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Weekly Matchups: Strong Plays, Weak Plays Week 8

Kyle Fisher

Kyle Fisher writes about fantasy sports for RotoWire.


Eli Manning vs. MIA

Manning once again has provided great value for fantasy owners willing to wait on drafting a quarterback. Manning ranks seventh in average fantasy points per game in standard scoring leagues and should not hurt that standing in this week's matchup with the Dolphins. The Dolphins are tied for most fantasy points per game given up to quarterbacks and for the season have allowed 12 touchdowns to only two interceptions. Look for Manning to be one of the better plays on the Week 8 slate.

Matt Hasselbeck vs. IND

Last week, we called for Hasselbeck to be decent but a weak fantasy play, and he certainly overdelivered, having his worst game of the season. This week, Hasselbeck should be in line for redemption for his fantasy owners against the Colts, who have allowed the fourth most fantasy points to the quarterback position and a league-high 14 touchdown passes. While Hasselbeck won't put up Drew Brees numbers this week, he's a good bet to get back into the good graces of his fantasy owners.

Darren Sproles vs. STL

Sproles has been a monster in PPR leagues, catching at least five passes in every game this season. Couple this with his increased workload in the backfield and Sproles has become a solid play in fantasy. This week, Sproles should continue his magical fantasy season as the Rams have given up the second-most fantasy points to the running back position. While Sproles will never be the traditional running back who gets 20 carries a game, his overall production should again make him a worthwhile fantasy play.

DeMarco Murray vs. PHI

Murray took advantage of his newfound starting role to set the Cowboys single-game rushing record last week with 253 yards. Last week, he had more carries (25) than his previous five games (24) combined. While we aren't calling for an encore performance of that magnitude, Murray still has great value in this matchup. The Eagles have given up the most fantasy points to the running back position this season and surrender nearly five yards a carry. Murray won't set any records this week but should put up a nice scoring effort on your fantasy roster.

N.O. DEF vs. STL

Sam Bradford's status (sprained ankle) makes him questionable for this game. But even if he does suit up, the Saints appear to be one of the better defensive plays on the board this week. The Saints have played very well defensively against the three worst offenses on the schedule to date (Bears, Jaguars and Colts), allowing just 10 points a game while registering 10 sacks and creating five turnovers. The Rams have struggled all season on offense. Look for the Saints to put the clamps on them this weekend.


Kevin Kolb vs. BAL

Kolb has struggled this season as he has thrown just seven touchdowns against seven interceptions in six games for the 1-5 Cardinals. Kolb's yardage has been solid, as he hasn't thrown for less than 232 yards all season, but this week he faces a Ravens team giving up the fewest points to fantasy quarterbacks in the league. The Ravens have also allowed just four touchdown passes and figure to be smarting after Monday's loss to the Jaguars. Look for Kolb to continue his struggles this week.

Matt Schaub vs. JAC

Schaub has once again posted strong fantasy numbers, ranking ninth in average fantasy points from the quarterback position in standard scoring leagues. Schaub has thrown at least one touchdown pass in every game this season and has weathered the storm of losing Andre Johnson. Still, most of Schaub's good performances have come in very favorable matchups, and this week Schaub faces a Jaguars pass defense that is one of the league's better units. The Jaguars rank ninth in fewest fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks and are coming off a great performance on Monday night. Look for Schaub to be decent but to not put up huge fantasy numbers in this matchup.

Montario Hardesty vs. SF

The good news in last week's victory is Hardesty got 33 carries. The bad news is he failed to crack the century mark and averages just 3.3 yards a carry this season. That doesn't figure to improve this week against a rested 49ers unit that is the top-ranked fantasy rushing defense. The 49ers have yet to give up more than 74 rushing yards to the running back position in any game this season, and no opposing running back has rushed for a touchdown all season. While Hardesty may be more involved in the offense, the production won't be there this week.

Reggie Wayne vs. TEN

Wayne is battling poor quarterback play and father time as he is on pace for his worst statistical season since 2002. The Titans defense won't help the quarterback play or slow down father time this week as it has allowed the fifth-fewest fantasy points to the wide receiver position all season and would be ranked first had it not been for a poor performance against the Steelers in Week 5. Since Ben Roethlisberger won't be suiting up for the Colts this week, we're comfortable saying that Wayne's struggles will continue.


While the Steelers still get after the quarterback (17 sacks), they have only created three turnovers (fewest in the league) and rank just 19th in fantasy defensive scoring in standard leagues. The Patriots don't give up sacks, and while Dallas did break their 30-point scoring streak, the Patriots are rested after the bye week and figure to have a strong enough offensive day to make it hard to play the Steelers as your fantasy defense this week.