson Palmer has been relegated to a bye week starter -- and this is the bye week to play him. The matchup also bodes well for Larry Fitzgerald. Andre Ellington is the running back to play, but he's a flex option at best this week.
Analysis: This game could feature fantasy points galore. Shanahanigans might be back, but Alfred Morris should still post good numbers. Robert Griffin III has rediscovered his running prowess, which opens up the passing game for Pierre Garcon and Jordan Reed. Washington's defense remains terrible, which means plenty of chances for Peyton Manning and his cohorts to put up fantasy points. Look for the Broncos to bounce back after last week's tough loss.
Analysis:Jordy Nelson and Jarrett Boykin could have a field day against the Minnesota secondary. The matchup also holds good potential for Eddie Lacy to continue his outstanding rookie season. Even in a week with six teams on bye, do you trust Christian Ponder? I didn't think so. That mistrust will likely extend to Greg Jennings and Kyle Rudolph -- even if the numbers favor those two players. Over the past month, no one has been better against running backs than the Packers. But you're starting Adrian Peterson anyway.
Analysis: The Rams have been good against quarterbacks lately, but Russell Wilson has been playing too well to bench unless you have a clearly superior option. Marshawn Lynch should explode against a poor Rams run defense while Sidney Rice and Doug Baldwin are sleeper options. Kellen Clemens picked a bad time to make his first start of the season. Seattle has been unkind to opposing passing games this season -- avoid anyone involved in St. Louis aerial attack. Zac Stacy might have taken over the Rams' run game, but he's not likely to excel this week against the Seahawks.