Fantasy Football With Tom and J: Week 8

by Thomas Russo and Jason Li

**Disclaimer: We are not affiliated with the NFL in any way and this article simply contains the opinions of select students.

Start ‘em, Sit ‘em

Top 3 QBs to Start this Week

Russell Wilson vs. Saints:  It’s been a rough start to the year for Russell Wilson and the Seattle offense.  However, this looks like the week for Russell to turn things around against a Saints’ defense, whose secondary has a myriad of injuries and has generally struggled to stop opposing offenses in general, giving up 19.61 fantasy points to opposing QBs.  The Seahawks’ offense will awaken this Sunday.

Derek Carr vs. Buccaneers:  Derek Carr has been a pleasant surprise this season, throwing for at least one TD every week so far this season.  Now he faces a Buccaneer defense that has struggled to keep its opponents in check.  It also helps that Jameis Winston is throwing interceptions every game, which should open the door for short fields for Carr and the offense.

Aaron Rodgers vs. Falcons:  Rodgers and the Packer offense finally came to life last week against the Bears, and with a weak Falcon secondary up next, Rodgers should be able to exploit his deep stable of pass catchers. Now that we see the Falcons allowing over 20 points a game to QBs, we advise you relax and put Rodgers back in the lineup.

Top 3 QBs to Sit this Week

Matt Stafford vs. Texans:  After a red hot start to the season, Matt Stafford came back to Earth in what should have been a golden opportunity against a damaged Redskin secondary.  This week, the Lions travel to Houston to face a Texans’ defense allowing less than 13 fantasy points per game to opposing signal callers. It might be time to find another option this week.

Tyrod Taylor vs. Patriots:  While it was refreshing to see Taylor post a nice stat line against the Dolphins, it was only the second time this season Taylor reached the 20 point mark, and he has only scored more than 2 TDs once all season.  While the Bills will likely be playing catch-up this week, they are a run-first offense playing a stout defense. Keep Taylor on the bench this week.

Cam Newton vs. Cardinals:  Oh, how the mighty have fallen. After turning in the greatest fantasy season all time, Cam and the Panthers are sitting at the bottom of their division and struggling to win games, or even score points.  With a talented Cardinal defense next up, which is allowing only 12 points a game to opposing QBs, you should temper your expectations again this week.

Top 3 RBs to Start this Week

Devontae Booker vs. Chargers: Devontae Booker has been receiving more and more snaps each week. He has proven himself to be better than CJ Anderson and is a top waiver pick-up this week. CJ Anderson is also injured for the next 3 weeks or so. The Chargers’ run defense is little to nothing–most teams can run on the Chargers quite easily.

Matt Forte vs. Browns: Forte is an experienced running back going against a very weak running defense. The Browns, on average, let teams have 150 or so rushing yards on them. In general, we would start any offensive players against the very weak Browns’ defense.

Latvians Murray vs. Buccaneers: Murray blew up last week. Scoring 2 TDs and 6 yards. He is a red zone beast and will continue to be so. On average, he gets 1 rushing TD every week and at least 60 yards. Plus, the Buccaneers’ defense gives up a ton of passing and rushing yards.

Top 3 RBs to Sit this Week

Mark Ingram vs. Seahawks: Mark Ingram barely finds the endzone against bad defenses. He definitely won’t on the Seahawks. Plus, once they stop Ingram a few times, the Saints are known to just stop giving him snaps entirely.

Devonta Freeman vs. Packer: Devonta Freeman is getting every snap due to Coleman’s injury. Other than Zeke this year, not many RBs have been able to get yardage on the Packers. They kill the run and stop run plays at 2 or so yards, which is very bad and not feasible. We would sit Freeman this week, even though he is a very experienced running back.

Jordan Howard vs. Vikings: Jordan Howard has not been performing the same as he had before. Last week and the week prior, he had minimal yardage and the Vikings will only restrict him even more. Also, Howard’s snaps are getting split so he is getting limited chances at performing.

Top 3 WRs to Start this Week

Brandon Marshall vs. Browns:  It’s not easy being a number-1 wide receiver for the New York Jets.The good news is it looks like B Marsh will get his favorite QB Ryan Fitzpatrick back, and he gets a date with a Browns’ defense, giving up 27 points a game to opposing WRs. This should be a great week for Marshall, so make sure he’s in your starting lineup.

Larry Fitzgerald vs. Panthers:  Some people just do not get old. Larry Fitzgerald falls into that category.  Fitz continues to defy Father Time, as he posts no fewer than 6 receptions a game this season, at age 33.  Next up on the docket is a trip to Carolina, where a secondary sans Josh Norman is giving up 26 fantasy points a game to opponents. Given his share of the targets, Fitz is rapidly turning into an every week option yet again.

Stefon Diggs vs. Bears:  Stefon Diggs has been nothing short of rust rating for fantasy owners.  After his monster night on national television in Week 2, he has failed to post even 50 yards, let alone a TD, in any of his games.  If there is ever a week for him to turn it around, it’s this week when the Vikings head to Chicago to face a Bears’ defense allowing nearly 26 points a game to opposing wideouts. Give him one last roll of the dice.  

Top 3 WRs to Sit this Week

Travis Benjamin vs. Broncos:  Back in Week 2, it looked like Travis Benjamin would be Keenan Allen’s replacement this season. This has not been the case. Since that Week 2 explosion, he has only crossed the 100 yard mark once, and has caught a case of fumblitis, which is not easy for a WR. It also doesn’t help that he actually posted NEGATIVE points the first time he played Denver this season. Don’t put yourself through the pain he will cause.

Brandin Cooks vs. Seahawks:  When it comes to boom or bust players, no player comes close to Bandin Cooks. It seems he will post 20 points or he will post 3 points, and there has not been much in between. This week, Richard Sherman and the Legion of Boom come to town, which means it’s more likely to be a 3 point week. Therefore, Cooks should be riding the pine.

Alshon Jeffery vs. Vikings:  Remember last year when the Broncos’ defense exploded onto the scene and dominated all comers? That has been the Vikings’ defense this year.  Xavier Rhodes is quickly becoming a premier corner in the NFL, and after shutting down Odell Beckham and holding DeAndre Hopkins in check, he will now get Alshon Jeffery (who is on his third QB of the season and has only posted double digit points once). That is a recipe for disaster.

Top TE to Start this Week

Cameron Brate vs. Raiders:  Guess what; there aren’t many tight ends scoring a lot of points this year. Shocker, we know. However, the Raiders’ defense has a habit of giving up 10 points to opposing tight ends, which is as good as it gets at that position. So Cameron Brate is the lucky tight end to go with this season.

Top TE to Sit this Week

Jason Witten vs. Eagles:  While the Dallas Cowboys have had a Renaissance under Dak Prescott, one person who has been left out is Jason Witten. Witten has yet to find the end zone this season and crossed the 50 yard mark only twice.  Now, he gets an Eagle defense who has been very good this season. There are definitely better options out there this week.

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