The Biggest Start/Sit Decisions for Week 8 (Fantasy Football)
Welcome to Week 8 of the Start/Sit series, where we’ll discuss your most commonly asked “Who should I start?” questions for the week.
The projections between any two players on your roster may appear similar, but this “simple” choice could be the difference between your team’s victory or defeat. Luckily, the Fantasy Footballers have created an amazing Start/Sit tool to easily compare any two (or more) players with insight from the Ballers themselves, and trust me — it’s a precious asset that will help you make these crucial lineup decisions that could ultimately lead you to your #FootClanTitle.
In this article, you’ll find your most popular Start/Sit questions of the week, along with the Ballers’ projections and my personal opinions on the matter. Please note that the Footballers’ rankings are constantly being updated as news breaks, so make sure you check out the tool for yourself to catch any last-second changes.
So, without further ado, let’s kick things off with the biggest Start/Sit questions for Week 8:
There’s heating up, there’s catching fire, and then there’s what D’Onta Foreman did last week against the Raiders, going absolutely ballistic for 120 all-purpose yards and three TDs and finishing as the fantasy RB1. Believe it or not, he’s had even better games last year. I get that Roschon Johnson should return and that the rookie may benefit from game script, but after that type of showcase, Foreman should still see enough touches to produce against a middling Chargers defense.
If at first you don’t succeed… pic.twitter.com/sP4rUTCWzM
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) October 23, 2023
Darrell Henderson Jr. was the “surprise” winner of the Rams’ backfield, rushing 18 times for 61 yards and a touchdown in a losing effort versus the Steelers. I’m not worried about Royce Freeman as Hendo should continue leading the RB room. I am worried about him facing a Cowboys defensive front that just held Austin Ekeler to 45 scoreless yards with 14 carries. Foreman is the unanimous favorite for all three Ballers and should be started over Henderson.
Quite frankly, Miles Sanders has been a bust given where you drafted him and his lackluster numbers despite seeing great usage. In contrast, Chuba Hubbard managed to outproduce Sanders in his lone game as the head honcho. It would make sense for the coaching staff to regroup during their bye and realize that maybe, just maybe, they should allow Hubbard to continue seeing the majority of snaps as he’s averaging much higher yards per carry (4.5) than Sanders (3.1), though that’s admittedly a weak stat to base anything on. Speaking of irrelevant stats, the Panthers are already winless this season, yet it was the game without Sanders where they suffered their most significant loss (lost by 21 points; average loss is by 10.6 points).
But as I said, that’s irrelevant, because Head Coach Frank Reich is a bit of a stubborn curmudgeon. Remember back in 2020 when he refused to give his shiny new rookie RB Jonathan Taylor the lion’s share of work in favor of veteran…Nyheim Hines? I fear history will repeat itself, making both guys unstartable unless they manage to fall into the end zone. But the Hitman doesn’t share my pessimism as he made Hubbard his RB Start of the Week, and the guys unanimously favor Hubbard over Sanders. I personally prefer the latter, but we’ll trust the crew’s instinct on this one.
These three rookies have emerged as reliable starters in our lineups, so it makes sense that all three dominated the Start/Sit questions this week. The Ballers are in agreement with Zay Flowers winning substantially over the other two, with Andy going so far as to make Flowers his WR Start of the Week thanks to his elite target share (27%), targets per route run (22.84%), safe yardage floor (six games with over 50 receiving yards), and ideal matchup (27th in points allowed AND schedule-adjusted rankings).
The knock against Flowers was that while he was seeing a lot of targets, they weren’t the most valuable ones. However, he’s averaging a higher aDOT (9.1) than Rashee Rice (6.4) or Josh Downs (8.9) AND has seen more red zone opportunities (10 vs. eight and seven) despite having the least amount of total TDs (one vs. three and two).
And therein lies the rub. While Flowers should benefit from TD positive regression, the story of Baltimore’s offense has been predicated on TD conversions via Mark Andrews (five total TDs), Justice Hill (three), Gus Edwards (two), or Lamar Jackson running it in himself (five). FYI, Nelson Agholor (two) has more TDs than Flowers. Heck, even JK Dobbins, who barely played half of a single game, currently has the same amount of TDs as Flowers. Basically, Flowers’ upside feels capped unless he starts scoring, though that appears to be in the cards in Glendale this Sunday.
Another unanimous vote by the Ballers, this time for Garrett Wilson over fellow sophomore wideout Drake London. Wilson has been the more reliable option of the two, averaging 9.2 targets, 61.5 yards, and two red zone targets per game, all of which handily beat London’s stat sheet (7.1 targets, 54.7 yards, 1.4 red zone targets). The margin inches closer if we omit London’s goose egg game in the opener, but there’s always a threat of that repeating so long as he’s being gameplanned by Arthur Smith.
Wilson is currently averaging 10.8 fantasy points per game but has not finished as a WR1 yet this season. This is bound to change, though, as he is the overall WR5 in expected points (15.9) due to his elite usage as Zach Wilson‘s target hog. But this can only happen if the latter Wilson can improve on his shoddy QB play. It may not occur this week in what projects to be a low-scoring defensive battle against the Giants, who appear to be a favorable opponent but are actually ranked 14th against opposing WRs in schedule-adjusted points above expectation allowed.
London, meanwhile, should benefit from Tennessee’s pass-funnel defense that will be sorely missing additional coverage across the field from All-Pro Safety Kevin Byard. But somehow, this game has an even lower implied total than the battle for New York, so while the matchup is great and London should have a decent floor, we shouldn’t expect much.
Finally, a Start/Sit question where the Ballers are split! C.J. Stroud is the consensus favorite over Trevor Lawrence, but I’m not quite sold. Stroud should benefit from a higher-scoring match against an easier opponent (though the Panthers may not be the layup they appear to be), and he should get his treasured rookie receiver Tank Dell back. But he also isn’t expected to have experienced WR Robert Woods on the field, which could prove difficult for the rookie QB. Sure, Woods hasn’t been much of a factor in fantasy, but his veteran presence may have more of an effect on Stroud than we think. Although to be fair, this is pure conjecture on my part.
I mean… sheeeshhh 🔥 pic.twitter.com/uriSfy8TQG
— Houston Texans (@HoustonTexans) October 18, 2023
My main argument for T-Law is that he’s not afraid to sling it to his plethora of weapons (averaging 34.1 pass attempts per game) AND his propensity to run with the ball (29.4 rushing yards per game). Even with a bum knee last week against an ironclad Saints defense, Lawrence still managed to run for a season-high 59 rushing yards. But Stroud is Andy’s QB Start of the Week for good reason, so he’s the winner of this matchup…though both guys are startable.