Fantasy Football Week 8: Players to start or sit

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Sit and start is relative and league dependent, so consider some of these suggestions more “fliers” and “fades” (note that some are targeted for DFS).” data-reactid=”16″>Sit and start is relative and league dependent, so consider some of these suggestions more “fliers” and “fades” (note that some are targeted for DFS).

Good luck with your Week 8 lineups.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Start in DFS: Jonathan Taylor ($23)” data-reactid=”23″>Start in DFS: Jonathan Taylor ($23)

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Sit: Matthew Stafford” data-reactid=”24″>Sit: Matthew Stafford

Taylor has disappointed so far during his rookie campaign, but he faces a Lions defense that’s allowed the fifth-most fantasy points to running backs and will be overmatched at the line of scrimmage. Expect the Colts to come out of their bye with a game plan featuring Taylor, who should be treated as a top-three fantasy back and is worth paying up for in DFS this week.

Stafford gets a tough matchup versus a Colts defense that’s ceded the fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks this season, and there are many superior QB options this week.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Sit: Kirk Cousins” data-reactid=”28″>Sit: Kirk Cousins

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Start: Jamaal Williams&nbsp;” data-reactid=”29″>Start: Jamaal Williams 

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Cousins has gotten 2.0 YPA fewer on the road this season, where he’s also posted a 1:3 TD:INT ratio. With dominant Jaire Alexander locking down one of his receivers and likely facing constant pressure in a slow-paced game, Cousins belongs on fantasy benches, and that’s before we even talk about forecasts calling for extreme wind conditions.” data-reactid=”30″>Cousins has gotten 2.0 YPA fewer on the road this season, where he’s also posted a 1:3 TD:INT ratio. With dominant Jaire Alexander locking down one of his receivers and likely facing constant pressure in a slow-paced game, Cousins belongs on fantasy benches, and that’s before we even talk about forecasts calling for extreme wind conditions.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Aaron Jones is trending toward sitting again (and would likely not see his usual snaps if active), and Williams was treated as a true workhorse in his place last week and could be looking at even more volume Sunday with the weather not conducive for passing. The Vikings are dealing with a bunch of injuries on defense and just traded Yannick Ngakoue, so Williams would be DFS viable and a legit top-five fantasy back if Jones is out again (and still flex worthy if Jones plays).” data-reactid=”31″>Aaron Jones is trending toward sitting again (and would likely not see his usual snaps if active), and Williams was treated as a true workhorse in his place last week and could be looking at even more volume Sunday with the weather not conducive for passing. The Vikings are dealing with a bunch of injuries on defense and just traded Yannick Ngakoue, so Williams would be DFS viable and a legit top-five fantasy back if Jones is out again (and still flex worthy if Jones plays).

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Sit: All Patriots” data-reactid=”33″>Sit: All Patriots

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Start: Bills D/ST&nbsp;” data-reactid=”34″>Start: Bills D/ST 

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Cam Newton has a 2:7 TD:INT ratio on the year, New England is getting just 4.9 yards per play over its last three games, and now Julian Edelman is out for multiple weeks. The Bills don’t have a great defense this season as expected, but they are set up well against a struggling Newton and company, as the Patriots are also dealing with many injuries along their offensive line.” data-reactid=”35″>Cam Newton has a 2:7 TD:INT ratio on the year, New England is getting just 4.9 yards per play over its last three games, and now Julian Edelman is out for multiple weeks. The Bills don’t have a great defense this season as expected, but they are set up well against a struggling Newton and company, as the Patriots are also dealing with many injuries along their offensive line.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Start: Corey Davis, A.J. Green” data-reactid=”37″>Start: Corey Davis, A.J. Green

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="This projects as a fast-paced game with one of this week’s highest totals, and Davis should benefit from A.J. Brown likely being shadowed by William Jackson. The Bengals have given up the most fantasy points to Davis’ primary side (right) over the last month. I have him ranked as a top-25 WR this week.” data-reactid=”38″>This projects as a fast-paced game with one of this week’s highest totals, and Davis should benefit from A.J. Brown likely being shadowed by William Jackson. The Bengals have given up the most fantasy points to Davis’ primary side (right) over the last month. I have him ranked as a top-25 WR this week.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Green might not be as washed up as previously thought, and he continues to see a ton of volume despite Tee Higgins’ emergence. In fact, Green leads the NFL in air yards over the last two weeks, and the Titans have allowed the most fantasy points to outside receivers over the last month, so he’s a strong start. &nbsp;” data-reactid=”39″>Green might not be as washed up as previously thought, and he continues to see a ton of volume despite Tee Higgins’ emergence. In fact, Green leads the NFL in air yards over the last two weeks, and the Titans have allowed the most fantasy points to outside receivers over the last month, so he’s a strong start.  

Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green
A.J. Green has returned to fantasy relevance the past couple weeks. (AP Photo/Aaron Doster)

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Sit: Derek Carr” data-reactid=”52″>Sit: Derek Carr

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Start in DFS: Kareem Hunt ($30)” data-reactid=”53″>Start in DFS: Kareem Hunt ($30)

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Carr has played well this season, and the Browns are typically a favorable fantasy matchup for quarterbacks, but this game is calling for sustained winds of 25 mph with gusts up to 40, so the weather in Cleveland might be a major issue for passing. &nbsp;” data-reactid=”54″>Carr has played well this season, and the Browns are typically a favorable fantasy matchup for quarterbacks, but this game is calling for sustained winds of 25 mph with gusts up to 40, so the weather in Cleveland might be a major issue for passing.  

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="I wanted to recommend Rashard Higgins, but given the conditions, let’s emphasize using Hunt in DFS lineups this week during what might be his final game as the team’s feature back with their upcoming bye. The Raiders have yielded the second-most fantasy points to running backs this season. I rank Hunt as my No. 1 RB this week. &nbsp;” data-reactid=”55″>I wanted to recommend Rashard Higgins, but given the conditions, let’s emphasize using Hunt in DFS lineups this week during what might be his final game as the team’s feature back with their upcoming bye. The Raiders have yielded the second-most fantasy points to running backs this season. I rank Hunt as my No. 1 RB this week.  

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Start: La’Mical Perine, Le’Veon Bell&nbsp;” data-reactid=”57″>Start: La’Mical Perine, Le’Veon Bell 

It’s no fun recommending sitting all Jets every week, so let’s go with a deep sleeper in Perine, who saw his snap share jump to 70% last week (Frank Gore was at 28%). He’s a sneaky start against a KC run defense that ranks #31 in DVOA.

This is an instance I’d actually factor in the “revenge game” narrative, especially with KC as huge favorites and Andy Reid as head coach. With the Adam Gase effect on full display, I have Bell ranked as a top-15 RB this week.

Los Angeles Rams @ Miami Dolphins

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Start: Malcolm Brown” data-reactid=”65″>Start: Malcolm Brown

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Sit: DeVante Parker” data-reactid=”66″>Sit: DeVante Parker

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="The Rams enter with the #1 rushing offense in DVOA while the Dolphins come in ranked last in rush defense DVOA, and the game script should be favorable with the Rams’ defense playing so well and Tua Tagovailoa making his first career start. Darrell Henderson is a borderline RB1, and Brown (who often gets goal-line work) is a flex option in this matchup … Josh Reynolds leads the Rams in air yards (and aDot) over the last five games and is a sleeper at wide receiver.” data-reactid=”67″>The Rams enter with the #1 rushing offense in DVOA while the Dolphins come in ranked last in rush defense DVOA, and the game script should be favorable with the Rams’ defense playing so well and Tua Tagovailoa making his first career start. Darrell Henderson is a borderline RB1, and Brown (who often gets goal-line work) is a flex option in this matchup … Josh Reynolds leads the Rams in air yards (and aDot) over the last five games and is a sleeper at wide receiver.

Parker is dealing with a groin injury, is facing a Rams defense that’s ceded the second-fewest fantasy points to wide receivers this season, and will be catching passes from a QB making his first start ever. He’s tough to trust in Week 8.

Pittsburgh Steelers @ Baltimore Ravens

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Sit: JuJu Smith-Schuster” data-reactid=”70″>Sit: JuJu Smith-Schuster

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Start: Marquise Brown” data-reactid=”71″>Start: Marquise Brown

Obviously not all fantasy teams have the depth to bench Smith-Schuster, who saw 14 targets last week, but that still resulted in just 85 scoreless yards, which was a season-high. Smith-Schuster’s average intended air yards (5.9) remain among the lowest in the NFL, and his yards per route run ranks #79 (even worse than Marquez Valdes-Scantling!). JJSS gets a tough matchup with slot corner Marlon Humphrey this week, so he’s a fade if possible.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Brown has no doubt disappointed, but hopefully, the Ravens used the bye to improve their passing attack, and there remains a buy-low opportunity with him quietly ranking #4 in WOPR this season. With Mark Ingram hurt and up against the league’s toughest run defense in the Steelers, Brown is setup to see a bunch of air yards yet again, and the bet here is he cashes in on them Sunday. Hollywood is a top-12 WR on my board this week.” data-reactid=”75″>Brown has no doubt disappointed, but hopefully, the Ravens used the bye to improve their passing attack, and there remains a buy-low opportunity with him quietly ranking #4 in WOPR this season. With Mark Ingram hurt and up against the league’s toughest run defense in the Steelers, Brown is setup to see a bunch of air yards yet again, and the bet here is he cashes in on them Sunday. Hollywood is a top-12 WR on my board this week.

Los Angeles Chargers @ Denver Broncos

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Start in DFS: Hunter Henry ($16)” data-reactid=”77″>Start in DFS: Hunter Henry ($16)

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Sit: Jerry Jeudy” data-reactid=”78″>Sit: Jerry Jeudy

Henry’s yardage hasn’t been there, but the targets have been, and he has a budding star in Justin Herbert throwing to him in a game the Chargers are likely to struggle running. Henry is primed to start putting up big numbers, beginning this week.

There’s a temptation to start Jeudy with Tim Patrick injured, but KJ Hamler is back and both tight ends Noah Fant and Albert Okwuegbunam (pronounced “O”) have been seeing more targets than the rookie wideout. With both Broncos backs likely to play, and the Chargers relatively stingy against wide receivers, Jeudy is best left on fantasy benches.

New Orleans Saints @ Chicago Bears

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Sit: Drew Brees” data-reactid=”82″>Sit: Drew Brees

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Start: Jimmy Graham” data-reactid=”83″>Start: Jimmy Graham

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Brees has rebounded after a shaky Week 1 against a Bucs defense that has ended up being arguably the best in football this season, and he may even get Michael Thomas back Sunday, but the Bears have allowed the fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks. The weather could be ugly as well.” data-reactid=”84″>Brees has rebounded after a shaky Week 1 against a Bucs defense that has ended up being arguably the best in football this season, and he may even get Michael Thomas back Sunday, but the Bears have allowed the fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks. The weather could be ugly as well.

Graham has seen a target inside the 10-yard line each of the last two games and gets a Saints defense that’s yielded the third-most fantasy points to tight ends this season. The windy conditions should matter less for him in the red zone.

San Francisco 49ers @ Seattle Seahawks

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Start: Brandon Aiyuk” data-reactid=”87″>Start: Brandon Aiyuk

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Start in DFS: DK Metcalf ($33)” data-reactid=”88″>Start in DFS: DK Metcalf ($33)

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Aiyuk ranked fifth in WOPR last week and should be even busier Sunday with Deebo Samuel (and the team’s top-four running backs) injured and in a likely high-scoring matchup against a Seattle offense that leads the NFL in yards per play by a wide margin. The Seahawks also sport a funnel defense that’s tough against the run but ranks 30th against the pass in DVOA and has allowed the most fantasy points to wide receivers this season. Aiyuk has impressed during his rookie campaign, and he should get a big opportunity Sunday, so he’s a top-12 WR on my board in Week 8 … Kendrick Bourne and JaMycal Hasty are two other sleepers this week.” data-reactid=”89″>Aiyuk ranked fifth in WOPR last week and should be even busier Sunday with Deebo Samuel (and the team’s top-four running backs) injured and in a likely high-scoring matchup against a Seattle offense that leads the NFL in yards per play by a wide margin. The Seahawks also sport a funnel defense that’s tough against the run but ranks 30th against the pass in DVOA and has allowed the most fantasy points to wide receivers this season. Aiyuk has impressed during his rookie campaign, and he should get a big opportunity Sunday, so he’s a top-12 WR on my board in Week 8 … Kendrick Bourne and JaMycal Hasty are two other sleepers this week.

With Seattle’s running backs all injured (although beware the Carlos Hyde revenge game), and Tyler Lockett scoring all the touchdowns last week, Sunday should be Metcalf’s turn to eat against an extremely injured SF defense. Fire up everyone in this game.   

Dallas Cowboys @ Philadelphia Eagles

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Sit: Amari Cooper” data-reactid=”92″>Sit: Amari Cooper

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Start in DFS: Boston Scott ($18)” data-reactid=”93″>Start in DFS: Boston Scott ($18)

Cooper qualifies more as a “fade” and someone who won’t be worth benching on many fantasy teams, but expectations need to be held in check up against Darius Slay and with the Cowboys’ huge question mark at quarterback. Dallas’ offensive line should once again be destroyed Sunday night, making life also difficult for Ezekiel Elliott, Michael Gallup, and CeeDee Lamb (although at least the Eagles are vulnerable to the slot).

Scott should get another opportunity as Philadelphia’s workhorse, and it comes in a great spot as big home favorites against Dallas’ #30 ranked rush defense in DVOA. Scott is a borderline top-five fantasy back in Week 8.  

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ New York Giants

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Start: Leonard Fournette” data-reactid=”97″>Start: Leonard Fournette

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Sit: Evan Engram” data-reactid=”98″>Sit: Evan Engram

Fournette should be looking at a decent floor as Tampa Bay’s “nickel back” with Tom Brady loving to throw to his RBs, and I have him ranked as a borderline top-20 RB in Week 8 even while sharing touches with Ronald Jones. The Bucs are big favorites, and the setup is favorable given Tampa Bay’s elite defense and banged-up receiving corps. There’s legit top-three upside if one of these backs ever emerged as a bell cow.

Engram hasn’t surpassed 65 yards or recorded a receiving TD this season when his average intended air yards has been the lowest in football (Deebo Samuel has -45 air yards over the last two weeks, so I’m not counting him). While his surroundings haven’t helped, Engram has struggled badly this year, and he gets a Tampa Bay defense Monday night that’s ceded the fewest yards per play this season.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Follow Dalton Del Don on Twitter” data-reactid=”101″>Follow Dalton Del Don on Twitter

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