Fantasy Football Week 8 Start 'Em, Sit 'Em: Trust Emmanuel Sanders' Upside
Start and sit decisions each week in fantasy football is a challenging thing to balance. Which players you start versus who you leave on the bench will often come back to bite you.
In this weekly Start/Sit article, I’ll aim to guide you in making those difficult decisions. Each week of football presents a whole new list of opportunities for players you may not think about starting. The same goes for higher-profile players. It may not always be sunshine and rainbows for your “every week” starters. There will be weeks that force you to make the tough choice to bench a great player.
My goal is to provide you with enough information to help you make roster decisions that you will feel confident about and have it work out for you each week.
If you have any questions for Nate, follow him on Twitter at @DomiNateFF!
Fantasy Football Week 8 Starts
Teddy Bridgewater, Denver Broncos (vs. Washington Football Team)
It feels like this could be Teddy Bridgewater’s best game of 2021. He has been great for fantasy lately, throwing multiple touchdowns in each of the last 3 games (7 total).
Bridgewater is expected to have wide receiver Jerry Jeudy back for this game. A huge bump for Bridgewater’s fantasy value. Courtland Sutton and Tim Patrick have played well in Jeudy’s absence. However, there’s no question Teddy Bridgewater and the Denver Broncos’ offense is much better with their full assortment of pass-catching weapons.
The matchup is more than favorable as well. The Washington Football Team has given up the most fantasy points to quarterbacks and 2nd most to wide receivers. Their strength has been limiting the run. All signs are pointing to this being a big day for Bridgewater and his wideouts.
Additional Week 8 QB Starts:
- Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings (vs. Dallas Cowboys)
- Daniel Jones, New York Giants (@ Kansas City Chiefs)
Chuba Hubbard, Carolina Panthers (@ Atlanta Falcons)
Chuba Hubbard is coming off his worst performance as a starter this season. He accumulated just 28 rushing yards on 12 carries. He did add 4 catches for another 28 yards, which somewhat salvaged his day from a fantasy standpoint.
The Carolina Panthers played awful as a whole against the New York Giants. They only put up 3 points and were playing from behind all game. The coaching staff even benched quarterback Sam Darnold, so we can write this off as a bad day for the Panthers’ offense.
Chuba Hubbard has rushed for more than 50 yards in each game as a starter prior to last week. He’ll get back on track against the Atlanta Falcons. They have allowed the 8th most fantasy points to running backs this season. They give up decent rushing yards and allow running backs to do damage through the air. Luckily for Hubbard, he is involved in both facets of the game.
This will likely be Hubbard’s last opportunity as the starting running back before Christian McCaffrey return. I’m confident he will bounce back from last week’s disaster.
Additional Week 8 RB Starts:
- Khalil Herbert, Chicago Bears (vs. San Francisco 49ers)
- Kenneth Gainwell, Philadelphia Eagles (@ Detroit Lions)
Emmanuel Sanders, Buffalo Bills (vs. Miami Dolphins)
Emmanuel Sanders has been a safe every-week start for fantasy with high upside. Sanders hasn’t registered a single game with fewer than 5 targets. In fact, he has 6 or more targets in all but 1 game.
Sanders has been a valuable and efficient option for Josh Allen. Although he is 3rd on the team in targets and receptions, he leads the Bills wideouts in receiving touchdowns (4) and is just 50 receiving yards shy of team leader, Stefon Diggs who has 20 more targets.
The Miami Dolphins have given up the 3rd most fantasy points to wide receivers. They have given up 10 touchdowns to wideouts. Sanders has 2 games with 2 touchdowns this year. This game is perfectly set up for another multi-touchdown game for Emmanuel Sanders.
Additional Week 8 WR Starts:
- T.Y. Hilton, Indianapolis Colts (vs. Tennessee Titans)
- Sterling Shepard, New York Giants (@Kansas City Chiefs)
Hunter Henry, New England Patriots (@ Los Angeles Chargers)
Hunter Henry has scored a touchdown in 4 straight games. This isn’t typically a sticky stat, but Mac Jones has leaned on Henry in the red zone this year. Henry has caught 4 of his 5 red-zone targets for 4 touchdowns. He’s automatic for Jones in the red zone.
His matchup against his former team sets up a nice “revenge game” narrative, and why not? The Los Angeles Chargers have given up the 2nd most fantasy points to tight end this year. In addition, they have allowed a touchdown to the position in each of their last 4 games. Hunter Henry’s touchdown streak will end. It just won’t end in Week 8.
Additional Week 8 TE Starts:
- Tyler Conklin, Minnesota Vikings (vs. Dallas Cowboys)
- Tyler Higbee, Los Angeles Rams (@ Houston Texans)
Fantasy Football Week 8 Sits
Tua Tagovailoa, Miami Dolphins (@ Buffalo Bills)
Tua Tagovailoa has back-to-back productive games heading into Week 8. He’s thrown for 620 yards and 6 touchdowns in his last 2 games. This is a great thing for Tua managers, but it's easy for a quarterback to expose the Jaguars and Falcons defenses.
Unfortunately, Tagovailoa has the worst matchup for Week 8. The Buffalo Bills have given up the least amount of fantasy points to quarterbacks. They have held a quarterback to no touchdown passes in 3 of 6 games this season. The Bills defense have intercepted the ball a total of 10 times in the last 5 games. Tua has thrown 3 interceptions in his last 2 games.
As good as Tua has been since his return, it would not be a smart move to start him in a divisional matchup against the best defense in the league.
Additional Week 8 QB Sits:
- Taylor Heinicke, Washington Football Team (@ Denver Broncos)
- Jared Goff, Detroit Lions (vs. Philadelphia Eagles)
Melvin Gordon, Denver Broncos (vs. Washington Football Team)
As I mentioned with Teddy Bridgewater, the Washington Football Team’s defensive strength has been limiting the damage on the run game. New flash, Melvin Gordon is a running back. He also evenly splits his touches with teammate Javonte Williams. This is not the game to play a running back in a timeshare.
Washington hasn’t allowed a running back to rush more than 71 yards in a game this season. They have given up just 4 rushing touchdowns to the position. Washington has given up a decent amount of receiving yards and 6 receiving touchdowns to running backs. Unfortunately, Williams is more involved in the receiving game than Gordon.
Additional Week 8 RB Sits:
- Antonio Gibson, Washington Football Team (@ Denver Broncos)
- Myles Gaskin, Miami Dolphins (@ Buffalo Bills)
Robert Woods, Los Angeles Rams (@ Houston Texans)
After a slow start to the season, Robert Woods has 70 or more receiving yards or a touchdown in his last 4 games. He’s finally putting up fantasy points. However, his usage in the Rams’ offense has been inconsistent enough to fade him in Week 8. He has scored 2 touchdowns in his last 4 games, but in one of those games, he had just 2 catches for 31 yards.
The Houston Texans have given up the 7th fewest fantasy points to wideouts. They have allowed just two 100+ receiving yard games this season. Both DJ Moore and Stefon Diggs were able to eclipse the century mark. They are WR1s for their respective teams. The Texans have given up 5 touchdowns to wide receivers, but they allowed a pair of touchdowns in Week 1 and in Week 7.
Yes, it’s encouraging to see a pike in Woods’ production. I would just see about other options at the position with better matchups before locking him into your Week 8 lineups.
Additional Week 8 WR Sits:
- Corey Davis, New York Jets (vs. Cincinnati Bengals)
- Allen Robinson, Chicago Bears (vs. San Francisco 49ers)
Cole Kmet, Chicago Bears (vs. San Francisco 49ers)
Each week it’s difficult to choose which tight end to sit because there are so many options to choose from.
This week, it’s Cole Kmet. Similar to Robert Woods, Cole Kmet has shown decent production in the last couple of weeks (on a tight end-production scale). In his last 2 games, Kmet has 9 receptions on 11 targets for 92 yards. You may think he’s trending up. So pump the brakes for Week 8.
The San Francisco 49ers have given up the 7th fewest fantasy point to tight ends in 2021. They’ve allowed just 2 touchdowns to the position on the year. In addition, they haven’t allowed a tight end to surpass 25 receiving yards since T.J. Hockenson in Week 1. Cole Kmet is not T.J. Hockenson. Justin Fields has been struggling in his rookie season and truly looked defeated after last week’s 38-3 loss to the Buccaneers. Trust me; there are better options at tight end for you to stream this week.
Additional Week 8 TE Sits:
- Austin Hooper, Cleveland Browns (vs. Pittsburgh Steelers)
- Mo Alie-Cox, Indianapolis Colts (@ Tennessee Titans)