Written by Mikey Ostrowski
Season-Long record: 63-33 (66%) on Start Ems, 65-31 (68%) on Sit Ems
Teams on week 8 BYE: Falcons, Cowboys, Chargers, Titans
Start of the Week: Andrew Luck (IND)
Luck has been stellar this season and can probably be considered one of the elite fantasy quarterbacks again. I feel like it’s cheating to put Luck in as a Start ‘Em, but I know many people drafted him as a backup so maybe those who have him have different, appealing options. However, Luck could very well be a top-5 play this week and needs to be started in nearly every league.
Start: Mitchell Trubisky (CHI)
Told ya to start him last week and now I’m telling you to start him again! #DaBears do battle against the Jets in week 8, in a game that they should be able to run away with. Trubisky is playing elite ball lately and I would fully expect that trend to continue. There’s only a handful of quarterbacks I’m starting over this guy this week.
Start: Andy Dalton (CIN)
Dalton, listed as a Start in week 7, almost cost me my fantasy matchup, as I decided to take my own advice and start him over Philip Rivers. Ugh, huge error on my part. Anyway, the Bengals have a dream matchup against the Buccaneers and should be able to produce plenty of fantasy points to go around on that offense. I’m firing up the Red Rocket in hopes of a big bounce-back game.
Start: Baker Mayfield (CLE)
Cleveland takes on Pittsburgh in what should be a very close and exciting divisional game. I do expect Pittsburgh to win this game, but the Browns will be leaning on Mayfield as heavily as usual to help them shut the critics up. This could mean good news for Mayfield, as the Steelers’ defense has been one of the worst in the NFL this year. I think Mayfield can be trusted as a low-end QB1 this week and could be exactly what you need if your quarterback is on a BYE.
Sit of the Week: Matthew Stafford (DET)
Stafford has been cold in his last two games and I expect it to be another shaky performance as he faces off against Seattle, a team that has given up the 2nd least points to quarterbacks over the first half of the season. Granted, they’re not playing in Seattle, which helps, but I think there are plenty of better options this week. I’m putting forth Stafford as a big bust candidate this week.
Sit: Carson Wentz (PHI)
Wentz is typically a start no matter who his opponent is, but in week 8 he gets the Jaguars. I know the Jaguars have been largely disappointing as a defense (or just as a whole), but historically, they’ve played well in London and I think this could be the week that we see Jacksonville return to Sacksonville. Expect Wentz to be pressured a lot and to struggle when tossing it out in the secondary as Jacksonville’s dynamic CB duo should be able to keep the Eagles’ receivers largely in check.
Sit: Deshaun Watson (HOU)
So, Watson has been… disappointing lately. He’s averaging about 9.7 points over his last two games. He’s playing hurt and is on a short week with his game being played against Miami on Thursday Night Football. He’s hard to bench, but in a cold streak and battling injury, I’m thinking you gotta do it.
Sit: Derek Carr (OAK)
Not quite sure if anyone came here seeking advice on whether or not they should start Derek Carr, but if you’re one of the few, here’s your advice: bench that dude. He just lost his most athletic weapon, Marshawn Lynch is on IR, and the Raiders team as a whole is in full-dismantle mode. Keep away and Carr-y on.
Start of the Week: Joe Mixon (CIN)
Mixon was a massive disappointment last week, however you could blame that on Andy Dalton’s dreadful play and game script. The Bengals should have a much easier time this week against Tampa Bay, and Mixon should reclaim his status as an RB1… So don’t panic!
Start: Kerryon Johnson (DET)
Johnson had a HUGE game last week and could be in line to carry (or Kerry… haha I hate myself) his team on his back yet again. I like his chances at having a big day against Seattle and would consider him a very safe option this week. Good floor, great ceiling… fire him up.
Start: Phillip Lindsay (DEN)
Denver gets a matchup against Kansas City, a team that has been largely unsuccessful at stopping the run. Though KC did well against Mixon last week, I would expect this week to go a bit differently, as Case Keenum shouldn’t struggle as much as Dalton did, so the run game actually should have a chance to open up. Lindsay has been a great surprise this season and you should have faith in him as a RB2 in week 8.
Start: Marlon Mack (IND)
Mack attack had his breakout game in week 7 and gets another easy-ish matchup this week as he’ll be running against the Raiders. He should be in the game script plenty in this one, as the Colts should go up early, leaving Mack to receive touch after touch. In a week that’s filled with BYEs and injuries, Mack is a very welcomed addition to fantasy relevance!
Sit of the Week: Mark Ingram (NO)
The Saints should be locked in for a shootout battle with the Minnesota Vikings. Though I like nearly all of the players from a fantasy perspective in this game, Ingram is one that I’m going against. I can’t picture him being anything more than a touchdown-dependent player this week, and we all know how I feel about those guys. So I’m leaving him on the bench in week 8.
Sit: Jordan Howard (CHI)
I’ve been preaching it for weeks, but Howard is no longer the back to own in Chi-town. I’m not sure how many people are still starting him, but I’m hoping that those who are finally heed my warning this week.
Sit: Alex Collins (BAL)
Collins is a guy that’s been hit-or-miss each week but has also found himself on the touchdown-dependency radar. I’m taking him as a Sit this week, as Baltimore has a game against Carolina, a team that has been successful at limiting opposing run games. There are much better flex options out there this week.
Sit: Matt Breida (SF)
Last week I received a tweet response saying that my Breida write up (as a Sit… he had 1.5 points last week), made no sense because “he’s still their primary guy for running and catching out of the backfield”… yeahhhhh, okay. Breida proved me right, as I said he was no longer their catching back, will split carries and is injury prone. He’s going to take a backseat in this offense. His reign in San Fran is over.
Start of the Week: Tyler Boyd (CIN)
Boyd was quiet in week 7 but should bounce back in a big way against the Buccaneers this week. He should show up to be an incredibly solid WR2 once again for fantasy owners and needs to be in your lineup no matter what.
Start: Emmanuel Sanders (DEN)
Denver has a juicy matchup against the barely-existent Chiefs’ secondary. Sanders, believe it or not, has been a top-5 fantasy wide receiver this year and is pretty much a must start each week no matter who his opponent is. With that being said, I promise this is the last time I use him as a Start on this article, but the matchup is just too fun to pass up the write up.
Start: Josh Gordon (NE)
Gordon is coming off of a 100-yard receiving game and has been quickly gaining Tom Brady’s trust. He could be in line for another big game as the Patriots take on a Buffalo Bills team that is nothing less than a “gimme” game. Gordon is a very solid WR3 with high WR2 upside.
Start: Doug Baldwin (SEA)
I know that Baldwin has been slow coming back, but he posted over 90 yards two weeks ago and will be coming off of a rest week. Detroit’s secondary has been average at best this season, and if Baldwin and Russell Wilson decided to get on the same page over their BYE week, Baldwin could very well return to his high-WR2/low-WR1 self. If Baldwin is back to feeling himself, this will be the game that he shows us.
Sit of the Week: Allen Robinson (CHI)
You know what’s weird? The better Trubisky gets, the lower Robinson’s value gets. Why is this? Because Mitch likes to spread the ball around. Plus, Robinson is currently playing at less than 100% and is not currently Mitch’s “go-to guy”. I’m sitting him this week against the Jets because I just don’t trust him as anything more than a touchdown-dependent receiver until he improves his health.
Sit: Alshon Jeffery (PHI)
Jeffery is a fantastic receiver, but Jalen Ramsey will without a doubt get the best of him this weekend. I have Wentz listed as a sit primarily because of this matchup right here. Start Alshon if you need to, but bench him if you can.
Sit: Sammy Watkins (KC)
How the hell do you have a starting role in the most electric offense in the entire NFL and still not be productive? By being Sammy Watkins. Look, he’s just not a great receiver and will continue to be 4th (at best) on Patrick Mahomes’ target list. So for that reason, it’s time to bench him.
Sit: Marvin Jones (DET)
Now the third receiver on the depth chart, Jones has taken a backseat to the rest of this offense and his usage is at an all-time low. I think he can be benched in most lineups and can’t be counted on having productive days unless he finds the endzone… and even that is a long shot at this point.
Start of the Week: David Njoku (CLE)
I told you! As soon as Mayfield takes over for this offense, Njoku would be a high-upside TE1. He now has scored double digits in four consecutive games and has been looking better and better. He faces off against the Steelers this week, a team that has been annihilated by tight ends so far. Fire him up as the start of the week for the second week in a row.
Start: George Kittle (SF)
Kittle goes against Arizona this week and let’s face it, the 49ers only have two real targets on this offense… and Kittle is the biggest one. I would expect to see plenty of targets for him in a game that should be pretty close and potentially low-scoring.
Start: Jared Cook (OAK)
With Amari Cooper gone, it’s very possible that Cook becomes the focus on offense once again. I would expect his target share to return to what it was the first few weeks of the season… so if he’s been dropped in your league, you may want to plug and play him this week.
Start: Trey Burton (CHI)
Burton, listed as a start last week, exploded and was the top tight end in week 7. He should be able to find success once again against a Jets’ defense that has been just about middle-of-the-road.
Sit of the Week: Ricky Seals-Jones (ARI)
He was the Sit of the week last week and he’s going to keep that title for week 8. He’s going to be playing hurt in a game that I just can’t seeing him being used very much. He’s bench fodder for the foreseeable future.
Sit: Jordan Reed (WAS)
Reed has been rather quiet since coming off of the BYE and has started to look like an after thought on this offense. He does battle with the Giants in week 8, and though I think it should be a fun game to watch, I wouldn’t bet on firing up Reed unless you’re desperate. I’m taking the wait-and-see approach with him from here on out.
Sit: Cameron Brate (TB)
O.J. Howard owns this offense in the short game now. Brate, though still fantasy relevant, will continue to take a backseat and will not be the most productive tight end on that team in most weeks. In a game against the Bengals, I’m not expecting much from him.
Sit: Vance McDonald (PIT)
This is the part of the article where I tell you I couldn’t figure out a 4th tight end to sit. So, here’s Vance McDonald. Sit him. Why? I’m really not quite sure, just a feeling that he won’t have over 10 points this week.
Be sure to check out the latest episode of the Loaded Box Podcast to get the guys instant reactions to all of the action from Week 7 in the NFL!