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Fantasy Saturday: The best and worst matchups of Week Eight

By Jay Skurski

Fantasy owners don't have the Buffalo Bills to kick around any more. At least this week.

The Bills, on their bye today, have given up the most fantasy points to opposing running backs, the third most to QBs and the sixth most to receivers. Minus the Bills, here's a look at the best and worst matchups of Week Eight.

Against QBs, the friendliest defenses are New Orleans (21.0) and Tennessee (19.9). The Saints have a tough matchup against Peyton Manning and the Broncos on Sunday night, while the Titans host rookie Andrew Luck and the Colts. Luck is a good sleeper option this week, while Manning is a no-brainer star.

The stingiest defenses against quarterbacks are Chicago (8.2), Arizona (9.0) and Seattle (10.0). The Bears host Cam Newton and the Panthers today, making for an interesting decision for fantasy owners (like myself). I'm starting Newton over Sam Bradford, but know I might regret it. Newton can be benched if you like your alternative. The Cardinals host Alex Smith and the 49ers on Monday night, while the Seahawks visit Matthew Stafford and the Lions today. Smith should sit, while Stafford is right at the cutoff of being starter worthy. Again, depending on your backup, he can sit this week.

Against running backs, the Saints (24.7) and Jaguars (23.0) follow the Bills (25.6) in most points allowed. Former Bill Willis McGahee is a No. 1 running back this week for Denver against the Saints, while Green Bay's Alex Green has good sleeper potential this week against the Jaguars. Green has received at least 20 carries each of the past two weeks.

The toughest defenses against opposing runners are Chicago (7.7), San Francisco (9.0) and Seattle (9.9). The Bears should have no trouble shutting down Carolina's Jonathan Stewart, ditto for the 49ers against the Cardinals' LaRod Stephens-Howling. Detroit's Mikel Leshoure is a No. 2 RB against the Seahawks.

Against wide receivers, the defenses that present the most favorable matchups are Washington (31.7), New Orleans (29.7) and Cleveland (29.0). The Steelers' Mike Wallace and Antonio Brown should see a nice boost in their value Sunday against the Redskins, as should Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker of the Broncos against New Orleans. All are solid plays. The Browns host the Chargers. San Diego's Malcom Floyd leads his team in targets, but has just one touchdown this season.

The toughest defenses for receivers are the Jets (13.4), 49ers (14.9) and Seahawks (15.6). New York hosts Miami, making any Dolphins receivers benchable. The Cardinals' Larry Fitzgerald and the Lions' Calvin Johnson are their teams' only receiving options against the 49ers and Seahawks, respectively.

Against tight ends, Tennessee (13.4), Washington (11.0) and the Jets (10.6) have given up the most points. Colts rookie Coby Fleener is a sleeper at tight end today against Tennessee, while the Steelers' Heath Miller has a great matchup against the Redskins. The Dolphins' Anthony Fasano could be used if you're desperate.

The toughest defenses for tight ends are Indianapolis (2.7), Arizona (4.1) and Jacksonville (4.3). The Titans' Jared Cook should sit, while San Francisco's Vernon Davis is a must start every week despite his tough matchup. Jermichael Finley of the Packers hasn't had a great season, but he's got a chance to put up some points in what should be a blowout win over Jacksonville.

Best of luck in Week Eight!

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About Press Coverage

Tim Graham

Tim Graham

Tim Graham returned to The Buffalo News in 2011 after covering the NFL for three years at ESPN and for one year at the Palm Beach Post. Before that, the Cleveland native spent seven seasons on the Buffalo Sabres beat for The News and was president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

@ByTimGraham |

Mark Gaughan

Mark Gaughan

Buffalo native Mark Gaughan started working at The News in 1980 and has been covering the Bills exclusively since 1992. He is a former president of the Pro Football Writers of America, and he is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee.

@gggaughan |

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida. He writes a weekly Fantasy column in addition to his beat writing duties.

@JaySkurski |