Fantasy Football Week 8: Start ‘em/Sit ‘em

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Oct 13, 2013; San Francisco, CA, USA; Arizona Cardinals running back Andre Ellington (38) rushes for a gain against the San Francisco 49ers during the second quarter at Candlestick Park. The San Francisco 49ers defeated the Arizona Cardinals 32-20. Mandatory Credit: Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

Week 8 of the NFL season is upon us, and you need to make sure you’re ready to set your fantasy football lineup. So here are some players to start and sit to make sure you have the best possible lineup for this weekend’s action. (Statistics obtained from ESPN Fantasy Football unless otherwise noted.)

Players to Start

Carson Palmer, Arizona Cardinals

Oct 17, 2013; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer calls a play in the second half against the Seattle Seahawks at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Carson Palmer is the perfect example of a veteran quarterback who will take what a defense gives him. He’s not a special talent who is going to beat an opponent single-handedly, but he’s more than capable of picking apart a bad defense.

On Sunday, he’ll face an Atlanta Falcons’ defense which has allowed just under 20 points per game in standard scoring leagues. So it’s a good bet that he’ll be able to get close to 20 fantasy points by finding the soft spots in a not-so-talented and injury plagued defense.

There are a ton of great quarterback options this week, so there’s a good chance you have someone better than Palmer. But if you have injury issues or play in a deeper league, you may find that Palmer is a great fill-in while you search for a long-term option or wait through a bye week.

Andre Ellington, Arizona Cardinals

Yes, two Cardinals in a row. And for Ellington, this is as much about his role in the passing game as it is about his running ability.

Ellington has caught at least two passes in his last six games, while also carrying the ball a few times per game during that span. But with Rashard Mendenhall out, both of those numbers are set to increase.

The Falcons are somewhat stingy against running backs, but Ellington is just as involved in the passing game as he is in the running game. That keeps him a solid option in leagues where you need to scramble for an available running back.

Reuben Randle, New York Giants

Eli Manning seemed to settle down a bit against the Minnesota Vikings in Week 7, and he’s ready to resume somewhat normal production as the quarterback for the Giants. This benefits Randle greatly.

Hakeem Nicks struggles to stay on the field, and Victor Cruz is the primary focus of opposing defenses. That leaves Randle as the beneficiary of more open space. Not that he needed the help given his opponents on Sunday.

The Philadelphia Eagles have allowed the most points to wide receivers so far this season, as they’ve been incapable of shutting down opposing passing games. That means there are plenty of points to go around for Randle and Cruz, and since Cruz probably isn’t available in your league, get Randle on your team and start him this week.

Philadelphia Eagles Defense and Special Teams

Well, this is awkward.

I just recommended a player who I expect to do well against the Eagles, and now I am recommending the Eagles defense. Why?

The Giants have allowed six defensive and special teams touchdowns so far this season, and have also surrendered a ton of sacks and interceptions. These are the real ways to get points from your defense and special teams, rather than hoping for a shutout.

The Eagles may give up a few points to the Giants, but if they score on defense or special teams and add a couple of sacks and a turnover, they’ll give you a positive point total for a bargain price.

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