By Chris Burke
October 23, 2014

So-so Week 7 for yours truly in FanNation's head-to-head Football Throwdown. Andrew Luck's strong game against the Bengals helped me scrap out a few wins, even though Justin Forsett failed to find the end zone and Brandon Marshall posted a far quieter day than expected against his former team.

Back at it for Week 8, and you can find the latest FanNation contest by clicking here.

(A quick note: Because FanNation has a 1 p.m. ET Sunday deadline for contest entries, players from the Lions-Falcons game, which kicks off in London at 9:30 a.m. ET, are not included.)

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My lineup:

Quarterback: Tony Romo (projected points: 22)
Also considered: Aaron Rodgers (27), Andrew Luck (25), Carson Palmer (16)

There's been no stopping the Dallas offense so far. Romo fired three touchdown passes against the Giants last week and had a fourth overturned when Dez Bryant was ruled down at the 1-yard line. The Washington secondary will not put any fear into Romo this Monday night. The only concern in starting him is that the Cowboys jump out to an early lead, then ride their run game for the second half.

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Rodgers is set for a high-scoring matchup with Drew Brees' Saints in New Orleans. (Granted, several of the expected shootouts this year have turned into defensive struggles.) The Packers' QB has been locked in of late, with 13 touchdowns and zero INTs over his team's current four-game win streak.

Luck has averaged 29 points over the last five weeks in FanNation's scoring system. The Steelers will put up a fight at home, but that's still not a very good defense. 

A choice of Palmer would be based almost purely on that 16-point projection. He has topped it in each of his two games since returning from injury; this week, he draws a Philadelphia defense that has been up and down at best.

Running back: Ahmad Bradshaw (projected points: 11)
Also considered: DeMarco Murray (23), Shane Vereen (16), Tre Mason (8)

Fantasy football Week 8 stat projections
Trent Richardson

All three of the Cowboys' main offensive weapons are mentioned in here as possibly plays. I opted to roll with Romo at QB, meaning I could not play either Murray or Bryant (you're allowed to pick just one player per team), but the league's leading rusher is definitely worth a look. 

Vereen delivered a strong showing in New England's first full game without Stevan Ridley. He posted five catches, 104 total yards and two touchdowns. The Patriots' backfield situation can be unpredictable, so approach Vereen with a little caution. Same for Mason, who likely will share some of the carries in St. Louis' backfield. It will be tough to keep him off the field, though, after an 85-yard performance with a TD in Week 7.

Wide receiver/tight end: Rob Gronkowski (projected points: 12)
Also considered: Antonio Brown (18), Dez Bryant (17), Doug Baldwin (11)

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Slowly but surely, Gronkowski appears to be creeping back toward 100 percent. That is bad news for a Bears defense that has had issues with top-flight tight ends of late -- Greg Olsen scored twice on Chicago in Week 5; Charles Clay found the end zone last week.

No real secret in choosing either Brown or Bryant. Both are in the conversation as the NFL's best receiver this year and are producing at a high level. A possible argument in Brown's favor: Pittsburgh may find itself needing to keep pace with Luck and the Colts, thus Ben Roethlisberger will have to take to the air.

Baldwin came alive mere days after Percy Harvin was traded, finishing with seven catches for 123 yards and a touchdown at St. Louis. He should continue to see ample targets, and the Panthers defense has struggled to slow anyone down of late.

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