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NFL Week 8 Start/Sits

Drew Lannin

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What the hell was that week 7?  Aaron Rodgers looked like himself again despite his mediocre at best receiving corps, Chase Edmonds and Kliff Kingsbury enraged David Johnson owners, Marvin Jones fit a season’s worth of production into one game while sitting on many people’s benches, Latavius Murray finally lived up to draft expectations and made us all question what we thought the Bears D is.

The Patriots D remains the most valuable fantasy asset relative to ADP and it isn’t even close.  Their ranks if they were other positions are: QB6, RB4, WR3, TE1.  Just unreal.  Fantasy players lucky enough to have them were thinking of using another D during this upcoming stretch of games, but suffice it to say, they must be rolled out every week until proven otherwise.  

Byes this week: Ravens, Cowboys

QUARTERBACK

Start of the Week:  Russel Wilson at Atlanta: Pretty simple formula here: QB + Falcons as opponent=fantasy points.  I’m so sorry Falcons fans, things just keep getting worse.  With injuries mounting up on both sides of the ball, Sanu to the Patriots, and Matt Ryan out for this game, I’m not sure how much of a fight the Falcons can put up.  Russell is already putting up MVP numbers, look for him to continue doing so against one of the worst pass defenses in the league.

Starts

Josh Allen vs Jacksonville: A repeat from last week, Allen should continue improving with his upcoming schedule.  Last week, Allen actually had his second turnover-free game of the season.  Granted, this was against the Dolphins, but it’s very encouraging to see from a generally turnover prone quarterback.  Look for Allen to be a low-end QB1 vs a Jags D that is decent, but not quite the same without Ramsey.

Matthew Stafford vs NYG:  Remember the narrative before the season that the Lions would be too run-heavy for the passing game to be fantasy relevant?  Mr. Stafford has something to say about that.  Surprisingly, he’s actually the QB 11 coming into this week.  The slew of quarterback injuries help his ranking a bit, but even then, Stafford has far surpassed most people’s expectations this season.  He was on fire last week with 364 yards and 4 touchdowns (all to Marvin Jones) last week against a tough Vikings D.  He gets a much easier opponent at home this week vs the Giants.  Matt should easily continue his top-tier play and maybe even involve more than just Marvin this time around.

Sits

Carson Wentz at Buffalo:  In what was likely the Eagles’ most important matchup to this point in the season, Wentz had a rough outing vs their division rival Cowboys.  It didn’t help Wentz that the Eagles fell behind 14-0 early and the Oline left him under constant duress.  To make matters worse, Wentz lost two fumbles and threw an interception for a career-high 3 turnovers.  There will be better days for Wentz, but this week isn’t likely to be one of them with a rough matchup in Buffalo against a Bills D that made Brady look pedestrian.

Jameis Winston at Tennessee:  I know proponents if Jameis will want to point to his gaudy yardage numbers and 12 touchdowns on the year.  That’s all great, but along with that, are his 10 interceptions and 5 fumbles on the season.  Winston’s like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get.  While the theme of Jameis is unpredictability, a terrible outing should be predictable in Tennessee against a stingy Titans D.

Sleeper

Jared Goff vs Cincinatti: Welcome back to the startable QB world Mr. Goff.  As expected, Goff had a great bounce back game at home against the lowly Falcons after his horrible outing vs the 49ers.  Goff is at home against the Bengals who don’t really do much of anything well other than losing.  He should be a low-end QB1.

RUNNING BACK

Start of the Week: Aaron Jones/Jamaal Williams at Kansas City:  Last week’s start of the week was also against the Chiefs.  Royce was fine, but the Lindsay recommendation will likely be the worst one I’ve made all season.  As a Chiefs fan, I’m just as shocked as anyone else at how terrible Lindsay’s statline was that game.  At least I can take solace in the fact that he was universally seen as a great start last week, but I still feel bad that it turned out to be so wrong.  Considering the Packers have made more of an effort to run the ball this year and they aren’t trotting out the corpse of Flacco, I feel much more confident in their success than whatever the Broncos were doing.

Starts

Marlon Mack vs Denver: Mack has shown some flashes this season, mostly being held back by the typical wear and tear of an NFL season.  Coming off of a bye, against a reeling Denver team with seemingly no semblance of an offense, the Colts should have plenty of opportunity to control the clock with their run game.  Denver has been decent against the pass, but awful against even decent running teams.

Latavius Murray vs Arizona: Seven weeks into the season, Murray finally lives up to draft expectations.  I’m totally not bitter about dropping him a few weeks ago or anything.  With Kamara sidelined due to a high ankle sprain, Murray filled in admirably, against a normally stout Bears D in Chicago.  It’s worth noting that the Bears are missing Hicks from their Dline, who is arguably their most important player next to Mack.  The completely inept Bears offense giving the Defense no time off the field certainly doesn’t help either.  Even with these caveats, Murray was impressive and looks to continue this momentum vs a terrible Cardinals defense.

Sits

Devonta Freeman vs Seattle:  As of the writing of this article, the availability of Freeman for Week 8 is unknown.  I assume that he’ll be allowed to play, but considering he hit Aaron McDonald in the head and was ejected for it, it’s entirely possible that Freeman could be suspended for this game.  Even if he does play, he’s not someone you want to start unless you have literally no other options.  He’s already been one of the most inefficient runners this season, but now he’ll be without Matt Ryan due to injury and Mohammed Sanu due to trade.  The Seahawks also get interior lineman Jarran Reed back from suspension for this game.

Derrick Henry vs Tampa Bay:   I’ve actually been surprised at how well Henry has done this year.  Even when I keep doubting him due to his lack of pass catching and amount of short touchdowns he’s gotten this year, he keeps producing.  The Titans offense looked surprisingly improved with Tannehill under center, even though him and Marriot are basically the same.  The problem this week is Henry goes up against a Bucs D that is among the best against the run.

Sleeper

James White vs Browns:  There’s been plenty of good and bad with White this season.  Let’s get the bad over with first.  He’s far behind his touchdown production from last season, with only 1 touchdown this far.  He had 12 all of last season.  The good far outweighs the bad in White’s case.  Much like Kyler Murray early in the season, White is the biggest positive regression candidate for red zone touchdowns.  He’s had 11 targets inside that red zone, with only 1 having resulted in a touchdown.  Anyone who has been watching him has seen how close he’s come to scoring multiple times this season.  He’s also been one of the most consistent RBs this season, having posted 11.9-13.8 points in PPR scoring in every game but one.  He also led the Patriots in receptions with 7 last game.  Obviously White is far more valuable in any type of PPR scoring, so consider him a solid RB2 in those formats, but a TD dependant RB3-low end RB2 in standard.

WIDE RECEIVER

Start of the Week: Tyler Lockett at Atlanta:    Players involved in the passing game against the Falcons is a bit of a recurring theme.  It can’t be understated how bad the Falcons D and really team as a whole is.  Lockett gets a dream matchup here.

Starts

Allen Robinson vs LA Chargers:  Matt McGloin. Christian Hackenberg. Blake Bortles.  Mitch Trubisky.  Chase Daniel.  These are some of the average to absolute awful quarterbacks that Robinson has had the misfortune of catching passes from since college.  Myself and others have doubted him, but he keeps producing, despite the mediocrity surrounding him.  You’d be hard pressed to find a receiver playing better right now.  It’s just unfortunate that the situation around him is always less than ideal.  He belongs in lineups as a high-end WR2.

DJ Chark vs NY Jets:  Almost as popular as the baby shark song that totally original players name their fantasy teams after, Chark has been one of the biggest surprises this year.  While Dede Westbrook got all of the attention in the preseason, it’s been Chark putting up the numbers.  He’s been a WR1 over the first 7 weeks of the season and was added from the waivers wire in almost every league.  Last week was a rough matchup, but DJ should easily bounce back into the high-end WR2 to low-end WR1 discussion against a Jets team reeling after an embarrassment of a game on Monday night.

Sits

Tyler Boyd at LA Rams:  The talent of Tyler Boyd is undeniable and one would think he shouldn’t have much competition for targets.  Yet, somehow the inept Bengals find ways to feature a different receiver seemingly every week, without it being Boyd.  As I’ve said before, the Bengals are bad at pretty much everything.  Them playing on the road, with the newly acquired Jalen Ramsey likely to cover Boyd, means he is someone to avoid.  

Alshon Jeffery at Buffalo:  With Carson Wentz being someone to avoid this week, it stands to reason that his receivers aren’t projected to do so well either.  Buffalo is a terrible matchup for receivers, just as they are for quarterbacks.  There’s too many mouths to feed on the Eagles to begin with and with this game being played in Buffalo, Jeffery is someone to steer clear of this week.

Sleeper

John Brown vs Eagles:  One of the better late round values at the position, Brown has a stellar matchup this week vs secondary who rivals the Falcons for lack of ability against the pass.  Brown loves going deep and Josh Allen loves throwing a deep.  It’s a match made in heaven, with a matchup that allows them to do pretty much whatever they want in the air.  Brown should be a high-end WR2 with upside.

TIGHT END

Start

Kyle Rudolph at Redskins:  I know Rudolph the Red Zone reindeer has been more likely to make his owners red faces than anything, but this is as good of a time to use him as any.  Rudolph is coming off by far his best performance of the year last week, which coincided with Thielen’s 1st quarter exit in the same game.  Thielen has been rules out for Thursday’s game.  On top of that, the Redskins are one of the weakest opponents around.  If Rudolph is gonna do something, it’s in this game.

Sit

Greg Olsen at 49ers: After a strong start to the season, Olsen has cooled off immensely.  Even logging an unfortunate 0 against the Jags.  He had a decent bounceback game against the Bucs, but don’t expect much of anything on the road against one of the best defenses in the league.

D/St  

Starts

Steelers vs Dolphins

49ers vs Panthers

Rams vs Bengals

Vikings vs Redskins

Colts vs Broncos

Sits

Broncos at Colts

Jets vs Jaguars

Eagles at Bills

Packers at Chiefs

Drew Lannin is a nutritionist with a Bachelor's in Dietetics from Lincoln, Nebraska. He grew up watching Nebraska football and the Chiefs. He is currently finishing pre-reqs for a Masters in Genetic Counseling. He first started playing fantasy football after recommending Randy Moss to his dad during his rookie year. This lead to him being added as the co-commissioner to his dad's league, which started in 1984. He has been an avid fantasy player ever since, consuming as much data and articles as possible.

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