Starts of the Week: Week 8



Congratulations, you survived Bye-pocalypse! If you’re like me, you likely suffered some casualties, but there’s plenty of time life to rebound and get heading in the right direction in Week 8. There are only two teams on bye this week and very few great waiver wire options in most leagues, so it’s time to consolidate and make the right lineup choice.

Quarterbacks


Start of the Week:

Kirk Cousins (MIN) Cousins enters a Week 8 matchup with the Cowboys as the QB10 in fantasy points per game. In his last start before the Vikings’ Week 7 bye, Cousins threw for 373 yards and three TDs in a 34-28 win in Carolina. The Cowboys lead the NFL with 11 interceptions, seven of them by CB Trevon Diggs, but Dallas is also giving up 21.2 fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks, the sixth-highest number in the league. Dallas also has a pass-funnel defense, with opponents throwing on the Cowboys 66% of the time. That could mean enhanced passing volume for a Cousins in a game the oddsmakers already see as a shootout, with an over/under of 54.5 points.


Stream of the Week:

Daniel Jones (NYG) Unlike last week, which contained a glut of streaming options, there’s very little below Cousins and the weekly starters you’re unlikely to find on waivers. Daniel Jones has some mediocre games on his resume. Still, with his receiving corps getting healthier and no running game to speak of (outside his amazing ability to run 50 yards then fall over), you’d think he’ll need to air it out early and often against a Chiefs offense looking for a bounce-back. There will be points to chase, and the only question is whether Danny Dimes rises to the occasion for his fantasy owners (and Giants fans, I guess they’re people too) or crumbles in a big pile of why-didn’t-they-wait-til-2020 Gettleman regret.



Running Backs


Start of the Week:

Damien Harris (NE) With the revolving door of Patriots backups spinning weekly, it’s all Damien Harris‘s job in New England. Even in PPR leagues, he’s a weekly starter, but this week is a particularly juicy matchup against the Chargers.


Co-start of the Week:

Michael Carter (NYJ) With three straight finishes of double-digit fantasy points, Carter is a tempting option. Mike White at quarterback makes him particularly interesting in PPR. However, his upside is very low without those receptions, as he’ll have to get by on receiving volume alone in a tough matchup in an offense that is likely to be barely functional. He’s a bit of a risky swing but one that could easily pay off if White plays the Alex Smith-style check-down game that made JD Mckissic a star last year.


Fade of the Week:

Alex Collins (SEA) The Seahawks looked an absolute mess in Week 7. While Collins got solid rushing volume, he was dismally ineffective and roundly outplayed by the returning Rashaad Penny. The Jaguars should be a juicy matchup, but it’s one I’d rather avoid. There’s upside here but way too much downside for me.



Wide Receivers


Start of the Week:

Keenan Allen (LAC) After a tough four-week stretch, Allen owners should rightly be feeling frustrated. This isn’t an Allen Robinson situation, though. The Chargers’ offense is still very potent, and Allen has been getting plenty of targets. The results just haven’t been there of late. Don’t give up on him.


Stream of the Week:

Randall Cobb (GB) I can’t say I love this one, but Aaron Rodgers has to throw it to someone with Davante Adams and Allen Lazard on the COVID list. I don’t expect Cobb to have massive volume, but he should have enough to sustain a middling fantasy finish with the hope of a touchdown.


Fade of the Week:

Corey Davis (NYJ) I refuse to start a perimeter receiver catching the ball from someone called Mike White. He’s a sit until Zach Wilson returns or Joe Flacco takes over. Either that or it turns out Mike White has stolen Patrick Mahomes‘s passing talent in some sort of Freaky Friday situation, and he’ll be a gun. OK, maybe not.



Tight Ends


Start of the Week:

Tyler Higbee (LAR) It’s hard to start a guy without a top 8 fantasy finish this season, but 13 targets in the last two weeks are far more than most options are getting. We know Higbee is more than capable of late-season blow-ups, and there’s a total dearth of viable options with Darren Waller and Mark Andrews on bye and Dawson Knox and possibly Rob Gronkowski injured. It’s ugly out there the week after National Tight End Day.


Fade of the Week:

CJ Uzomah (CIN) The Bengals tight end has had two TE1 finishes in the last four weeks, but they seem like total flukes to me. He’s averaging less than three targets a game, and the Bengals won’t put up 40 points every week with no rushing touchdowns. You just can’t rely on Uzomah’s production. There are better options available.



Week 8 Stashes

'Pick up & bench, if you have an available roster spot'


DeVante Parker & Will Fuller (WR - MIA) You can’t start either of these guys against the Bills, but the return of Tua Tagovailoa has shown this offense can be functional and sustain multiple receivers. Jaylen Waddle appears to be the clear number one, but the lack of a running game opens space for other options.


Backup Running Backs

I say this every week, and every week a new backup running back is the first waiver option. Get in there early! I’d suggest the following in this order (note: I’m not including the Top 30 guys rostered in most leagues like James Conner, Tony Pollard, Alexander Mattison, AJ Dillon, Jamaal Williams, Sony Michel, Ronald Jones, Samaje Perine.


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Players to Sell High On


Alvin Kamara (RB - NO) With Michael Thomas returning soon and the new addition of Mark Ingram, now may be the perfect time to sell high on Kamara, getting another stud RB like Dalvin Cook or Ezekiel Elliott and getting a bonus pickup as well.


Kenneth Gainwell (RB - PHI)

I’ve been suggesting Gainwell as a stash for weeks, and it looks like he could finally pay off. I’m very nervous about starting him this week, though. He has the receiving role locked up and should get some rushing volume, but he won’t be the workhorse many expect. This week he has the possibility of some touchdowns and solid touch volume but, it may be lower than anticipated. Now is the time to strike and try to sell high on the new shiny toy in Philly.