The Biggest Start/Sit Decisions for Week 8 (Fantasy Football)

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“Mike has been kind of on fire on his Sunday Live. The more scared he gets, the better predictions he makes.”
Andy Holloway, on Mike’s fear-driven judgment calls

Aloha, Footclan! Welcome to Week 8 of the Start/Sit series, where we’ll identify and 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 an extremely valuable asset that will help you make these crucial lineup decisions that could ultimately lead you to your #FootClanTitle. 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 most popular Start/Sit questions for Week 8:

Featured Matchup

QB:
Geno Smith (SEA) or Daniel Jones (NYG)?

Geno Smith

  • SEA
  • QB
  • vs NYG
  • Sun, 10/30
  • 4:25pm EST

Daniel Jones

  • NYG
  • QB
  • @ SEA
  • Sun, 10/30
  • 4:25pm EST
EXPERT PROJECTIONS
Proj. Points 18.1 19.9
Andy Rank QB #10 QB #7
Mike Rank QB #17 QB #11
Jason Rank QB #11 QB #10
MATCHUP DETAILS
Opp. Rank 15 22
Home/Away Home Away
Over/Under 44.5 44.5
Line -3 +3

After seven weeks of football, both Geno Smith and Daniel Jones are currently top 10 QBs in total fantasy points. In fact, Smith (QB7) leads by less than six points over Jones (QB9) with phenom Justin Herbert sandwiched in between. Smith’s gaudy fantasy numbers cooled off recently, while Jones looks like he’s in the midst of a breakout year.

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Geno had his best weeks whenever he leaned on DK Metcalf. Smith averaged 24.9 fantasy points whenever Metcalf saw eight or more targets and just 12.3 points otherwise. He most likely won’t have Metcalf around for the next few weeks, and while Marquise Goodwin was commendable in his stead and Tyler Lockett remains a trusty weapon, it’ll be tough for Smith to produce without Metcalf AND against an underrated defense.

Jones, meanwhile, has every fantasy analyst and gambling enthusiast salivating this week as he faces a Swiss-cheese Seahawks’ defense that’s given up an average of 19 fantasy points to opposing QBs. Their lone blemish was from the Saints, as game manager Andy Dalton stood in the shadows while Taysom Hill ran wild for 112 yards and three TDs on the ground. With Jones utilizing his legs (QB2 in rushing yards) — not to mention the wisdom of head coach Brain Daboll, the resurrection of Saquon Barkley (averaging nearly 130 all-purpose yards per game), and the rise of rookie Wan’Dale Robinson — he has all the makings of another QB1 explosion.

But remember, this is still Daniel Jones, and “Danny Dimes” can quickly degrade into “Danny Dogecoin” without a moment’s notice. And despite the plus matchup, Seattle only allowed two top-12 finishes this season, which could limit his upside.

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The Verdict
Daniel Jones, but it could get ugly.

TE:
Irv Smith Jr. (MIN) or Greg Dulcich (DEN)?

Irv Smith Jr.

  • MIN
  • TE
  • vs ARI
  • Sun, 10/30
  • 1:00pm EST

Greg Dulcich

  • DEN
  • TE
  • @ JAX
  • Sun, 10/30
  • 9:30am EST
EXPERT PROJECTIONS
Proj. Points 8.6 7.3
Andy Rank TE #13 TE #16
Mike Rank TE #12 TE #17
Jason Rank TE #7 TE #18
MATCHUP DETAILS
Opp. Rank 31 9
Home/Away Home Away
Over/Under 49 39.5
Line -3.5 +2.5

Man, Irv Smith Jr. had so much potential to be the next big TE star after overcoming a severe knee injury that voided his entire 2021 season, but a crowded receiving room, WR-heavy offensive scheme, and low target share (13%) have prevented any chance of a breakout, leaving him to languish as fantasy’s overall TE20 in total points (35.0). But hey, he’s still doing better than Kyle Pitts at least.

Smith only has one game where he notched over 10 fantasy points, and that was because he scored a TD and saw eight targets which are the second most he’s ever seen in his NFL career. And yet, he is still considered a TE1 option and a recommended FanDuel and DraftKings DFS play. Why? Because the Cardinals are the second BEST matchup for opposing TEs. They just gave up two TDs to the Saints’ Juwan Johnson in what turned out to be his best fantasy game ever. If Smith sees enough usage (which is no guarantee), then he should flirt with top-10 numbers.

Greg Dulcich and his fantastic hair have most certainly been a sight for sore eyes. He’s finished as a fantasy TE1 in his first two NFL games, scoring a TD in Week 6 and then seeing nine targets in Week 7. Believe it or not, he already has more targets (13) in two games than the team’s original starter, Albert Okwuegbunam, does in five (12).

Although the sample size is way too small to make any substantial rulings, Dulcich was only heavily utilized when Brett Rypien was the starter. We don’t know if Russell Wilson will also indulge in the Dulcich experience. We do know that he has a tough matchup across the pond in what Vegas projects to be a low-scoring defensive slugfest.

The Verdict
Irv Smith Jr.

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RB:
Travis Etienne Jr. (JAX) or Devin Singletary (BUF)?

Travis Etienne Jr.

  • JAX
  • RB
  • vs DEN
  • Sun, 10/30
  • 9:30am EST

Devin Singletary

  • BUF
  • RB
  • vs GB
  • Sun, 10/30
  • 8:20pm EST
EXPERT PROJECTIONS
Proj. Points 13.7 13.1
Andy Rank RB #13 RB #22
Mike Rank RB #16 RB #15
Jason Rank RB #12 RB #18
MATCHUP DETAILS
Opp. Rank 11 26
Home/Away Home Home
Over/Under 39.5 47.5
Line -2.5 -11

The Ballers unanimously prefer Travis Etienne Jr. over Devin Singletary, and I completely agree. It’s finally ETN SZN with James Robinson‘s departure providing the talented RB with an increased workload as the clear leader of the backfield. His stats have all gone steadily upwards and now he’s ready for liftoff. The matchup against Denver appears tough on paper, but they haven’t been a cause for concern since Week 4. Even if they were a threat, Etienne would still be the winner over Singletary.

Why? Because Singletary probably won’t get enough volume. How do I know? Because he has predictable usage that’s extremely dependent on the game script.

Here’s how he does in competitive games:

Week Opp Score Snap% Rush Att Targets Fantasy Points
3 @ MIA L, 19-21 73% 9 11 19.6
4 @ BAL W, 23-20 88% 11 5 9.6
6 @ KC W, 24-20 86% 17 5 12.7

And here are his numbers in blowouts:

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Week Opp Score Snap% Rush Att Targets Fantasy Points
1 @ LAR W, 31-10 59% 8 2 7.2
2 vs TEN W, 41-7 54% 6 4 3.1
5 vs PIT W, 38-3 54% 6 2 5.1

We can’t promise that this will be another lopsided victory, and he is Mike’s TE Start of the Week, but against a tired Aaron Rodgers who already has no one reliable to throw to and will probably also lose his number one receiver? Against the freaking Bills? Buffalo is the largest favorite this week for a reason.

The Verdict
Travis Etienne Jr.

Brian Robinson (WAS) or D’Onta Foreman (CAR)?

Brian Robinson

  • WAS
  • RB
  • @ IND
  • Sun, 10/30
  • 4:25pm EST

D’Onta Foreman

  • CAR
  • RB
  • @ ATL
  • Sun, 10/30
  • 1:00pm EST
EXPERT PROJECTIONS
Proj. Points 10.9 10.3
Andy Rank RB #29 RB #30
Mike Rank RB #29 RB #31
Jason Rank RB #26 RB #31
MATCHUP DETAILS
Opp. Rank 20 9
Home/Away Away Away
Over/Under 39.5 41
Line +3 +4

As I mentioned last week, Brian Robinson continues to see great volume as the Commanders’ lead back, albeit with minimal pass-catching work. He definitely needs a hefty workload as he’s proving to be TD-dependent. In a surprise victory over the Packers, he had 20 carries and two targets, the most work he’s received in his short NFL career…but he couldn’t find the endzone despite five red zone attempts, and therefore finished as the week’s RB27 with only 9.6 fantasy points. Robinson gets another plus matchup against the Colts who are sorely missing stud LB Shaquille Leonard, though he’s expected to return, and could cause trouble for those who are forced to start Robinson.

D’Onta Foreman joins a short list of players who have successfully recovered from a debilitating Achilles tear, although it admittedly took him five years to get to this point. He and Chuba Hubbard served admirably in Christian McCaffrey‘s humongous shoes with a near-even split (54% snaps vs Hubbard’s 46%), with Foreman seeing more carries (15 vs nine), rushing yards (118 vs 63), and receiving yards (27 vs 10). Hubbard did see one more target and was able to score, but Foreman appeared to be the better runner and might be the only one active as Hubbard is dealing with a sprained ankle. The matchup isn’t ideal, but neither was the Buccanneers last week, so Foreman is a strong start if Hubbard is ruled out.

The Verdict
D’Onta Foreman if Chuba Hubbard is inactive, otherwise I’d roll with Brian Robinson.

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WR:
Gabe Davis (BUF) or Chris Olave (NO)?

Gabe Davis

  • BUF
  • WR
  • vs GB
  • Sun, 10/30
  • 8:20pm EST

Chris Olave

  • NO
  • WR
  • vs LV
  • Sun, 10/30
  • 1:00pm EST
EXPERT PROJECTIONS
Proj. Points 12.7 12.9
Andy Rank WR #17 WR #15
Mike Rank WR #15 WR #14
Jason Rank WR #17 WR #12
MATCHUP DETAILS
Opp. Rank 7 24
Home/Away Home Home
Over/Under 47.5 49.5
Line -11 +1

What a great problem to have. This one essentially boils down to boom-bust or high floor.

Gabriel Davis has week-winning upside, as evidenced by his 171 yards and two TDs from just three receptions in Week 5 which made him the clear WR1. The matchup isn’t great, but he only needs a few opportunities to make a splash play and take it to the house. Then again, he was unable to score in Weeks 3 and 4 and still saw a criminally low target share (11% and 9%), resulting in finishes as the WR66 and WR88 for those weeks. His peaks are stratospheric while his valleys are equally catastrophic. To be fair, he was nursing an ankle injury during those weeks that may have limited his gameplay, so there’s a chance he’s finally fully healthy, though his workload remains abysmal.

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On the other hand, rookie Chris Olave has been consistently sensational thanks to mouth-watering usage as the team’s top receiver (averaged 27% target share). He’s flashed brilliance whenever the ball comes his way, yet he still has room to produce more. Now he gets to ravage a highly exploitable Raiders’ coverage that ranks 31st in passing EPA allowed, and he’ll likely be the lone threat in an empty receiving room with Michael Thomas and Jarvis Landry hurt, making him *the* cash game play for DFS and Andy’s WR Start of the Week.

The Verdict
Chris Olave, but find a way to start both.

Comments

Matthew Feeney says:

Good job on Etienne haha

God I hate Fantasy Football

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