Here is a no huddle approach, toward addressing your best starts, and most advisable sits for all 26 teams that will be in action this week. That excludes the Bears, Colts, Titans, Ravens, Texans and Chargers, who will each have their byes. Game time is approaching, so we’ll immediately launch into Week 8.
Panthers at Buccaneers
Start: DeAngelo Williams
Bye weeks and injuries will likely force you to use him, and he should produce moderate results. Just prepare to see Cam Newton and Mike Tolbert pilfer the red zone carries. And the impending return of Jonathan Stewart almost assures that this will be the final week for Williams in your lineups.
Other Starts: Cam Newton, Steve Smith, Greg Olsen
Sit: Brandon Lafell
He already was not a trustworthy option. But with four targets in each of the past two contests, you should be looking elsewhere.
Other Sits: Mike Tolbert, Ted Ginn
Start: Vincent Jackson
The only Buccaneer that you can employ with confidence against Carolina’s third ranked defense.
Other Starts: None
Sit: Mike James
He is an outstanding waiver wire addition who should be used only when the matchup is not so imposing.
Other Sits: Mike Glennon, Brian Leonard, Mike Williams, Timothy Wright
Cowboys at Lions
Start: DeMarco Murray
His status should be monitored. But if he can overcome the recent knee injury to rejoin Dallas’ starting lineup, then he should be in yours. If not, Joseph Randle should be your starter against Detroit’s 23rd ranked run defense.
Other Starts: Tony Romo, Dez Bryant, Terrance Williams, Jason Witten
Sit: Miles Austin
Not only should he be far, far away from all starting lineups, but at this point, he can be dropped.
Other Sits: Phillip Tanner
Start: Kris Durham
It is understandable that he does not inspire fantasy owners. But with 29 targets in his last three contests, he is getting enough opportunities to warrant use as a WR3. Particularly for owners who are struggling with bye weeks and injuries.
Sit: Joseph Fauria
Even with the release Tony Scheffler it is still premature to consider him. Because even though he is used in the red zone, he has just 13 targets all season.
Other Sits: Joique Bell, Brandon Pettigrew
Browns at Chiefs
Start: Jordan Cameron
What was already a one dimensional offense will be essentially stifled by having Jason Campbell line up against a fierce pass rush, and a vocal home crowd. Even Cameron is a shaky option this week.
Other Starts: None
Sit: Josh Gordon
KC’s secondary and the factors that were previously mentioned will neutralize Gordon’s ability to produce for you.
Other Sits: Willis McGahee, Chris Ogbonnaya
Start: Jamaal Charles
If you own him, you were not in a quandary about whether to use him. But he is the only fantasy relevant Chief by such a considerable margin that only his name can be utilized here.
Other Starts: None
Sit: Dwayne Bowe
Andy Reed is not particularly concerned with involving him in the offense, in part because Alex Smith is primarily capable only of short passes into the middle of the field.
Other Sits: Donnie Avery, Sean McGrath
Dolphins at Patriots
Start: Charles Clay
While his target total is not particularly high, it is consistent. Most importantly, he is garnering enough red zone looks to warrant trusting him
Other Starts: Mike Wallace, Brian Hartline
Sit: Lamar Miller
There is great uncertainty regarding the workload distribution between how Miller and Daniel Thomas. Making it highly possible that a 50/50 split could occur. That would neutralize the potential output for either back, and it is wise to stay far away from the situation.
Other Sits: Ryan Tannehill, Daniel Thomas
Start: Stevan Ridley
He will split touches with other backs, and there is always risk in how often each member of the unit will be utilized. But he has been productive enough with his opportunities during the past two weeks for you to trust him.
Other Starts: Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski, Danny Amendola (if active)
Sit: Kenbrell Thompkins
Brady’s reunion with Gronkowski, coupled with the impending return of both Shane Vereen and Amendola, will dramatically alter how the Patriots employ their weapons in comparison to previous weeks. Thompkins’ role should be negatively impacted, particularly if Amendola is in the lineup.
Other Sits: LeGarrette Blount, Brandon Bolden (if Vereen is active), Julian Edleman, Aaron Dobson
Bills at Saints
Start: Fred Jackson
Even if Spiller does perform, Jackson has been far more effective. He should accumulate enough yardage against New Orleans’ 22nd ranked run defense to be productive week once again.
Other Starts: Steve Johnson
Sit: C. J. Spiller
His ankle could easily sideline him this week. Even if he is active, there is no guarantee that a flare-up won’t suddenly force him off the field.
Other Sits: Thad Lewis, Robert Woods, Scott Chandler
Start: Darren Sproles
Not that you were considering benching him. But there is every reason to expect a huge performance against a Buffalo defense that is allowing 171 YPG on the ground and 231 YPG through the air.
Other Starts: Drew Brees, Pierre Thomas, Marques Colston, Jimmy Graham, Ben Watson (if Graham is inactive)
Sit: Lance Moore
It appears that he could return to the field. But it is likely that neither his snap count nor his target total will justify using him.
Other Sits: Kenny Stills, Robert Meachem
Giants at Eagles
Start: Peyton Hillis
It is exceedingly difficult to become very excited about Hillis. But his ascending value is primarily due to the considerable opportunity that he should capture again this week.
Other Starts: Eli Manning, Victor Cruz, Rueben Randle, Hakeem Nicks
Sit: Brandon Myers
The Giants’ trio of WRs have seized Eli’s attention. Making Myers droppable at this point.
Other Sits: Brandon Jacobs
His production should return to the lofty level that he previously attained now that Michael Vick will be launching throws in his direction once again.
Other Starts: Michael Vick, LeSean McCoy
Sit: Riley Cooper
Some owners are starting him, but I recommend that you don’t. His talent is marginal, and his targets could easily reduce significantly with Vick back under center.
Other Sits: Bryce Brown, Brent Celek, Zach Ertz
49ers at Jaguars
Start: Colin Kaepernick
Any owners who remain disillusioned with his production should be thrilled after this matchup.
Other Starts: Frank Gore, Anquan Bolden, Vernon Davis
You noticed that this week's opponent is Jacksonville... correct?
Other Sits: None
Start: Justin Blackmon
This is one of the more predictable situations within the league this season, as Blackmon and Shorts are the only reliable starters. Mike Brown is emerging somewhat, but it’s too early to start him.
Other Starts: Cecil Shorts
Sit: Maurice Jones-Drew
When you progress beyond his brand name and examine his production, there is little reason to use him.
Other Sits: Chad Henne, Mike Brown, Marcedes Lewis
Jets at Bengals
Start: Chris Ivory
His total rushing attempts for the season were doubled after he carried 34 times in Week 7. That enabled him to generate 104 yards, which was his highest output since 2011. There is no assurance that he receive a sizable workload. But he can be utilized as a RB3 or flex.
Other Starts: Jeremy Kerley, Jeff Cumberland
Sit: Bilal Powell
Ivory’s success came at Powell’s expense. As the former lead back only managed six yards on three carries last Sunday. Keep him reserved until he becomes more involved in the offensive approach.
Other Sits: Geno Smith, Stephen Hill
Start: Marvin Jones
If bye weeks have left you scrambling for a WR3, you could do far worse. He has assumed an expanding role within the Bengals’ offense during the past two weeks, with 11 targets, seven receptions 128 yards and two TD. Just monitor his shoulder issue leading up to game time.
Other Starts: A. J. Green, Giovani Bernard, Andy Dalton (2 QB Leagues)
Sit: Mohamed Sanu
He has become a diminished factor in the passing attack, as appears to have emerged as Cincy’s second No. 2 WR.
Other Sits: Benjarvus Green-Ellis, Jermaine Gresham, Tyler Eifert
Steelers at Raiders
Start: Antonio Brown
The Steelers should encounter more success by having Ben Roethlisberger distribute the ball to his receiving weapons than to attack Oakland’s vastly improved (and ninth ranked) run defense. And Brown is the most targeted option.
Other Starts: Ben Roethlisberger (2 QB Leagues), Le’Veon Bell, Emmanuel Sanders, Heath Miller
Sit: Jerricho Cotchery
He is involved in the offense, but not sufficiently for you to use him.
Other Sits: Jonathan Dwyer, Felix Jones
Start: Denarius Moore
He is easily Oakland’s primary receiving weapon, and his 44 targets lead the team by a considerable margin. Even if he draws Ike Taylor in coverage, the Raiders will make it a priority to keep him involved in their passing attack.
Other Starts: Terrelle Pryor (2 QB Leagues)
Sit: Darren McFadden
129 of the 267 yards that he has gained this season were produced against Jacksonville in Week 2. Otherwise, he has managed a horrific 138 yards on 50 attempts (2.7 YPC). You should find a more effective runner for your lineups.
Other Sits: Marcel Reece, Rod Streater, Mychal Rivera
Redskins at Broncos
Start: Jordan Reed
The rookie collected all nine of his targets in Week 7, while accumulating a season best 134 yards. That also established a new franchise record for receiving yards by a first-year TE, and it is just a preview of what it to come. He is extremely athletic, and will remain a viable starting option for the remainder of the year.
Other Starts: Robert Griffin III, Alfred Morris, Roy Helu Jr., Pierre Garcon
Sit: Leonard Hankerson
He was already maddeningly inconsistent. Now, the emergence of Reed has diminished Hankerson’s importance considerably.
Other Sits: Santana Moss, Aldrick Robinson, Josh Morgan
Start: Knowshon Moreno
He is capturing nearly all of the RB touches, and generating enough yardage to continued doing so.
Other Starts: Peyton Manning, Demaryius Thomas, Wes Welker, Eric Decker, Julius Thomas
Sit: Ronnie Hillman
Making a critical fumble on one of just four carries in Week 7 will hardly compel Denver’s’ coaching staff to enhance his workload.
Other Sits: None
Falcons at Cardinals
Start: Matt Ryan
It is safe to continue deploying him as a QB1 after he manufactured 273 yards and three TDs in what had been considered a post-apocalyptic attack.
Other Starts: Steven Jackson, Jacquizz Rodgers, Harry Douglas, Tony Gonzalez
Sit: Jason Snelling
His touches were too infrequent even before Jackson’s Now he can safely be dropped.
Other Sits: None
Start: Michael Floyd
He garnered a team high 10 targets in Week 7, and responded by collecting a season best high six receptions for 71 yards. While it is unlikely that he will capture more targets than Larry Fitzgerald when the Cardinals line up against Atlanta, he is providing owners with more justification for using him as a WR3.
Other Starts: Carson Palmer, Rashard Mendenhall, Larry Fitzgerald, Rob Housler
Sit: Andre Ellington
He received an alarmingly low five touches in Week 7, which were the fewest since opening day. That has removed him from consideration as a starter, even if you are looking for a flex.
Other Sits: Andre Roberts
Packers at Vikings
Start: Jordy Nelson
The Packers’ clear No.1 target for Aaron Rodgers overcame Joe Haden's suffocating coverage to snare a TD in Week 7. Imagine the results that he should deliver against Minnesota’s porous pass defense.
Other Starts: Aaron Rodgers, Eddie Lacy, Jarrett Boykin
Sit: Johnathan Franklin
He simply does not receive enough touches to be in anyone’s lineup. Plus, James Starks will surpass him on the depth chart when he returns.
Other Sits: James Starks, Andrew Quarless
Start: Adrian Peterson
With Christian Ponder back under center, it is reasonable to believe that you won’t see a duplication of the Week 7 offensive strategy that resulted in AP blocking for Josh Freeman, while the former Buccaneer launched 53 mostly errant passes.
Other Starts: Christian Ponder (2 QB Leagues) Greg Jennings. Jerome Simpson
Sit: Kyle Rudolph
Even without the Freeman factor, it is far too risky to use him.
Other Sits: Corradelle Patterson
Seahawks at Rams
Start: Russell Wilson
Five of his 11 TD passes have occurred in the past three contests, while he has rushed for 269 yards in his last four. All of which should remove any lingering concerns about starting the second year signal caller in all leagues. Plus, the eventual addition of Percy Harvin to his arsenal of weapons will elevate his value even further.
Other Starts: Marshawn Lynch, Golden Tate, Sidney Rice
Sit: Zach Miller
While his season high seven targets in Week 7 were encouraging, it is risky to expect a repeat performance.
Other Sits: Jermaine Kearse, Doug Baldwin
Start: Zac Stacy
He has been effective enough to provide the Rams with reasonable rushing presence since his elevation into the starting lineup. With Sam Bradford’s season ending injury, the team will lean on him even more. Just temper expectations against Seattle.
Other Starts: None
Sit: Austin Pettis
There is little reason for optimism toward any receiving option with Kellen Clemens under center, and the Seahawk secondary on the opposite side.
Other Sits: Tavon Austin, Chris Givens, Jared Cook