Start 'Em or Sit 'Em - Week 8 (2018)

By Stephen Kurucz, October 25, 2018
Ronald Jones Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Starts

Baker Mayfield, QB (Cleveland Browns)

Fresh off his highest fantasy point game of the season, Baker Mayfield will look to continue his hot streak against the Steelers who have shown they are vulnerable against the QB. The Steelers are giving up an average of 24.0 fantasy points to the position and never saw Mayfield the first time they played the Browns in Week 1. During a week with a lot of strong quarterbacks on byes, Mayfield should be in consideration for those who stream QB's.

Ronald Jones, RB (Tampa Bay Buccaneers)

With Peyton Barber not practicing as of Wednesday, Ronald Jones becomes a decent RB2/Flex option for this week against the Bengals. This season the Bengals D has been terrible at defending the running back position, allowing an average of 30.7 fantasy points which is the fifth-most in the league. While RoJo hasn’t shown any signs of his ceiling yet in his rookie season, the potential volume he will receive in this game cannot be ignored.

Taylor Gabriel, WR (Chicago Bears)

If I asked you who was the Bears’ leading WR in fantasy points scored, would you know it was Taylor Gabriel? Gabriel has been sneaky-good this season, and while he was locked up by the Patriots defensive scheme last week, he has a great opportunity to put up over 100 receiving yards again this week against the Jets who are allowing the 5th-most fantasy points on average to wide receivers (44.8).

C.J. Uzomah, TE (Cincinnati Bengals)

If last week wasn’t enough to pick up C.J. Uzomah, just look at the matchup this week. The Bucs have been destroyed by the position this year, allowing an average of 19.6 fantasy points to the position, the most in the entire league. This defense is one to target week in and week out, and double-digit fantasy points for Uzomah should be the bare minimum come Sunday.

Jake Elliott, K (Philadelphia Eagles)

Much like how we have been targeting QBs against the Bucs, we have been looking for our kickers who play against the Giants this season. This week Jake Elliott should be looking good to reach double-digit fantasy points as it appears the Giants defense is fairly stout in the red zone this season, allowing 12.6 fantasy points on average to opposing kickers. Start Elliott with confidence as he will look to improve on his 9 fantasy points he scored just two weeks ago against this team.

New England Patriots, DST

The New England Patriots defense is this week’s lucky winners as they get to play the Buffalo Bills who have a non-existing offense led by Derek Anderson. The Bills again expected to score the least amount of points against the Patriots with an implied live total of 15.25, and it wouldn’t be surprising if they were able to keep the Bills at or below 10. The Patriots looked good against an inexperienced Trubisky, and Derek Anderson sure is no spring chicken anymore - if the Patriots can get some serious pressure on the QB, there’s a high potential for 15+ fantasy points from this defense.


Sits
Matthew Stafford, QB (Detroit Lions)

Coming out of the Week 7 bye, Matthew Stafford’s fantasy performance this season has been up and down, only scoring more than 20 fantasy points in 2 out of 6 games. This week Stafford plays against the Seahawks who have been quietly great against the QB position, allowing only one quarterback to score above 15.0 fantasy points, and that was in Week 1! Not only does Stafford have a tough matchup this week but it could also be a case in which he’s a let down as the Lions play two consecutive divisional away games in Week 9 and 10 against the Vikings and Bears, respectively, and they may be looking past the Seahawks this week.

Kenyan Drake, RB (Miami Dolphins)

While the box score last week showed Kenyan Drake had a good fantasy game, the volume he is receiving is very concerning. Through 7 weeks, Drake is carrying the ball only 8 times a game, and if he’s not efficient with his touches like he was last week, his fantasy production has been extremely poor. While he does receive work in the passing game, this is something his opponent - the Houston Texans - have been decent at this season, averaging only 45 yards to the position this season through the air.

Jermaine Kearse, WR (New York Jets)

No player potentially burned fantasy owners last week than Jermaine Kearse who did not have a catch last week, even with Quincy Enunwa out due to injury. This week presents a similar scenario, albeit maybe against an easier defense, and Kearse cannot be trusted. Darnold had over 200 passing yards last week and not a single yard was earned from Kearse. If you want to start a wide receiver from the Jets, you’d be better off picking up and playing Robby Anderson, hoping the chemistry with the QB continues.

Kyle Rudolph, TE (Minnesota Vikings)

Kyle Rudolph is surprisingly the 10th ranked TE entering Week 8, however, has a very tough matchup against the Saints this week, who have been excellent against the tight end position this season, allowing only 1 TD this year to the position. While you may not want to bench Rudolph for a waiver wire pickup, consider the Saints are given up only 35 yards receiving to tight ends and have allowed the 5th-least amount of fantasy points to the position.

Graham Gano, K (Carolina Panthers)

Graham Gano has now had back-to-back low scoring affairs in which he totaled 4 fantasy points. Things aren’t looking up this week as the Panthers square off against the Ravens who are allowing only a mere 4.6 fantasy points to the position, second-best in the league. There are plenty of other kickers on the waiver wire to pick up including Mason Crosby who may have been dropped due to his bye week.   

Denver Broncos, DST

Last Thursday the Denver Broncos defense looked fantastic against a terrible Arizona Cardinals offense. While the Broncos do play against another young QB this week, it’s quite the opposite in terms of offensive firepower. The Chiefs have not allowed a single defense in 7 weeks to score greater than -1 fantasy points. That is insane. The thing to note here is even though the Broncos defense looks like it’s clicking, they cannot be started against an offense putting up 37.1 points per game who is at home this week.

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