5 Fantasy Football Stars to Start or Sit on Sunday, Week 8
We've already been through a number of names to start or sit on your fantasy team this week, including Jared Cook, Vernon Davis, and Willis McGahee. But if you're still struggling on Sunday morning, we're here to help. Here's five more names we're looking at this week that are right on that line between Stardom or Bench City.
Fantasy Football Best Starts/Must Sits Week 8
Shonn Greene - New York Jets
Week 8: 11.19 Projected Points (#12 Ranked RB)
Percent Started: 64.6%
Verdict: Start Him
All of that trust you thought was misplaced can fall by the wayside; Shonn Greene is a legitimate fantasy threat once again.
With Bilal Powell doubtful and Joe McKnight questionable for today's game, Greene should see the largest share of the load. And that's a good sign for Greene owners, especially considering that 48.4% of all Jets plays so far this season have been runs.
This week, we project Greene to have the third most carries of any running back, only behind LeSean McCoy and Jamaal Charles. Although the Dolphins have a solid run defense, the "quantity over quality" mantra should lead Greene to have a solid outing this week.
Alex Green - Green Bay Packers
Week 8: 7.93 Projected Points (#23 Ranked RB)
Percent Started: 49.1%
Verdict: Sit Him
But as for the other Green(e), there's no reason to trust him this week, even against the weak Jacksonville defense.
Green's had the carries each of the past two weeks, averaging 21 carries a game, but that doesn't mean he's had the production. With only 100 yards combined in the past two weeks on 42 rushes, Green has not put up a single quality fantasy outing since becoming the starter in Green Bay.
Granted, those games were against stronger defenses in Houston and St. Louis, but I subscribe very heavily to the "Don't trust him until he proves himself" theory. He has not done that thus far.
Michael Turner - Atlanta Falcons
Week 8: 7.62 Projected Points (#24 Ranked RB)
Percent Started: 79.4%
Verdict: Sit Him
Green might not even be the worst running back starting in a large number of leagues, however. This week, that title goes to Michael Turner as he faces off against the Eagles, numberFire's #7 opponent-adjusted defense.
As the Falcons' games have become closer, Turner's production has gone down. He has declined in rushing yards, yards per carry, and Net Expected Points (NEP) in each of Atlanta's past three games. Especially on a team that throws the ball on 63% of offensive plays, that's not the type of production you want to see.
Meanwhile, Philadelphia has been absolutely deadly against the run. Six running backs up, six running backs down; the Eagles have not allowed a single opposing back (not even Ray Rice or Ahmad Bradshaw) to reach over 100 yards rushing in a single game so far this season. They have also given up only two rushing touchdowns on the season, fourth in the NFL. Don't expect Turner to change either of these trends.
Dwayne Bowe - Kansas City Chiefs
Week 8: 10.14 Projected Points (#12 Ranked WR)
Percent Started: 68.5%
Verdict: Start Him
Trust me, I know that Bowe only has two games above seven FP so far this season. The touchdown looks just haven't quite been there. And trusting a receiver that Brady Quinn's throwing to doesn't seem like my idea of a good time either. But if you go away from him now, numberFire projections say there's a good chance you'll be missing a Week 8 breakout candidate.
The Chiefs haven't gotten much going on offense the past couple weeks, but if there has been one constant, it's the talented receiver. Here's the list of players that have led the Chiefs in targets the past five games: Dwayne Bowe. That's it. His 66 looks are over double the next closest Chiefs player (Dexter McCluster with 32), and 30.6% of all Chiefs passes have gone his way this season.
And going against the Raiders' defense, he's going to have his chances. The Raiders are numberFire's #25 defense in opponent-adjusted efficiency so far this season.
Steve Smith - Carolina Panthers
Week 8: 8.06 Projected Points (#27 Ranked WR)
Percent Started: 60.8%
Verdict: Sit Him
But on the tails end of the coin, Steve Smith's status as a normally-good play takes a hit this week against the Chicago Bears. Remember a couple years ago, when Smith destroyed the Bears in the playoffs to the tune of over 200 yards? Well, this is not the same Smith, and this is not the same Bears defense.
The Lovie Smith Cover 2 has destroyed solid receivers so far this season, most recently Calvin Johnson last week (who did not have a single catch in the first half). But he's not the only one: Jordy Nelson, James Jones, Miles Austin, and Danny Amendola are among the names that have been shut down. In fact, only three receivers have posted double-digit fantasy days against the Bears so far this year: Reggie Wayne in Week 1, Dez Bryant in Week 3, and Ryan Broyles in Week 7.
And if anybody's going to break that streak, a Cam Newton-led offense might not be the best bet. His Panthers are only the #20 offense in opponent-adjusted efficiency, and he has only gained 0.09 NEP per pass so far this year (worse than Jake Locker, Ryan Fitzpatrick, or Jay Cutler).