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Fantasy football start/sit advice, Week 8: Wide receivers

With Antonio Brown and Odell Beckham Jr. on bye, fantasy owners have to take chances with their starting lineups.

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Week 8 is the worst-case scenario for fantasy owners when it comes to bye weeks. Six teams are on byes, and they are all filled with fantasy superstars who can't help their owners this week.

Just look at the list of receivers who have to be replaced for Week 8. Antonio Brown, Odell Beckham Jr., Jarvis Landry, Steve Smith. That's a who's-who of upper-tier fantasy starters. Even useful flex plays like Kenny Britt, Sterling Shepard, Kenny Stills, and Sammie Coates won't be available.

So with all those bye players and the usual list of injuries (Donte Moncrief is back this week!) to reckon with, let's look at some recommended starts at receiver, along with some players you should try to avoid.


Doug Baldwin, Seattle Seahawks (@ New Orleans Saints)

The Seahawks' offense was a horror show last week and Russell Wilson still isn't close to full health. Nevertheless, the Saints' defense on the Superdome track is one of the best matchups fantasy owners can hope for. Look for Baldwin to get a bounce-back game here and start him as a WR3.

Ty Montgomery, Green Bay Packers (@ Atlanta Falcons)

The Packers have been using Montgomery as both a receiver and runner, and it paid nice dividends last week. He got nine carries for 60 yards, while racking up 10 catches for an additional 66 yards. Montgomery is a nifty dual-weapon in that offense, and he has extra value if your fantasy league lists him as both a WR and RB. Montgomery will be on the flex radar against Atlanta's poor defense.

Stefon Diggs, Minnesota Vikings (@ Chicago Bears)

Diggs has really cooled off lately, getting just seven catches for 65 yards in his last two games while battling a groin injury that kept him out for another one. However, he's primed for a bounce-back spot against a Bears defense that's 16th in passing yards allowed per game. Diggs is worth trotting out as a WR3 this week.


Jordan Matthews, Philadelphia Eagles (@ Dallas Cowboys)

Matthews has been pretty boom-or-bust this year, which is to be expected when playing with a rookie quarterback. He hasn't reached 100 receiving yards since Week 1 and cleared 70 yards just three times, mixing it in with dud stat lines. The Cowboys have a middling defense, but their punishing, ball-control offense means that time of possession could be limited for Philly. The stars are not aligning in Matthews' favor this week.

Travis Benjamin, San Diego Chargers (@ Denver Broncos)

Benjamin hasn't found the end zone since Week 2 and he's falling behind rookie Tyrell Williams as the Chargers' No. 1 receiver. The last time the Chargers played the Broncos in Week 6, Benjamin had just three catches for 17 yards. His fantasy WR3 window is probably closing, and he's not worth using outside of deeper leagues.

Cameron Meredith, Bears (vs. Vikings)

Jay Cutler is back under center, and he'll do what he does best -- feed the ball to Alshon Jeffery. Unlike Brian Hoyer, who spreads his targets around the field, Cutler is laser-focused on his No. 1 guy. In other words, Meredith's 15 minutes of fantasy fame could be over, especially against the Vikings' defense.