Posted: Wednesday, October 24, 2018
This is the Fantasy Football Nerd's look at the best and worst matchups for Week 8 of the 2018 NFL season. Decisions are based upon the FFN rankings and matchup analysis. Given the known conditions, these matchups are the ones to watch and/or avoid.
Please Note: This list does not generally include the elite players that you are going to start regardless of matchup. You don't need us to tell you to start Aaron Rodgers, Rob Gronkowski, or Antonio Brown. Instead, we take a look at other players on your team that we believe either have great matchups or should be avoided for multiple reasons. Factors like opposing defense, performance trending, and peer comparisons may influence our decisions.
Start 'em Mitchell Trubisky (CHI, QB)
Mitchell Trubisky has been on fire over his last three games and he's been doing it with his legs (60 yards/game) as well as with his arm (334 yards/game) averaging an insane 34 fantasy points. His matchup is pretty solid as the Jets have given up an average of 21.3 fantasy points over the past four games. Trubisky should be a nice play this week.
Start 'em Jameis Winston (TB, QB)
This game should be a shootout with a potent offense on the other side and the Bengals are giving up a promising 27.5 fantasy points to QBs the last 4 weeks. Winston has now turned in games of 395 and 365 passing yards in his two starts. 300-yard passing games are just about something we should expect weekly in this Tampa Bay passing game. Despite his propensity for turnovers each week, Winston will be a high-floor fantasy option in Week 8 on the road against the Bengals.
Start 'em Ben Roethlisberger (PIT, QB)
Big Ben has been having a big year. He's averaged a solid 21.4 fantasy points against the Browns in the last two games that he's faced them, and Cleveland gives up a promising 25.9 fantasy points to QBs the last 4 weeks. The Browns give up the 7th-most yards through the air - something Roethlisberger should be able to exploit with Antonio Brown and JuJu.
Start 'em Marlon Mack (IND, RB)
We saw a healthy Marlon Mack last week and he had a big game. The offensive line looked amazing last week, opening holes for him, and he had a huge game on 22 opportunities, and we'd use him again as the Raiders have given up double digit fantasy points to RBs the last 4 weeks.
Start 'em Phillip Lindsay (DEN, RB)
Phillip Lindsay is ranked 12th this week on FFN (PPR). With Royce Freeman out of practice this week and unlikely to play, Lindsay's role should increase. He put up a solid 15.9 fantasy points against the Chiefs in Week 4, and they give up a promising 28.2 FPG to RBs the last 4 weeks.
Start 'em Adrian Peterson (WAS, RB)
Adrian Peterson continues to look good and had a surprising 26 opportunities last week. If Chris Thompson remains out in Week 8 against the Giants, Peterson will again be a clear-cut usage-based RB2. Starting running backs have scored an average of 23.4 fantasy points against the Giants over the last four weeks.
Start 'em T.Y. Hilton (IND, WR)
T.Y. Hilton was back in a big way last week catching all of his four targets for 25 yards and two touchdowns despite a tough matchup. Hilton will try to keep the train rolling this week against a leaky Raiders secondary.
Start 'em Jordy Nelson (OAK, WR)
With Amari Cooper now in Dallas, Jordy Nelson becomes the top passing option in Oakland. Unfortunately that's not saying much. While the targets will certainly go up with Cooper gone, the Raiders' passing game is a shell of its former self. Nelson is a WR3/Flex option against the Colts who are giving up 17 receptions per game to wide receivers.
Start 'em Will Fuller (HOU, WR)
With Keke Coutee out, Will Fuller has come on strong. Fuller busted out of his slump last week with a 6-68 line. He could be busy on Thursday night with DeAndre Hopkins dealing with shadow coverage from Dolphins CB Xavien Howard. Miami has allowed some big games to secondary receivers, including a 5-110 line to Taylor Gabriel and a 6-173-1 to Jordy Nelson.
Start 'em David Njoku (CLE, TE)
Njoku will be a TE1 this week against the Steelers. He has topped 50 yards each of the last four games with a touchdown in back-to-back contests. He saw seven targets Week 1 against Pittsburgh and the Steelers have given up 16.6 points per game to TEs the last four weeks.
Start 'em Trey Burton (CHI, TE)
Trey Burton hauled in 9-of-11 targets for 126 yards and a touchdown in the Bears' Week 7 loss to the Patriots. Although he has scored in four of the last five games, this was easily Burton's best outing of the season. He will remain a back-end TE1 next week against the Jets.
Start 'em Jordan Reed (WAS, TE)
Jordan Reed caught 2-of-4 targets for 43 yards in the Redskins' Week 7 win over the Cowboys. The good news is Reed's 43 yards were a team-high. The bad news is Reed's 43 yards were a team-high. His usage remains that of a TE1 and he's still healthy, so owners are still advised to hang tight.
Start 'em Philadelphia Eagles (PHI, DEF)
The Eagles finally get a good matchup as the hapless Jaguars give up 11.5 FPG to DSTs the last 4 weeks.
Start 'em Harrison Butker (KC, K)
Harrison Butker has 8 FGs in his last 3 so keep rolling with him as a strong starter.
Sit 'em Eli Manning (NYG, QB)
After a decent outing against the Falcons, it's time to put Eli back on the bench as he faces the 13th-toughest pass defense in the Redskins. He always has a chance to put up some numbers (especially because the Redskins have recently given up some fantasy points), but Manning will be a low-end QB2 against Washington. Washington likes to dominate time of possession and keep the opposing offense off the field, limiting plays,
Sit 'em Carson Wentz (PHI, QB)
It's hard not to like what Carson Wentz has done this year, but even though Jacksonville has been underwhelming lately, they still have the #1 pass defense in the league. The Jags are still playing lights out against passing games and give up a stingy 19.9 FPG to QBs the last 4 weeks. There's every reason to believe that the Jacksonville CBs will be able to handle Alshon Jeffery in this one.
Sit 'em Alex Smith (WAS, QB)
The receiving corp in Washington is depleted and Smith is coming off his second straight week where he's failed to throw for more than 175 yards. When he faced the Giants last year as a Chief, he only managed 230 yards and no scores. Alex Smith simply can't be used with any sort of confidence right now.
Sit 'em Isaiah Crowell (NYJ, RB)
With Bilal Powell out, expect an increased workload for Isaiah Crowell. Normally this would be great news, but the matchup with the Bears is no joke. Although James White torched the last week, Chicago has allowed just 87.5 yards on the ground (4th-fewest in the NFL). Crowell is still an RB3/Flex option.
Sit 'em LeSean McCoy (BUF, RB)
After putting up a whopping 1 yard on 2 carries, McCoy found himself out of the action last week with a head injury. Let's face it. It's time to give up on McCoy in Buffalo - it's just not going to happen in the league's second-worst offense.
Sit 'em Carlos Hyde (JAC, RB)
Carlos Hyde will suit up for the Jaguars which has Hyde owners excited, but we don't know exactly what his role will look like. He's ranked 34th this week against a Philly defense that has (with the exception of Saquon Barkley) largely held running backs in check. The Eagles have given up 4.8 YPC in their last four but are still tough against the run so we'd use him in desperation only until his role becomes clearer.
Sit 'em Aaron Jones (GB, RB)
Ranked 33rd this week and fresh off a bye, Aaron Jones is nothing more than a flex play against a Rams team giving up 100 yards total on the ground each week. The Green Bay backfield is still a timeshare, and Jones simply isn't getting enough carries and isn't taking advantage of pass-game spots to be trusted in fantasy lineups.
Sit 'em Marquise Goodwin (SF, WR)
Marquise Goodwin had a very disappointing game last week playing 92% of the snaps but only seeing 5 targets, most of which came late. We anticipate his production to dip again this week when he lines up against Patrick Peterson. The matchup is not great, but Goodwin will be worth a look as a WR3.
Sit 'em Marvin Jones (DET, WR)
Jones has been frustrating. He played 92% of the snaps last week, but only saw four targets and is averaging just 7 fantasy points over his last three games. Seattle gives up the 3rd-fewest yards through the air each week and has largely kept wide receivers in check. Jones is ranked 41st this week making him a flex option at best.
Sit 'em Josh Gordon (NE, WR)
Josh Gordon had a nice game last week, turning 7 targets into 4/100, but we expect that he will see a lot of top CB White which will likely limit his production. The saving grace for Gordon is that Tom Brady appears to love the guy and has said that his confidence is growing. He also played 95 percent of the snaps last week, besting the season-high of 81 percent he set the week before. If it wasn't for the matchup, we'd like Gordon a lot more than a WR3/Flex option.
Sit 'em Benjamin Watson (NO, TE)
Ben Watson caught 6-of-6 targets for 43 yards and a touchdown in the Saints' Week 7 win over the Ravens - the most of the season for him. The score was his first of the year. Watson is averaging just 38 weekly yards and has a tough matchup with the Vikings.
Sit 'em Jack Doyle (IND, TE)
Jack Doyle returned to practice this week albeit in a limited capacity. Coach Frank Reich said Doyle will have a chance to play this week in Oakland. Doyle hasn't played since Week 2. In the meantime, Eric Ebron leads all tight ends in red-zone targets and have developed into a very useful fantasy asset. Doyle has an uphill climb to gain relevance with Ebron in the mix.
Sit 'em Carolina Panthers (CAR, DEF)
The Carolina Panthers are not worth using as the Ravens are giving up just 3.3 FPG to DSTs the last 4 weeks.
Sit 'em Jason Myers (NYJ, K)
Jason Myers does have a great 10 FGs in his last three, but we still don't trust him on the road against a good Chicago defense.