2011 Fantasy Football Week 8: Start' Em Sit 'Em

JACKSONVILLE, FL - OCTOBER 24: Joe Flacco #5 of the Baltimore Ravens attempts a pass during the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field on October 24, 2011 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

Start Em

Joe Flacco QB – In his 4th season the assumption was Flacco would take the next step. Unfortunately Flacco has disappointed while the Ravens despite him look Super Bowl bound.  People look at Baltimore and believe Flacco is the weak spot of this perennial powerhouse, but this team has only played six games so I would calm down as a Ravens fan or a Flacco fantasy owner.  Coming off back to back seasons where he threw for over 3,600 yards, the Delaware graduate has 10 more games to prove he’s worthy of starting in your lineup every Sunday. He’s fortunate to go against Arizona this weekend, and a pass defense that is giving up 274 yards per game.  He won’t be perfect but Flacco will gain some confidence back in a route over the Cardinals.

Roy Helu RB – Their hasn’t been an announcement on who will be the lead back when the Redskins face the Bills in Toronto, but Helu looks to be the guy. When Tim Hightower left the game against Carolina due to an ACL injury, Helu got 33 snaps while the veteran Ryan Torain only took three.  Fantasy owners should be giddy as Helu was handed the ball on first and second downs against the Panthers, as many expected him to only be used as a third down back. Buffalo struggles against the run and they will be without their best run stuffer Kyle Williams as well as Shawne Merriman who was placed on injured reserve. With the Bills giving up over 135 yards on the ground per game, Helu is a high end number two back for this match up.

More of Evan's Start and Sit selections after the jump:

Michael Jenkins WR – Jenkins has never been relevant in fantasy football, but the eight year veteran is getting a lot of love in Minnesota. Whether it was Donovan McNabb or Christian Ponder, Jenkins has become the favorite option for the Vikings passing attack. With Bernard Berrian released and Percy Harvin failing to meet expectations, Jenkins is the number one Vikings wide out to own as they head to Carolina. Jenkins has been getting open over the middle of the field, using his size and speed to get away from defenders. Jenkins is a low end number two fantasy receiver, as he builds on the best season of his career.

Ed Dickson TE – Since I like Flacco, I am going to like their position players as well and Dickson is one of my favorites. Dickson has all the intangibles to be a stellar pass catcher in this league. He’s similar to Dallas Clark where his speed, hands and ability to run routes should separate him from the pack. I would like to see him used more in the red zone, and I think that will progress as the season moves forward. Against an awful Arizona defense, Dickson could go off in a Baltimore route.

Houston DT – It’s not a secret anymore; the Texans defense is for real. Even without Mario Williams, they have playmakers everywhere, and it’s obvious that Wade Phillips was their best free agent signing. Coming off a dominating performance against the Titans, I have a lot of confidence in them shutting down a similarly bland offense as they host Jacksonville. We should be looking at a double digit fantasy performance once against out of the AFC South favorites.

Sit Em

Tim Tebow QB – Yes, I saw his comeback vs. Miami, and I would be lying if I said I wasn’t impressed.  If it wasn’t for that comeback, we would have been looking at Tebow squeaking out double digit fantasy points against a Dolphins team that is playing for Andrew Luck. The Lions know how to stop the run, so Tebow is going to have to use his arm to beat Detroit and until I see it I don’t believe it. I see Denver playing catch up against a very good Detroit offense, so to win this game Tebow’s arm will have to be ready to perform. I don’t doubt Tebow, but there is a big difference between the Miami defense and this Lions defense that’s played very well vs. Josh Freeman, Jay Cutler and Tony Romo.

Maurice Jones - Drew RB – You have to be bold in these predictions, and yes this is me being bold. Coming off a game where MJD fumbled the ball three times, I can’t see MJD getting a full load like he’s use to. Not that there will be a time share, but I think we will see an emphasis on getting MJD some breaks as Deju Karim gets more touches.

This is the type of game that could get out of control, and if that’s the case coming off a short week I wouldn’t be surprised to see an emphasis on MJD getting some rest. The Texans shut down Chris Johnson so there is no reason to believe MJD won’t struggle as well.

Greg Little WR – I never bought into the Little hype before the season and I still refuse to. The rookie wide out has potential, but the Browns offense is bottom tier making him an irrelevant fantasy player. He has yet to score eight points in a game this season, but owners are still hanging on in hopes that he could potentially breakout. Owners should drop Little as he’s far from relevancy, especially as he heads to San Francisco and faces that top tier 49ers defense.

Mercedes Lewis TE – My love for the Texans defense this week means Lewis should not be called upon for their Week 8 matchup. Coming off the best season of his career, Lewis has disappointed in 2011 hauling in 11 balls for 129 yards and no touchdowns. Unfortunately for Lewis, I don’t see this season turning around as Blaine Gabbert has no time in the pocket to release the ball and has behind a poor offensive line. A one year wonder, Lewis has seen better days.

Buffalo DT – I mentioned earlier that Williams and Merriman will be out for the Bills, so it’s safe to say this defense is banged up. While the Redskins offense is hurt, this defense plays bend don’t break and if they can’t force turnovers they are breaking everywhere. The lack of pass rushers outside of Marcell Dareus doesn’t bode well against any offense even Washington’s that will be without Santana Moss. Many view the Bills as a nice sleeper for this match up, but they have struggled stopping opponents from putting points on the board. Washington should be able to score in the 20’s so beware of the Buffalo defense this week.

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