Each week, the Fantasy Football Cheat Sheet will combine analysis, data and game predictions with a confidence scale to help owners get a definitive answer on who to start in their leagues.
Say, what do all those snazzy numbers mean? That's our confidence scale. It slides from 10.0 for a legendary start to 5.0 for an average rating to a 1.0 for a pathetic rating.
Is the confidence scale based on a specific scoring system? It is based on standard leagues but is (mostly) applicable to PPR leagues. You should probably consult our PPR-specific rankings for more detail.
Who is listed below? Everyone that matters, but anyone already starting in 90 percent or more of CBSSports.com leagues is considered an obvious must-start. We're not going to waste your time trying to convince you to start Rob Gronkowski.
What if someone isn't listed below? If someone's missing, it's not an accident. Anyone missing is a definitive must sit, if not a must-cut player. Or they're on bye.
What's the best way to find a specific player on this page? Use your personal search function -- CTRL-F on PCs and Command-F on MACs. If neither of those are options, or if you're on a mobile device, you can search by game. Games are listed by starting times.
What if I am still unsure who to start or sit after reading this? Ask me! Shoot me a note on Twitter (@daverichard) (I'll keep an eye out for the #CBSFCS hashtag). You can always consult our rankings, too.
You like that?! YOU LIKE THAT?! Good! Let's go win some leagues.
Lions vs. Chiefs in London, Sun., 9:30 a.m. ET
Matthew Stafford (8.4): Stafford has delivered 22-plus Fantasy points in consecutive games and takes on a Chiefs pass defense that still has a suspect secondary despite holding down Teddy Bridgewater and Landry Jones in consecutive weeks. He's a must-start -- the coordinating change should help his numbers, not hurt them.
Alex Smith (3.9): Six of seven quarterbacks to play the Lions have found 21 or more Fantasy points, making the matchup a gem for Smith. Still, given his track record, he's a fairly risky bye-week quarterback option, and that's really it.
Ameer Abdullah (5.3): There's a sneaking suspicion that the Lions' offensive coordinator change was made because of the uneven run game. The decision to not give Abdullah more carries after averaging 7.0 yards per run in the first half is a microcosm of the team's commitment issues to its running backs. Abdullah doesn't get the work necessary to get big Fantasy totals. That could change down the line, but probably not this week. Anticipate around 70 total yards.
Theo Riddick (3.7): The Chiefs have allowed 8.3 yards per grab to running backs on the season but have otherwise been solid against them. With the Lions run game up for grabs and Riddick getting just three catches last week, he's become tough to trust.
Charcandrick West (7.6): Don't feel bad if you benched him last week because he lands one of the best matchups in Fantasy against one of the worst run defenses in the league. West should have plenty of chances to keep toting the rock for good numbers.
Calvin Johnson (9.5): Obvious must-start.
Golden Tate (4.5): The only reason Tate is even on the Fantasy radar is because of the matchup against an awful Chiefs secondary. It might not matter as his targets went due south as soon as Ebron came back last week. He should barely be considered a No. 3 Fantasy option.
Jeremy Maclin (8.1): Maclin will resume his role as the lead receiver after Chris Conley held down the fort last week. Detroit's allowed big numbers to opposing receivers this season, making Maclin a pretty reliable No. 2 receiver for Week 8.
Albert Wilson (3.4): He's had at least seven Fantasy points in each of his last two but it's been on limited opportunities with Maclin missing time. Not sure he's such a good option.
Eric Ebron (6.9): The Chiefs have held every tight end they've taken on this season to seven Fantasy points or fewer including Tyler Eifert and Martellus Bennett. That could make things tough on Ebron, who has 10-plus Fantasy points in three of the four games he's finished. If we could expect gobs of targets then he'd have a shot at breaking the Chiefs' hold against tight ends. As it stands, Ebron should figure as a low-end starter with limited upside this week but plenty of long-term promise.
Travis Kelce (7.6): Since his big Week 1, Kelce has one game with 10 Fantasy points and four games with fewer than 80 yards receiving. He hasn't scored since Week 1. He's due in a major way, and the Lions have allowed a touchdown to a tight end in five of seven games.
Lions (3.2): Strangely enough, the Chiefs have allowed one DST this season to gain more than 10 Fantasy points -- the Broncos in Week 2. Save for a stunning Week 4 at Seattle, the Lions DST is one of the worst in Fantasy.
Chiefs (7.4): The Chiefs are a super-sneaky play -- the Lions give up an average of 11.1 Fantasy points per game to opposing DSTs and have allowed over that average in two of their most three recent games. The Vikings had seven sacks of Matthew Stafford last week -- how many will the Chiefs get?
Colin Kaepernick (3.5): Kaepernick has had some success playing at St. Louis, registering multiple touchdowns in each of his last two and reeling in a monster three-touchdown game there last season. But Kaepernick is facing a tough matchup this time around and has really only done well in absolute cakewalk matchups.
Nick Foles (2.7): It's pretty clear that Foles won't have to throw a ton as long as Todd Gurley is doing his thing. That's going to be the case for the foreseeable future. Forget about Foles.
Reggie Bush (3.85): If we assume Carlos Hyde won't play, Bush should see a good dose of work against the Rams and have a shot at something like 60 total yards. In a pinch he'll do in PPR leagues. The Niners didn't score a rushing touchdown on the Rams in their 2014 matchups.
Todd Gurley (9.6): 26, 27, 16. Those are the Fantasy point totals yielded to top running backs by the Niners away from San Francisco this season. Gurley might beat them.
Anquan Boldin (5.35): The veteran has a touchdown and/or 90 yards in each of his last four against the Rams. He especially beats up on them in St. Louis, getting at least 10 Fantasy points in four of his last five in the dome. One problem: the Rams haven't allowed a touchdown to a receiver at home yet this year. Boldin also is banged up and will probably play at less than 100 percent.
Torrey Smith (3.6): St. Louis has been efficient against the deep ball, allowing 19 pass plays of 20-plus yards and just one play of 40-plus yards. That's the kind of stat that crushes any optimism for Smith, who has needed a big play to push him to Fantasy success.
Tavon Austin (5.0): While a receiver has caught at least one touchdown on the Niners in five of their last six, it's been more the No. 1 prototype receivers to do the damage, not necessarily the speed guys. Austin always has some potential playing at home in a favorable matchup, but is strictly a wild-card receiver you'll use over uninspiring choices.
49ers (4.2): The 49ers are one of the worst DSTs in Fantasy. Their matchup isn't awful but the unit can't be trusted to hold up.
Rams (8.5): A must-start. Three of the last five DSTs to play the Niners have posted over 20 Fantasy points! The two that didn't were stinker units -- Baltimore and the N.Y. Giants.
Vikings at Bears, Sun., 1 p.m. ET
Teddy Bridgewater (6.0): The matchup is great as pretty much every capable quarterback has done very well against Chicago. Bridgewater played well last week (over 300 yards and two scores) but still isn't considered reliable. As a bye-week guy, he's OK.
Jay Cutler (6.6): For his past three games, Cutler's been blackjack -- 21 Fantasy points exactly per game. The Vikings should have a good shot at holding him to right around that number. Bad quarterbacks have stumbled against Minnesota while good ones haven't had any more than 23 points. It's not even close to an easy peasy contest for Cutler.
Stefon Diggs (8.0): The Bears secondary is nothing to write home about and Diggs has been really good over the Vikings' last three games. It would be a surprise to see him completely stink against the Bears -- he's crushed favorable matchups like these.
Mike Wallace (4.8): He has been crummy, but Wallace has been the preferred red-zone target of Bridgewater for the whole season, including the Vikes' last two games when Diggs emerged. It's a hunch play, but Wallace is a candidate to score and get minimal yardage as the Bears might opt to give more resources to cover Peterson, Diggs and Rudolph when in the red zone.
Alshon Jeffery (9.2): Two of Jeffery's last three against Minnesota have been absolute demolitions -- at least 19 points standard and 30 in PPR! Then there was the whimper in Week 17 of last season. Minnesota's pass defense has been a little stingy, but it's not anywhere close to being suffocating. Roll with Jeffery.
Kyle Rudolph (4.2): Even when he's good, he's not that good. Rudolph has scored in two straight and three games this season. He has more than seven Fantasy points in one of them and 10 or more in zero of them. He's too risky for the low reward.
Martellus Bennett (6.7): This could be the litmus test for Bennett. Can he shake out of his typical autumn funk or is he doomed to hurt Fantasy lineups for the rest of the season? The matchup isn't bad, but Bennett hasn't scored since Week 4 and really hasn't helped owners except when he has scored. He's good enough to start but if he struggles this week Fantasy owners might have to change gears.
Vikings (6.6): Four of the last five DSTs to play the Bears have come away with good numbers (11-plus Fantasy points). The one that didn't? Those poor Lions. Minnesota has been playing well and should be fine in Week 8.
Bears (3.4): Chicago's DST ranks toward the bottom of the league's Fantasy units and has one game above the trusted 10-point Fantasy watermark.
Giants at Saints, Sun., 1 p.m. ET
Eli Manning (7.8): It's tough to trust Manning after seeing him produce 16 Fantasy points combined against favorable matchups over his last two games. However, the Saints defense is downright yucky; every quarterback except for Brandon Weeden has had 20-plus Fantasy points against them. If Manning can't get things going this week, it's time to get a little nervous.
Drew Brees (6.4): Brees has seen a lot of favorable matchups all season but owns just one game with 20-plus Fantasy points. Additionally, only one of the last five passers to play the G-Men have posted over 20 Fantasy points -- and the other four had 16 or fewer. New York has six interceptions in its past two games. They're a challenging matchup for Brees, who has been struggling, but they're tailor made for Brees' running backs. He might not throw much. Be careful!
Orleans Darkwa (4.8) & Shane Vereen (4.7):The matchup is pretty good for running backs, but the Giants have too many rushers to sprinkle in throughout the game. Vereen is the one who will play the most if the Giants trail and Darkwa kicked open the door for more carries after a nice handful of runs last week. He runs with good size and can run through tackles; he's just not a speed freak. Then again, neither are Rashad Jennings and Andre Williams. No Giants running back should be completely trusted.
Mark Ingram (9.4): Obvious must-start.
C.J. Spiller (3.4): The Saints are trying to get Spiller going. He has 17 touches in his last two games but just 75 total yards to show for it. Maybe he can be considered a bye-week flex option in a PPR. Maybe.
Odell Beckham (9.3): Obvious must-start.
Rueben Randle (4.4): Randle has 42, 44 and 68 yards in each of his last three games with no touchdowns. He's back to being a nightmare. Even though non-No. 1 receivers have scored on the Saints in each of their last three, there's no reason to be confident in Randle.
Brandin Cooks (5.5): He's coming close to making plays, that's for sure. Too bad you don't get points for close. The Giants have given up exactly one touchdown to a receiver in each of their last three games, but Cooks is guaranteed nothing and shouldn't be started as anything more than a good third receiver or flex.
Willie Snead (5.4): Like his teammate, Snead was close to a solid game last week. But also like his teammate, he has just one touchdown on the year and one game with more than eight Fantasy points. Only two receivers have racked up more than 80 yards on the Giants all season long.
Larry Donnell (2.3): The Saints have turned it around against tight ends, allowing just one guy (Brent Celek) to score and cobble together more than six Fantasy points in their last four. Donnell would do anything for six Fantasy points -- he's had three or fewer in all but two games this year.
Benjamin Watson (5.9): New York's yielded a decent amount of yardage to tight ends (11.1 yards per catch) but not many touchdowns. Only three tight ends have scored on them this season and two came in Week 1. Watson was still a fixture in the Saints offense for the first three quarters last week before the Saints changed their game plan with a fourth quarter lead.
Giants (3.6): In the Saints past five games, they let one DST -- the Eagles in Philadelphia -- walk away with a big game. In the two games since, the Saints have allowed three sacks, one interception and scored and averaged 29.0 points per game. Pass on the Giants.
Saints (3.8): In the Giants' seven games this season they let one DST -- the Eagles in Philadelphia -- walk away with a big game. In every other game the Giants have allowed two sacks or fewer and averaged 26.5 points per game. Pass on the Saints.
Andy Dalton (8.2): This is another big-boy game for Dalton -- a win here pretty much sews up the AFC North for Cincinnati. Pittsburgh has been great against quarterbacks lately; only one (Philip Rivers) has reached 20-plus points. They did a nice job against Carson Palmer and Joe Flacco at home, and the only quarterback to throw well against them at Heinz Field was Colin Kaepernick, who needed a whole lotta garbage time for it. Dalton's track record against the Steelers isn't bad at all -- he has thrown two touchdowns in each of his last three against them and racked up 20-plus Fantasy points in two of them. It's safe to expect Dalton to find two touchdowns and plenty of yardage, but a turnover could knock his Fantasy appeal down to the 20-to-22 point range.
Ben Roethlisberger (8.9): Big Ben's back just in time for a crucial AFC North showdown and a three-game home stand. The Bengals may have allowed just two passing touchdowns in their last three but they've played inferior quarterbacks in that span. Roethlisberger rocked Cincy for multiple touchdowns and over 300 yards in both matchups in 2014.
Giovani Bernard (7.7): Gio has delivered 10-plus Fantasy points in three straight games and four of his last five. In four career games against the Steelers, he has found a touchdown in three, though he's never had more than 65 total yards against them in a game. That's OK -- only three running backs have tallied over 100 total yards against Pittsburgh so far this season. Start Bernard knowing that he'll be a regular for the Bengals if they're playing from behind or in a close game.
Jeremy Hill (6.8): The Steelers allowed their first rushing score to a running back last week. As a touchdown dependent running back, Hill seems to have an uphill battle for another score considering the matchup and his up-and-down workload. He's fine as a No. 2 rusher this week.
Le'Veon Bell (9.2): Obvious must-start.
A.J. Green (8.8): Everyone will end up starting him, but you'll be surprised to know he's posted nine or fewer Fantasy points in three of his last four against the Steelers despite getting at least 13 targets per game. He has also scored fewer than nine points in each of his last three games. Now, you also won't be surprised to know that he nailed a 224-yard, one-touchdown game against the Steelers last year (the one he didn't score nine points in) or that four of six receivers to get at least 10 targets against the Steelers this season have posted 10-plus Fantasy points. Green's too risky to sit.
Marvin Jones (5.8): Jones is a winner for Fantasy owners when he scores. The Steelers have allowed five receivers to score this season including three in their last four games. The biggest concern is that Tyler Eifert has a big game and hogs targets (along with A.J. Green), keeping Jones to limited stats. He's a good bye-week receiver, maybe a low-end No. 2 choice in PPR leagues.
Antonio Brown (9.6): Obvious must-start. He typically gives the Bengals fits.
Martavis Bryant (8.4): Bryant has scored in both of his games this season and also scored in both of his games against the Bengals last season. Expect significant contributions from Bryant.
Tyler Eifert (8.0): If Dalton's going to win he'll need a big game from Eifert, who matches up nicely with the Steelers. Pittsburgh has had its fair share of troubles with big tight ends.
Heath Miller (2.7): No tight end has gotten more than six Fantasy points on the Bengals this season, and Miller has been at six Fantasy points or below in five straight against the Bengals. Find another tight end.
Bengals (5.6): Pittsburgh has averaged 33.0 points per game in its past three against Cincinnati, all wins. Of course, the Bengals haven't allowed more than 24 points in a game this season. With zero games with 10-plus Fantasy points in their last four, the Bengals DST is too risky to use this week. You'll love them next week vs. the Browns, though.
Steelers (5.4): The Steelers delivered a dud last week against the Chiefs, snapping a five-game streak of great Fantasy totals. Don't expect a big game in Week 8 -- the only two DSTs to score well against the Bengals had touchdowns. The Steelers DST has come together for one touchdown on the year.
Philip Rivers (9.4): Favorable matchup? Check. Big game against the Ravens last year? Check. Quality pass catchers? Check. Lack of a quality run game? Check. Four straight games with over 300 yards and two touchdowns? Check. In your lineup? Check!!
Joe Flacco (7.2): Three of the last four passers to throw on the Chargers have scored 23-plus Fantasy points -- the only one who didn't was Michael Vick. If the Chargers are going to put up points, the Ravens will have to as well. Flacco has scored over 20 Fantasy points in four of his last six including every home game on the season. He also posted 27 on the Chargers at home last season.
Danny Woodhead (7.1): Maybe the Ravens are allowing under 4.0 yards per carry to running backs, but they're also giving up 9.5 yards per catch to the position. Woodhead is clearly the best Fantasy pick among Chargers running backs even though he's looking for his first big game on the road.
Branden Oliver (4.2) & Melvin Gordon (3.1): It looks like these guys will split the rushing downs for the Chargers. Last week Oliver played 33 snaps and had 15 touches. Gordon played 15 snaps and had 7 touches. Neither one should start this week against the Ravens.
Justin Forsett (9.1): After a couple of lean weeks, Forsett will host a San Diego run defense that has allowed a minimum of 13 Fantasy points (15 in PPR) to a running back in every game this season. He's an absolute must.
Keenan Allen (9.0): He scored twice and turned 15 targets into 11 catches and 121 yards at Baltimore last year. Pair that with the Ravens' sorry pass defense playing on a short week and he becomes a must-start.
Steve Johnson (4.7): Johnson would be especially sneaky if Gates misses another week. That's because he figures to have a nice matchup in the slot against cornerback Ladarius Webb, who has allowed two touchdowns already this year. Stevie also had eight targets last week, which is nice.
Malcom Floyd (4.0): A major sleeper worth considering, if only because the Ravens have allowed 15 deep pass plays of 25-plus yards in their past six games.
Steve Smith (8.7): The theory that the Chargers are strong against No. 1 receivers went way out the window last week when Amari Cooper crushed them. Smith should have a big game at home after being held under 80 yards last week.
Ladarius Green (7.4): The numbers say the Ravens have been tough on tight ends, but they've played very few good ones. Tyler Eifert had a touchdown called back against them and Gary Barnidge had his biggest game of the year against them. They can be beaten, and Green has a touchdown in all but one game he has played in without Gates. He's worth trusting.
Crockett Gillmore (4.1): Gillmore has eight catches from 12 targets over his last two games but just 83 yards to show for it. If the Chargers' safeties are still banged up heading into the game then Gillmore should end up getting some red-zone opportunities.
Chargers (2.8): The Chargers haven't had more than eight Fantasy points in a game this season. All the more reason to like the Ravens passing game.
Ravens (4.4): This DST has bottomed out, posting five or fewer Fantasy points in each if its last three. Expect them to get hammered for plenty of points.
Cardinals at Browns, Sun., 1 p.m. ET
Carson Palmer (8.3): It's never easy going on the road after a Monday night game ... unless it's Cleveland. The Browns pass defense has looked good the past two weeks because they took on Peyton Manning and Nick Foles, but they're still susceptible to the pass. There's a little risk that the Cardinals run game dominates, but Palmer should be plenty good.
Josh McCown (3.7): McCown's shoulder should be fine, but the matchup is anything but fine. Only one quarterback -- Nick Foles (really) -- has posted over 20 Fantasy points on the Cardinals this season.
Chris Johnson (8.4): Johnson is the runaway lead back for the Cardinals, so figure for him to have the most exposure against the Browns' crummy run defense. Every lead back the Browns have faced has posted a minimum of 11 Fantasy points.
Andre Ellington (4.0): Maybe there's some sleeper appeal because coach Bruce Arians said Ellington will get more work and the Browns run defense is so bad. Just remember, more work isn't much for Ellington -- he's had 14 touches in his last three games. We could be looking at a max of 10 touches.
David Johnson (3.8): Worth throwing a roster spot on in a desperate scenario if only because he could score on the Browns at the goal line. You're hoping for six points here.
Duke Johnson (5.5): Preseason expectations on Johnson being the Browns' best running back have come to fruition, but his productivity is still weak. His past three games have brought in totals of 7, 4 and 8 Fantasy points -- but 13, 7 and 15 in PPR. Aside from leading the playing time among the Browns' rushers, the thing to like about Johnson this week is that the Cardinals will come into Cleveland after playing on Monday and could be ripe for the picking. Also: the Cardinals have allowed a receiving score to a running back in two of its last three games.
Robert Turbin (2.7): If you own him, hold on to him. Crowell's continuing to struggle and Turbin wound up getting more snaps than Crowell in Week 7.
John Brown (8.3): With 12-plus Fantasy points in each of his last three games (16-plus in PPR), Brown has been hot. He'll have a shot to keep it up, even if he has limited targets. The Browns have allowed eight pass plays of 40-plus yards, second-most in the league.
Larry Fitzgerald (8.2): Over the past two weeks, we've seen Michael Floyd pick up touchdowns that might have otherwise gone to Fitzgerald. Not coincidentally, Fitz has posted a couple of terrible games. The bottom line is that the Browns don't have an slot corner who can line up with Fitzgerald so he should at least provide nine Fantasy points -- the minimum he's had in three road games this season.
Michael Floyd (5.6): Back-to-back games with 50 yards and a touchdown will get a lot of attention. The best part about Floyd is that he's such a mismatch problem for defenses as basically the Cardinals third receiver. He could see a lot of Tramon Williams, which might ding Floyd's upside just a bit.
Travis Benjamin (4.1): First of all, he'll get shadowed by Patrick Peterson, which has been a major problem for receivers all season. Second of all, he's slowing down after a hot start. Try to avoid using Benjamin.
Gary Barnidge (6.5): Barnidge is matchup proof so long as McCown is under center. The Cardinals have been better than everybody against tight ends this season, but Barnidge will continue to be a regular target -- just note he didn't have a single red-zone target last week. Defenses are on to him when it matters.
Cardinals (8.6): Many people will start them, and why not? The last two DSTs to play the Browns posted 20-plus Fantasy points and they were rock star groups like the Cards (Denver and St. Louis). Arizona is allowing 19.0 points per game. Start them.
Browns (2.6): With one game over six Fantasy points in its last five, the Browns DST can't be considered a good choice.
Buccaneers at Falcons, Sun., 1 p.m. ET
Jameis Winston (5.8): Winston's coming off his best game and hasn't thrown a pick since Week 4. The matchup's not so rosy -- the Falcons haven't allowed more than one passing touchdown in three straight and only one quarterback has exceeded 20 Fantasy points in their last five. Playing without Vincent Jackson is another strike against him. He's a good bye-week quarterback, but that's about it.
Matt Ryan (7.7): Ryan hasn't been a great Fantasy quarterback lately, failing to get to 20 Fantasy points in three of his last four. The matchup should fix his woes -- the Bucs have allowed 10 total touchdowns to quarterbacks in their last three games and Ryan has 250 yards and multiple touchdowns in three of his last four against the Buccaneers.
Doug Martin (8.7): With over 130 total yards in each of his past three games, not many rushers are hotter than Martin. The Falcons aren't as bad of a matchup as the Titans made them look last week.
Charles Sims (5.0): Seems to be a cinch for 50 total yards per week, and maybe he can get a few yards more because of the Buccaneers' suddenly thinned-out receiving corps.
Devonta Freeman (9.7): Obvious must-start.
Mike Evans (8.6): Everybody is going to start him but expect a lot of close coverage from the Falcons, especially with Jackson sidelined. The Falcons have allowed just three receivers to score on them this season but every big-name pass catcher has found at least 100 yards against them.
Julio Jones (9.7): Obvious must-start.
Roddy White (4.9): When's the last time we considered White a sleeper? His rookie year? He has a great matchup against a dreadful Buccaneers secondary and should see an uptick in targets with Leonard Hankerson sidelined.
Jacob Tamme (2.9): With Hankerson not expected to play, Tamme should be among those Falcons picking up extra targets. The Bucs crumbled against Jordan Reed last week, so maybe Tamme can find the end zone.
Buccaneers (4.8): Admittedly, the Bucs DST hasn't been an embarrassment. It has posted modest results in its past three games. The Falcons have seen three straight DSTs land 10-plus Fantasy points against them. The Bucs are a sleeper for Week 8.
Falcons (6.2): The Falcons have been one of the better DSTs in the league lately, posting 13-plus points in three of their last four games (they stunk at New Orleans). Strangely, four of the last five DSTs to play the Bucs have been a total let-down. Consider the Falcons a good option but not a great one.
Titans at Texans, Sun., 1 p.m. ET
Zach Mettenberger (4.9): Despite his gunslinger ways, Mettenberger has a favorable matchup as Houston has allowed three straight quarterbacks to smash them for good numbers (at least 20-plus Fantasy points). He's barely on the radar as people have a hard time starting him but there's obviously some sleeper appeal.
Brian Hoyer (6.8): Hoyer has landed 21-plus Fantasy points in four straight games thanks mostly to DeAndre Hopkins and/or garbage time stats. The Titans secondary is banged up and could be ripe for a big game despite holding two straight quarterbacks to under 20 Fantasy points thanks to an influx of interceptions.
Antonio Andrews (6.1): The Texans' run defense has come unglued over the last four weeks, allowing big stats to great running backs. Andrews isn't considered a great running back but could score and should see a slight uptick in touches after averaging 10 over his last three games.
Dexter McCluster (4.4): It's clear McCluster is the Titans' passing downs back, and when they're playing from behind he'll be in there. But will they play from behind against the Texans? One factor that should help him: Houston is allowing 10.6 yards per catch to running backs, up almost a yard per grab after Lamar Miller's big game last week.
Alfred Blue (6.4): The belief is that Blue will resume working the rushing downs work, leaving the field for obvious passing situations. He did great earlier this year in a favorable matchup against Tampa Bay (139 yards and a touchdown on 31 carries) -- he should be in good shape against a Titans run defense allowing 4.4 yards per carry to backs this season.
Jonathan Grimes (2.4): Grimes should regain his role as the Texans passing downs back, which makes him an average desperation option in PPR leagues. In Weeks 2 and 3 he had 10 and 6 Fantasy points in PPR leagues. We'll see how he does with Hoyer under center but don't expect double digits.
Kendall Wright (7.1): You have to like Wright's odds of scoring and being a decent Fantasy option considering the state of the Texans secondary. They have allowed 14.7 yards per catch and multiple touchdowns to receivers in each of their last three games.
DeAndre Hopkins (9.4): Obvious must-start.
Nate Washington (6.2): It's not a lot, but we've seen Hoyer target and connect with Washington when the two have been on the field together. On the year Washington has caught 15 of 26 Hoyer targets for 232 yards and two scores. He's going to see a bunch of targets against his former team and potentially deliver a nice game. He's sneaky in one-week leagues and seasonal formats.
Delanie Walker (5.6): Walker's target and catch totals are wonderful but his receiving average and lack of touchdowns limits his potential in a standard league. Two of the three tight ends with six or more targets against the Texans this year have come away with big games, so one could hope volume pushes Walker to a good Fantasy outing.
Titans (4.6): The matchup isn't that good as Houston has averaged 22.0 points and nearly 300 yards per game. Tennessee's been making its way into double-digit territory thanks to some savvy interceptions, which they could come up with this week. Still, it's a tough unit to trust.
Texans (5.0): A good defense would bounce back from a 41-point shellacking and show some resiliency. But are the Texans really even close to a good defense? Maybe they'll look like one against the Titans, who have allowed each of the last five DSTs they've taken on to post 12 or more Fantasy points. Still, rolling with Houston isn't ideal.
Ryan Fitzpatrick (7.1): Fitzpatrick has been running really well, landing 23-plus Fantasy points in two straight. He has only one game without multiple touchdowns. The Raiders have given up multiple touchdowns and 21-plus Fantasy points to every quarterback except Peyton Manning.
Derek Carr (4.3): Carr's been having a nice year, but he's not Tom Brady. And Brady is the only quarterback to amass more than 15 Fantasy points against the Jets this season. Carr might beat 15 points but 20 seems unlikely.
Chris Ivory (8.0): Injury concerns could put a cap on just how well Ivory does in what really isn't that great of a matchup. The Raiders haven't allowed a score on the ground to a running back in four straight, giving up an average of 3.33 yards per carry in that span. He should still start but expectations should be lowered a bit.
Latavius Murray (5.7): It's not shaping up to be a good week for Murray as the Jets are the unquestioned top run defense in the league. Shoot, the Patriots didn't even bother to use their running backs last week! Only one team, Philadelphia, has found success running the ball on the Jets. That means trouble for Murray.
Brandon Marshall (8.9): Obvious must-start.
Eric Decker (7.9): The Raiders came out of their bye week doing a nice job containing Chargers receivers and keeping them from breaking for long gains. Decker figures to have a similar scheme used against him, which is OK since he's not known as a breakaway receiver anyway. With at least nine Fantasy points per game (11 in PPR), he should be considered a solid start.
Amari Cooper (6.4): The rookie did a great job last week in what was believed to be a tough matchup, but escaping Revis Island is a whole other problem. Keep expectations in check with Cooper, particularly since the Jets have done a nice job against fellow top-flight receivers like T.Y. Hilton and Julian Edelman already this season.
Michael Crabtree (4.6): Maybe there's a shot for Crabtree to be decent if he's matched up against Antonio Cromartie. He's allowed the most scores on the year among the Jets (three). Still, using Crabtree in PPR formats is only if you're in a pinch.
Jeff Cumberland (4.3): You know how the Raiders are against tight ends -- it's not pretty. If you want to take a stab on a tight end who can get you six points on a touchdown, Cumberland is it.
Clive Walford (3.1): Crazy as it may sound, Walford could be a key contributor since the Jets can't assign a lock-down corner on him. Still, you'd have to be insane to start him. Stashing him in deeper leagues, however ...
Jets (7.1): The Raiders are putting up numbers, averaging 24.0 points and 351.0 yards per game. But the Jets are a safe bet for at least nine Fantasy points and potentially could deliver up to 19 points. That's been their range all season except when they took on the Pats last week.
Raiders (4.0): Figure the Raiders to be a below average unit in Week 8 -- the Jets are averaging great numbers (25.3 points per game) and the only DSTs to perform well against them needed a touchdown.
Seahawks at Cowboys, Sun., 4:25 p.m. ET
Russell Wilson (5.3): Wilson hasn't been able to put together a signature game yet this year, scoring above 20 Fantasy points just once on the year. The Cowboys have been pretty solid against the pass and should be able to force some turnovers with a strong pass rush bearing down on Wilson (no Russell Okung hurts him). Expect another disappointing game from Wilson, just as he had against the Boys last year.
Matt Cassel (2.9): Even with Dez Bryant back, it's hard to expect Cassel to have a good game. Heck, he struggled last week against the Giants. You think he can thrive against the Seahawks?!
Marshawn Lynch (9.5): Obvious must-start.
Darren McFadden (5.8): McFadden will start against the Seahawks but running against them might not yield such great numbers. Frankly he'll have to deliver as a receiver to help buoy his statistics. He's a very average flex option this week.
Christine Michael (2.2): Don't start Michael, but don't cut him either. He's one McFadden injury away from being the every-down back for the Cowboys -- that is, so long as Joseph Randle is on the shelf.
Doug Baldwin (3.8): Not sure why you'd consider starting Baldwin but if he does wind up getting matched up exclusively on Brandon Carr then he'd have a shot at some decent numbers. He has nine Fantasy points or less in five straight.
Dez Bryant (6.5): It's good to see Bryant back on the field but the Seahawks figure to use similar strategies to lock him up as they did back last year when they held him to 63 yards and four catches on 10 targets. Keep in mind, that's when he was in game shape, not coming off of major foot surgery and had Tony Romo throwing to him. Don't be in such a hurry to start Bryant unless you're prepared for mild expectations.
Terrance Williams (3.0): Williams should fall back into his No. 2 role with Bryant back, which means lesser coverage. This week it shouldn't matter -- there's no confidence in starting Williams when the Seahawks have allowed one touchdown to a receiver and have held all but one receiver to under 80 yards on the season.
Jimmy Graham (6.0): It's aggravating that the Seahawks can't get Graham going on a consistent basis. Here's a thought -- if the Seahawks can't run the ball or if they're playing from behind, Graham should be involved. Problem is, Lynch should roll this week, which could limit Graham's targets. Only three receivers and zero tight ends have posted 10-plus Fantasy points on the Cowboys this season. He's a low-end starter this week.
Jason Witten (5.1): Sounds crazy, but this is a real nice matchup for Witten -- the Seahawks can't get their act together against tight ends. Problem is, Witten doesn't often bring big stats. He's scored seven points or fewer in five straight (13 or fewer in PPR). Other tight ends have more upside.
Seahawks (9.0): Dez or no Dez, the Seahawks are a must-start against the Cassel-led Cowboys.
Cowboys (6.0): Each of the past five defenses to play the Seahawks have posted at least four sacks and allowed an average of 21.1 points per game. There is no doubt that the Cowboys pass rush will be in Wilson's face but holding Seattle to a low score, low yardage or multiple turnovers is a tall order. Figure Dallas to be a low-end starting option, if only because several better units have tough matchups this week.
Packers at Broncos, Sun., 8:30 p.m. ET
Aaron Rodgers (7.9): Look, you might start Rodgers because he's a stud, but this is not an easy matchup at all. The Broncos' pass rush should be at full strength, and the Broncos' secondary lines up very well with his receivers. Not saying to bench him, just consider using Rivers, Roethlisberger, Stafford or Palmer instead of him if you have both.
Peyton Manning (4.5): For Manning to become Fantasy relevant again, his offensive line will have to develop pristine pass blocking, his receivers cannot make any mistakes, his running backs must develop into consistent threats and he will have to throw with better accuracy. Could that all come together in Week 8 against the Packers? Hard to believe, especially since the Packers have more interceptions (eight) than passing touchdowns allowed (seven).
Eddie Lacy (5.6) & James Starks (3.9): Lacy has been declared healthy by his head coach but Starks also looks like he'll be okay after dealing with a hip injury earlier in the week. So not only might both backs take snaps away from each other but they're saddled with a bad matchup. Only two running backs have been over 10 Fantasy points against the Broncos this season and they're allowing 3.6 yards per carry.
Ronnie Hillman (6.9): The belief is Hillman will come out of the bye as the Broncos' lead running back. Makes sense -- he has been the better back. Just remember -- his best game came against Cleveland's bad run defense. The Packers aren't world beaters but they've gone three games without allowing a back to score. Hillman shouldn't be considered a major threat but good enough to work as a No. 2 running back.
C.J. Anderson (4.1): Anderson will continue to work into the Broncos offense, but unless Hillman is totally ineffective or injured, it's tough to expect even 12 touches from Anderson. And even if he gets them, what's he going to do with them? Probably not a lot.
Randall Cobb (6.3): The Broncos might simply opt to leave cornerback Chris Harris on Cobb. That's a tough matchup for Cobb because Harris has been outstanding all season. Even if it's not Harris, the Broncos' top three cornerbacks have allowed one touchdown all season. Only one receiver -- Travis Benjamin -- has posted over 90 yards on the Broncos this season. Think of Cobb as a No. 2 receiver this week.
James Jones (6.1): Jones could see a bunch of Aqib Talib, who has held down almost everyone he's faced to low numbers. Jones' best threat each week is to score, and the Broncos have allowed a single touchdown to a receiver all season. It could be a tough week for Jones.
Davante Adams (5.3): If Adams returns, Rodgers might opt to lean on him if the Broncos choose to play man coverage. You'd have to think Adams would face a lot of Bradley Roby, who has also played well this season but isn't the cornerback Harris or Talib are. Adams has some mild sleeper appeal in his first game back after his ankle injury.
Demaryius Thomas (8.5): No surprise, highly-targeted receivers tend to put up numbers on the Packers. Even with all of his drops, Thomas has averaged 12.5 targets per game. Of the five receivers with eight or more targets against Green Bay this year, four have produced nine or more Fantasy points.
Emmanuel Sanders (7.8): Sanders seems to be the most explosive Broncos receiver, a good thing considering the Packers allow 14.0 yards per catch to wideouts. They also are in the Top 10 in the league with six receptions of 40-plus yards allowed.
Richard Rodgers (5.7): Rodgers is a serious sleeper against a Broncos pass defense that just can't figure out tight ends. More importantly, Rodgers figures to see average coverage considering the rest of the Packers offense. That should help him sneak into the end zone.
Owen Daniels (3.5): The Packers have allowed big games to Martellus Bennett and the Chargers duo, plus Travis Kelce had a nice performance earlier this season. Daniels isn't as good as those guys, but could register a few catches near the line of scrimmage to give him a decent game.
Packers (7.2): From Week 2 through their last game the Packers have posted no less than nine Fantasy points. The Broncos have allowed well more than that (try 12-plus) to each of their past two opponents (the Raiders and Browns!). Green Bay should do just fine.
Broncos (7.0): They're still worth starting even though they're going up against Aaron Rodgers. They're the best DST in Fantasy with at least 13 Fantasy points per game.
Andrew Luck (7.6): The Panthers have been phenomenal against the pass, but they haven't taken on many great passers. Luck will be the toughest one they've faced to date. Luck's found a way to over 20 Fantasy points in all but one game this season.
Cam Newton (7.0): Newton has crushed his Fantasy value the last two weeks with five interceptions in his last two games. There's a chance the Panthers wind up going conservative and run the ball a bunch, thus hurting Newton's overall stats but keeping him turnover free. Indy has allowed a passer to land 20-plus Fantasy points in four of its last five games, so it's not like the matchup is bad. Cam's a borderline starter this week.
Frank Gore (7.2): The Panthers run defense has the reputation of being great against the run but it has allowed a touchdown to a back in four straight. In that span, it has allowed 4.5 yards per carry. The Colts spoke openly this week about getting Gore more carries -- hopefully that includes some at the goal line since he hasn't pulled together 100 total yards yet this season.
Jonathan Stewart (8.8): This should be a huge game for Stewart, who's coming off of back-to-back huge games. The Colts have been run over by backs this season and Stewart has seemingly earned a bigger piece of the offensive pie. He's dreamy in one-week leagues and seasonal formats.
T.Y. Hilton (7.2): We're looking at an interesting matchup between Hilton and Panthers top corner Josh Norman, who has allowed just 130 yards and one touchdown this season with four interceptions. As a team, the Panthers have allowed just three touchdowns to receivers this year and one of them came against backups in garbage time. He's a risk.
Donte Moncrief (6.9): If Norman settles in on Hilton as expected, Moncrief figures to see a lot of veteran Charles Tillman, who can be beaten for some decent gains. Moncrief is a solid No. 3 receiver this week as he aims to keep his touchdown streak with Luck alive.
Ted Ginn (5.1): Ginn has been good for 9 or 10 Fantasy points per game at home this season but isn't a safe pick to keep it up this week, if only because the Panthers figure to run more and because Greg Olsen has a really nice matchup that will take targets away.
Coby Fleener (3.3): The injury to Phillip Dorsett could buy Fleener a little more playing time. He's got a pretty decent matchup against the Panthers safeties this week that could bring him in around 50 yards.
Greg Olsen (8.8): Obvious must-start.
Colts (3.0): Among the worst DSTs in Fantasy, the Colts shouldn't start anywhere for anyone, even with Newton's terrible interception problem over the last two weeks.
Panthers (6.4): A good defense that has a tough matchup this week against the Colts. They should be able to nab some sacks and takeaways, but don't expect the Panthers to hold the Colts to under 21 points or under 300 yards.
Ryan Tannehill (6.5): No one should buy into Tannehill solely because of his amazing half of football against Houston last week. He has had mixed success in his past against the Patriots and is a candidate for decent numbers in Week 8 as four of the last five passers to play them have posted at least 19 Fantasy points. Ryan Fitzpatrick had 23 last week. The short week hurts him but the matchup is a plus. He's a borderline No. 1 Fantasy quarterback.
Tom Brady (9.3): Obvious must-start.
Lamar Miller (7.9): It's clear the Dolphins are willing to lean on Miller, which they've actually done for at least 15 carries in three of his last four against the Patriots with mixed results. The Pats' run defense has been mostly good -- a few backs have had 10-plus Fantasy points but no one's has steam rolled them. Miller is best suited as a good No. 2 option.
Dion Lewis (7.3): Of note, the Dolphins have allowed 108 receiving yards on 12 catches and a receiving score to a pass-catching running back in each of two games since their coaching change. Don't think the Patriots haven't noticed, nor will try to exploit it. It almost feels like the Patriots rested Lewis just so he'd be available for this matchup. I like him as a No. 2 choice.
LeGarrette Blount (5.1): Since the bye, the Dolphins run defense has allowed 3.1 yards per carry to rushers. Blount's best shot to help Fantasy owners is with a touchdown and while the Fins allowed a rushing score last week, there's just no guarantee Blount will get a chance or even get over 40 yards with a touchdown. His chances are improved with Dion Lewis sidelined.
Rishard Matthews (7.7): The Patriots' pass coverage is always tricky, but the hunch is that Malcolm Butler gets assigned Matthews. That's not so bad for Matthews as Butler has allowed four touchdowns already this season and gave up a score versus Miami last year. Additionally, Tannehill has connected with his top outside wideout for a touchdown in each of his last three against New England.
Jarvis Landry (6.0): New England has some issues defending slot receivers but they're likely to consider him a top target of Tannehill's and thus provide ample coverage against him. He was a yard shy of 100 in his last game against the Pats and has been plenty involved with the Miami offense since the bye week. He should be good for a minimum of 80 total yards.
Kenny Stills (3.9): Total flier for Week 8 but he seems plugged in as the Dolphins third receiver and could end up drawing an inferior cornerback in coverage. Tannehill should take a shot or two at him.
Julian Edelman (9.1): Obvious must-start -- and long-time Dolphins destructor.
Brandon LaFell (4.3): The presumed matchup against Dolphins cornerback Brent Grimes isn't especially appealing. Neither is trusting a receiver who had six drops in Week 7.
Danny Amendola (4.15): His usage over the last two weeks -- nine targets in each game for 10-plus Fantasy points -- will get your attention. But if Dion Lewis is back then Amendola's targets figure to suffer.
Jordan Cameron (2.5):The Patriots have defended tight ends very well all year and it's hard to buy into Cameron as a good Fantasy option.
Rob Gronkowski (9.5): Obvious must-start.
Dolphins (5.2): Just in case you were wondering, DSTs to play the Patriots have posted 10 or fewer Fantasy points in every game this year. Even with their improvements, the Dolphins should only start for your team if you don't want to carry two DSTs. The Chiefs, Falcons, Vikings and Cowboys are decent alternatives for Week 8.
Patriots (5.8): The Patriots have struggled against capable passing offenses over the past two weeks and could be in for another rough go against the Dolphins. Don't be shocked to see them post their third straight game without 10 or more Fantasy points.