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Fantasy football advice, Week 8: who to start/sit for Green Bay Packers vs. Atlanta Falcons

Dan Ciarrocchi reviews who should be in fantasy lineups or on benches for a potential Week 8 shootout.

San Diego Chargers v Atlanta Falcons Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

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 the Packers and Falcons.

Green Bay Packers

Start ‘em

Aaron Rodgers hasn’t been the same fantasy commodity from past seasons, but fantasy owners ought to have a tough time benching him with six teams on bye and with an exploitable Falcons defense lining up across from him. With virtually no running game to speak of, Rodgers is a high-upside quarterback that should air it out frequently, especially if he has to keep pace with a high-flying Falcons offense. Target monsters Davante Adams and Ty Montgomery deserve to be penned into lineups as well.

Start ‘em?

Jordy Nelson has just 11 targets in his last two games, which is fourth on the team. It’s an alarming statistic for Nelson’s owners, but his upside remains too great for him to be benched. The leader in targets over that span is Randall Cobb, but a hamstring injury could put a damper in his upside. These uncertainties shift value to Adams and Montgomery, but Nelson and Cobb remain viable in 12-team leagues. Fantasy owners just have to prepare themselves for a downside.

Sit ‘em

Knile Davis, Don Jackson and Richard Rodgers can remain on benches until they prove they can produce respectable fantasy outputs.

Atlanta Falcons

Start ‘em

Julio Jones and Matt Ryan should not be benched in any matchup, but it’s worth mentioning that the Packers will be without top cornerbacks Sam Shields and Demarious Randall. It presents the potential for things to get out of hand and quickly for a QB/WR tandem that has been providing elite levels of fantasy production. In a potential shootout, Devonta Freeman also needs to be in lineups of all formats with Tevin Coleman ruled out. Freeman will do battle with the NFL’s No. 1 rushing defense, but that can be mitigated with a positive game script.

Sit ‘em

Usage concerns keep Mohamed Sanu, Terron Ward and Jacob Tamme on fantasy benches.