Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Week 8: It's Russ' World, we're just living in it

Here's who you should start this week

James Rapien
October 23, 2019 - 9:03 pm
Oct 13, 2019; Cleveland, OH, USA; Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) signals from the backfield during the first quarter against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports

Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports


CLEVELAND, OH – Week 8 of the NFL season is here. The Cowboys and Ravens are on a bye, which means studs like Ezekiel Elliott, Amari Cooper and Lamar Jackson are all out this week.

Even with some fantasy stars on a bye, there are plenty of solid options this week.

Feel free to send me your fantasy questions on Twitter or Instagram.

Here are the players you should start in Week 8:

Start 'Em

Russell Wilson – Wilson had his worst game of the season last week, but he should bounce back against Atlanta. He’s going up against a Falcons defense that has given up the most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks last season. Atlanta has allowed at least two touchdown passes in each of their last five games. Wilson is the top quarterback play in Week 8.

Matthew Stafford – If you’re dealing with injuries at quarterback, Stafford is the perfect fill-in. The veteran has emerged over the past few weeks and has scored at least 28 fantasy points in three of his six starts. Stafford had four touchdown passes last week. He has a great matchup against the Giants in Week 8. Start Stafford over Kyler Murray, Jared Goff, Tom Brady and Carson Wentz.

Stefon Diggs – Diggs has a great matchup this week against the Redskins and should get his fair share of targets with Adam Thielen out due to injury. He has 24 receptions in his last four games and is a big reason why the Vikings’ offense has bounced back after a slow start. Diggs is a WR2 with plenty of upside on Thursday night.

Juju Smith-Schuster – Smith-Schuster has been disappointing this season, but a matchup against Miami should get him back on track. The Dolphins are awful. They’re one of the worst defenses in the league and the Steelers should be able to do whatever they want on offense. Smith-Schuster is a WR2 and could have his first 100-yard receiving game of the season.  

Chase Edmonds – If David Johnson is out, Edmonds is an RB1, regardless of the matchup. He finished with 126 yards rushing and three touchdowns last week. The Saints are a great defense, but the Cardinals will find ways to get him the ball early and often against New Orleans.

John Brown – Brown has at least 51 yards receiving in every game this season. He’s going up against a soft Eagles’ secondary that has been shredded by wide receivers this season. Brown’s speed and rapport with Allen make him a WR2 every week, but he has huge upside against the Eagles.

Courtland Sutton – Sutton is poised for a huge Week 8 performance for the Broncos. He’s the number one wide receiver in Denver after the Emmanuel Sanders trade. The Colts’ secondary has allowed the 11th most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers this season.

Sit 'Em

Baker Mayfield – It’s impossible to expect QB1 numbers from Mayfield this week. The Browns’ offense has struggled all season and the Patriots’ defense has been a force. Mayfield has a 61.6 passer rating in his last four games, which is last in the NFL over that span. Leave the second year quarterback on the bench this week.

Terry McLaurin – It’s hard to envision the rookie having success against the Vikings. Minnesota’s defensive line should pressure Case Keenum all night long, which means McLaurin may not get enough targets to have success. He’s still a top-40 play this week, but it’s hard to envision him having success. Avoid him in daily and only start him in season-long leagues if he’s far and away the best option.

Tyler Boyd – The Bengals’ offense is impossible to trust right now and it shouldn’t get any easier this week against the Rams. Boyd should be matched up with Jalen Ramsey. The star corner has shutdown ability and Boyd isn’t known for his speed, which could prevent him from getting open downfield. Boyd has scored 8 PPR points or less in three of his last four games. He’s a low-end WR3 this week.

Melvin Gordon – Gordon has struggled since his return in Week 6. He had a critical fumble last week and Austin Ekeler has been much better on the ground and as a pass catcher. Gordon is a risky flex option against the Bears.

Jordan Howard – Howard has struggled over the past few weeks and is becoming a touchdown dependent RB3. The Eagles’ offense has been poor. Combine that with a tough Bills’ defense and it’s easy to see why you should avoid Howard in Week 8.


Ty Johnson – Johnson has a real chance to go from the waiver wire to your lineup this week. The rookie is going up against a Giants’ defense that has been gashed by the run this season. Chase Edmonds ran all over them last week. With Kerryon Johnson on injured reserve, Ty Johnson should slide right in and post RB2 numbers. He’s worth considering in both daily and season-long leagues.

Phillip Dorsett – Dorsett is a sleeper for the second week in a row. The Patriots traded for Mohamed Sanu, but that doesn’t hurt Dorsett’s value, especially this week. Tom Brady likes to rely on players he’s familiar with, which means Dorsett should get plenty of work against the Browns. He’s a WR3 in Week 8.

Zach Pascal – Pascal has stepped into the No. 2 wide receiver role for the Colts. He has 11 or more PPR points in three of his last four games. Pascal finished with 106 yards and a touchdown last week against Houston. He’s a sneaky WR3 against the Broncos.

Chris Herndon – Herndon is hard to trust this week, but if he’s able to play against Jacksonville, then the Jets could utilize their young tight end. He hasn’t played all season and has dealt with hamstring injuries, but he’s worth considering if you’re desperate.

J.D. McKissic – Johnson isn’t the only Lions running back that should be on your radar. McKissic is a sneaky play this week. He’ll be the third-down back for Detroit, which means he could be a RB3, especially in PPR leagues.

Cole Beasley – The Eagles’ secondary is awful, which means Beasley could have a big day for Buffalo. The slot wide receiver has at least 10 PPR points in four of his six games this season. That streak should grow against Philadelphia, who’s allowed the most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers this season.