Week Eight fantasy tips: QBs

Posted Oct. 25, 2012 @ 1:20 p.m.
Posted By PFW staff

In Week Eight's late-week fantasy tips for quarterbacks, Ben Roethlisberger is a must-play, Michael Vick has boom-or-bust potential, and Brandon Weeden and Carson Palmer could be sneaky good starters.

Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger has an outstanding matchup in Week Eight. The Redskins are allowing 328.4 passing yards per game, and they have allowed 16 passing TDs in seven games. Roethlisberger deserves strong starting consideration.

Colts rookie QB Andrew Luck (knee) appeared on his first-ever injury report on Wednesday, though he was a full practice participant and should be ready to roll against Tennessee’s 27th-ranked pass defense Sunday. Luck has been much stronger at Lucas Oil Stadium (6-2 TD-to-interception ratio) than on the road (seven turnovers vs. one TD in two games) during his rookie season, but he has a favorable matchup against a Titans squad that is allowing a league-worst 34 points per game.

Will Michael Vick play any differently knowing that his job is perhaps on the line? Our sources are not sure. If you play him this weekend against the Falcons, you probably also split face cards in Vegas. It might pay off — but that’s the feel of Vick’s potential this weekend: boom or bust.

Panthers QB Cam Newton has not provided much for fantasy owners in the past two games. He has only one TD pass and zero TD runs during that span and will be lining up across from the league’s stingiest defense Sunday when Carolina travels to face the Bears. However, Newton did rack up 374 yards passing, a TD throw (along with one interception), 35 yards rushing and two rushing TDs vs. Chicago in Week Four last season. Despite his recent struggles, we do not recommend benching Newton this week.

We know the story with Lions QB Matthew Stafford: plenty of pass attempts (264) and passing yards (1,756) but not a lot of touchdowns (five in six games). He’s tough to sit, but owners with exceptional QB depth will have some decisions to make with Detroit facing Seattle’s tough defense in Week Eight. The Seahawks have allowed six passing TDs in seven games. The Lions’ passing game just looks a little off-form right now — but that can change quickly, given the talent on hand.

A sleeper to consider in deeper formats this week is Raiders QB Carson Palmer, who has thrown for 651 yards in the past two games. Oakland travels to face the Chiefs this week. Kansas City is ranked 13th vs. the pass — do not let that respectable standing overshadow the difficulty the team has had defending the pass, though. Quarterbacks have combined for a 106.5 passer rating vs. the Chiefs this season and have thrown 13 TDs compared to only four interceptions. Palmer has attempted 46 passes or more in 3-of-6 games this season and it will be no surprise if the Raiders let him cut loose vs. Kansas City’s vulnerable secondary. 

If you’re looking for a bye-week starter, Browns QB Brandon Weeden could be a nice pickup. The Chargers, who the Browns host on Sunday, have allowed 14 passing TDs in six games.

The Chargers’ Week Eight matchup against Cleveland is an interesting one for fantasy owners who have Philip Rivers. In his last game, he turned the ball over six times (including five times in the second half) against Denver in a bad collapse.

Alex Smith’s numbers the past two games don’t lie. Since suffering a sprained middle finger on his throwing hand against the Bills in Week Five, Smith has become a bona fide fantasy liability with four interceptions — one less than he had all of last season — and back-to-back passer ratings of 43.1 vs. the Giants and 74.5 vs. the Seahawks. Going up against another tough defense in Arizona Monday night, you might consider other fantasy options under center if possible.

Is Brady Quinn worth a start against the battered Raiders defense? It would be a low-ceiling, low-floor play in our eyes, suitable for desperation status only in the deepest of leagues.