Fantasy Football: Week 8 Start 'em Sit 'em


Photo Courtesy of Pat Pryor

Written by George Harakstsis & Jason Feiner


Get some insider tips on who to start or sit this week from our fantasy experts George Haraktsis and Jason Feiner!


Quarterbacks


Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans


George: It’s no secret that Deshaun Watson has been struggling in terms of fantasy football stats this season. A lot of that can be attributed to his leaky offensive line, which has allowed him to be sacked 26 times, tied for third most in the NFL. Watson has 16.2 fantasy points combined in the last two weeks, and takes on the 9th best fantasy defense against QBs. That number is a little skewed because over the last four weeks the Dolphins D has allowed 19.13 points to QBs on average. This is a get right week for Watson.


Verdict: START ‘EM


Jason: I haven't been the biggest fan of Deshaun Watson these past few weeks, and neither have the owners that chose to keep in lineups. Now, let’s flip the script. The Dolphins have begun to fall apart and their defense is following suit. Over the past three weeks, the Dolphins have given up an average of 260 yards, 2 touchdowns and a passer rating of 116.6 per game. Watson is recovering from rib injuries suffered against the Bills, and this nice matchup could provide the push he needs to break out of his two week slump.


Verdict: START ‘EM


Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals

George: You start everyone against the Buccaneers defense, even if they lay a huge dud the week before. Dalton just can’t do it during prime time and his game against KC was no exception. The Bucs are last in the league in fantasy points allowed to the quarterback position and continue to lose pieces of their defense let and right. Dalton is playing at home and should be considered a top-10 quarterback this week.


Verdict: START ‘EM


Jason: Don’t give up on the Red Rifle quite yet. His next matchup comes in the form of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers who have given up a league leading 27.2 points per game to the quarterback position. The Buccaneers have been ravaged by injuries and this past week they lost star linebacker Kwon Alexander to a torn ACL. This will be the best matchup Dalton has all year, and in a must win game. Trust Dalton to get it done.


Verdict: START ‘EM



Running Backs


Nick Chubb, Cleveland Browns


George: You should sit Nick Chubb this week. Running backs on the Browns have had their fantasy success rely on touchdowns week after week, and are running behind a below average offensive line. Chubb looked good last week due in large part to Kwon Alexander leaving the game with an injury. The Steelers allow 66.7 yards rushing per game this season, and are the 31st team in FPA to opposing RBs. There is better flex options out there.


Verdict: SIT ‘EM


Jason: The Steelers have been one of the best teams against the run this season giving up just 16.9 points to the position. However, with Carlos Hyde out of Cleveland and a plethora of opportunity for Nick Chubb, he should slot into your flex for this tough matchup. In week 1 against the Steelers, Cleveland ran the ball a total of 30 times between their running backs. A similar game script should follow, as Cleveland will need to control the clock in order to win this one.


Verdict: START ‘EM



TJ Yeldon, Jacksonville Jaguars


George: The Jaguars offense has been sputtering as of late, and if not for a receiving touchdown we’d be talking about two poor fantasy performances in a row for Yeldon. The Jaguars added Carlos Hyde in a trade this past week, which muddles Yeldon’s fantasy position even further. Not to mention, the Eagles defense is 6th in fantasy points allowed to opposing running backs and Yeldon is now in a perceived timeshare. Stay far, far, away from Yeldon.


Verdict: SIT ‘EM


Jason: The Jaguars success came when they controlled the ground game in a smashmouth style of football, and with Fournette battling a hamstring injury, Jacksonville decided to trade for Carlos Hyde in order to lean back on their roots. With Hyde in the fold, less opportunity is in store for TJ Yeldon who will be playing against the number 2 defense against the run. The Eagles have only let up 4 touchdowns on the ground this season and allow just 85.7 yards per game to opposing running backs. Although Yeldon has been a top 15 back this season, his production will dip in the coming weeks. If you can sell high, it may be the time to do it.

Verdict: SIT ‘EM



Wide Receivers


Josh Gordon, New England Patriots


George: This is a tough one because I do not think the Patriots will have trouble scoring against the Bills this week. Gordon has begun building a great rapport with Tom Brady, who looks like he has great trust in the young receiver. This issue comes down to the Bills corners, more specifically Tre’Davious White. White and the defense has no.1 receivers like T.Y. Hilton, Stefon Diggs, Keenan Allen, Deandre Hopkins, and Davante Adams to under 100 yards receiving this year. The Bills have only had one receiver with over 100 yards against them and that was Adam Thielen, and he mostly operates out of the slot, away from White. There's a reason the Bills rank third in fantasy points allowed to the WR position. With all that being said, I would sit Gordon because while he could grab a touchdown, there are players with much safer floors out there.


Verdict: SIT ‘EM


Jason: Josh Gordon has built a solid rapport with TB12 over the past few weeks, and he just captured his first 100 yard performance in a Patriots jersey. The Bills have been stingy on the defensive side of the ball throughout the 2018 season, but with Derek Anderson calling the shots on Buffalo’s offense, I expect the Patriots to jump out to an early lead. They will be without Sony Michel in week 8, and neither Kenjon Barner or James White are built for a large workload in the trenches. The Patriots will be passing the ball on Monday night meaning added opportunities for Josh Gordon, who should be a quality flex play in week 8. If Rob Gronkowski misses more time, Gordon’s stock should rise to a WR2 value.


Verdict: START ‘EM



Alshon Jeffery, Philadelphia Eagles


George: Jeffery has 4 touchdowns in as many games this season. He still has his rapport with Carson Wentz and has remained the number two receiving option behind TE Zach Ertz. He should continue to have a great fantasy season, but not this week. The Jaguars are the best team in the league against fantasy WR period. They have two of the top corners in the league, and will look for redemption after last weeks humiliating loss. Don’t start Alshon— there are better options out there.


Verdict: SIT ‘EM


Jason: Alshon Jeffery has been a stud since his return to the field posting three of four games with at least 7 receptions, 74 yards and 1 touchdown. However, the Eagles are flying straight into the Jaguars’ den in a week 8 clash in London. The Jaguars secondary is allowing the fewest points per game to the receiver position with 28.5. Jeffery is my WR25 heading into Sunday, making him a fringe flex option in a poor matchup. Playing Jeffery would mean owners will be chasing touchdowns. There are better options at flex this week.


Verdict: SIT ‘EM



Tight Ends


C.J. Uzomah, Cincinnati Bengals


George: The tight end pool is shallow in fantasy football this season. He has a plus matchup against the worst fantasy defense against tight ends this year, and he just caught a touchdown in his last game. In a game where a lot of points should be scored, Uzomah will prove to be a safe option.


Verdict: START ‘EM


Jason: C.J. Uzomah found the end zone in a great matchup this past Sunday but had only 2 receptions on two targets. With that volume of work, he can’t be looked at as a reliable fantasy option over the rest of the season. However, he will be playing against a bad Buccaneers defense this week, which has let up 19.6 points per game to the position. Expect every Bengal player to get in on the action in this juicy matchup. Although his target share hasn’t been steady, the matchup is too good to pass up if you need a stream this week. It is a risk-reward play in a weak position group.


Verdict: START ‘EM



OJ Howard, Tampa Bay Buccaneers


George: Cincinnati has been getting torched by TEs all year, ranking 29th in FPA to the position. Howard has become Winston's favorite option in the passing offense garnering 13 targets in the last two weeks. Nick Vigil is still out, and this looks to be a shootout. Howard should be a very safe play with a high ceiling this week.


Verdict: START ‘EM


Jason: OJ Howard has been solid since returning from his sprained MCL posting games of 14.2 and 9.2 points. The Buccaneers explosive offense will be playing the Cincinnati Bengals who have given up the 4th most points to the tight end position this year. With a great matchup and the connection building between Howard and Winston, he makes for a solid start this week.


Verdict: START ‘EM




Defense/Special Teams


Vikings D/ST


George: Even with Everson Griffen potentially returning, you just can’t trust the Vikings. They have rounded into form as of late, but face a Saints offense that is absolutely rolling. Over the last 4 weeks, defenses have been averaging -2 fantasy points per game against the Saints offense. You shouldn’t start any defense against Kamara, Brees, and Thomas right now. Find another option on waivers.


Verdict: SIT ‘EM


Jason: The Vikings have begun to find their bearings that made them the best defense throughout the 2017 season. However, they will be playing a Drew Brees led Saints team in week 8 and should be kept on the bench. The Saints have not been friendly to opposing D/ST’s posting a weekly average of .7 points. The Vikings defense comes in this week ranked as my D/ST12, and with plenty of options on waivers with better matchups, a backup option should be put in place.


Verdict: SIT ‘EM



Broncos D/ST


George: Even after a defensive explosion against the Cardinals, you should not even think of starting the Broncos this week. They did manage 33 fantasy points against Arizona but they will certainly not come even close to that this week against the Chiefs. No defense has put up positive fantasy points against the Chiefs offense except for the Jaguars. It’s a no brainer to sit them.


Verdict: SIT ‘EM


Jason: Before going crazy and grabbing Denver’s defense off waivers after the explosive 33 point performance they laid against the league's worst offense, take a deep breath, and remember how bad they have actually been since week 2. Now, look at their opponent in this upcoming week. The Kansas City Chiefs boast the most explosive offense in the league this year allowing opposing D/ST’s to score an average of -2 points per game against them. This is not going to be a pretty show for Denver and they should be steered clear of in every league.


Verdict: SIT ‘EM



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