Saturday, October 27, 2018

Week 8 Fantasy Football: Quarterbacks Start'em, Sit'em

Ultimately, the decision of which player to start is largely determined by the composition of your roster (as well as your league's settings).

As an example, Jameis Winston is listed below as a "start" for Week 8. And I'd feel comfortable going into Week 8 with him as my starting quarterback.

That said, he may be a sit for your team.

In other words, if you owned both Aaron Rodgers and Winston, you should start Rodgers -- and in turn, bench Winston.

So while you won't find absolute start-sit recommendations below (use my Week 8 Fantasy Football Rankings for that instead), the goal here is to highlight some players that I like (and would feel comfortable starting) as well as some players that I dislike for this week (and would prefer to keep on my bench).

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Week 8 Fantasy Football QB Start'em

QB - Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (at CIN)

Before the team's Week 5 bye, Ryan Fitzpatrick was benched for Jameis Winston. If you exclude that game, the Bucs starting quarterback has finished as a top-10 weekly fantasy quarterback in all five games where the starter finished it. In addition, both Fitzpatrick and Winston have individually finished as the weekly QB1 this season.

With two 2018 starts under his belt, Winston has thrown for 365-plus yards each week to go along with 86 combined rushing yards as well. Of course, Fitzpatrick had a historic start to his season with three consecutive 400-yard passing games.

Facing the Bengals on the road, the Bucs are 4.5-point underdogs in a game with the second-highest game total (54.0) of the week. Both quarterbacks in this game have top-five matchups in terms of fantasy points allowed to opposing quarterbacks so there's a good chance that Winston and the Bucs have another top-10 QB performance this week.

QB - Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals (vs. TB)

As noted above, Dalton and Winston face off in a matchup with a high total (54 points) and no team has allowed more fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season than the Bucs. The Bucs have allowed a quarterback to throw for 300-plus yards and/or multiple touchdowns in every game this season and they have allowed a top-10 weekly finish in five of six games.

Over the past three weeks, Dalton has been a disappointment -- weekly QB24, QB17 and QB25, respectively. Before that, however, he had averaged 20.5 fantasy points per game in his first four games. To make his recent disappointing performances more disappointing, he's had plus matchups against the Steelers and Chiefs in each of the past two weeks. That said, this sets up as the perfect opportunity for Dalton to end his skid.

QB - Mitchell Trubisky, Chicago Bears (vs. NYJ)

Despite a slow start, few quarterbacks (in fantasy football) have been as productive as Trubisky over the past month. Trubisky has scored the ninth-most fantasy points amongst quarterbacks this season -- just ahead of Aaron Rodgers (10th), Tom Brady (11th) and Ben Roethlisberger (12th).

After throwing for 220 yards or less in his first three games, Trubisky has thrown for 316 yards or more in his past three games. During that three-game span, he has accounted for 12 touchdowns -- 11 passing and one rushing -- and has averaged 34.07 fantasy points per game as he has finished as the weekly QB1, QB5 and QB2, respectively. The good times should continue to roll for the second-year quarterback.

Week 8 Fantasy Football QB Sit'em

QB - Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions (vs. SEA)

Imploding with a four-interception performance in Week 1, Stafford has bounced back by throwing multiple touchdowns in each of his past five games. Even better, Stafford has compiled an 11-to-one TD-INT ratio during that five-game span.

That's the good news. More good news for the Lions (but perhaps not Stafford's fantasy outlook) is their new-found running game. Rookie Kerryon Johnson recorded his second 100-yard game of the season last week.

With the team more committed to the run, Stafford has set a season low in pass attempts in each of the past three games including just 22 attempts in their Week 7 win over the Dolphins. Stafford has now failed to exceed 30 pass attempts in any of his past three games.

In a tough matchup against a transformed Seattle secondary that has allowed the fewest fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks, it's possible that Stafford finishes outside the top-12 fantasy quarterbacks for a fifth consecutive week.

QB - Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks (at DET)

Wilson has thrown exactly three touchdowns and has finished as the weekly QB12 in each of his past two games. Moreover, Wilson has thrown multiple touchdown passes in five of six games this season.

Like Stafford, however, the volume hasn't been there lately. Wilson has thrown 26 or fewer pass attempts in four consecutive games. In the past he made up for low passing numbers with rushing production, but he has yet to rush for more than 21 yards in any game this season. The low passing-game volume and lack of rushing production means that Wilson has finished as a top-10 fantasy quarterback only once (QB9 in Week 1) this season.

If Wilson doesn't maintain his level of efficiency (six touchdowns on 44 combined pass attempts in his past two games), it's unlikely that he'll finish as a top-12 fantasy quarterback this week. Both Stafford and Wilson are ranked as high-end QB2 options for me this week.

QB - Carson Wentz, Philadelphia Eagles (at JAX)

Throwing multiple touchdowns in four consecutive games, Wentz has thrown for 300-plus yards and scored 20-plus fantasy points in three of those four games. The matchup isn't as difficult as it may have appeared at the beginning of the season, but the Jags still allow the fourth-fewest fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season. Like Stafford and Wilson, Wentz is just outside top-12 fantasy quarterbacks this week.

- More Fantasy Football Start'em, Sit'em for Week 8

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