Fantasy Football: Start or Sit Matthew Stafford in Week Eight?

I’ve been one of the most ardent Matthew Stafford supporters over the last couple of seasons. His fantasy football (and real football) production skyrocketed after Jim Bob Cooter took over as his offensive coordinator and people weren’t catching up to this. This weekend Stafford and the Detroit Lions host the Pittsburgh Steelers, and given that you just had to rest him for his bye, so you have a replacement on your roster already… just keep Matty Snapbacks resting on your fantasy football rosters this week.

Stafford has a 12:4 touchdown-to-interception ratio through the first six games of the season, and he’s on pace to throw for almost 4,000 yards this year, which is good. Unfortunately, some cracks exist under the surface for Stafford that reveal that bad times might be around the corner for the super-rich-god-how-big-is-his-contract-jesus-christ quarterback.

First, he has been sacked seventeen times in the last three games. The Lions offensive line turns in more weekly struggle sessions than problematic DSA members, and that has defensive linemen falling straight into Stafford’s lap. Also, the last time we saw Stafford he was raining picks down on the Saints defense like he was tossing beads on Bourbon Street. While Stafford has five interceptions in the last two games, he only threw for one more than Colin Kaepernick in the two before then. In short: he’s incredibly erratic so far, this year.

This week Stafford takes on a defense primed to make him wish he was still on Bye. The Steelers defense allows the second-fewest fantasy points to opposing QBs so far this year. With the Jags on Bye, they present the single most difficult matchup for a quarterback this week. They haven’t allowed a single twenty-point scorer this season. They slowed down a lot of garbage but also locked up Alex Smith and Andy Dalton, who can have good games.

Here are some other nuts stats about the Steelers D: they haven’t allowed 250 yards passing in a game yet this year, only one QB (Dalton) has more than one passing touchdown against them, they are averaging seven interceptions a game (okay maybe just one a game, but I had you there), three quarterbacks haven’t hit double-digit fantasy points against them, and after the game they all go out to the local ice creamery for a deliciously creamy treat. Stafford off a Bye has a chance to perform this week, but I wouldn’t count on it. There are too many other options out there with streamers-turned-starters likely on your roster.

About Jeff Krisko

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