We are bringing this installment of FAR BEYOND FOOTBALL to you guys from the final Midwest leg of the Crush ‘Em All tour. This has been an incredible tour for all of the bands that were a part of it. We’d like to thank every single person reading this that had the chance to come out and share the experience of having all these great bands together with us. Tomorrow is the final show in Minneapolis, MN…it will be a sad day to depart from one of the best tours we’ve ever done and we’re lucky enough to be a part of. Even though the show is tomorrow, we’ll still be finding a way to be watching all of the games We thought Week 8 would be difficult because it is another bye week, but we think we’ve found the best possible plays for you to choose from. A few of these guys are probably available in free agency, so don’t hesitate to pick them up and see what they can do for your team. Here’s our Week 8 starts and sits that we feel will give your team the best chance to win.
Justin Lowe – After The Burial
Brandon Butler – Veil Of Maya
-Eli Manning (NYG) vs. MIA Eli Manning would love to forget about his horrible performance he had the last time he faced the Miami Dolphins. What better way to do it then to go up and face the NFL’s worst ranked team for allowing fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks? Look for him to have a stellar performance this week; he is an absolute must start.
-Tim Tebow (DEN) vs. DET Tim Tebow is under the eye of millions this week as it is his first home game as the starting QB in Denver. Look for a ton of home support and cheering fans for Tebow and lots of plays designed to keep that flame going, Detroit has one of the weakest secondaries in the NFL and Tebow shouldn’t struggle too much throwing against them as long as he can avoid the brutal rush of Suh and Fairley.
-Andy Dalton (CIN) vs. SEA Even with Cedric Benson out this week serving a suspension, we should still see Andy Dalton finding ways to help you win in fantasy this week when he faces the Seattle Seahawks. He has been putting very consistent numbers and will most likely lead his team to a large victory this week. Without Benson, we’ll be seeing him targeting Jermaine Gresham quite a bit, among others. He is a safe bet this week.
CHANCE PICK: Alex Smith (SF) vs. CLE Smith has shown glimpses of a franchise QB here and there. He is also having his strongest season yet and the 49ers would like to continue to keep on winning. Smith should continue leading his team to win against Cleveland.
-Philip Rivers (SD) vs. KC Phillip Rivers is a fucking joke this year. If you are as frustrated as we are by wasting your first round pick on this pile of garbage then get another QB and play them; as much as you may think Rivers is coming back (believe me we’re with you) he is not and probably has been hit in the head too many times to remember how to throw the ball. We don’t care if he is playing the Chiefs, this is their second matchup and don’t look for any better points than the first time they met.
-Kevin Kolb (ARI) @ BAL The Baltimore Ravens have allowed the second least amount of points to opposing quarterbacks all season long. We personally don’t think Kolb is even a legitimate starter even in a favorable matchup, and given the odds he’s up against this week is an absolute must-sit.
-Matt Moore (MIA) @ NYG The Giants are ranked 8th in the league for allowing the lowest amount of fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks. Matt Moore is going to have his hands full this week when going up against the Giants, because quite frankly his team is awful. Aside from all the drama and distractions the Dolphins have been dealing with all year, he hasn’t been able to do just about anything that deserves any sort of attention from a fantasy football standpoint. If you absolutely need a quarterback this week and he is the only one available, he’s better than not having one on your roster, but not by much.
CHANCE SIT: Matt Schaub (HOU) vs. JAC Yes, we know it is shady to sit a QB against the Jaguars, but if they proved anything last week it’s that they have absolutely no offense and an alright pass defense. Joe Flacco is not the best QB in the league, but he was shut down by Jacksonville over and over again through the air. Andre Johnson is also coming off injury if he even plays leaving Schaub’s receiver core still banged up heavily. Look for the Texans to pound the ground with Arian Foster and Ben Tate to get their offense going. If you have another option this week for QB you may wanna take a shot at it.
-Darren Sproles (NO) @ STL Darren Sproles has about as favorable of matchup that you can get this week. The Rams are dead last in the NFL for allowing fantasy points and with Mark Ingram out for the week, you’d have to be absolutely insane not to start Sproles this week.
-DeMarco Murray (DAL) @ PHI DeMarco Murray has something really good going on lately and we’ve been taking notice. The Cowboys released Tashard Choice, and Felix Jones is not playing either. The Eagles have allowed the third most fantasy points to opposing running backs, and Murray is coming off a staggering 253 yard performance last week. He is an absolute must start, no question.
-Chris Johnson (TEN) vs. IND Frustrated Chris Johnson owners might be tempted to try and replace or bench him by this point in the season, but we don’t think that should happen just yet. The Colts have allowed the fourth most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season, making this the favorable matchup Johnson’s owners have been waiting for. He is entering this game fully aware of his critics and wants to shut them up badly. If he doesn’t produce again this week, it might be time to look to a different more productive RB to fill the spot.
CHANCE PICK: Ryan Torrain (WAS) @ BUF DO NOT rely heavily on this pick, as Mike Shanahan loves to screw over everyone in fantasy which is why it is best to avoid players on any team he is coaching. However, Tim Hightower was injured for the season last week with a torn ACL, leaving the only dependable running backs in Ryan Torain and Roy Helu. Torain has had a pretty good showing his last two games along with shining a little bit last season when Clinton Portis was injured. Until Shanahan can work some other free agent running backs into his scheme, look for Torain to take majority of the carries and get you some points.
-Montario Hardesty (CLE) @ SF We’re still not sure if Peyton Hillis will get the start or not, but more than likely it will be Montario Hardesty who does. He’s going up against the 49ers who you can just not run on. The 49ers are ranked number one in the league at holding opposing fantasy running backs to a ridiculously low average of 8 points. Even though he may get the start, he won’t be running anywhere.
-Maurice Morris (DET) @ DEN Maurice Morris will once again be the starting running back for the Detroit Lions, but don’t look as him as a fantasy running back in week 8. The Broncos have proven they can stop the run as they are ranked 5th best in the league in allowing fantasy points to opposing running backs. Taking that into consideration, along with the fact he will be splitting carries with Keiland Williams, he most likely will not produce much yardage this week.
-Marshawn Lynch (SEA) vs. CIN The Cincinnati Bengals are ranked quite well, 6th best in the league at allowing the lowest amount of fantasy points to opposing running backs. Marshawn Lynch has not been a consistent fantasy option at RB, and he will be lucky if he can get more than 50 yards this week let alone a TD.
CHANCE SIT: DeAngelo Williams (CAR) vs. MIN One thing the Vikings have been able to prove this year is that they are pretty damn good at stopping the run. DeAngelo WIlliams has been struggling to pick up big yardage as of late and we don’t see him overcoming that anytime soon. Maybe he will pick things up later in the season, but against the Vikings the odds are not looking like they are in his favor.
-Torrey Smith (BAL) vs. ARI With Lee Evans being the injured disappointment he has been all season long, he will once again miss another game. Taking all of this into consideration, Torrey Smith has emerged as a legitimate starter in almost all fantasy formats. He’s got a really favorable matchup this week, and even though Boldin will be hauling in some deep passes, look for Torrey Smith to be there right along side of him putting up some big yardage.
-Greg Little (CLE) @ SF With Mohammed Massaquoi out with a concussion this week and Josh Cribbs still not finding his niche in the receiver core, Little should get plenty of targets this week. Colt McCoy had a miserable performance last week against Seattle in which the Browns could only scrounge up 3 points, so look for him to make it right and go to the air plenty with Little being the main target.
-Eric Decker (DEN) vs. DET Eric Decker had a terrible performance last week with Tim Tebow’s first game at the helm; however, almost all games before that Decker did incredible. Although changing the QB can affect the outcome of receivers in fantasy Decker has height and speed along with great route running skill. The Bronco’s also traded Brandon Lloyd last week leaving Decker as the number one in Denver. Look for Decker to put up points for you against a weak Lions secondary. Also, with injured running back Willis McGahee, the Broncos will need to move the ball through the air to have success against a strong Detroit rush.
-Marques Colston (NO) @ STL It is EXTREMELY hard to pick who Drew Brees is going to throw the football too, as he loves to spread it out to all his players (outside of Jimmy Graham who seems to always be reliable), but Colston put up 2 of the 6TD’s that Brees threw last week and had the yardage to match, Colston is becoming the clear cut receiver in New Orleans and should continue to rise. Colston is also going up against the Rams so we all know what is gonna happen here!
CHANCE PICK: Emmanuel Sanders (PIT) vs. NE We’re trusting our gut with this pick, but there is a good chance Emmanuel Sanders is available as a free agent in most leagues still. If you are looking to fill in for one of your WR’s on bye this week, he might be a great option. With the likeliness of Hines Ward being out for the week, look for him to be catching passes along side of Mike Wallace. He put up 10 points last week, so look for this trend to hopefully be continuing in week 8 against New England.
-Michael Crabtree (SF) vs. CLE Even though Michael Crabtree put up a solid performance against Detroit last week, we’re not entirely convinced he will be able to pull that off again facing the Browns. The Browns have allowed the league lowest amount of fantasy points to receivers. Look for the 49ers to be passing short yardage this week, and relying heavily on the ground game.
-Sidney Rice (SEA) vs. CIN Sidney Rice is once again not a realistic fantasy option at WR, not only because of the QB situation in Seattle, but because the Bengals are second only to the Browns in allowing the fewest amount of fantasy points to wide receivers. If you are thinking about starting him this week, you are taking a major risk that will most likely blow up in your face.
-Percy Harvin (MIN) @ CAR Percy Harvin is expected to play this week against the Carolina Panthers. However, take into consideration he will be targeted by Christian Ponder, who we haven’t got to see a whole lot of yet. Also, he is dealing with some rib pain. The Panthers are 5th best in the league at allowing the least amount of fantasy points to opposing wide receivers, so this week should be a difficult one for Percy Harvin and we recommend finding another option.
-Jason Witten (DAL) @ PHI Tony Romo is going to be up for a big challenge this week against their rivals in Philly. He is going to need a go to guy for the redzone and for crucial 3rd down plays. With Asomugha, Samuel, and Rodgers-Cromartie focused on the talented duo of receivers in Miles Austin and Dez Bryant, Witten should be able to get open up the middle against the pathetic linebackers the Philly and make some big plays.
-Dallas Clark (IND) @ TEN Dallas Clark probably has some frustration he is dealing with after the lopsided loss to the Saints last week. Hopefully this will lead to him getting plenty of targets in this game against the Titans who rank 6th highest in the NFL in fantasy allowed to tight ends.
-Jake Ballard (NYG) vs. MIA Jake Ballard has definitely be a tight end to watch as of late. He is becoming a very important role in the Giants offense, and this week he is going up against the Dolphins who are 2nd worst in the league in allowing points to opposing tight ends. If you have him in your roster this week, you are a lucky person.
CHANCE PICK: Jared Cook (TEN) vs. IND We’re thinking that Hasselbeck will be looking in Jared Cook’s direction quite a bit this game. Even though the Colts have been pretty decent at preventing fantasy points to tight ends this season with an average of about 6, this is the Colts we’re talking about and sometimes you just have to trust your gut.
-Anthony Fasano (MIA) @ NYG This is a very unfavorable matchup for Anthony Fasano this week. The Giants defense have just pretty much dominated tight ends this season and we don’t expect this trend to change any time soon. They’re 3rd best in the NFL at preventing fantasy points to opposing tight ends and the Dolphins are just plain awful.
-Marcedes Lewis (JAC) @ HOU Constantly doing almost nothing production wise is Marcedes Lewis. If for some reason he is on your team, he is immediately droppable. Don’t expect this guy to do anything to help you win, and the Texans have allowed the fourth least amount of fantasy points to opposing tight ends. He doesn’t stand a chance.
-Scott Chandler (BUF) vs. WAS The Redskins are 7th in the NFL for allowing the fewest fantasy points to opposing TE’s, and Scott Chandler has definitely been struggling the past few games. Look for the Buffalo Bills to find other ways to score against the Redskins.
CHANCE SIT: Brandon Pettigrew (DET) @ DEN This is a tough call, but the Broncos have done surprisingly well this season at stopping tight ends. If you don’t have a better option than Pettigrew, then we wouldn’t consider benching him. However, if you do have someone siting in your free agency like Germaine Gresham, then that is definitely the better play this week. Pettigrew will be a target this week, but look for the Lions wide receivers to be racking up the TD’s.
-Phil Dawson (CLE) @ SF If Phil Dawson is still available as a free agent in your league, swoop him up while you can. He has been putting up fantastic and consistent numbers for a kicker lately. He has a very favorable matchup against the 49ers this week as well. If he’s there…grab him and start him this week; you’ll be happy you did.
-Jason Hanson (DET) @ DEN The Denver Broncos have allowed the absolute most fantasy points to opposing kickers all season long. Jason Hanson is a reliable, consistent kicker. With the odds in his favor and his considerable talent, this makes him a great start this week.
-Rob Bironas (TEN) vs. IND As the Titans are looking to turn things around offensively against the struggling Colts, they should be able to provide way more opportunities for Rob Bironas to get out on the field. If you don’t have a solid kicker for week 8, take a chance on Rob Bironas and see what he can do against the team who has allowed third most fantasy points to opposing kickers this season.
-Olindo Mare (CAR) vs. MIN Olindo Mare has started turning his season around in a big way. He had a stellar performance last week against Washington, and hopefully this is a sign for us that he is becoming a legitimate weekly starter. He has a very favorable matchup as well going up against the Vikings who have allowed the second most fantasy points to opposing kickers this season. If he’s available as a free agent, he may be one of the best starts of the week.
CHANCE PICK: Rob Bironas (TEN) vs. IND As the Titans are looking to turn things around offensively against the struggling Colts, they should be able to provide way more opportunities for Rob Bironas to get out on the field. If you don’t have a solid kicker for week 8, take a chance on Rob Bironas and see what he can do against the team who has allowed 3rd most fantasy points to opposing kickers this season.
-Shawn Suisham (PIT) vs. NE If you’re thinking about starting this guy, you obviously don’t care about winning this week.
-Steven Hauschka (SEA) vs. CIN This guy won’t see too many PA opportunities this week, and the Bengals don’t like to give up points to kickers this season. There are most likely plenty of better options available in your free agency.
-Adam Vinatieri (IND) @ TEN You can just add Adam Vinatieri to list of Colts players that have struggled this year. He has a very unfavorable match up this week, so you should definitely explore a better option.
CHANCE SIT: Graham Gano (WAS) @ BUF Graham Gano has had some success this year, but he’s entering an unfavorable matchup and may not have many opportunities to score against the Bills, who have allowed the 5th least amount of fantasy points to opposing kickers.
-NEW ORLEANS SAINTS @ STL The Saints are playing the Rams, enough said.
-CINCINNATI BENGALS @ SEA The Bengals will probably destroy the Seahawks, and we don’t see the Seahawks producing much of anything against them. Definitely a great defensive start this week, hands down.
-HOUSTON TEXANS vs. JAC The Jacksonville Jaguars have allowed the third most fantasy points to opposing defenses this year, and the Texans are probably going to roll over them this week. If you can get your hands on their D this week, you will be set.
CHANCE PICK: DETROIT LIONS @ DEN This is a tough call, because we know that the Broncos will most likely have the opportunity to score some points this week. However, the Lions D has proven that they are capable of putting up fantasy worthy numbers for owners. The Broncos have given up the sixth most fantasy points to opposing defenses this season.
-ST. LOUIS RAMS vs. NO …
-CLEVELAND BROWNS @ SF The San Francisco 49ers have been very, very good and stopping opposing defenses from scoring fantasy points against them. This is a very unfavorable matchup for them. They should definitely be left on the bench or dropped for a better option.
-WASHINGTON REDSKINS @ BUF The Bills lead the league in preventing opposing defenses to score fantasy points against them, so clearly this is one of the worst options for you this week.
CHANCE SIT: MINNESOTA VIKINGS @ CAR We’ve seen the Vikings’ ability to stop the run, but we all know what Cam Newton is capable of. We think you should leave the Vikings D out of it this week because there could be a major amount of points scored against them in this game.
Trust Your Gut Pick Brandon- TE Vernon Davis (SF) vs CLE
Trust Your Gut Pick Justin- RB Ben Jarvis Green-Ellis (NE) @ PIT