2020 NFL Week 8 Start 'em & Sit 'em

We are now on the homeward stretch of the fantasy season and the playoffs are just around the corner. Heading into Week 8, the need to keep the pressure on makes getting those all-important start ’em and sit ’em decisions as important as ever.


Automatic Starts: Lamar Jackson, Patrick Mahomes, Russell Wilson, Josh Allen, Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady

Week 8 start 'em eit 'em
Dec 3, 2018; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz (11) in action against the Washington Redskins during the second quarter at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Start of the Week: Carson Wentz vs. Dallas Cowboys

Carson Wentz may not have anyone to throw to on Sunday night but that won’t stop him having a big fantasy game. Wentz already has five touchdowns on the ground which is giving him a high floor, but then factor in he’s facing the 27th ranked defense against opposing QBs and it equals a recipe for fantasy success in Week 8. Wentz amassed his highest passing yardage in Week 7 against the Giants, 359 yards along with two passing TDs and a score on the ground. This was the third game in a row with at least two passing TDs, he’s a good bet to extend it to four.

Other notable starts:

Ryan Tannehill @ Cincinatti Bengals

Tannehill faced his toughest matchup in Week 7 where he struggled to get things going until the second half but still managed to toss a pair of TD passes on his way to just over 17 points. I see a big bounce back this week in a competitive match with a Bengals team that features a much softer defense that just allowed five pass TDs to Baker Mayfield.

Tom Brady @ New York Giants

Tom Brady doesn’t like the New York Giants very much and will look to put them to the sword Monday night and keep the Bucs rolling. Since his first two starts with the Buccaneers (three TDs – three interceptions), Brady has been lights out (15 TDs – one interception) and it’s shown on his fantasy output with big scores coming against Denver, Los Angeles Chargers & recently against the Raiders with five total TDs in Week 7. Chris Godwin has been ruled out but the connection with Scotty Miller will be back on show as well as the comeback to form of Gronkowski, play Brady with confidence.

Joe Burrow vs. Tennessee Titans

Tennessee’s offense has been rolling, but their defense is anything but scary. The Titans are allowing 2.5 passing TDs per game (third worst in the NFL). Burrow put up monster numbers against the Browns (406 passing yards, three TDs as well as one rushing TD) and I expect another high scoring affair when the Titans roll into town for this AFC showdown.

Sits – Kirk Cousins, Cam Newton, Tua Tagovailoa

Running Back

Automatic Starts: Ezekiel Elliott, Alvin Kamara, Derrick Henry, Kareem Hunt, Dalvin Cook, Aaron Jones, Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Chris Carson, Josh Jacobs, Joe Mixon

Start of the Week: Todd Gurley @ Carolina Panthers

In some way we are witnessing the Todd Gurley of 2018 who dominated fantasy football. He may no longer be the best RB in the league as he was back then, but he’s still got that knack of finding the end zone even when he isn’t supposed to! Whoops! This will be a competitive NFC South fixture with two high scoring offenses and mediocre defenses. Carolina have allowed the third most points to opposing RBs, making Gurley a must start.

Other notable starts:

JaMycal Hasty @ Seattle Seahawks

If you can find the starting RB on the 49ers this week you’ve found the holy grail. Maybe that’s a little exaggerated but Hasty managed 6.3 yards per carry in Week 7 and if he gets the starting nod this week you can stick him in your flex and be confident of some decent output. The Seahawks rank 13th against opposing RBs, but you can bet the 49ers are run heavy having lost Deebo Samuel once again.

Le’Veon Bell vs. New York Jets

This matchup has been pencilled in ever since Bell got his move away from Gase and the Jets. In his first start in Denver, Bell only had six rushing attempts but recorded an impressive 6.5 yards per carry as he got up to speed with the Chiefs high powered offense. The Chiefs are favoured by around 20 in this matchup, so if the Chiefs are up big early Reid will surely give Bell some golden opportunities to stick it to his old team.

Melvin Gordon vs. LA Chargers

Talking of revenge games, Melvin Gordon will be looking to make the Chargers hurt for not giving him his contract extension he wanted. Gordon’s case is helped even more by the fact Phillip Lindsay remains in concussion protocol and is in danger of missing the game. If he has the backfield to himself his workload will be huge. It is worth noting he had four more targets last week which could increase further with no Lindsay in the lineup.

Sits – Wayne Gallman, Mark Ingram, David Montgomery

Wide Receiver

Automatic Starts: Michael Thomas (if healthy), Tyreek Hill, Calvin Ridley, Julio Jones, Mike Evans, Stefon Diggs, Tyler Lockett, DK Metcalf, Adam Thielen

Week 8 start 'em eit 'em
Sep 27, 2020; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk (11) fights for yards as New York Giants free safety Julian Love (20) tackles during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Start of the Week: Brandon Aiyuk @ Seattle Seahawks

I am really excited about Aiyuk going forward and I’m kicking myself for only having a couple of shares in him. Aiyuk had his biggest game to date topping the 100 yard mark on six grabs and now with the loss of Samuel for a reported two weeks, his opportunities are on the up. He will be going up against the Seahawks who rank dead last against the pass, conceding 368.7 yards and allowed three passing TDs to Arizona in Week 7. Aiyuk is a strong WR2 play with high upside as the 49ers will need to score plenty to keep up with Russell Wilson’s offense.

Other notable starts:

Travis Fulgham vs. Dallas Cowboys

The Travis Fulgham train is not stopping any time soon. The Philly wide receiver core is still a mess reeking of uncertainty, the only constant is Fulgham. In three games in a row now Fulgham has seen over 10 targets and the great matchups keep on coming with the Dallas Cowboys terrible defense coming to town. The Eagles will look to get healthy coming off the Week 9 bye, but for now keep Fulgham rolling as he’ll keep producing.

Rashard Higgins vs. Las Vegas Raiders

2020 carries on its destructive path and Odell Beckham Jr. was the target last week, as a season ending torn ACL gives new life and big opportunities to Cleveland’s second stringers. Higgins absolutely grasped his chance last week with an impressive 110 yards off six receptions. If you picked him up off waivers this week, plug him into your flex with a high scoring matchup with the Raiders incoming. Higgins once again will get plenty of chances as the WR2 behind Landry.

Tyler Boyd vs. Tennessee Titans

Tyle Boyd came back with a bang in Week 7 against the Browns on a huge 11 receptions for 101 yards and a score. Joe Burrow ranks third in passing yards in his rookie season, which is impressive to say the least. Unfortunately for the team, he will have to continue slinging it as he enters a Week 8 matchup against the 5-1 Titans who are rolling themselves on offense. Both defenses find it hard to stop opposing teams so this could be a high scoring affair with lots of fantasy points up for offers.

Sits – Marvin Jones, Dallas WRs, Devante Parker

Tight End

Automatic Starts: Travis Kelce, George Kittle, Mark Andrews, Darren Waller

Start of the Week: Richard Rodgers vs. Dallas Cowboys

My starts of the week this week feature several backups who are ready to capitalise on opportunity and none more so than Richard Rodgers of the Eagles. After a nice fantasy outing in Week 7, good enough for the TE6, I am projecting a similar output against their NFC East rival the Cowboys, who just gave up a score to Logan Thomas. Rodgers recorded a team high 85 receiving yards on eight targets against the Giants and should have an opportunity to post another week of similar numbers before the bye and the receiving options are back healthy.

Other notable starts:

Rob Gronkowski @ New York Giants

Gronkowski is REALLY back. Eight targets in each of the past two weeks has seen him finish the week as the TE6 & TE2 and you can keep playing him this week against the Giants. Tampa is down one of their main receivers in Chris Godwin so there’s extra targets to go round. Gronkowski and Brady look to be back on the same page as they were through most of the last decade. Gronkowski is a top TE option again and a matchup nightmare for the Giants.

Jonnu Smith @ Cincinnati Bengals

If you started Jonnu Smith the last two weeks you’re wondering what happened. Five TDs in his first four games followed by two duds against the Texans & Steelers has got fantasy managers questioning Smith’s selection going forward. This will be his bounce back week, as he seems to be back healthy after battling an ankle injury which must have limited him. Now getting back to full health a nice soft matchup with the Bengals who just gave up three passing TDs to Cleveland Browns TEs.

Harrison Bryant vs. Las Vegas Raiders

Speaking of Browns TEs, Harrison Bryant had himself a fantasy day. The TE1 on the week with 2TD grabs, Bryant gets his opportunity again with Beckham & Hooper both out. This matchup is again a fantasy players dream where we have two high powered offensive units and two mediocre defenses. The Raiders just let Gronkowski & Kelce score on them in consecutive weeks.

Sits – Dalton Schultz, Gerald Everett, Mike Gesicki

Alastair Cook

Fantasy Football Analyst