Trying to decide who you should start or sit this week? Let’s take a look at a few potential decisions owners have and try to sort through them:
Start – Carson Palmer – Cincinnati Bengals – vs. Miami
Heading into the season there were questions about his arm strength, but at this point owners should have few questions about Palmer’s ability to produce. In his last three games he has posted games of 371, 209 and 412 yards. Over that span he has thrown seven touchdowns. He’s surrounded by a receiving corps hitting on all cylinders, featuring Terrell Owens, Chad Ochocinco and Jordan Shipley.
This week he faces the Dolphins, who are in the middle of the pack in yards allowed (216.5) and touchdowns allowed (8). However, in the past two games they’ve seen Ben Roethlisberger throw for 302 yards and Aaron Rodgers throw for 313 yards. With they way they’ve been playing plus the way Palmer’s produced, there is no way to keep him on your bench.
Other quarterbacks to start:
- Ben Roethlisberger – Pittsburgh Steelers – at New Orleans
- Donovan McNabb – Washington Redskins – at Detroit
Sit – Mark Sanchez – New York Jets – vs. Green Bay
People went nuts for Sanchez after he threw 8 TDs over a three-week span, but the recent numbers just don’t support using him. Over his last three games he has failed to reach 200 yards passing and is coming off a game where he threw his first two interceptions of the season.
The Packers defense has been decent against the pass, but where the have excelled is in interceptions (10) and sacks (22). With Clay Matthews back, it could be a long day for Sanchez, who has been sacked nine times this season. The Jets are a team built on the run, so look for them to try and protect the young quarterback and instead ride LaDanian Tomlinson and Shonn Greene.
Other quarterbacks to sit:
- Kerry Collins/Vince Young – Tennessee Titans – at San Diego
- Todd Bauman/David Garrard – Jacksonville Jaguars – at Dallas
Start – Beanie Wells – Arizona Cardinals – vs. Tampa Bay
When Tim Hightower fumbled for the third time this season, Wells’ opportunity to take over as the top running back presented itself. A matchup against the second worst rushing defense in the league (having allowed 157.7 rushing yards per game), makes him all the more appealing. We all have known about his potential, it was just a matter of when he got the chance to get the bulk of the carries.
This certainly seems like a great opportunity to make his presence felt.
Start – Donald Brown – Indianapolis Colts – vs. Houston
Austin Collie and Dallas Clark are out with injuries and Joseph Addai is extremely doubtful. Clearly, the Colts are going to have to lean on others to produce this week. The former first round draft pick has been given limited opportunities in the past, but this may finally be his chance to shine.
While the Texans defense can be burned via the pass, the Colts are going to have to show run, from time-to-time, in order to keep them honest. He’s not a high-level option, but for those in need, Brown is certainly worth gambling on. Would it be surprising to see him go for 75 yards and a touchdown?
Other running backs to start:
- Jahvid Best – Detroit Lions – vs. Washington
- Jamaal Charles – Kansas City Chiefs – vs. Buffalo
Sit – Carnell Williams – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – at Arizona
His hold on the top running back spot may have finally disappeared. This past week Williams got just four carries for 12 yards, while LaGarrette Blount got 11 carries for 72 yards. For the season, Williams is averaging just 2.5 yards per carry, while Blount has averaged nearly five yards a carry on limited touches.
The time has come for Tampa Bay to find out what they have and potentially get something out of the running back position. That clearly will come at the expense of Williams.
Sit – BenJarvus Green-Ellis – New England Patriots – vs. Minnesota
The Vikings defense is relatively strong against the run and Green-Ellis has suddenly fallen out of the top spot on the depth chart. While he has scored in four straight games, in the last two he has had a total of 21 carries for 44 yards. Meanwhile, Danny Woodhead has 19 carries for 87 yards and is a much bigger factor in the passing game.
The Vikings have allowed just three rushing touchdowns on the season, so there is also no guarantee that he continues his streak. It just makes him a tough play.
Other running backs to sit:
- C.J. Spiller – Buffalo Bills – at Kansas City
- Justin Forsett – Seattle Seahawks – at Oakland
Two Wide Receiver Formats
Start – Steve Johnson – Buffalo Bills – at Kansas City
He has really taken off since Ryan Fitzpatrick was installed at quarterback, with touchdowns in his last four games. While it’s hard to anticipate him matching his Week 7 performance, when he had 8 catches for 158 yards and a touchdown, he has a positive matchup against the eighth worst passing defense in the league. With the way the passing game is clicking, he’s become a usable option.
Another wide receiver to start:
- Davone Bess – Miami Dolphins – at Cincinnati
Sit – Santonio Holmes – New York Jets – vs. Green Bay
He has just seven catches for 88 yards and no touchdowns since returning from his four game suspension. At this point, he’s done little to make us trust him, especially against a defense that has allowed just eight receiving touchdowns. View Braylon Edwards as the Jets top receiver at this point.
Another wide receiver to sit:
- Roy Williams – Dallas Cowboys – vs. Jacksonville
Three Wide Receiver Formats
Start – Dez Bryant – Dallas Cowboys – vs. Jacksonville
The Jaguars passing defense has been bad, allowing a league leading 16 TDs. With Jon Kitna taking over due to the injury to Tony Romo, Bryant showed off just how talented he is. If the rapport Kitna and Bryant showed in Week 7 is real (4 receptions for 54 yards and 2 TD), he could be inline for a big week. I’d use him over Roy Williams, who struggled this past week.
Another wide receiver to start:
- Mike Williams – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – at Arizona
Sit – Danario Alexander – St. Louis Rams – vs. Carolina
Is he the top receiver on his team? Possibly, but the Rams have become one of those teams that you never really know. Then again, their receiving corps does not offer tremendous upside, either. The risk of him completely bombing (like in Week 7, when he had one reception for six yards), makes him unusable. In fact, using any receiver from the Rams is not advisable.
Another wide receiver to sit:
- Eddie Royal – Denver Broncos – at San Francisco
What are your thoughts on these decisions? Who would you start? Who would you sit?
Make sure to check out our Week 8 Rankings: