Fantasy football start/sit advice Week 8: Cowboys vs. Lions

Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Cowboys have plenty of legit fantasy options heading into Sunday's game against the Detroit Lions.

The Dallas Cowboys head to Detroit to take on the 4-3 Lions in Week 8. The matchup figures to be high scoring as both teams have plenty of offensive weapons and and top-tier fantasy quarterbacks. The Cowboys will have their best running back DeMarco Murray (MCL sprain) potentially returning, but will likely be without veteran wide receiver Miles Austin (hamstring). There are plenty of high-upside fantasy options in this game, so lets get to your sit/start advice.


Start: Tony Romo, DeMarco Murray, Dez Bryant, Terrance Williams, Jason Witten

Quarterback Tono Romo has been a fantasy stud all year. Expect more of the same as he faces a mediocre Detroit defense. Wide receiver Dez Bryant is an every-week must-start talent. With the injury to Miles Austin, rookie wide receiver Terrance Williams has stepped in admirably. Since stepping into the new role in Week 4, the third-round pick out of Baylor has caught 19 balls for 320 yards and three touchdowns. He's averaging an explosive 15.8 yards per catch and is still improving.

Running back DeMarco Murray has the most uncertainty surrounding him. Coming back from the knee issue, it is not certain how many carries owners can expect to see for the injury-prone back. However, Murray has been productive when he's been on the field, so owners should start him even if Joseph Randle and Lance Dunbar end up siphoning off a few of his carries.

Tight end Jason Witten is the lowest upside start of all of the Cowboys. The perennial all-pro is having a slightly sub-par year. While he is averaging five receptions per game, he has three touchdowns on the year but only one since Week 2. Witten should still be in all fantasy lineups but owners should slightly temper their expectations.


Start: Matthew Stafford, Reggie Bush, Calvin Johnson, Kris Durham

Quarterback Matthew Stafford is enjoying a nice bounce-back campaign coming off of last year's season of 20 touchdown, 17 interception and four fumbles lost. He has already thrown for 15 touchdowns this year, rushed for another one and has thrown only four interceptions. With a few more big games, Stafford will be on track to eclipse the 5,000-yard passing mark for the second time in his career. He missed it by 33 yards in last year.

Running back Reggie Bush is having a nice season in his new offense. He holds more value in PPR leagues as the versatile back has averaged about four catches per contest and a career high 13.3 yards per catch. Bush should be starting in all leagues. Calvin Johnson looks the be over his knee issue and owners need to start the league's best fantasy receiver.

Third-year receiver Kris Durham has been much more involved in the offense of late and has established himself as a legit WR4. He's averaged about four catches for 65 yards over the last four weeks and makes a solid fantasy start for deeper leagues.

Sit: Brandon Pettigrew

Tight end Brandon Pettigrew is not a recommended fantasy play in Week 8 or the near future. The former first-round pick is good for an average of about three catches for 28 yards per game and only has one touchdown on the year. Owners can likely do better on the waiver wire.

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