Welcome to Start Em or Sit Em week 8. This column is going to look outside of the obvious players and focus on players who can possibly offer value if you are suffering from injuries or dealing with players on bye. The one guarantee I will make is this, you should sit Tom Brady, Ben Roethlisberger, Clinton Portis, Cedric Benson, Randy Moss and Chad Ochocinco.
Kyle Orton, QB (Broncos) - Orton faces off against a Ravens defense which ranks 23rd in the league against the pass and is allowing 242 yards per game through the air. Coach Josh McDaniels is an offensive guru who sticks to the game plan and doesn't put too much on Orton's shoulders. Combine that with Orton's 100.1 quarterback rating and 64% completion percentage, and you might be in for a solid Sunday.
Kevin Smith, RB (Lions) - Smith is a very versatile back who has much to offer in both the running and passing game. His problem this season has been injuries. Good news for Smith is that he is coming off a bye with 13 days to rest and Sunday he faces the Rams. Potentially even better news for Smith, is Calvin Johnson is still suffering from a knee injury, possibly resulting in more touches for the Lions running back. The Rams rank 27th in the NFL against the run, start Kevin.
Marshawn Lynch, RB (Bills) - Lynch was suspended for the first 3 games this season. But in the last 3 games the Bills running back is averaging 21 touches a game and has emerged as Buffalo's featured back. Sunday the Bills host the Texans who are 27th against the run and have allowed 10 rushing touchdowns this year.
Matt Ryan, QB (Falcons) - Matty Ice travels to New Orleans for a Monday night showdown against the Saints. The Saints currently rank 14th in the NFL against the pass but are tied for first in interceptions with 13. Ryan is coming off back to back games in which he threw for less than 200 yards as well as 2 interceptions. The upside here seems limited.
Brandon Jacobs, RB (Giants) - Jacobs is not off to the start he imagined. Coming off a career year in which he rushed for 1,089 yards and 15 touchdowns, Brando has yet to eclipse the 100 yard make in a single game. Add that to his two touchdowns and 3.9 yards per carry average and it’s safe to say he will not carve up Philadelphia and its 11th ranked run defense.
Anquan Boldin, WR (Cardinals) - Boldin has always been injury prone and this year has not been any different. Anquan will step onto the gridiron against the NFL's #1 ranked pass defense in the Carolina Panthers. Boldin continues to get his targets but so far in 6 games he has yet to get 90 yards and only has 1 touchdown. Larry Fitzgerald continues to be the go to guy, so use Boldin with caution.
Mario Manningham, WR (Giants) - Super Mario was off to a fantastic start after he recorded 10 catches for 150 yards and a TD in week 2. In his past 4 games Manningham has a combined 11 catches for 176 yards. The Giants travel to Philly, who are allowing only 190 yards passing per game and a quarterback rating of 70.9.