Fantasy Football Start 'Em or Sit 'Em: Week 8 Edition
Dan powers, USATSI

We’re half way through the fantasy football season with several intriguing matchups in week eight. We break down who starts and who sits.

The playoff picture is slowly beginning to take shape as we approach week eight. Injuries are still allowing for backups to step up and make their presence felt. Bye weeks are also helping teams heal, while leaving fantasy football owners scrambling for one week fillers. Owning your league is rarely ever easy, but our week eight picks are here to help you take a step forward.

Looking at last week’s picks, you cashed in if you started Tyrell Williams and Spencer Ware. Sitting Pittsburgh’s defense proved to be wise while Julius Thomas finally found the end zone. Let’s see what’s in store for the final games in October.

QB Start ‘Em

Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals

Coming off his third 300 yard game of the season, Dalton and the Bengals will travel across the pond to battle the Redskins in London. He’s thrown just two interceptions on the year, and none in his last four contests. Tight end Tyler Eifert has returned to action which should help boost the passing attack.

The Redskins mediocre pass defense ranks 17th in the league, allowing over 243/ypg. Whether in London, Germany, China, or elsewhere around the globe, Dalton and Bengals should find success against Washington.

QB Sit ‘Em 

Blake Bortles, Jacksonville Jaguars

The Jaguar signal caller was solid through the first month of the season, but has struggled mightily since coming off a bye, two weeks ago. He’s turned the ball over four times and accounted for only two touchdowns over his last two games. More alarmingly, he’s struggled against two defenses that aren’t exactly imposing (Chicago, Oakland).

A Thursday night showcase with the Titans will give Bortles a chance to rebuild his value. However, he’s best off on your bench until he can prove capable.

RB Start ‘Em

Jacquizz Rodgers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Doug Martin’s injury has paved the way for Rodgers to escalate his fantasy stock. He’s eclipsed the century mark in two straight weeks, and more encouragingly, has seen a steady workload. He’s recorded over 25 carries twice in Martin’s absence and could still be a factor when he returns.

Whether or not Martin plays will obviously impact Rodgers’s week eight outlook, but he should still be able to find some success against a Raiders run defense ranked 29th in league versus the run (128.3/ypg allowed).

RB Sit ‘Em

Jordan Howard, Chicago Bears

We’ve been all aboard the Jordan Howard train ever since Jeremy Langford’s injury woes, but this train is stopping in week eight. He’s combined to rush for just 56 yards over the past two weeks and seems to be splitting playing time with a now healthy Ka’Deem Carey.

A trip to Minnesota against a Vikings defense that has dominated in 2016 (81.7/ypg allowed) does not spell success for the rookie running back.

WR Start ‘Em

Devante Adams, Green Bay Packers

Okay, Adams outdid himself in week seven, hauling in 13 passes for 132 yards and two scores. While that kind of performance isn’t easily repeatable, he’s still worth starting as your FLEX or as a low end WR2 in week eight.

The Packers lost Eddie Lacy for the season and have found minimal success running the ball, leaving Aaron Rodgers and a deep group of receivers to move the ball. Expect the Packers to throw often, giving Adams ample opportunity to produce. A trip to Atlanta in week eight makes all Green Bay receivers enticing plays, as the Falcons have given up nearly 300 yards per game through the air.

WR Sit ‘Em

Cameron Meredith, Chicago Bears

Explosive outbursts in weeks five and six thrust Meredith onto the fantasy football map. However, his stock has since plummeted along with the rest of the Chicago offense. Nabbing just one pass last week against the Packers, he’ll face a more difficult challenge on the road in Minnesota.

Third string quarterback Matt Barkley doesn’t offer much intrigue for any Bears wideout other than Alshon Jeffery.

TE Start ‘Em

C.J. Fiedorowicz, Houston Texans

After registering as nearly invisible over the first three games of the season, Fiedorowicz has seen a spike in targets, catches, yards, etc. Simply put, the Texans are utilizing their tight ends much more often.

Houston will travel to Detroit next week to face a Lions defense that has allowed the third most fantasy points to tight ends, and a league high seven touchdowns.

TE Sit ‘Em

Charles Clay, Buffalo Bills

Clay has recorded five catches on four separate occasions this season, but that kind of success may not be on the week eight horizon. Facing a tough New England defense that has allowed only one touchdown to opposing tight ends, you may want to look for a better option next week.

Defense/ST Start ‘Em

Carolina Panthers D/ST

Ron Rivera’s defense was the backbone of last year’s NFC champs. Fast forward to 2016 and the story is largely different from last year. They’ve allowed at least 21 points in five of six games, and over 40 points twice. However, they’re due for a bounce back effort in week eight.

They’ll welcome in a sputtering Arizona offense that has been inconsistent for much of this season. The Panthers have fared much better at home thus far and should be fresh coming off their BYE week.

Defense/ST Sit ‘Em

Green Bay Packers D/ST

The Packers have allowed the fifth fewest yards of any team, have held opponents under 20 points three teams and have allowed 30 points just once. Although they’ve started strong, you’d be wise to play another defense next week.

The Packers will travel to Atlanta without three of their best cornerbacks to battle the league’s top passing game. The Falcons have scored 24, 30, and 48 points at home this season. This is a potential recipe for disaster; find another defense for week eight.

Central jersey born and bred. Monmouth University alumnus. Sports are not games, rather ways of life. Twitter: @Gcam92 Contact: