Fantasy Football Start/Sit Week 8: Start Wan’Dale Robinson, D’Onta Foreman; Sit Aaron Rodgers, Drake London
Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images. Pictured: Aaron Rodgers.
A number of shocking things have happened over the first seven weeks of the NFL season, and setting fantasy lineups might be a serious chore with the sheer number of injuries and befuddling situations.
Whether you’re 7-0 and cruising toward the playoffs or 0-7 and playing to avoid a last-place punishment, stay diligent on the waiver wire, send trade offers and make savvy start/sit decisions. There’s way too much football left to get complacent or give up.
A gentle reminder that the Chiefs and Chargers are on bye this week, meaning you will need to take Patrick Mahomes, Justin Herbert, Travis Kelce, Gerald Everett, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Mike Williams, Keenan Allen and Austin Ekeler out of your lineups.
Below are some players at each position you should start in Week 8, as well as some players you should consider sitting based on matchups, injuries and trends.
Week 8 Start ‘Em
Quarterbacks to Start
Daniel Jones, Giants (at Seahawks)
Jones had his best game of the season as the G-Men picked up their sixth win of the year. He completed 19-of-30 attempts for 202 yards and a touchdown and tacked on 11 rushes for 107 yards and a touchdown.
Jones was the QB3 for Week 7 and is the QB9 on a per-game basis this year. He is averaging just shy of 50 rushing yards per game, which gives him a high floor for fantasy purposes.
I am mildly concerned about the loss of right tackle Evan Neal, who suffered a MCL sprain. The injury is not believed to be season-ending, though any attrition on the offensive line could be detrimental to Jones’ fantasy value, as the Giants’ OL has been a perpetual pain point.
The matchup makes up for Neal’s absence for fantasy purposes. He should be a high-end streaming option against a below-average Seattle defense, which has allowed the 11th most fantasy points to quarterbacks this year.
Andy Dalton, Saints (vs. Raiders)
Dalton has once again been named the Saints’ starter on the heels of a fantastic fantasy performance on Thursday Night Football. He capitalized on a soft matchup against the Cardinals and completed 30-of-47 attempts for 361 yards, four touchdowns and three interceptions. Dalton also tacked on four rushes for 21 yards and was the QB2 for Week 7 behind only Joe Burrow.
While that game was more of an anomaly than a pattern for the Red Rifle, who has been the Saints’ starter since Jameis Winston went down with a back injury in Week 3, there’s a good chance he could replicate that success against the Raiders.
Las Vegas ranks 30th in pass DVOA and has allowed the most fantasy points to quarterbacks this year. The unit was just carved up by the Texans‘ Davis Mills and has yet to allow fewer than 20 fantasy points to an opposing quarterback through six games.
Wide Receivers to Start
D.J. Moore, Panthers (at Falcons)
It only took one game, but I am officially back on the D.J. Moore hype train.
Moore was impressive in what should have been a difficult Week 7 matchup against the Buccaneers. He hauled in 7-of-10 targets for 69 yards and a touchdown and finished as the WR8 in half PPR.
Moore was clearly P.J. Walker’s favorite target, as no other Panther saw more than three targets. With Christian McCaffrey out of the picture, I expect his targets to remain high as the team’s No. 1 offensive weapon.
Carolina gets a much easier matchup this week against the Falcons, who have allowed the most fantasy points to the position this year and rank last in pass DVOA and overall defensive DVOA. Start Moore with confidence as a WR2 in Week 8.
Tyler Boyd, Bengals (at Browns)
Boyd is coming off his best game of the season. He caught 8-of-9 targets for 155 yards and a touchdown in Week 7 against the Falcons and was the WR3 in half-PPR scoring.
This was Boyd’s second 100-receiving-yard performance and third game finding the end zone this year. He should get a significant boost in the wake of the news that star wideout Ja’Marr Chase is expected to miss at least 4-6 weeks with a hip injury.
Boyd will likely serve as the Bengals’ WR2 behind Tee Higgins moving forward. This week, Cincinnati gets a mouthwatering matchup against the Browns, whose defense ranks 28th in both pass DVOA and overall defensive DVOA. Boyd should fall into the low-end WR2 territory based on opportunity and matchup.
Wan’Dale Robinson, Giants (at Seahawks)
Your window to buy low on Robinson has closed.
Frankly, I was skeptical of Robinson heading into the season as I thought his selection in the 2022 NFL Draft was peculiar in light of the Giants’ depth chart. Now, I am all-in on the second rounder from Kentucky, who appears to be the only pass-catcher (save Saquon Barkley) who is healthy for the G-Men.
Sterling Shepard is out for the season, Kenny Golladay has been sidelined for weeks with a knee injury, Daniel Bellinger is out with an eye injury suffered in Week 7 and Kadarius Toney was traded to the Chiefs on Thursday.
The trade solidifies Robinson’s role in the offense, which was already trending up. He had yet another nice day for fantasy in the Giants’ win over the Jaguars in Week 7, catching 6-of-8 targets for 50 yards.
Robinson is now the incumbent top target for the Giants, who take on the Seahawks‘ exploitable defense next. He should be a volume-based WR3/flex play with upside.
Adam Thielen, Vikings (vs. Cardinals)
Thielen posted a strong fantasy performance against the Dolphins before the Vikings’ Week 7 bye. He hauled in 4-of-8 targets for 36 yards and a touchdown — his second of the year — and finished as the WR18 in half PPR.
Thielen and company will be well rested to take on the Cardinals, who were lit up for 34 points on Thursday Night Football in Week 7. Arizona’s defense ranks 27th in pass DVOA and has allowed the eighth most receiving yards this year.
Running Backs to Start
Raheem Mostert, Dolphins (at Lions)
Mostert had yet another productive game during the Dolphins’ win over the Steelers. He rushed 16 times for 79 yards and caught four passes for 30 yards and a touchdown, finishing as the RB7. The ghost of Chase Edmonds was much less effective — he saw seven carries for 17 yards and finished as the RB56.
This is Mostert’s backfield and Edmonds seems to merely exist in it. From Week 4 onwards, Mostert is out-snapping Edmonds 184 to 77 and is the RB14 in half PPR.
I expect him to stack up nicely against the Lions, whose defense ranks 29th in rush DVOA, 31st in overall defensive DVOA and has allowed the second most fantasy points to running backs this year. Start Mostert as a high-end RB2 with RB1 upside in this plush Week 8 matchup.
D’Onta Foreman, Panthers (at Falcons)
I was locked-and-loaded to write off the Panthers following the trade that sent Christian McCaffrey to San Francisco — especially in what should have been a brutal Week 7 matchup against the Buccaneers. Carolina entered the game as 13.5-point underdogs and were not expected to put up much of a fight amid what was starting to feel like a fire sale.
The committee of Foreman and Chuba Hubbard was surprisingly effective, however. Hubbard was officially named the starter hours before the game, though it was Foreman who ended up with the better fantasy day.
Fore had 15 carries for 118 yards and caught two passes for 27 yards, finishing as the RB13 in half PPR. Hubbard also has a nice game and saw nine carries for 63 yards and a touchdown and caught two passes for 10 yards, finishing as the RB16.
I have always thought Foreman, who stepped in for an injured Derrick Henry last season and was the RB8 after the Titans‘ Week 13 bye, would be “the guy” if McCaffrey were injured or traded. This could be a committee long term, though Hubbard was banged up last week with an ankle injury and ruled out on Friday.
Facing an Atlanta defense that is last in defensive DVOA, Foreman is obviously a must-start.
Michael Carter, Jets (vs. Patriots)
Carter has taken us on a bit of an emotional rollercoaster this season. For a brief moment, it appeared that he would at least be in a time share with second-round rookie Breece Hall. He was quickly outshined by Hall, but the rookie unfortunately suffered a torn ACL in Week 7.
It then appeared Carter would take over backfield, but the Jets had other ideas. The team acquired James Robinson from Jacksonville on Monday shortly after it was announced that Hall’s injury was season ending.
Long term, I expect Robinson to taken on the early down work as the more traditional running back while Carter gets most of the passing-down work. In the near term, however, I expect Carter to be the lead back while Robinson becomes acquainted with Gang Green’s playbook.
As such, Carter should be viewed as the starter this week against the Patriots, who rank 28th in rush DVOA and just let the Bears run all over them on Monday night. Carter should be considered a low-end RB2.
Devin Singletary, Bills (vs. Packers)
Singletary has taken control over the Bills’ backfield (for now). He had a strong Week 6 against the Chiefs, when he 17 carries for 85 yards and caught four passes for 22 yards.
He has participated in 288 offensive snaps for the Bills; the next closest running back is Zack Moss with 73, followed by Reggie Gilliam with 49 and James Cook with 54.
Singletary’s upside remains capped given quarterback Josh Allen’s prominent role on the ground — especially at the goal line. He should still offer RB2 value this week against the Packers, whose defense ranks second-to-last in rush DVOA and has allowed the ninth most fantasy points to running backs this year.
Tight Ends to Start
Hayden Hurst, Bengals (at Browns)
Higgins and Boyd won’t be the only beneficiaries of Ja’Marr Chase’s absence.
Hurst tied his season high of eight targets in last week’s game against the Falcons. He caught six passes for 48 yards and finished as a TE13 in half-PPR scoring. It was his fourth game this year with at least seven targets and fourth game finishing as the TE14 or higher.
Hurst should be in line for an uptick in targets in the coming 4-6 weeks as the No. 3 option in this pass-heavy offense, which ranks eighth in pass play percentage this year.
The matchup is also attractive, as the Browns rank 28th in pass DVOA. Hurst is a top-10 play this week and excellent streaming option for Kelce or Everett managers.
Taysom Hill, Saints (vs. Raiders)
Let’s get one thing straight. Taysom Hill is not a tight end.
On one hand, the gadget player, who has been a headache for fantasy (or a savior, depending on your perspective), has been targeted twice all season for a grand total of five receiving yards. On the other hand, Hill has 276 rushing yards and seven total touchdowns in six games.
Hill’s usage is erratic, but the list of “tight ends” I would consider as higher-upside plays in any given week is as follows: Travis Kelce. That’s the list.
Hill certainly has bust potential. He rushed three times for 14 yards in Week 2 for 1.4 fantasy points. His usage is more consistent with Dalton under center, so it’s a good thing the Red Rifle was named the Saints’ Week 8 starter. I expect Hill to thrive against the Raiders, whose defense ranks 27th in defensive DVOA and has allowed the sixth most offensive points this year.
Defense to Start
49ers D/ST (at Rams)
The 49ers have the DST4 in fantasy, though the unit has been very up-and-down all year. They have scored two fantasy points combined in the last two weeks against the Chiefs and Falcons.
Despite the rough stretch, I recommend starting them against the Rams, who they faced back in Week 4 and held to nine points. This was San Francisco’s best outing for fantasy, logging seven sacks, one interception, one fumble recovery and a touchdown.
The Rams’ offensive line has been abysmal and ranks second-to-last with 3.7 sacks allowed per game. I expect them to torment Matthew Stafford once again and finish as a top-five defense.
Week 8 Sit ‘Em
Quarterbacks to Sit
Aaron Rodgers, Packers (at Bills)
It only took Rodgers seven weeks to finish as a top-12 quarterback. He was mediocre against the Commanders‘ soft pass defense and completed 23-of-35 attempts for 194 yards, two touchdowns and zero interceptions.
Rodgers is the QB26 on a per-game basis this year and has looked lost without Davante Adams. I worry that he could struggle against a well-rested Buffalo unit, which ranks fourth in pass DVOA and first overall in defensive DVOA. Rodgers belongs on your bench until Week 9 in Detroit.
Justin Fields, Bears (at Cowboys)
I have been a Fields apologist for longer than I would like to admit, so naturally, his recent success has me feeling vindicated. The former Buckeye is the fantasy QB5 on a per-game basis since Week 5 behind only Josh Allen, Joe Burrow, Patrick Mahomes and Jalen Hurts.
Against New England on Monday Night Football, Fields completed 13-of-21 attempts for 179 yards, one touchdown and one interception; he rushed 14 times for 82 yards and a touchdown.
I like his rest-of-season value, especially from Weeks 9 through 11, against the Dolphins, Lions and Falcons. I am avoiding him in Week 8, however, with the Dallas defense on deck.
The Cowboys rank No. 1 in pass DVOA, No. 2 in overall defensive DVOA and have allowed the fourth fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks. Fields is a sit for me in a difficult matchup.
Wide Receivers to Sit
Drake London, Falcons (vs. Panthers)
London is in a similar boat as Garrett Wilson: A rookie whose fantasy value is being destroyed by subpar quarterback play. London started the season off strong and was the WR12 in half PPR. But from Weeks 4 to 7, he was the WR81, held to just one catch for nine yards against the Bengals.
I want to believe London (and Kyle Pitts) can overcome this situation, but the outlook is admittedly bleak. There are insufficient opportunities opposite a QB who completed eight passes last week and ranks 28th in completion percentage.
I doubt I’m the only one who would like to see rookie Desmond Ridder take some snaps under center instead of Marcus Mariota. Until then, however, London is bench fodder and droppable in shallow leagues.
Alec Pierce, Colts (vs. Commanders)
Pierce wowed in Week 6, finishing top 32 or higher at the wide receiver position for fantasy. I recommended picking him and Parris Campbell on this pass-happy Colts team led by Matt Ryan, who currently leads the NFL in completions.
Ryan is dealing with a separated shoulder and has been ostensibly benched for the remainder of the season for 2021 sixth-round pick, Sam Ehlinger. The former Longhorn has yet to attempt a NFL pass, so there isn’t much to go on.
I expect the change to Ehlinger will most benefit the run game and will come at the expense of the pass-catchers. Even in this soft matchup, I see little upside for Pierce in Ehlinger’s debut.
Diontae Johnson, Steelers (at Eagles)
The good news is that Johnson is averaging 9.6 targets per game and has a 91% snap participation, out-snapping all other Pittsburgh receivers.
The bad news is Johnson’s opportunities have not resulted in fantasy production. He is the WR49 in half PPR through seven weeks and has yet to find the end zone. His targets give him some floor, but not enough to want to start him week-to-week.
Johnson has a brutal Week 8 matchup against the Eagles, whose defense ranks No. 2 in pass DVOA and No. 4 in overall defensive DVOA. He is a low-end WR3/flex with minimal upside.
Jerry Jeudy, Broncos (at Jaguars)
Jeudy is coming off his second-best fantasy performance of the year. He was peppered with targets — while Defensive Rookie of the Year-frontrunner Sauce Gardner shadowed Courtland Sutton — and tallied seven receptions for 96 yards. Sutton caught 3-of-9 targets for 23 yards.
I expect Sutton to be the primary target once again this week, though admittedly, neither are attractive starts in London against the Jaguars’ middle-of-the-road pass defense. It looks like Russell Wilson will get the start after a one-week hiatus due to a hamstring injury, though I’m not sure how much of an upgrade Wilson realistically is at this point. Jeudy is a risky WR3/flex this week.
Running Backs to Sit
Kareem Hunt, Browns (vs. Bengals)
Hunt has been splitting snaps fairly evenly with Nick Chubb 54% to 48%, though their fantasy stat lines tell a wildly different story.
Chubb has 126 attempts for 740 yards and eight touchdowns and has caught 9-of-14 targets for 67 yards. He is the RB3 in half PPR through seven weeks on a per-game basis behind only Austin Ekeler and Josh Jacobs.
Hunt has 66 attempts for 263 yards and three touchdowns and has caught 15-of-19 targets for 87 yards and a touchdown. He is the RB33 on a per-game basis.
Hunt’s value has always come from his usage in the passing game, which has dwindled this season. The matchup isn’t great against the Bengals, whose defense ranks top 10 in rush DVOA, top seven in pass DVOA and has allowed the fifth fewest fantasy points to running backs this year.
Barring a trade or injury to Chubb, he is a low-upside RB3 play with the hopes that he falls into the end zone on a goal-line play.
James Robinson, Jets (vs. Patriots)
I, for one, am actually excited about this trade for Robinson. After starting the season strong, he was clearly being phased out of the Jaguars’ run game in favor of Travis Etienne Jr. He saw zero touches in Week 7 against the Broncos and was dealt to the Jets in the wake of the news that rookie running back Breece Hall would unfortunately miss the remainder of the 2022 season with a torn ACL.
Long term, I expect Robinson to assume a major role in early-downs work while Michael Carter takes over the passing-downs work. In the near term, however, I would probably sit him until Week 12. In that span, he faces the Patriots twice, Bills and has a bye week thrown in. The Patriots rank bottom five in rush DVOA, but have somehow allowed the seventh-fewest fantasy points to running backs this year. Robinson would be a low-upside play this week with no guarantee of volume having just been traded.
Damien Harris, Patriots (at Jets)
Harris was the RB15 in half-PPR scoring through the first four weeks of the season. He was injured in Week 5, missed Week 6 and was a complete flop in Week 7 against the Bears. He saw a season-low three carries for eight yards and caught one pass for two yards, finishing as the RB58.
Meanwhile, Rhamondre Stevenson has stepped up since Harris’ injury and is the RB4 from Week 4 onwards. He has also out-snapped Harris in every game this year but one.
It’s unclear if Harris’ reduced role on Monday night was the plan all along given he was returning from injury. Regardless, I cannot trust him this week against the Jets, whose above-average run defense has quelled the Broncos’ and Packers’ backfields in back-to-back weeks.
AJ Dillon, Packers (at Bills)
Dillon was a popular “zero RB” target during drafts over the summer with hopes that he could step up in the passing game with Davante Adams traded to the Raiders.
Unfortunately, that has not been the case through seven games, as he has just 13 catches for 80 yards. He is on track to underperform his 2021 season, when he caught 34 passes for 313 yards and two touchdowns. and is currently the RB37 in half-PPR.
Dillon’s usage is concerning: He participated in a season-low 30% of snaps in Week 7 while Aaron Jones participated in a season-high 74%. Dillon, currently the RB37 in half PPR, also posted season lows in touches and yards and had no involvement in the Packers’ passing attack.
He doesn’t belong anywhere near your lineup against the Bills, whose top-notch defense ranks first in both in rush DVOA and overall DVOA, and has allowed the fourth fewest fantasy points to running backs this year.
Tight Ends to Sit
Dalton Schultz, Cowboys (vs. Bears)
Schultz was drafted as a top-six tight end according to FantasyPros’ ADP. He has been disappointing to say the least with just one good game (Week 1) all year.
Since then, he has missed multiple games with a knee injury and has been ineffective when he does play. Last week against the Lions defense was his best game since Week 1. He caught all five of his targets for 49 yards and finished as the TE16 in half PPR.
Detroit’s defense is awful, so in context, that stat line is even more lackluster. He falls outside of my top 12 against the Bears, whose defense ranks No. 12 in pass DVOA and has allowed the fifth fewest fantasy points to tight ends this year.
Hunter Henry, Patriots (at Jets)
Henry crept back onto the fantasy radar after Week 6 against the Browns. He caught 4-of-7 targets for 61 yards and a touchdown — his first of the year — and finished as the TE4 in half PPR.
Unfortunately, Henry turned back into a pumpkin in Week 7 and logged one catch for 12 yards. He remains touchdown-dependent and a high-risk play against the Jets, whose defense ranks top 10 in pass DVOA. New York has allowed a top-12 fantasy finish by a tight end just twice all year. Leave Henry on your bench.
Defense to Sit
Packers D/ST (at Bills)
The Packers’ defense had a nice Week 7 against Washington and finished as the DST9. I do not expect a repeat against the Bills, who rank No. 1 in offensive yards per game and No. 2 in points per game. A good rule of thumb is to sit any defense facing Josh Allen.