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Week 8 Starts/Sits

Cash Game

Five weeks. Five weeks straight of a 57% hit rate or higher. In week 7, I achieved a hit rate of 74%. I hope all of you have been following me and listening to me over the past few weeks. If you have, all you have been doing is winning.

But seriously, congratulations if you have. My readers need to understand that I am not just writing this advice, I am living it. I try to follow my own advice as much as I can. I have skin in the game. We are in this together.

With that, let us go win week 8!

Quarterback

Start

Andy Dalton vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Dalton had an excellent matchup against a bad Chiefs secondary in week 7. Unfortunately, it was in primetime. If you have not heard, Dalton and the Bengals struggle in primetime under head coach Marvin Lewis. This is no longer a “narrative” at this point. Dalton legitimately struggles under the lights.

Luckily, the Bengals week 8 matchup is not in primetime. The Bengals have another great matchup against the Bucs. The Bucs defense ranks last in DVOA against the pass. They have allowed the most fantasy points to quarterbacks, with all opposing starting quarterbacks scoring 21.5 or more points. Dalton should jump back on the horse after a rough week and finish as a top-12 quarterback this week.

Jameis Winston @ Cincinnati Bengals

Dalton’s week 8 opponent also makes this list. In the two games he has started since returning from suspension, Winston has finished as the QB1 and QB3. This despite being mistake prone in 2.5 games. Winston has thrown for 365 or more yards in the past two games.

Winston faces another bad passing defense in the Bengals. The Bengals rank 24th in DVOA against the pass. They have allowed the fifth-most fantasy points to quarterbacks, including the three games of over 30 points. The Bengals also allow the second-most yards per game, fourth-most passing yards, and fifth-most points per game.

This game is likely going to be high scoring with two bad defenses. The over/under is 54. Fantasy owners would be best served to start everyone in the passing game from both sides.

Russell Wilson @ Detroit Lions

Believe it or not, Wilson ranks as the QB22 in fantasy points per game in the 2018 season. This is likely due to the Seahawks moving towards running the ball more and injuries to Wilson’s patch catchers early in the season. The Seahawks ranks seventh in the league in rush yards per game. On the flip side, they throw for the fifth-fewest yards per game. However, Wilson has been the QB14 over his last two starts, mostly due to two straight three-touchdown games. He also has his top receiver in Doug Baldwin back and relatively healthy.

Wilson faces a Lions team who has struggled against the pass the last few weeks despite having one of the best cornerbacks in the game in Darius Slay. The Lions rank 28th in DVOA against the pass. Over the last three games, the Lions have allowed the fifth-most fantasy points per game, two of the three of which were against the Cowboys’ Dak Prescott and Dolphins’ backup Brock Osweiler, both of whom had two touchdowns.

This game may come down to the running games. Both quarterbacks rank as QB20 or worse while the Seahawks running game is their strength and the Lions running game is surging. Wilson, however, has been very efficient with his chances and with the ability to run, he should be able to finish inside the top-12.

Sit

CJ Beathard @ Arizona Cardinals

In the bye weeks, some owners are desperate for fill-ins. Especially at quarterback when most only roster one. Beathard has been relatively serviceable since taking over as the starter for the 49ers for injured Jimmy Garoppolo. Beathard is the QB17 in fantasy points per game. Last week, however, Beathard was shut down by the Los Angeles Rams, scoring less than 14 fantasy points.

Beathard faces another tough test on the road in the Cardinals. The Cardinals have allowed the fourth-fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks. This includes four games of 12.5 points or less and only one game of over 30 points. The  Cardinals also struggle against the run, giving up the most rushing yards and most fantasy points in the league.

The 49ers will likely have to run the ball to beat the Cardinals. Avoid Beathard in week 8.

Brock Osweiler @ Houston Texans

Again, desperate times, desperate measures. Osweiler has been a sensation the past two weeks for the Dolphins. But, history says he is not a good quarterback. With Tannehill already ruled out for Thursday night, however, Osweiler has another chance to steal the starting job. He will not succeed. Osweiler is likely down his two best receivers in Kenny Stills and Albert Wilson. He must rely on the oft-injured DeVante Parker and Danny Amendola in week 8.

The Texans have allowed the fourth-fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks over the last three weeks. They have really only had one bad game against quarterbacks in the 2018 season, week 4 against Andrew Luck. W

Osweiler has provided false hope the last couple weeks. With a Texans defense starting to get healthy and dominate and an injured Dolphins receiving corp, avoid Osweiler.

Matthew Stafford vs. Seattle Seahawks

This one is hard for me to swallow. I was all about Stafford in the 2018 offseason. Unfortunately, or fortunately for Lions fans, The Lions have figured out how to run the ball. Over the past three weeks, Stafford ranks as the QB22 in fantasy points per game. Not coincidentally, rookie running back Kerryon Johnson ranks as the RB15 in points per game and has the fifth-most rushing yards in the same time span.

Stafford and the Lions face a Seahawks team that has been very good against the pass. The Seahawks rank third-overall in DVOA against the run. They have allowed the third-fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks, allowing less than 15 points three weeks and less than 30 in all six.

As I stated above, this game will likely come down to the running game. Stafford is not a good start in week 8.

Running Back

Start

Raheem Mostert @ Arizona Cardinals

2018 is the season you start all of your running backs against the Cardinals. As I mentioned above, the Cardinals are terrible against the run. They allow the most fantasy points to running backs and the most rushing yards. It is pretty straightforward.

The surprise here is Mostert. After receiving relatively little work in the first four games of the season, Mostert ranks 20th in the league in rushing yards over the past three weeks. Now, Mostert has a shot at even more work with lead back Matt Breida battling an ankle injury. Breida was limited in week 7 and Mostert finished as the 49ers lead back. With Breida likely limited again in week 8, Mostert has a good chance to have a great week.

Marlon Mack @ Oakland Raiders

Mack proved me wrong last week against a good Bills defense. He looked like a lead back in the NFL with 126 yards on the ground, two receptions for 33 yards, and two total touchdowns. Mack received 22 touches. The next most by a running back was six.

Mack gets another good matchup in week 8 against the Raiders. The Raiders defense has allowed the sixth-most rushing yards per game. They also allow the fourth-most points per game. The Raiders just traded arguably their best skill position player in wide receiver Amari Cooper and placed running back Marshawn Lynch on IR.

The Raiders offense is going to be bad and the Colts will be in positive game script most of the game. This should be a game where the Colts use Mack early and often.

Lamar Miller vs. Miami Dolphins

Miller has been disappointing this season. After starting the season off with 98 yards on the ground, Miller only eclipsed 50 yards once in the next four weeks. He then had his best week in week 7 with 100 yards and one touchdown against the Jaguars, which one would expect to be a difficult matchup.

Miller actually gets a good matchup in week 8 against the Dolphins. The Dolphins defense has allowed the third-most rushing yards and fantasy points to running backs in 2018. They have also allowed the fifth-most receiving yards to running backs.

I am predicting that the Texans will have a positive game script for most of the game due to their dominant defense and the Dolphins terrible offense. Miller should get plenty of touches.

Sit

Dalvin Cook/Latavius Murray vs. New Orleans Saints

Murray has been fantastic the last two weeks. He has 224 yards on the ground and three touchdowns. That will not continue in week 8. Regardless of if Cook plays, this is not a good matchup for the Vikings running backs. The Saints defense have allowed the fewest rushing yards in the league and the fourth-fewest fantasy points to running backs.

The Saints offense is extremely high powered, scoring the second-most points in the league. The Vikings defense has not been especially great this season. The Vikings will need to throw early and often to stay in the game. Sit the Vikings running backs.

Carlos Hyde/TJ Yeldon vs. Philadelphia Eagles (London)

Yeldon has been great this season in Leonard Fournette’s absence. He currently ranks as RB10 in fantasy points per game. Yeldon has been so good, in fact, that one has to wonder why the Jaguars traded for Hyde. It does not really matter at this point, but it does affect the fantasy outlooks for both Yeldon and Hyde moving forward.

The Eagles have allowed one, 100-yard rusher this season. Outside of Saquon Barkley’s 130-yard outburst in week 6, the Eagles have only allowed 257 yards on the ground. In total, the Eagles have allowed the third-fewest rushing yards. Ultimately they have allowed the ninth-fewest fantasy points to running backs.

It is hard to really tell how this game will go. Both the Jaguars and Eagles defenses can be intimidating but have also had their vulnerabilities this season. Not to mention this game is in London. However, Yeldon and Hyde will likely split work, which caps their fantasy outlooks in week 8.

Green Bay Packers Running Backs @ Los Angeles Rams

This game is going to be high scoring. That is the main reason you should not be starting the Packers running backs. The other is the snap share split between the three running backs. Since Aaron Jones’ return from suspension, Jamaal Williams has played in 40% of the Packers offensive snaps, Ty Montgomery in 32%, and Jones in 29%. This despite Jones being by far the most effective runner. So much for rational coaching Mike McCarthy.

The Rams have been relatively good against the run. They have allowed the 11th-fewest fantasy points to running backs. But, that is not the reason the Packers will not be able to run the ball. The Rams offense has scored the second most points in the league. The Packers defense will likely be unable to stop the Rams from scoring. The Packers will have to throw to keep up, which means less rushing opportunities. Sit the Packers running backs.

Wide Receiver

Start

Geronimo Allison vs. Los Angeles Rams

This assumes that Allison is healthy in week 8. Unfortunately, Allison has missed the Packers past two games with a concussion and hamstring injury. In the Packers first four games, Allison was extremely effective, producing double-digit fantasy points in each.

As I said directly above, this game will likely be high scoring and the Packers will have to throw. The over/under for this game is the highest in week 8 at 56.5. Allison is the Packers WR2 when healthy and will get his targets.

Doug Baldwin @ Detroit Lions

Baldwin seems to finally be healthy after a knee scare in the preseason and a sprained MCL in week 1 that kept him out the next two weeks. In week 5, despite playing 88% of the offensive snaps, Baldwin only received one target. In week 6, however, he received eight targets, catching six for 91 yards. Coming off of their bye week, hopefully, this means that Baldwin will be more integral to the offense moving forward.

The Lions have allowed the most fantasy points to wide receivers over the past three weeks. They have also been susceptible to giving up big games to slot wide receivers, with the Jets’ Quincy Enunwa, Packers’ Marquez Valdes-Scantling, and Dolphins’ Albert Wilson/Danny Amendola all having big games. Baldwin played 54.5% of his snaps from the slot.

Baldwin is a good bet to have a decent week. Start him.

Danny Amendola @ Houston Texans

As we talked about above with Brock Osweiler, the Dolphins receiving corp is injured. Albert Wilson has a hip injury that is threatening to end his season. Kenny Stills is sitting out Thursday night with a groin injury. That leaves DeVante Parker, who has played a total of 37 snaps this season, Jakeem Grant, who is more of a gadget player, and Amendola.

Amendola has been Osweiler’s favorite target in the past two games with a total of 18 targets. Those targets have amounted to 123 yards and one touchdown. While not a great matchup with the Texans, Amendola could be fed targets on Thursday night. I would not be surprised if he received 20 targets.

Volume is king in fantasy football and Amendola should see plenty of it in week 8.

Sit

Devin Funchess vs. Baltimore Ravens

Funchess has made tremendous strides over the last two seasons. In 2018, Funchess has four double-digit fantasy days, including back-to-back games of over 18 points in difficult matchups. Funchess likely faces his toughest test in week 8.

The Ravens defense has arguably been the best in the league in 2018. They rank sixth in DVOA against the pass and fourth against the run. The Ravens have allowed the fifth-fewest fantasy points to wide receivers. And they have allowed the fewest yards per game and fewest points per game.

This is going to be a defensive battle. The over/under for the game is tied for the lowest at 43. Probably best to avoid this game entirely.

Tyler Lockett vs. Detroit Lions

Unlike his teammate Baldwin above, Lockett has a much more difficult matchup. Lockett likely draws Darius Slay, who is considered one of the better cornerbacks in the league. Overall the Lions have allowed the eighth-fewest fantasy points to wide receivers and the second-fewest yards to wide receivers.

Lockett has been touchdown dependent, catching one in five of six games. Last week, Lockett only had 13 yards. Lockett’s touchdown rate is unsustainable, With Baldwin back, Lockett’s opportunities also seem to be dropping. Week 8 is probably the week he disappoints.

Josh Gordon @ Buffalo Bills

Gordon finally has his breakout game with the Patriots in week 7. He caught four of seven targets for 100 yards. Was this due to Gronkowski missing and Michel going down with an injury? It is hard to say. Gordon draws a much more difficult matchup than the Bears in the Bills. Gordon will likely face off against Bills’ start cornerback Tre’Davious White.

White and the Bills defense have allowed the third-fewest fantasy points to wide receivers and the sixth-fewest receiving yards. The Bills have allowed only five receivers to produced double-digit fantasy days. They also have only allowed one receiver to eclipse 100 yards in a game.

With Gronkowski likely back and a multitude of other Patriot pass-catchers, Brady will likely avoid throwing at Gordon. Sit him in week 8.

Tight End

Start

CJ Uzomah vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Uzomah scored the only touchdown for the Bengals against the Chiefs in week 7. He only accounted for two receptions for 13 yards outside of that. To give you an idea of how bad the tight end landscape is in 2018, Uzomah’s week 7 line was good for TE11 on the week.

Uzomah gets another juicy matchup in week 8. The Bucs defense ranks 30th in DVOA against tight ends. They allow the most fantasy points per game to tight ends. The Bucs have also allowed over 50 yards receiving and a touchdown in each of their past three games to tight ends.

As I said earlier, this game is likely to be a shootout with two bad defenses facing off. Uzomah is a good start in week 8.

OJ Howard @ Cincinnati Bengals

Oh, look, another player in the Buccaneers versus Bengals game. Howard is currently the TE10 on the season and has a successful sophomore campaign. Howard has four double-digit fantasy games out of six. He seems to have overtaken Cameron Brate as one of Winston’s favorite targets as well. Howard was targeted nine times against the Browns in week 7 versus Brate’s four.

The Bengals defense has allowed the third-most fantasy points per game and receiving yards to tight ends. Much of the case for Howard is stated above under Winston. Start basically all of the Bucs and Bengals passing game in week 8.

Benjamin Watson @ Minnesota Vikings

Every once in a while, the aging Watson gets some usage. Last week, Watson was targeted six times, catching all six for 43 yards and a touchdown. Watson may see some more targets come his way against the Vikings.

I called for owners to start Jets rookie tight end Chris Herndon against the Vikings last week. That resulted in a TE9 finish for the week. The Vikings struggle against tight ends. They rank 27th in DVOA against tight ends in coverage. The Vikings also allow the sixth-most fantasy points per game to tight ends and the fourth-most yards.

This is a battle of two high powered offenses. The over/under for the game is 53. There will be plenty of scoring to go around. Look for Watson to get in on the action in week 8.

Sit

Kyle Rudolph vs. New Orleans Saints

This seems a bit counterintuitive to Watson above. Rudolph has been relatively disappointing this season, ranking as the TE14. This is likely due to new quarterback Kirk Cousins targeting wide receivers Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs the first and sixth-most times in the league respectively. This is likely to continue against the Saints.

The Saints allow the second-fewest fantasy points to tight ends. This is due to their allowing the fewest receiving yards and only one touchdown. The Saints rank seventh in DVOA against tight ends. Meanwhile, the Saints are much more susceptible to giving up big games to wide receivers. The Saints rank 30th in DVOA against the pass and 32nd against teams WR1s and WR2s. Thielen and Diggs are likely in for a big day. Rudolph is not.

Michael Roberts vs. Seattle Seahawks

This is for those owners who stream tight ends and/or are hit hard by the bye weeks. Roberts scored two touchdowns last week against the Dolphins. He only has four targets on the season, scoring three touchdowns. You may be tempted to play the touchdown upside. Don’t.

The Seahawks allow the third-fewest fantasy points per game, the second-fewest yards, and only one touchdown to opposing tight ends. The Seahawks defense, though no longer the “Legion of Boom”, have been very good this season. They allow the sixth-fewest yards per game and the fifth-fewest points per game. The Seahawks are more susceptible to the run, so this may be a running back type game. Do not trust Roberts in week 8.

Evan Engram vs. Washington Redskins

Engram has had a down sophomore season after his breakout his rookie year. This, of course, has a lot to do with a knee injury Engram suffered in week 3. It also has to do with wide receivers Odell Beckham Jr. and Sterling Shepard being healthy this season. Engram has a lot more competition for targets in 2018 and many were down on him entering the season. It also does not help that quarterback Eli Manning has been awful in 2018, currently ranking as the QB29 in fantasy.

Engram’s season does not get easier in week 8. He faces stout Washington defense who have held tight ends in check. Washington has allowed the 11th-fewest fantasy points per game to tight ends and the seventh-fewest receiving yards. They have not allowed a tight end to eclipse double-digit fantasy points in any game this season either.

With the Giants offense struggling and facing a tough defense in Washington, I am avoiding Engram in week 8.

 

And there it is. You have all of my secrets. Go out into this world and succeed!

 

 

Football Outsiders DVOA

FFToday Fantasy Points Allowed

Bleacher Report Over/Under

ESPN Team/Player Stats

RotoViz Game Splits

Thank you for reading. You can follow me on Twitter @FFStompy. Enjoy more redraft articles from The Fantasy Authority here., dynasty articles here, and DFS here. Enjoy and subscribe to the four podcasts hosted by The Fantasy Authority found here. Also, follow The Fantasy Authority (@FF_Authority), the Dynasty Life Podcast (@DynastyLifePod), the Redshirts Fantasy Football Podcast (@RedshirtFFPod), and the DFS DegeNation Podcast (@DegeNationPod) on Twitter.

Raised in Colorado, I am an avid Broncos fan. I have been playing fantasy football since I started with my dad around 15 years ago. My current home, redraft league is 10 years old. I started playing dynasty a few years ago and became addicted. I have since joined double-digit leagues, become a fantasy football writer, and have appeared on several podcasts.

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