Posted: Wednesday, October 23, 2019
This is the Fantasy Football Nerd's look at the best and worst matchups for Week 8 of the 2019 NFL season. Analysis is aggregated from multiple sources including FFN. FFN rankings are based upon PPR (point per reception) scoring. 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, Travis Kelce, or DeAndre Hopkins. 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 Matthew Stafford (DET, QB)
What's not to like with Matthew Stafford right now? He's the 4th-ranked QB on FFN for Week 8 averaging almost 20 fantasy points each game. Plus he's got a great matchup with the Giants who have given up an average of 22 fantasy points each week including 22 to Tom Brady in Week 6 and 20 to Kirk Cousins the week prior.
Start 'em Josh Allen (BUF, QB)
Even though last week's matchup with the Dolphins was one of his easier games, keep Josh Allen locked into your lineup against the Eagles. Philly has surrendered 24 fantasy points to quarterbacks over the last three weeks. Allen is ranked inside our Top 10 this week.
Start 'em Jameis Winston (TB, QB)
You may not be excited to start Winston given his roller coaster season and whopping 8 fantasy points before the bye, but given the dearth of quarterbacks not playing this week, you may not have much choice. The Titans have been pretty solid on opposing QBs only allowing one to score more than 20 points (Philip Rivers Week 7). Still - Winston fresh off a bye could be considered a low-end QB1 with a fair amount of risk.
Start 'em Latavius Murray (NO, RB)
If Alvin Kamara misses Week 8, Latavius Murray belongs in all lineups coming off a monster 32-point effort last week. He's ranked 19th on FFN largely because of the uncertainty around Kamara. It's a great matchup against Arizona who just surrendered 17 points to Barkley last week and almost 27 points to Devonta Freeman the week prior.
Start 'em Ty Johnson (DET, RB)
One of the hottest names from the waiver wire this week is Ty Johnson. The placement of Kerryon Johnson to IR promoted Johnson to primary back duties. While his timeshare with J.D. McKissic remains to be seen and will dilute his value, the Giants just got torched by another backup player (Chase Edmonds) to the tune of 35 fantasy points last week. Johnson is worth plugging into your lineups as low-end RB2 or Flex option.
Start 'em Melvin Gordon (LAC, RB)
He may not be able to run it into the endzone from the 1-yard line, but don't give up on Melvin Gordon just yet. Although Ekeler has been the better running back, the matchup with Chicago has some potential as Latavius Murray, Josh Jacobs, and Dalvin Cook have averaged more than 26 fantasy points against them the last three weeks. Plus, if Keenan Allen can't play or is limited, some of those targets could come his way.
Start 'em Courtland Sutton (DEN, WR)
With the departue of Emmanuel Sanders to the Niners, Courtland Sutton sits firmly atop the depth chart in Denver. He's ranked 16th this week facing an Indy defense that's giving up the 9th-most fantasy points to WRs this year.
Start 'em Allen Robinson (CHI, WR)
The matchup might not be great, but the lone bright spot on the Bears offense has been Allen Robinson who leads the team in targets and snaps. In fact, he's the 9th-most targeted receiver in the NFL so the volume will be there regardless of the matchup. He's ranked 14th this week making him a high-end WR2.
Start 'em Kenny Golladay (DET, WR)
Don't let last week's 1-catch for 21 yards sour you on Golladay. The Giants have allowed double-digit fantasy production to opposing WRs all season including 20 points to Julian Edelman, 32 points to Adam Thielen, and 45 points to Mike Evans. Golladay leads the team in targets and the matchup is a great one for him to bounce back with.
Start 'em Gerald Everett (LAR, TE)
The TE position has been dreadful this year from a production perspective, so finding a fantasy nugget like Gerald Everett is something to pay attention to. Other than a brutal matchup with the Niners in Week 6, he's been very productive scoring at least 15 points over the last four weeks.
Start 'em Hunter Henry (LAC, TE)
Hunter Henry has returned to must-start status. He's worth a start even against a Bears defense that has given up just 5 fantasy points each week. He's become an integral part of this offense evidenced by his 8 targets and 97 yards last week.
Start 'em Pittsburgh Steelers (PIT, DEF)
It the Steelers turn to play Miami. Do we need to say more?
Start 'em Mike Nugent (NE, K)
The replacement for Stephen Gostkowski has been pretty productive. Mike Nugent has averaged 7 points each of his three weeks and has a nice matchup in store this week against the Browns.
Sit 'em Baker Mayfield (CLE, QB)
Not that you needed another reason to put Mayfield on the bench (he's ranked 28th this week on FFN), but a matchup with New England's top-ranked defense is enough to not even bother considering him for Week 8.
Sit 'em Kyle Allen (CAR, QB)
It doesn't look like Cam Newton is going to return this week, so Kyle Allen should remain the starter, and why not? He's been doing an adequate job in Newton's absence. While he's leading the team to wins, he hasn't been a reliable fantasy starter and that's not going to change with San Fran's 2nd-ranked fantasy defense which has kept opposing QBs to an average of just nine fantasy points.
Sit 'em Philip Rivers (LAC, QB)
Philip Rivers may struggle a bit on the road against the Bears. Although Chicago gave up almost 20 fantasy points to Teddy Bridgewater last week, they've kept opposing QB's to under 14 points all season. In fact, they give up the 6th-fewest points per game to them.
Sit 'em Jordan Howard (PHI, RB)
Ranked 35th this week is Jordan Howard facing a Bills defense that gives up the 10th-fewest yards on the ground and the 12th-fewest fantasy points. Howard has averaged just 8 fantasy points over his last three appearances. Howard has largely become a TD-dependent player.
Sit 'em Ronald Jones (TB, RB)
Both Ronald Jones and Peyton Barber are ranked inside our Top 40 this week making them even questionable flex plays. RoJo has averaged just 6.5 carries and 22.5 yards the last two weeks. Combined with the fact that the Titans have given up the 8th-fewest fantasy points per game to RBs, Jones hasn't given fantasy owners much to get excited about.
Sit 'em Joe Mixon (CIN, RB)
Are you ready to throw in the towel on Joe Mixon? His 28th-ranking this week puts him in flex territory, and even that might be a bit of a head-scratcher given that he has 12 yards on the ground TOTAL for the last two weeks. Even in a plus matchup, he's failed fantasy owners and can't be counted on to lead your RB squad.
Sit 'em Jarvis Landry (CLE, WR)
Fantasy owners had much higher expectations for Jarvis Landry and the Browns' receiving corp, yet Landry is the 36th-best WR after almost half the fantasy season. Given their troubles putting up points and the fact that nobody gives up fewer points to opposing WRs than the Patriots, it's awfully difficult to trust Landry right now.
Sit 'em Marquez Valdes-Scantling (GB, WR)
Although Marquez Valdes-Scantling put up a monster 133 yards and a score in Week 7, it was largely due to a 74-yard score in the 4th quarter. He was only targeted three times and saw just 20 snaps in that game. With a matchup on Sunday night against the Chiefs, he's going to be a boom or bust play. The Chiefs have given up the 10th-fewest fantasy points to the position this year and nobody has scored more than 14.7 points since Week 4.
Sit 'em Alshon Jeffery (PHI, WR)
Ranked 32nd this week on FFN is Alshon Jeffery in what is largely expected to be a difficult matchup with a Bills defense that gives up the 2nd-fewest fantasy points. He's likely to be trailed by Tre'Davious White and a secondary that has kept wideouts to an average of just 6.5 points each week.
Sit 'em TJ Hockenson (DET, TE)
Can you really trust T.J. Hockenson, even if the rest of the receiving corp has a great matchup? While we expect Golladay and Marvin Jones to see plenty of action, the Giants have actually been pretty difficult on tight ends giving up the 4th-fewest points to them on the season.
Sit 'em Greg Olsen (CAR, TE)
We're calling "Bust Alert" on Olsen this week. He's ranked inside the Top 10 on FFN this week, but we're seriously doubting that he ends the week that way. Nobody gives up fewer fantasy points to the TE position than the Niners and not a single TE has scored double-digits on them.
Sit 'em Kansas City Chiefs (KC, DEF)
The Packers will be visiting the Chiefs on Sunday night, and while the Chiefs have been a solid defense this year, Aaron Rodgers and company may have something to say about that. Green Bay has allowed opposing defenses to score the 3rd-fewest fantasy points each week.
Sit 'em Zane Gonzalez (ARI, K)
Sitting 2nd among all of his peers, Zane Gonzalez has been one of the most productive kickers in fantasy this year. He may struggle this week though against the Saints who have surrendered the 6th-fewest fantasy points to kickers this year.