clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Fantasy football start/sit advice, Week 8

We're back with fantasy football advice on who to start and who to sit in Week 8.

Some weeks are good. Some are regrettable. Last week the start/sit slate pretty much nailed it. Jacquizz Rodgers, Mike Wallace and Michael Thomas all came up big. Matt Forte was the only real miss on the sit side of things. I'll take it.

Six (!) teams are on a bye for Week 8, which means you and your opponent are likely piecing together a skeleton crew. Let's see if we can help you out with some of the best and worst matchups for your lineup.


QB Jameis Winston vs. Oakland
Winston is 3-for-6 in finishing as a QB1 so far. He's blown up in three games, like we saw last week with his three touchdowns against an awful 49ers squad. Only six teams have allowed more passing touchdowns than the Raiders. Their pass rush is barely there. Winston will have plenty of time at home to pick apart this secondary.

QB Ryan Fitzpatrick at Browns
I understand the hesitation here. Fitzpatrick has been terrible in 2016. But hey, so have the Browns. The Detroit Lions are the only team with more fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks. Cleveland has yielded more than 20 fantasy points to every passer they've faced. That list includes: Carson Wentz, Ryan Tannehill, Joe Flacco, Kirk Cousins, Andy Dalton, Marcus Mariota, and Tom Brady. Only one of those players is QB1 every week. If Fitzpatrick can do some damage against the Browns, there's really no hope for the Jets.

RB Devontae Booker vs. Chargers
He went for 83 yards and a touchdown last week with CJ Anderson still in the mix. Now Booker is the star of the show in the Denver backfield. San Diego is allowing the sixth-most fantasy points to running backs this season. While the Broncos will likely still have a committee approach, Booker is your guy. He's going to eat.

RB Spencer Ware at Colts
People continue to constantly ask whether they should start Ware. Starting him might seem like a no-brainer to you, and if that's true I'm happy you're a rational owner. For those of you still worried, the Colts give up the fourth-most fantasy points to running backs. And if you're ever worrying about Charles getting more touches, just watch the clip of Ware's 46-yard touchdown from Week 7.

WR John Brown or JJ Nelson at Panthers
This one is contingent on the Cardinals injury report for Sunday. The Panthers have been absolutely torched by wide receivers in 2016. Julio Jones went for 300 yards against them in Week 4, while Aldrick Robinson also scored a 35-yard touchdown. Most recently Brandin Cooks dropped a 7/173/1 line while Michael Thomas caught a touchdown on 78 yards in Week 6. Michael Floyd isn't practicing, and Brown looks like he'll be able to go this week, presenting an extremely enticing flex option. If neither receiver suits up Sunday, Nelson has blazing speed and should be viewed as a flex play. He caught three passes for 84 yards last week with the Cardinals receiving corps banged up.

WR Doug Baldwin at Saints
New Orleans gives up 287 pass yards per game. That's the third-worst mark in the NFL. Baldwin has not been able to replicate the ridiculous numbers he posted in the second half of 2015, but he's still seeing a decent amount of targets, and he continues to be Russell Wilson's favorite red zone option. Baldwin should see some of De'Vante Harris, a rookie corner who won't do much to stop the Seahawks passing game. I'm betting on Baldwin to break his scoring drought.

TE Tyler Eifert vs. Washington
It's time for his return. OK, his real return. Last week Eifert played 25 percent of the snaps in his first game of 2016. Now he faces a Washington defense that is actually a decent matchup for tight ends. At first glance, the stats don't appear to reveal that trend, but only four teams have given up more receptions to this position than Washington. If you can buy low on Eifert, this is probably your last chance.

TE Travis Kelce at Colts
Only one team has failed to produce a tight end with double-digit fantasy points (PPR) against the Colts, and it was a Julius Thomas-less Jaguars team. C.J. Fiedorowicz and Delanie Walk went off against Indy over the past two games. Considering how thin tight end is right now, Kelce is a great option for Week 8.


QB Philip Rivers at Broncos
Rivers didn't do much in his first game against Denver this year, posting 178 yards and one touchdown at home. Now he goes on the road to face the toughest defense for quarterbacks. The Broncos are giving up just 15.9 fantasy points per game to passers. Even with the momentum they have, roll with another starter.

QB Tyrod Taylor vs. Patriots
If you dig a little deeper, you'll see Taylor has actually matched his career average for fantasy points per game when he's faced the Patriots. But the decision to put Taylor on the sit side isn't an indictment of his play, it's a result of his supporting cast. Let's break down the injury report. LeSean McCoy is a 50/50 call for Sunday, Robert Woods was "very limited" at Thursday's practice, and Marquise Goodwin did not practice due to a concussion. Maybe we'll see Justin Hunter as the No. 1 wide receiver for Sunday. Maybe dreams do come true. The Patriots pass rush and pass defense have been their weakest areas, but Taylor just doesn't have enough help to risk starting.

RB Jordan Howard and Ka'Deem Carey
The Vikings possess the third-ranked rush defense in terms of yardage. They've only allowed one rushing touchdown to a running back in 2016. Howard looked like the the guy to own for a couple weeks, but Carey is back in the mix, and Jeremy Langford could sneak into the committee again if he returns this week from an ankle injury. The moral of the story is to avoid these Bears backs in a tough prime time matchup.

RB Ryan Mathews at Cowboys
He made the sit list last week, so we'll just continue the trend. Mathews continues to see a sizable workload, logging 15 touches in Week 7, but the production isn't there. This week he faces the fourth-best run defense in terms of fantasy points allowed. Dallas has only given up two rushing touchdowns. Avoid Mathews again.

WR Stefon Diggs at Bears
Chicago unsurprisingly gives up the most fantasy points per game to wide receivers. Why are we benching Diggs? To start, he hasn't done much since Week 2. He missed Week 5 with a groin injury, then returned last week to catch two passes for 18 yards. Philly's defense is obviously a tougher matchup, but I'd like to see Diggs prove he's back to full strength before I'm ready to start him again. The Vikings offense in general looks like it's trying to figure out how to get things back on track.

WR Jamison Crowder vs. Bengals
Dating back to last season, Crowder has played 19 games with Jordan Reed and four games without Washington's No. 1 tight end. In the four games Reed missed, Crowder scored an average of 14 fantasy points (PPR). In the games with Reed, Crowder averaged 8.5 points. Reed appears to be good to go for Sunday's matchup in London. The Bengals also rank No. 8 in fewest points allowed to wide receivers.

TE Eric Ebron at Texans
He's finally back after a multi-week injury stint, but you need to keep him on the bench once again. In six games, the Texans have only allowed 21 catches and one touchdown to tight ends. They've faced Travis Kelce, Martellus Bennett (when he was more relevant), Delanie Walker and Kyle Rudolph. Look to the Lions wide receivers for help instead.