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Fantasy football advice, Week 8: who to start/sit for Washington vs. Cincinnati Bengals

Dan Ciarrocchi reviews who should be in fantasy lineups or on benches for Week 8’s London game.

NFL: Washington Redskins at Philadelphia Eagles Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to bye week hell. With six teams on bye, fantasy owners are left in a bind for Week 8, as the options to keep lineups across the spectrum competitive have dwindled. It would be nice to reassure fantasy owners that it only gets better going forward, except Week 9 will have six more teams taking their bye weeks. Fun times.

In the meantime, fantasy owners can look at each game to see who can be a capable fill-in while their studs are sidelined, starting with Washington and the Bengals.


Start ‘em

Jordan Reed has not officially been cleared from his concussion, but he did practice in all three sessions and made the trip to London with the team. If cleared, Reed offers No. 1 upside at the tight end position, even against a capable Bengals defense. His presence also elevates quarterback Kirk Cousins to QB1 status, as the Bengals have surrendered the fifth-highest fantasy point total per game to opposing quarterbacks.

Start ‘em?

Matt Jones has been ruled out, which leaves Robert Kelley the early-down work and Chris Thompson’s role largely unchanged. Thompson may see more snaps in Jones’ absence, but the valuable goal-line duties are expected to be Kelley’s. Thompson is the preferred fantasy option in PPR formats, but fantasy owners in a bye-week bind could do worse than Kelley, who presents flex appeal.

DeSean Jackson always presents upside due to his big-play ability, but deep-ball connections with him and Cousins have been rare in 2016. Jackson can be considered a flex option with so many teams on bye, but his boom-or-bust nature won’t settle the nervous stomachs of his fantasy owners.

Sit ‘em

With Reed back in action, Pierre Garcon and Jamison Crowder don’t present enough fantasy value to be considered for Week 8.

Cincinnati Bengals

Start ‘em

Josh Norman also made the trip to London with Washington, which is bad news for A.J. Green. Though Norman has not officially been cleared as of Saturday afternoon, Green’s ceiling would be lower if Norman does suit up. Despite that, Green is a transcendent talent worthy of WR1 status regardless of matchup.

Tyler Eifert is back, and is expected to have an expanded role after getting reacquainted during his Week 7 return. As a result, fantasy owners can take a chance on him as a TE1, and his presence gives Andy Dalton streaming appeal even in a middling matchup.

Start ‘em?

Jeremy Hill came back to life after piling up 192 yards on just 11 carries against the Browns, and he draws another plus matchup against a defense that is surrendering 5.0 yards per carry in 2016. Hill could very well rack up the yardage once again, but losing snaps to Giovani Bernard is a real concern. Both would make for upside flex plays, but there may not be enough fantasy wealth for both of them to benefit.

Sit ‘em

With Eifert back, it will be difficult to trust that Brandon LaFell gets a target share to make him fantasy-relevant. He, Tyler Boyd and C.J. Uzomah can remain on benches.