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Week 8: Start and Bench Advice

Below is our Week 8 Start & Bench Advice for the 2012 fantasy football season.

This start ‘em and sit ‘em advice is not typical, in fact, it’s both bold and unconventional.

Usually we provide weekly projections, but this week we’re going to spice things up and provide something a little different.

Let’s get to it!

Who Should I Start? Who Should I Sit?

* Based on a standard non-PPR scoring format

Should I start Doug Martin (@MIN) or Shonn Greene (vs. MIA)?

Doug Martin. Easy call, and I’ve been calling out Martin as a great buy-low for weeks now. Greene is a sell-high candidate coming of four touchdowns in two weeks. Get rid of Greene if you can and get ready for a strong finish out of Doug Martin. I wouldn’t be shocked if Martin played like a top 8-12 overall fantasy runner from Weeks 8-16. In Week 8, I have him pegged for 100 yards rushing, 3 receptions for 20 yards, and 1TD.

Should I start Darren McFadden (@KC) or Ahmad Bradshaw (@DAL)?

Darren McFadden. I like Bradshaw, but he is still in the RB2 range, while DMac is still a fantasy RB1 in my opinion. Why? Read below where I elaborate on McFadden’s Weeks 8-16 outlook. As for Week 8, I have McFadden rushing for 80 yards, and I have him pulling in 4 receptions for 40 yards, and I have him scoring 1TD. Bradshaw should be good for 80 yards and a strong shot at a score, but I just can’t get myself to bench my No. 1 overall pick if in this position, even if he is struggling.

Should I start Cam Newton (@CHI) or one of Jay Cutler (vs. CAR)/Andrew Luck (@TEN)?

Easy call for me here: Cam Newton. I get the doubt surrounding Newt, I really do, and I can’t blame anyone for wanting to send him packing… but, for more on that read below where I talk about Newt being a player not to give up on yet. After Newt, Luck is the next no-brainer. If you want to start Luck over Newt this week, which I am arguing against, my advice is to just trade Newt, but maybe wait until his value gets a bump. Again, for more on Newt and why I still believe in the guy, click here.

Should I start Julio Jones (@PHI) or Marques Colston (@DEN)?

Julio Jones. Honestly, this isn’t even close. I know Colston has been on fire, but check out how far apart these two are on my “looking-forward” Fantasy Football Rankings. You’re talking about a 13-15 positions and a three tier difference. Jones is my No. 2 overall fantasy wide receiver moving forward. Like that prediction or not, I wouldn’t bench Jones for any receiver in the league but A.J. Green, who I had as my No. 1 overall receiver heading into 2012 (and got blasted for it, I might add. I might also add that Green was the No. 1 fantasy WR heading into Week 7 and is at least No. 2 in most leagues heading into Week 8). For Week 8, I have Jones pegged for 6 receptions for 100 yards, and 2TDs.

Don’t give up on these players:

Chris Johnson (vs. IND) – Johnson rushed 18 times for 195 yards with two touchdowns in the Titans’ Week 7 win over the Bills. Wow. While I’ve continued to advise CJ2K owners to ride out the wave, I venture to say that a handful of fantasy owners out there sat Johnson this week. So, on to the big question. Should current fantasy owners sell-high? Sure, if the price is right. Don’t sell-low just because you see any kind of spike in value… hang onto him if you can’t even get safe high-end fantasy RB2-type value, and I’d say it may not be worth selling him off if you can’t even get low-end fantasy RB1-type value. It’s simple. Yes, he is risky to hold while hoping that he continues his recent play, but I think it’s even more risky to trade him off for scraps after a 195-yard, 2TD outing. Unsure about the offers you’re getting for CJ2K? Or, want to run trade ideas by some knowledgeable fantasy owners? Jump on our DraftCalc Fantasy Football Forums. Week 8 Projections: 85 rushing yards, 3 receptions for 23 yards, and 1TD

Julio Jones (@PHI) – I’ve already touched on why I love Julio Jones this week and for the future. Go get him now while he is still a bargain via trade! Week 8 Projections: 6 receptions for 100 yards, and 2TDs

Cam Newton (@CHI) – A lot of fantasy owners will be willing to sell-low, or even to the highest bidder. Take advantage. I realize there is risk, as Newton just isn’t looking like the same guy as last year. Then, add in the locker room issues and the calling out of his own coaching staff… still, I refuse to write this kid off. I refuse. I get a lot of people asking me, how can you still like this guy… players disappoint, and sometimes they have sophomore slumps. Sometimes they never rebound, too. Is this the case with Newt? Maybe, but maybe not. Look, I only look at fantasy football one way. It’s about “current value”. Should you sell-high? Or low? Should you hang onto a player because he will soon be increasing in value? Or, should you send a slumping guy packing because you feel he will even slump further? With Newton, I don’t sell-low if I have him, as selling low won’t get you anywhere. And, in leagues where I don’t own him, I absolutely go bargain shopping this week for Newt! Why? Value. It’s all about risk vs. reward, and given owners will be looking to get out of the frustrating situation of having to continue starting Newt on a weekly basis, they, like Denver trading away Tim Tebow, will want to just get rid of the headache of it all. Make Newt your dilemma, because the price is right and the risk will be minimal. Week 8 Projections: 310 passing yards, 1TD, 1 INT, 45 rushing yards and 1TD

Darren McFadden (@KC) – Let’s start with the bad news. McFadden is averaging 3.1 yards-per-carry this season. It’s hard to defend that stat, and I certainly could understand anyone wanting to sell McFadden off to the highest bidder. That said, I still see explosiveness in his play, and I think the Raiders have done a poor job using the ultra-talented runner. Is there risk that McFadden could remain mediocre all season long with only flashes of good play every three weeks or so? Sure, anything is possible, and he is oft-injured; however, all I see right now when I look at McFadden is bargain. His schedule is favorable moving forward, and he already has his bye week in the rear-view. Trade for him like a low-end second-round runner (if drafting today), but know that he can be a top 2-5 fantasy running back for Weeks 8-16. The risk is present, sure, but the upside is present as well, plain and simple. Week 8 Projections: 80 yards rushing, 4 receptions for 40 yards, and 1TD

Start believing in these players:

Josh Gordon (vs. SD) – Gordon pulled in 2 passes for 59 yards and a touchdown in Week 7 against the Colts. That’s 4TDs in 3 weeks time… it’s time to start calling him a strong WR3, without hesitation, moving forward. He hasn’t pulled in more than 3 passes in any one game this year, and he has only hit the 3-catch mark twice. Imagine when this kid sees 4, 5 and 6 receptions! Week 8 Projections: 4 receptions for 80 yards, 1TD

Jeremy Kerley (vs. MIA) – This kid is special, and Mark Sanchez has said the same thing about the receiver. Over the last three weeks, Kerley is averaging 5.0 catches for 79.3 yards-per-game. I’m sure you will hear more about him in this week’s “Workin’ the Wire with X” article, but go check your waiver wire right now and see if this sneaky WR3 is available to be picked up. Week 8 Projections: 4 receptions for 70 yards, and 1TD

Don’t buy into these players:

Shonn Greene (vs. MIA) – After rushing for 161 yards and 3TDs in Week 6, and 54 yards and a score in Week 7, I say sell-high. I don’t suggest anyone sell him off for a ham sandwich, however, if you can get someone to value Greene as a RB2 (that he isn’t), I say take advantage. Instead of doing a 1-for-1, try scooping Greene into a 2-for-1 like deal, where you send Greene and someone else packing for an underrated Darren McFadden or Julio Jones. Need advice and help? Post a comment below, or jump on our DraftCalc Fantasy Football Forums. Week 8 Projections: 45 rushing yards, 1 reception for 5 yards, no touchdowns

Brian Hartline (@NYJ) – Hartline is a tough player to value right now. He is coming off a bye week, but before that, he is coming off no-catch outing in Week 6. Coming off a bad week, clearly you won’t be selling high on Hartline heading into Week 8. That said, Hartline still may have some inflated fantasy value after posting 12 catches for 253 yards and 1TD in Week 4. What kind of trade should you seek? Try to use Hartline in a 2-for-1 similar to the one suggested above involving Shonn Greene. Need advice and help? Post a comment below, or jump on our DraftCalc Fantasy Football Forums. Week 8 Projections:

Keep an eye on these guys now:

Kendall Hunter (@AZ) – Keep an eye on this kid, especially given Gore is pushing through some rib issues. I don’t expect Gore to sit in Week 8, but Gore has been running hard all year long and I truly believe he won’t last the season at his current workload. Knee issues, ankle issues, a hip issue in the rear-view… it’s time to stash Hunter in larger leagues. Week 8 Projections: 30 yards rushing, 2 receptions for 10 yards, no touchdowns

Vick Ballard (@TEN) – Ballard had an impressive 20 carries for 84 yards in Week 7; he also pulled in a catch for 19 yards. While he isn’t an insanely-gifted talent, Ballard is flex-worthy until Donald Brown returns to action. Even with Brown out, remember that IND is a RBBC situation, but if you’re in a bind this week and need a “reach” type flex, Ballard might be your guy. Week 8 Projections: 70 rushing yards, 2 receptions for 12 yards, no touchdowns

Buy-Low and Buy Now

Calvin Johnson (vs. SEA) – The receiver disappointed fantasy owners in Week 7, and in a major way… he only pulled in 3 passes for 34 and had no scores. Calvin has struggle this year, proven by his 1TD on the season. Worried? You should be, because Stafford continues to struggle, and at this point it’s hard to make excuses for Stafford. That said, if you don’t currently own Calvin in your league(s), consider bargain shopping. Don’t expect to land him anywhere near fantasy WR2-type value, but getting Calvin anywhere outside of the top 3-4 for fantasy WRs can win you a league (if he finishes strong and like the receiver we know he is). Week 8 Projections: 6 receptions for 100 yards and 1TD

Week 8 Byes

Byes: Ravens, Bills, Bengals, Texans

Looking For Week 8-Only Rankings?

View these Weekly Line-Up Rankings here (week 8 only, and we have both PPR and Non-PPR).

Note: These rankings could be updated as early as Tuesday afternoons, but could be ready as late as Wednesday evenings at 6pm EST. These Weekly Rankings are maintained by Mile_High_Man.

Comment Below! Get Some Week 8 Advice!

NOTE: JRMRRT, Whos_Ur_Doggie, bddavidson and Mile_High_Man will be the contributors/moderators answering the comments below, as most all of my (Smitty) Week 8 thoughts can be found above in the projections listed… these fine folks will provide some much-needed and highly-recommended variation to all of your weekly line-up dilemmas.


  1. 14 team league 1qb 2rb 3wr 1flex(w/r/t)
    Qb (flacco/wilson)
    Rb (cj2k/mcfadden/martin/tate/goodson)
    wr (decker/a.brown/gibson/hawkin)
    Te (bennett)

    I’m looking to trade
    cj/gibson for f.jackson/d.thomas (thinking jackson would still give me a strong flex and I upgrade wr considerably)
    Cj/gibson for fitzgerald/graham (hesitant, lose starting rb depth and the health of graham)

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    • I agree with JR, get this on the forums and get some more opinions. Wise advise, but I’d say no way I trade CJ2K for FJax. I like the Fitz move, but not so sure you’d land that. If you can, seems like quite a deal, but again, post on the forums!!!! More advice is better.

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    • Hey James…I would take trade questions to the forums. You will get more responses.

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  2. I have noticed that wr – Brandon Gibson is not ranked anywhere on your site? But you have givens and quick both ranked? Mistake????

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  3. Hey Smitty, a few comments on your ROS rankings:

    1. The MJD and Jennings rankings seem to be based on MJD returning from the foot injury relatively quickly. Where would you put Jennings if Mojo’s injury (potential lisfranc) sidelines him for 6+ weeks?

    2. #28 for Owen Daniels seems pretty low for a guy with a proven track record who is currently top 5 this late in the season.

    3. La’Rod Stephens-Howling is listed twice (28 & 43). Once for each surname?

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    • 1. MJD will move down a lot, but tough to know yet. I have a feeling he will be out a while if not worse. Jennings will move up quite a bit, stay tuned on that, I don’t want to react too much yet. There is a chance it’s an arch sprain, which could have him back. If it’s the Lisfranc, we’re looking at possibly being out the season. Either way, even if I wait on bumping MJD down too much, you’re right, Jennings needed an immediate bump. He got it. Thanks.

      2. Good catch. I’ll move him up.

      3. Good catch.

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  4. This is going to be a tough week for me….non-ppr standard scoring Foster, Rice and Spiller all on bye I have to chose from Ballard, Dwyer, or Ingram. What do you think? I also would like your opinion on which 4 WRs to start….C. Johnson, R. White, H. Nicks, D. Bryant and A. Brown??


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    • i look at dwyer if mendy doenst start ballard if he does.. cj,roddy,nicks, dez ,brown in that order.

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  5. Is it time to drop Pierre Garcon? My WR core is already lacking, and he’s taking up a much needed spot on my roster.

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    • hey bangBiscuit , i would hold garcon unless u need a pickup and that player is worth as much as garcon he will be back in a few weeks IMHo and will carry the load at that point..

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  6. Okay, I was suspicious of this a little while ago now I’m convinced Cam Newton runs this website. It’s the only logical way to explain how as terrible as he’s been playing, the fact he’s put up 300 yards just once this season and multiple touchdowns just twice yet against Chicago’s defense he’s going top put up over 300 yards and multiple TD’s. Has anyone ever seen Smitty and Newton in the same room at the same time. I doubt it.

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  7. Are you guys still going to do the weekly projections? I found that pretty helpful. Thanks

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  8. serious bye wk problems i need a te and def should i go dreesen or myers..and miami or cle

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    • ptmothaeffinp

      i would look at myers he is being used quite a bit, and for bye fillin def i like Miami

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  9. Hey Smitty and bdd,

    Trade question for ya…hope thats ok…

    Traded Harvin, RIdley, Maclin to get Mccoy, Desean, and Dez.

    I would love your input.


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  10. What do you think about Vernon Davis? I have no backup tight end and I’m worried about the dude because not only is he not getting targets, it looks like he’s got one of the worst schedules in the league for the TE position for the second half of the season…should I just hang onto him or should I sell him for another TE? And what TEs do you think I’d be able to get for him?

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    • i am not a fan of davis but he is the best reciever on that team, but will always struggle in that offense IMHO.

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  11. PPR league

    Which 2 RB would you start?
    Doug Martin @MIN
    Chris Johnson vs. IND
    D. McFadden @KC

    Which 2 WR would you start?
    J. Maclin vs. ATL
    Dez Bryant vs. NYG
    Julio Jones @PHI

    Thanks in advance!

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    • Hey FFun, that is tough but nice problem to have, i like CJ and even though Dmac has struggled how do we sit the guy. and Wr i like JJ and maclin Dez has the talent but dang talk about feast or famine.but either of those 3 wrs will do just fine.

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  12. Who should I put in a flex spot? Jermichael Finley, Denarius Moore, or Kendall Whright.

    For a PPR league would you play with 3 RB’s (one in flex) if you had McFadden, Gore, and Rashad Jennings for week 8? Being a PPR league im nervous.

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    • heystatedwolf,

      i would start those 3 rbs over those wrs aleast they will get the touches and hopefully will produce. out of those flex options in this order moore/wright………..finley

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  13. My league plays 2 RB’s, 2WR’s, 1 RB/WR Flex and 1WR/TE Flex. I have A. Morris, L. McCoy, Calvin Johnson, V. Cruz… for my Flex plays I was considering Rashard Jennings and Antonio Brown, leaving Cobb on my bench. Should I start Cobb over any of the other players?
    The only really bad matchup I see is Megatrons but I couldnt possibly sit him, could I?

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    • never sit megatron lol….. i would start cobb for sure looks like jennings is going be out for awhile also toss up between brown/r jennings.. go with your gut but i would lean brown but jennings could go off..

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  14. Hey I was wondering which wr’s should I start? I need to start three. I have brandon Marshall, josh Gordon, dez Bryant, Kenny britt, or lance Moore.


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    • welcome JR
      marshall/britt/dez but could see putting moore in but i think graham comes back and takes some of his targets..

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  15. hey bdd,

    Nicks @Dall or Dez vs NYG?

    Thanks….im leaning toward Dez…

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    • i would lean Dez too just for the fact that Gaints secondary is suspect whereas Dallas CBs are very solid..but Nicks has the talent to beat almost any corner so either one would be a fine choice..

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  16. I’m desperate at flex and can only pick between Andre Brown and Jacquizz Rodgers. What do you think? Also, I don’t know the proper forum for this question, but would you trade Stevie Johnson for the Law Firm or Wes Welker? Can I go with either trade?

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    • keep an eye on bradshaw health if he plays i probably look at rodgers.. not great options unless bradshaw doesnt play. also is this dyansty or redraft? redraft i take welker for johnson if ppr if not i keep johnson also dynasty i keep johnson..

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  17. Smutty,

    PPR league – who to star at flex?
    My starting RBs are C. Johnson and McCoy
    Starting WRs are J. Jones, Harvin, and Cobb
    I sat Martin on Thurs night like an idiot and need to choose between Ridley and Nicks for my flex.

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