Week 8 in the NFL is already here and it’s time to decide which quarterbacks to start and sit in Week 8.
Think of fantasy player matchups as precious metals. Like good jewelers, we’ll give you a tour of our shop, starting with the most alluring matchups and work our way down, presenting our case for each.
Platinum: can’t-miss investment, must starts
Gold: very good investment
Silver: solid investment
Potential gold mine: could be great, but, could also turn out to be nothing
Copper: least desirable of the precious metals, not a good start
Plastic: not even real gold, put on your bench
Fool’s Gold: shiny and enticing, but not a good investment
Gold - Aaron Rodgers, GB (vs Atlanta Falcons): Much has been made of Rodgers’ struggles this year, but count us among those who still believe the greatest thrower over the last five years or so will figure it out. And he has a pretty favorable matchup this week, going up against a Falcons team that is allowing the fourth most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks (according to NFL.com). More importantly, Green Bay’s stout run defense and the injury to Atlanta running back Tevin Coleman likely means the Falcons will be throwing early and often. In other words, this could be a shootout. And while Rodgers has had trouble finding a reliable deep threat this year, he may have found a new #1 option in Davante Adams, who had 132 yards and 2 touchdowns against the Bears last week.
Silver - Russell Wilson, SEA (vs New Orleans): Entering his Week 5 bye, Wilson was coming off a three touchdown performance against the New York Jets. In the two games since that, he’s been unable to find the endzone, and is only sitting on five entering this week. It’s obvious that Wilson has been inconsistent thus far, but going up against the defensively inept New Orleans Saints in the Superdome gives him a great opportunity to get back on track. Wilson has been known throughout his career to get hot out of nowhere, and it’s games like this that usually spark those stretches.
Copper - Blake Bortles, JAC (vs Tennessee Titans): Thursday night games tend to be sloppy, as teams have less time to prepare. That’s a really bad thing for Bortles, who has struggled this year. He already has 9 interceptions on the year, and the only game he didn’t throw a pick was against the lowly defense of the Indianapolis Colts. The Titans, meanwhile, while not a winning team, have been respectable in defending the pass, holding opposing quarterbacks to 9 touchdown passes while intercepting 6 throws. So if your quarterback is on his bye and you’re looking for a one week replacement, you might want to look elsewhere (Alex Smith, Trevor Siemian, Jameis Winston and Andy Dalton are all better options).
Fool’s Gold - Carson Palmer, ARZ (vs Carolina Panthers): Palmer, an MVP candidate last year, put up his most yards of the season last game (342) and now goes up against a porous Carolina secondary. But while the Panthers have allowed over 40 points in two of their last three games, both those games were against quality quarterbacks (Drew Brees and Matt Ryan). Palmer is not nearly of that caliber right now. So far this year, he’s looked confused, and he threw a number of near interceptions against the Seattle Seahawks last week. It appears his age and diminished arm strength are catching up with him, somewhat similar to what we saw from Peyton Manning late in his career. As a result, Palmer has failed to top 15 fantasy points since Week 2. So while he is starting in the majority of leagues on NFL.com, it’s probably better that you bench him if you have a more consistent quarterback, or can pick up a quarterback with a good matchup this week.