The Fantasy Footballers’ Starts of the Week for Week 8
Did someone say no bye weeks? Wow! What a kind thing for the NFL to do. Oh, no, they are just loading all the bye weeks into other weeks instead of spreading them out. That makes sense. The good news about the no-bye weeks is that there are many options for you to get into your lineup. Now the question is, who takes those spots? Enter Andy, Mike, and Jason with their Starts of the Week. Thursday, during the show, they tried to illuminate some players that you should feel more confident putting in your lineup this week. If you want to watch the entire episode, you can check that out below.
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Andy’s Starts of the Week
QB – CJ Stroud vs. CAR
Coleridge Bernard Stroud IV has been showing out as a top rookie and a top fantasy option. He has nine passing touchdowns and only one interception, leading to a top-12 QB finish in three of his last four starts. To show how good he has been, look at his passing yards in the intermediate area of the field, which is 11-19 yards. He has the second-most in the NFL! Only Tua has more, and it is just a four-yard difference. The good news is he is facing Carolina, who ranks 27th in fantasy points allowed to QBs. Oh, and he is getting back one of his top targets in Tank Dell, which only helps his success. It is a perfect storm for CJ Stroud to find success this week.
RB – Gus Edwards @ ARI
Fire up the bus! Last week, he was the RB6 on 15 opportunities. He has taken over as the preferred RB over Justice Hill, especially when the Ravens are in the red zone. He has had all of the carries inside the five-yard line for the last two weeks. He’s seeing a touch on 40% of the team’s snaps, which is the same rate as Ekeler, Mostert, and Saquon. Now he faces a Cardinals defense that ranks 27th in schedule-adjusted fantasy points allowed to RBs. They are allowing a first down on 29.2% of their rush attempts, which is dead last in the NFL. Edwards should run over Arizona, and he might back the bus over them a second time for good measure this week.
WR – Zay Flowers @ ARI
He is staying on the theme of the Ravens destroying the Cardinals. Flowers has a 27% target share, which has created a consistent floor because he is built into the offensive design for the team each week. He has had 50+ receiving yards in six of his seven games this year. That puts him on a list with Diggs, Amon-Ra, Pitty City, Puka, Tyreek, and AJ Brown. Plus, the Cardinals rank 27th in schedule-adjusted fantasy points allowed to WRs. He will bring the floor, but this should be a ceiling week.
TE – Darren Waller vs. NYJ
There were a couple of rough patches, but Waller is currently the TE5 after seven weeks. Last week, he destroyed the Commanders with seven catches, 98 yards, and a touchdown. Over the previous three weeks, he had a 30% target share, which is fantastic regardless of position. The real weakness of the Jets’ defense is against the TE. New York ranks 29th in schedule-adjusted fantasy points allowed to TEs. They have given up touchdowns to Ferguson, Schoonmaker, Pharaoh Brown, Noah Gray, and Adam Trautman. That should give you great hope for Waller’s ceiling this year.
Jason’s Starts of the Week
QB – Dak Prescott vs. LAR
Mike mentioned Dak as his second-half sleeper on Wednesday’s show. The Cowboys have a 25.8 team implied total as six-point home favorites. Over the last month, the Rams ranked 28th in schedule-adjusted fantasy points given to the QB. The offensive line in Dallas is finally healthy, and the team is coming off a bye. It is time for Dak to get on a roll, and this is an excellent week for that to start. He might not be a sleeper much longer.
RB – Kareem Hunt @ SEA
With Jerome Ford out, Hunt will be a solid start this week. He has been a top-12 RB in the last two weeks on just 31% of the snaps. This week, he should see 15+ touches in Seattle, a game with a 38-point over/under for the week. This year, RBs who see 15+ touches are averaging 14.7 fantasy points per game in half-PPR scoring. There is no reason to believe Hunt doesn’t keep that trend going.
WR – DeVonta Smith @ WAS
It has been rough over the last few weeks. Smith hasn’t scored over seven fantasy points in four of his previous five games. However, this is a get-right game for Smith. Jason is guaranteeing a touchdown on the week, but even more than that is the matchup. Washington’s secondary is a printfest for opposing passing games. They are 29th in schedule-adjusted fantasy points to WRs and 29th in yards per attempt. His last three games against the Commanders have been Week 3 last year, with eight catches for 166 yards and a touchdown, which was WR1 on the week. Then, in Week 10 last year, with six catches for 39 yards and a touchdown. Finally, Week 4 this year with seven catches and 78 yards. He has feasted against the Commanders, and this week is a get-right week for him.
TE – Taysom Hill @ IND
He is no longer just a goal line vulture. Taysom Hill is an actual tight end this year. Last week, he ran 42 routes, which is the second most among all TEs in the NFL. He has 13 targets, 11 receptions, and 99 receiving yards in the previous two weeks. If you take that and add in his rushing, he had five rushes for 18 yards and a score last week. He is too involved in the offense not to get him into your lineups, especially against the Colts, who go bonkers allowing 27.3 points per game, which is 30th in the NFL. You have to put Taysom in your lineup.
Mike’s Starts of the Week
QB – Jared Goff vs. LV
The Lions have a 27 implied point total this week as 8.5-point home favorites. Home is the keyword in that sentence. Since the beginning of the 2022 season, Goff has averaged 27.3 fantasy points per game at home. Las Vegas comes to Detroit, allowing a 69% completion rate on the season. The rule is when Goff is home, you start him.
RB – Chuba Hubbard @ HOU
Despite the $13 million guaranteed to Miles Sanders, Chuba has been a much better RB this season. He is getting 4.5 yards per carry. In the game before the bye, he saw 20 opportunities for 90 yards and a touchdown. Now Frank Reich has come out and said he is considering this backfield a committee approach. The exact quote is, “Chuba’s been doing pretty well. And again, it’s more by rotation and more by play. A lot of times, we have our eye on certain guys for certain plays.” Now he is facing the Texans’ offense that has been one of the worst run defenses in the NFL for two years. Houston ranks 25th in schedule-adjusted fantasy points to RBs and 31st in PFF’s rush defense and tackling grades. If Chuba gets the work that he has earned, it should be a good week for him.
WR – Christian Kirk @ PIT
After the Week 1 dud of a game, Kirk has been the Jaguars’ go-to WR. He is averaging 8.7 targets and 78 receiving yards per game since that week, which has ranked him as the WR10 in that span, with double-digit fantasy points in all six games since Week 2. Only Stefon Diggs can match that output. His opponent, Pittsburgh, ranks dead last in schedule-adjusted fantasy points allowed to WRs. Kirk should continue being the guy for the team, and the matchup is very favorable for him.
TE – Jake (Fergalicious) Ferguson vs. LAR
The Rams are still the second-best matchup despite the Pittsburgh dud. This game has one of the higher over/under lines of the week. He is averaging five targets per game. The Cowboys are six-point home favorites with a 25+ team implied total. Ferguson is a continual part of the offense, and the matchup is good to exploit.