Start ‘Em Sit ‘Em Week 8
After a chaotic week 7 filled with teams on bye, the NFL returns this week with a full slate of games. So as we near the halfway point in the season, here are my start and sit suggestions for week 8.
Quarterback – Start ‘Em
Jared Goff (@ LV)
It was a bad week all round for the Lions with a punishing loss to the Ravens. Goff failed to throw a touchdown for the first time this season, amassing 284 yards and an interception from his 33 completions. Goff, however, has had an impressive start to the season and should not be written off after one bad performance. He has hit just over 270 passing yards per game, sixth highest in the NFL this year. This week against an easier opponent in the Raiders, Goff has a good chance to regain his early season form.
CJ Stroud (@ CAR)
Stroud has had an extremely promising start to his NFL career, opening with a 9:1 TD:INT ratio. The rookie ranks fourth in passing yards per game in the league at just over 275 yards per game. Going forwards Stroud can be viewed as a regular starter, and possesses plenty of upside this week coming off the bye against a very beatable Panthers team.
Quarterback – Sit ‘Em
Sam Howell (vs PHI)
The former fifth-round leads the league in sacks taken by a considerable amount. Howell has already been sacked an astonishing 40 times, 12 more than the next closest quarterback. The bad news for Howell is that he now faces an Eagles team which has accumulated 24 sacks this season, joint-third most in the league. Howell has shown he possesses a strong ceiling but I worry about his floor (which he’ll end up on a lot) in this matchup.
Geno Smith (vs CLE)
Geno perhaps has not quite hit the heights we saw during the 2022 season, failing to reach the 250 passing yard mark in three of his six games so far this year. As a result, fantasy production has been somewhat muted. This week’s opponent in the Browns is a difficult matchup on paper to get back on tracks, allowing the seventh-fewest points to Quarterbacks so far this year, per FantasyData. With the Browns allowing under 150 passing yards per game this year, it may be a week to look elsewhere.
Running Backs – Start ‘Em
Dameon Pierce (@ CAR)
Pierce has been a disappointment this season, but has an excellent chance to regain his form this coming week with a perfect matchup. There were high hopes after a stellar rookie season on a poor team but so far this year Pierce’s output has been inefficient, running at just 2.9 yards per carry. This week he faces a Panthers team which has allowed just over 144 rushing yards per game, the second-highest in the league. As a result, they are allowing the second-most points to running backs, meaning Pierce may prove to be a shrewd flex-play this week.
Gus Edwards (@ ARI)
The Ravens offense exploded into life against the Lions on Sunday. After several mediocre weeks, Edwards enjoyed his best performance of the year against what had been one of the toughest matchups for running backs. The veteran rushed 14 times for 64 yards and a touchdown, with another 80-yard touchdown through the air. The Ravens face the Cardinals this coming Sunday and as heavy favourites, Edwards should enjoy another positive game script against a team allowing the fourth-most points to running backs.
Running Backs – Sit ‘Em
Tyler Allgeier (vs TEN)
Bijan Robinson’s bizarre absence from last week’s game allowed Allgeier to enjoy his best game since the opening week, rushing 21 times for 59 yards and adding a further 53 yards from three receptions. At the time of writing, it appears Robinson is likely to return this week. Playing second fiddle against a good rush defence in the Titans, it appears unlikely Allgeier will see similar returns in week 8. But honestly with this Falcons team, who on earth knows?
Miles Sanders (vs HOU)
Sanders enjoyed a good start on his new team, with good usage both on the ground and through the air. The free agent signing, however, has been inefficient – failing to reach more than 50 rushing yards since week 1. Additionally, with his injury he has since ceded work to Chuba Hubbard. Although it is a favourable matchup on paper, starting Miles Sanders is a risk – and a scenario in which it may be beneficial to wait and see how the backfield is split going forwards.
Wide Receiver – Start ‘Em
Joshua Palmer (vs CHI)
Palmer has stepped up well in Mike Williams’ absence and enjoyed his best game of the season so far with five catches for 133 yards on seven targets against the Chiefs. The third-year receiver has now seen at least five targets in each of his last five games and has participated in over 85% of snaps in each of the last three. With this usage, Palmer should be in line for another big performance at home against the Bears.
Diontae Johnson (vs JAX)
After missing four games with injury, Johnson enjoyed a good return posting five catches for 79 yards from six targets against the Rams. In his first game back Johnson saw only two fewer targets than Pickens, and will likely see his role continue to increase. This week presents an excellent opportunity against a Jaguars team, ranking just outside the top 10 in fantasy points allowed to wide receivers on average this year. Both Johnson and Pickens represent strong starts this week.
Wide Receiver – Sit ‘Em
Marquise Brown (vs BAL)
After a strong start to the year, Brown has suffered two fairly mediocre outings, failing to reach the 50 receiving yard mark in either game. Prospects of a return to gorm appear unlikely given this week’s matchup against a Ravens team which has allowed the eighth-fewest average points to wide receivers this year. Whilst Brown is seeing a solid number of targets in this offense, his upside this coming weekend is in question.
KJ Osborn (@ GB)
With Jefferson sidelined it rookie Jordan Addison has stepped up, amassing 123 yards and two touchdowns against the 49ers. In his shadow, Osborn remains an ancillary piece of the offense, holding a solid floor, but seemingly little upside. This year Osborn is yet to hit 50 receiving yards, despite a recent uptick in usage. This week the Vikings face division rivals, the Green Bay Packers. The Packers have been poor against the run but relatively solid versus the pass, allowing the seventh-fewest fantasy points to wide receivers this year.
Tight End – Start ‘Em
Kyle Pitts (@ TEN)
Attempting to make predictions around this Falcons offense may be almost impossible, but here we go. After two strong weeks we saw a slight downturn in production, although it still resulted in a fine output with the former first round pick recording three catches for 47 yards on four targets. At tight end we should always be looking for top-end upside and against a beatable Titans team, Pitts presents a good option again.
Dalton Schultz (@ CAR)
Three Houston Texans listed as starts, who would’ve thought that at the start of the season? After a relatively slow start to the season, Schultz has seen both his usage and production increase in recent games. The former Dallas Cowboy has seen 17 targets over his last two games, turning that into at least 60 yards in each. After scoring touchdowns in each of his last three games, he presents a good streaming option again this week.
Cole Kmet (@ LAC)
Kmet has provided a couple of huge fantasy performances this season, but over the past two weeks has seen his output fall off a cliff. This includes going without a single target in the Bears’ win over the Raiders, and hitting just nine yards the week prior. With consistency a clear question, it may be best looking elsewhere this week.
Luke Musgrave (vs MIN)
Rookie Luke Musgrave has had an impressive start to his NFL career, immediately becoming a key part of the Packers offense. That offense, however, has stuttered in recent weeks and skill position players have suffered as a result. In his last three games Musgrave has failed to hit 40 receiving yards. With the offenses continued struggles and with a full slate of games ahead, I may be tempted to look elsewhere for streaming candidates.