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Start or Sit? NFL fantasy football tips for Week 8

What players make the cut in this week’s start/sit list?

NFL: Kansas City Chiefs at Denver Broncos Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

We are right in the thick of the 2020 NFL fantasy season. As owners look to finagle their way into the playoffs, it’s critical to make all the right decision as one mistake can come back to haunt you. With all the bye weeks and heap of injuries, it can be tricky to find the right arrangement of players to plug into your starting lineup. To help you along the way, here are this week’s start/sit suggestions.

QUARTERBACK

Start’Em

Joe Burrow (Bengals) vs. Tennessee Titans (Week 8 position rank: 11th)

There is nothing like a quarterback who throws the ball a ton to help spruce up that weekly score. And let’s face it, the rookie Burrow has been airing it out. Can you believe he threw the ball 61 times in Week 2? He’s coming off a 400+ yard performance where he threw for four touchdowns, and now he faces a Titans defense ranked in the top 10 for most fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks this season. And when you consider this game script has the potential to be a shootout, rolling with Burrows looks all the more favorable.

Sit’Em

Josh Allen (Bills) vs. New England Patriots (Week 8 position rank: 7th)

For the first month of the season, the BillsJosh Allen was looking like a fantasy steal as he reeled off three straight games where he finished as the no. 3 QB for the week. But then, things dropped off for him as over the last three weeks he’s either: thrown for under 130 yards, had two picks, or went the entire game without throwing a touchdown - never finishing inside the top 15 for QB finishes. I mean how do you not throw a touchdown against the Jets defense? Allen owners have to be frustrated, and it could get even worse this week when he faces a Patriots defense that has allowed the fourth-fewest fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks.

RUNNING BACK

Start’Em

Le’Veon Bell (Chiefs) vs. New York Jets (Week 8 position rank: 20th)

The stars are lining up perfectly for the veteran running back in his revenge game after his bitter divorce with the Jets. Bell didn’t make much of a commotion last week as he only had six carries for 39 yards, but now he’s more acclimated to his new offense. And when you factor in a game script that should feature a lot of time of possession with the Chiefs comfortably ahead, expect a good dose of the ground game. There should be plenty to eat for both Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Bell, and with the latter looking for a little payback, the opportunity is there for a rewarding fantasy performance.

Sit’Em

De’Andre Swift (Lions) vs. Indianapolis Colts (Week 8 position rank: 17th)

Swift owners are riding hot right now as the rookie running back is coming off of three straight games with at least one touchdown. After being just an afterthought early on, he’s now starting to see enough volume to be fantasy relevant from week to week. Unfortunately, he has a tough matchup looming against the Colts who have allowed the fourth-fewest fantasy points to running backs this season. Despite some really good runners like Dalvin Cook (64 yards), Joe Mixon (54 yards), and David Montgomery (27 yards), the Colts have completely stymied opposing running backs this year.

WIDE RECEIVER

Start’Em

Brandon Aiyuk (49ers) vs. Seattle Seahawks (Week 8 position rank: 20th)

By virtue of forcing teams to keep up with their own offense combined with a vulnerable pass defense, the Seahawks have offered up a fantasy feast this season as they average over 60 points per game to the wide receiver groups this season (half-PPR scoring formats). That’s the most in the league, and it’s not even close. Four times this year, their opponents have had at least three different wide receivers score double-digit fantasy points in the same game. That’s very inviting. The 49ers don’t have a high-powered passing attack, but they do have a promising young receiver in Aiyuk who is coming off his first 100-yard game. If there’s a San Francisco receiver who should do well in this contest, it’s Aiyuk.

Sit’Em

Diontae Johnson (Steelers) vs. Baltimore Ravens (Week 8 position rank: 23rd)

After injuries have caused him to miss playing time to where he’s only had three targets over the last month, the Steelers young receiver returned in a big way last week against the Titans. Johnson finished the game with 15 targets that resulted in nine receptions for 80 yards and two touchdowns. He finished as the third-highest scoring wide receiver last week. While the Titans lay out the red carpet for opposing fantasy receivers, the Ravens do not. Starting Johnson, JuJu Smith-Schuster, or Chase Claypool all come with some risk this week.

TIGHT END

Start’Em

Richard Rodgers (Eagles) vs. Dallas Cowboys (Week 8 position rank: 10th)

The Eagles have a depleted wide receiver group and Carson Wentz loves to target his tight ends. With both of his stud guys, Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert, dealing with injuries, the tight end getting all the action has been Rodgers. He pulled off a six-catch, 85-yard performance last week against the Giants to finish as the no. 6 TE for the week. Now, he goes against Cowboys defense that has issues covering tight ends. Between communication breakdowns and personnel mismatches, the Cowboys defense has been out of sync and that could allow Rodgers to capitalize Sunday night.

Sit’Em

T.J. Hockenson (Lions) vs. Indianapolis Colts (Week 8 position rank: 7th)

The second-year tight end from Iowa is having a solid year as he’s currently the seventh-highest scoring tight end in the league, averaging 10.6 points/game. He’s been very consistent as he’s finished inside the top 20 in weekly tight end finishes every week this season. He’s currently riding a three-game streak with a touchdown. While he’s moving himself into “auto-start” territory, he just so happens to draw the toughest team in the league when it comes to fantasy points allowed to tight ends.

DEFENSE

Start’Em

Los Angeles Chargers vs. Denver Broncos (Week 8 position rank: 5th)

The Chargers have a pretty good defense, but that hasn’t translated so much to the fantasy circuit this season. They did crack the the top 10 last week against the Jaguars, and now they have as favorable of a matchup as they come against the Broncos. No team in the league allows more fantasy points to defenses than this Denver football team.

Sit’Em

Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Baltimore Ravens (Week 8 position rank: 11th)

The Steelers have been one of the best fantasy defenses this season. They’ve allowed the fewest total yards allowed, and they have the highest sack percentage in the league. This week, they’ll square off against another great defense in Baltimore. While this game could very well be a defensive battle, both teams also have top 10 scoring offenses. It’s tough to think about sitting Pittsburgh this week, but just know this one could go either way.