Whether you are eyeing the playoffs or struggling to stay afloat, there are advantages to pursue in the matchups this week. Who to start? Who to sit? Here's some last-minute advice to get you through Week 8 with a victory.
Some key injuries from last week and other important players on their bye week will leave some with quite the conundrum with their roster. That is unless you started a Houston Texan this week (if you are playing against Deshaun Watson or DeAndre Hopkins–apologies.). When faced with a last-minute replacement, forget about the name; it's all about the matchup.
QB – Jameis Winston
Tampa Bay has passed for 2,261 yards. That ranks second most all-time through six games. Those 2,000-plus yards is more than the Vikings, Rams and Chiefs–all three of those teams have played one more game than the Bucs. The Bengals defense is 28th in fantasy points per game allowed to opposing quarterbacks. The Bucs rushing offense ranks 31st out of 32 teams. Start Jameis. Start him with all the confidence of JR Smith after two consecutive three-point makes.
RB – Kenjon Barner
I don't think Sony Michel plays. I don't think Bill Belichick puts a heavy load on his only remaining healthy running back who started the year in New England (James White). That leaves Kenjon Barner to carry the water for the Patriots running game against a Buffalo Bills team that will be down a lot early.
WR – David Moore
On the surface, with Doug Baldwin returning, it would make sense for him to be the lead pass-catcher, and as a result–limit David Moore's production on the outside. That is, however, if you discount who will be guarding Moore. To put it bluntly, Teez Tabor is not a good cornerback. With Baldwin in the slot and Tyler Lockett getting more attention due to his hot start, Moore will be left one-on-one a lot with Tabor. The offensive line in Seattle continues to be a mess. It all leads to opportunities for Moore on the outside, including a touchdown score.
TE – Chris Herndon
The Jets tight end is one of four healthy players to catch more than five balls on the season. The last two weeks, Herndon has caught a touchdown pass. Rookie quarterback Sam Darnold has a penchant for locking in on a pass-catcher. Through the first quarter of the season, that was Quincy Enunwa. With Enunwa out, Herndon has been his prime target. While I don't like Darnold (see below) I think Herndon will continue his upward climb with possibly something like 50 receiving yards and a score.
QB – Sam Darnold
|Adjusted Completion %||67.8|
|Kept Clean Passer Rating||87.9|
|Play Action Passer Rating||76.7|
|Deep Passing Passer Rating||55.5|
The same reasons that make Herndon a fantasy football start this week are the same reasons to not trust Darnold. The Jets have been decimated by injury at the receiver position. The lack of consistency has hurt Darnold, as he is near the bottom in almost every statistical and advanced statistical category. The Jets opponent, Chicago, has a defense ranking near the top in pass rush and pass defense. Not a good look for the rookie out of USC.
RB – Carlos Hyde
The Jags are a mess right now. While in London, several Jacksonville players were detained after they attempted to skip out on a $64,000 bar tab. Last week, Jacksonville's leading rusher was Blake Bortles with an eye-popping 30 yards rushing. As a team, the Jags ran for 70 yards on 22 carries. Carlos Hyde has been shoved into the starting lineup after a little over a week to learn the playbook. It all equates to more bad news awaiting across the pond.
WR – Randall Cobb
— Around The NFL (@AroundTheNFL) October 26, 2018
Questionable with a hamstring injury is pretty much a sealed fate in the NFL for a wide receiver. When you combine that news with the fact that Cobb–when healthy–has been losing snaps and targets to Geronimo Allison, when both are healthy, and it is a clear sign that Cobb should not even be rostered at this point in shallow to standard leagues.
TE – Greg Olsen
Through seven weeks, Carolina Panthers tight end Greg Olsen has played in three games. In those three games, Olsen has caught eight balls on 14 targets for 86 yards. In two of those games, he failed to go over 40 yards combined. Whether it is Olsen's nagging injuries, or Father Time, or both, Olsen is not a reliable starter right now. Olsen's Week 8 opponent, Baltimore, has allowed just one touchdown to a tight end this year. Stay away. Far away.