The Fantasy Footballers’ “Starts of the Week” for Week 8

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We are moving on to Week 8, and Andy, Mike, and Jason are back yet again to provide you with their Starts of the Week. Before taking a look at their starts, the Ballers talked up their “Taking It Up To 100” players. Andy selected A.J. Green (who could see touchdown time), Mike delegated Brandon Aiyuk as his guy, and Jason picked Denzel Mims.

Starts of the Week brought up the show’s caboose, with all three guys giving reasons for selecting the players they did. If you missed the episode, you can listen to the podcast here or watch it on Youtube. Subscribe and hit the bell so you stay up to date. Also, give a look as it provides lots of additional resources exclusively for #FootClan members.

Andy’s Starts

QB: Carson Wentz vs. Dallas Cowboys

If your fantasy quarterback is playing against Dallas, chances are they will have a big game. This week, Wentz faces his NFC East rivals with a strong possibility of having a great fantasy stat line. The man under center for the Eagles has had four top-12 performances over the last five weeks. In the one contest Wentz did not find himself in the top-12, he was facing Pittsburgh and still came in at QB14. Against opposing fantasy quarterbacks, the Cowboys are ranked an abysmal 23rd. Wentz has been pretty decent on the ground as well, tallying five rushing scores and going for 37+ yards rushing in three of the last five games. This matchup against Dallas is a prime one for Wentz as Dallas has allowed multiple touchdowns to five of the past six quarterbacks they faced. The cherry on top is Jalen Reagor should be back for this game, giving Wentz another much-needed weapon.

RB: Jonathan Taylor vs. Detroit Lions

Taylor sees a great matchup this week, and he will be coming off the bye. Since Marlon Mack went down with an injury in the first week of the season, Taylor has seen an average of 18 touches per game. He has been way more productive than Nyheim Hines and Jordan Wilkins this year. Taylor has garnered three touchdowns in five starts. He also sees 4-yards per carry through the last four games. The rookie back also had his first top-10 finish while facing Cincinnati. The only downside to Taylor’s production is he has only rushed for 100 yards once this season. Still, there is a chance for him to get that done versus a Lions defense ranked 29th in the league. The Lions defense just allowed Todd Gurley to come in as the number four finisher at the position in Week 7. Taylor is a better fantasy back in wins, and the Colts are favored to win by three this week, even with the game being close.

WR: Nelson Agholor vs. Cleveland Browns

Who knew Agholor just needed out of Philly to do something? You can play Agholor with confidence in this matchup, a phrase not often uttered. This week, the Raiders wideout takes on a Cleveland defense that has been horrid versus opposing wideouts. The Browns are ranked 30th in football against wide receivers they face. Last contest, Agholor saw 25-percent of the target share and 47-percent of targets to wide receivers. He put up a season-high 107 receiving yards against the Buccaneers in his last game while tying with tight end Darren Waller for most targets on the team with nine. The 27-year-old athlete has shown he can make big plays, which bodes well for spot starting him this week. (If the wind is swirling, Andy pivots to Scotty Miller although Agholor is his go-to guy if the weather is not a huge concern).

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TE: Jonnu Smith vs. Cincinnati Bengals

Cincinnati’s defense is ranked 30th against the tight end position, so Smith should have an outstanding game this week. The Bengals have given up six touchdowns this season to the tight end position, including conceding three combined touchdowns to tight ends Harrison Bryant and David Njoku last week. On the road this year, Smith has had 7.5 targets per game. He aims to be highly involved in the passing game in Week 8, bouncing back from injury and a down game versus Pittsburgh. The contest this week looks to be a good one for Smith.

Jason’s Starts

QB: Ryan Tannehill @ Cincinnati Bengals

Another player going against the Bengals is in play this week. Tannehill sees a Bengals team that gave up big games to both Philip Rivers and Baker Mayfield. This matchup is a home game that will have Tannehill throwing the ball a lot against Joe Burrow, who can also toss the ball. If you’re wondering whether or not it will be a Derrick Henry game, know he will be involved as always. Still, the Bengals only allowed the rushing teams of Baltimore, Indianapolis, and Cleveland to score an average of 17.6 fantasy points to running backs over the last three weeks. That is the sixth-fewest points to the RB position over the season. Tannehill has been remarkably consistent this year and will be facing a Bengals defense that has allowed 15 passing touchdowns this season.

RB: Todd Gurley @ Carolina Panthers

This is a Thursday night game, so hopefully, you listened to the podcast to get this bit of information. Gurley takes on the Panthers on TNF, a situation that looks exceptional for his fantasy outlook. The Falcons runner keeps scoring touchdowns, even when he does not want to score (see last week). Last week saw Gurley have a 71-percent snap percentage, the highest for him on the year. He has been extraordinarily active in the passing game since Dan Quinn was fired and should see more work in the passing game in Week 8. Over five weeks, Gurley has been the RB4. He leads the league with seven rushing scores and caught a season-high of four passes in Week 5 when taking on the Panthers last. Since that same week, he has brought in nine passes. This seems to be an excellent matchup for the Atlanta running back as they have already given up 56 receptions to RBs this year (a league-high).

WR: Tee Higgins vs. Tennessee Titans

There appears to be many Starts of the Week in this game, but with ample support behind that notion. Wide receiver Higgins is Jason’s start this week because he sees an attractive matchup. The Tennessee Titans are ranked 27th against wide receiver points, so Higgins’s opportunities to catch balls will be there. According to DraftKings pricing, the Titans give up the most Fantasy Points Allowed Above Opponent Average specifically to the WR2 on the team (credit where credit is due – thank you for this information, Mike Beers). On the season, perimeter wideouts have performed pretty well against the Bengals; Justin Jefferson (7/175/1), Will Fuller (6/123/1), Stefon Diggs (10/106/0), Diontae Johnson (9/80/1), Brandin Cooks (9/68/1), and Gabriel Davis (5/58/0). The Bengals consistent wide receiver should see a massive game this week, considering his team will need to throw the ball. He already has 27 receptions for 410 yards and three touchdowns on the season, and he will add to those stats this contest.

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TE: Richard Rodgers vs. Dallas Cowboys

If you are in a tight end pickle this week, look no further than Rodgers as a spot start. Tight ends have looked incredibly valuable against Dallas this season, minus Evan Engram who was a smash play and ended up letting us all down in Engram fashion. Before Engram did not live up to expectations, the Cowboys had given up back-to-back-to-back TE1 weeks. The Cowboys played the Cardinals after playing the Giants, and they don’t have a tight end there (sorry Dan Arnold). Last week versus the Cowboys, Logan Thomas had a great week as well. Rodgers should not have anyone covering him this week as the Dallas defense is atrocious, so putting him in your lineup is wise. Last week, on eight targets, Rodgers caught six passes and went for 85 yards. His big-play ability will come in hand this week as the Eagles throw the ball to tight ends more than any other team in the NFL. The Cowboys are allowing the most scores through the air (16), so Rodgers will ball.

Mike’s Starts

QB: Jimmy Garoppolo @ Seattle Seahawks

Garoppolo battles Seattle this contest, a team giving up the second-most points to quarterbacks this season. Over his last two games, Garoppolo has tossed the pigskin for 268+ yards in each contest. He should be able to throw the ball plenty in this game, considering Seattle’s defense is the league-worst at defending the pass. With injuries to a handful of San Francisco’s running backs, Garoppolo may be in a situation where he has to throw more. He will have time to throw the ball this week and looks for players such as George Kittle and Brandon Aiyuk to gain plenty of yardage.

RB: Clyde Edwards-Helaire vs. New York Jets

I could write “New York Jets” here and be finished with this section, but I will expand. The Jets have conceded top-12 numbers to running backs every week except for when they took on Buffalo. The Jets allow the eighth-most fantasy points per game to the running back position, which benefits Edwards-Helaire immensely. Le’ Veon Bell is also with Kansas City, and some have talked of the “revenge game” narrative for him. While Bell could still be in play for fantasy purposes, Edwards-Helaire is on a hot streak and has the confidence to do well in this match. He scored his second touchdown of the season last week while putting up a 161-yard game in Week 6. The rookie runner also has 33 broken tackles on the year. This is a game worth starting CEH.

WR: Travis Fulgham vs. Dallas Cowboys

Another Eagles pass catcher makes it on the list, this time under Mike’s starts. For the first time in three weeks, Fulgham did not have a score last week, but he looks to make up for that in Week 8. This matchup is a tasty one for wideouts, as the Dallas defense is exceptionally exploitable. Over the last three games, Fulgham has seen a 29-percent target share and is becoming one of Wentz’s go-to guys. Even with Jalen Reagor set to suit up on Sunday, Fulgham should still be a target hawk. He has seen ten or more targets in each of the previous three games, and he is going to have loads of targets in this game as well. Rest assured putting Fulgham in your starting roster this week.

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TE: Jimmy Graham vs. New Orleans Saints

Jimmy Graham-pa finds himself on Mike’s Starts of the week, facing his former team. Over the season, Graham has tallied ten targets in the red zone. The Saints allow the second-most points to tight ends this year, which seems excellent for the big man. New Orleans has additionally allowed top-10 finishes to five tight ends this year. The lone tight end who did not see a good finish was Ian Thomas, a player who saw only one target when facing New Orleans. Graham sees just over 15-percent of his team’s target share, so he will not have to worry about seeing targets in this game.

And the thing we look forward to the most each Thursday, Jason Moore‘s Iron-Clad Locked and Loaded 100% Guaranteed Boom Boom Kicker of the Week:

I’m going to need your forgiveness because I’m going to be a hater. I’m going with the Goggles’ opponent – the Lions Matt Prater” (side note – he also stated the Goggles AKA Rodrigo Blankenship is going to be great as well)

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