If you’re reading this, then congrats, you survived bye-maggedon. Luckily, Week 8 should be much kinder to your rosters. With the number of teams on bye in Weeks 9 and 10, the last thing you need is to fall behind this week. That’s why I’m here for my weekly Start/Sit column.
Last week’s column turned out pretty darn good. All of my recommended starts finished as starters for their position, including Tua Tagovailoa as the overall QB3. The only exception was Sterling Shepard, who was ruled out prior to kickoff. But enough about the past, let’s talk about the future (I swear I didn’t rip that off from Tomorrowland). The Ravens and the Raiders are the only two teams on their bye, so chances are, you may need a tight end. I outlined three you should consider picking up in my weekly waiver column. If you don’t like those options, I listed my top ‘start’ for tight end–and every position–along with other players to consider.
As always, I included OwnersBox prices to give you an idea of each player’s value. If you haven’t signed up yet, playing on OwnersBox is easier than Mike Evans scoring in the red zone! All jokes aside, visit OwnersBox.com or download the OwnersBox app on iOS or Android and use the promo code Drew9 today and you'll get a free $10 entry into the $25K NFL Week 8 Contest.
Start: Daniel Jones at KC ($6,400)
On the surface, Jones has a glorious matchup versus the fourth-worst defense against fantasy quarterbacks. Before I explain why Jones is a ‘start’ this week, the Chiefs have faced Lamar Jackson, Justin Herbert, Jalen Hurts, and Josh Allen. You can imagine how those matchups went. They’ve also faced Baker Mayfield, Taylor Heinicke, and Ryan Tannehill. Tannehill was the only passer of those three to produce QB1 numbers, and it just came in Week 7. So this matchup isn’t necessarily one you have to capitalize on. Instead, you should focus on Jones’ 17.8 points per game. Take out his dud against the Rams and his injury-shortened game against the Cowboys, and that number skyrockets to 22.3 points per game. That would make him QB7. Jones’ rushing ability further solidifies him in QB1 territory this week.
Other Players to Consider: Kirk Cousins, Ryan Tannehill
Sit: Tua Tagovailoa at BUF ($5,800)
I labeled Tagovailoa as a ‘start’ in last week’s column and he responded with 26.5 points and a finish as the overall QB3. While I’m very grateful for Tagovailoa making me look good, I need to hop off the Tua Train this week. He played very well against two subpar defenses, but in Week 8, he faces the No. 1 defense against fantasy quarterbacks. Now, the list of quarterbacks Buffalo has faced isn’t the greatest: Ben Roethlisberger, Tagovailoa/Jacoby Brissett, Taylor Heinicke, Davis Mills, Patrick Mahomes, and Ryan Tannehill. Heinicke was the highest-scoring passer with 20.4 points, while Tagovailoa threw four passes before leaving with an injury. You should expect very little from him in a game that may get out of hand early. Despite being the lone good thing about the Dolphins lately, Tagovailoa should remain out of your starting lineup.
Other Players to Consider: Matt Ryan, Taylor Heinicke
Start: Darrel Williams v. NYG ($5,800)
Williams responded to a massive Week 6 performance with a measly eight points. To be fair, nothing went right for the Chiefs in Week 7. Despite the blowout, Williams was still treated as the primary running back. Williams doubled the number of routes run by Jerick McKinnon, though both backs each saw three targets. And let’s be honest: Do we really expect the Giants to blow out the Chiefs? Something has to click, right? New York has been one of the best matchups for running backs in fantasy. But like with the Chiefs facing top fantasy quarterbacks, the Giants have faced some top fantasy running backs in Ezekiel Elliott, Alvin Kamara, Darrell Henderson, Cordarrelle Patterson, and Antonio Gibson. Still, Williams should see at least 15 carries like he did in Week 6 against Washington. That gives him enough value to be an RB2 in your lineup. Usage is king, folks.
Other Players to Consider: Chuba Hubbard, Damien Harris, Zack Moss
Sit: Antonio Gibson at DEN ($6,300)
Gibson‘s production has fallen off in the last couple of weeks. He’s seen fewer carries and less playing time, all leading to season-lows in fantasy points. For as talented as Gibson is, we have to give him the benefit of the doubt because he’s been dealing with a nagging shin injury. Gibson has missed most practices in the last two weeks only to suit up on gamedays. The difference this week: Washington worked out two running backs. That doesn’t bode well for Gibson’s fantasy forecast, even if he’s listed as active. He’s a risky start until we’re certain he's 100% healthy.
Other Players to Consider: Chase Edmonds, Mike Davis, Melvin Gordon
Start: Emmanuel Sanders v. MIA ($5,300)
Welcome back to fantasy relevance, Emmanuel Sanders! The 34-year-old wide receiver has been a massive benefactor of the Bills’ passing offense. A passing offense—might I add—that is third in neutral pass rates this season. In other words, it’s very pass-heavy. Let me follow up that obvious statement with another one: Target wide receivers in good passing offenses. Just ask Sanders’ fantasy managers, who have watched Sanders score 13-26 points in each of the last four games. Don’t expect his production to drop off against a once-scary Dolphins’ secondary. In the last three games, they’ve allowed EIGHT wideouts to score double-digit points. Sanders is an easy start this week. *knocks on wood*
Other Players to Consider: Sterling Shepard, Michael Pittman, Jaylen Waddle
Sit: Tyler Lockett v. JAX ($5,900)
Poor Tyler Lockett. Scratch that—poor Seahawks. Their offense has taken quite the tumble since Russell Wilson went down with a finger injury. At least D.K. Metcalf has been able to find some footing. The same can’t be said for Lockett, who has seen a dip in almost every major stat. He caught two of seven targets in Week 6, then caught two of three targets in a rain-soaked Week 7. So there’s a chance he bounces back, but Geno Smith isn’t exactly Russell Wilson. He’s averaged about seven yards per pass in his two starts—a far cry from Wilson’s 9.6 yards per pass. Lockett just isn’t a good fit for a Smith-led offense. Perhaps a meeting with the Jaguars changes things, but for how inconsistent Lockett’s been, there’s still a decent amount of risk in starting him.
Other Players to Consider: Corey Davis, Tee Higgins, Jakobi Meyers
Start: Zach Ertz v. GB ($4,800)
Ertz burst onto the Arizona scene with a 16-point performance and a TE6 finish. Not bad for a first impression. He was even tied for the second-most targets on the team. The Cardinals had a positive game script for most of the game, so there’s even a chance Ertz sees more targets moving forward. At this point—and I know I say it every week—finding a reliable tight end is so tough. It’s also encouraging that the Cardinals were trying to get him the ball. Despite a multitude of mouths to feed in Arizona, Ertz looked like a priority in the passing game. He’s a TE1 this week, and potentially for the rest of the season.
Other Players to Consider: Hunter Henry, Tyler Higbee
Sit: Mo Alie-Cox v. TEN ($4,100)
Four touchdowns in four weeks? Sign me up! Just kidding. It seems like Alie-Cox’s only value comes in scoring touchdowns because that’s all he does. Let’s take a look at his stats over the last four weeks:
- 3 catches on 5 targets, 42 receiving yards, 2 touchdowns
- 3-4, 50 rec. yards, 0 TD
- 1-3, 28 rec. yards, 1 TD
- 3-3, 25 rec. yards, 1 TD
That is the definition of unsustainable. If you start him, you’re expecting him to score against a Titans defense that’s allowed just two touchdowns to tight ends all season. Alie-Cox is way too risky to start.
Other Players to Consider: C.J. Uzomah, O.J. Howard