It is getting to be that time in the fantasy football season when the playoff teams separate from the also-rans. Every point matters. Eight teams are on a bye in Week 8 and many teams have long injury lists. Pickings are growing slim in deep leagues.
Some recommendations on who to start and who to sit this Week 8...
Marqise Lee, WR, Jaguars -
As their third receiver, Lee has received at least six targets in each of the Jaguars last five games, and posted 107-yards last Sunday. Tennessee has an underrated pass defense, however, their top corners Jason McCourty and Perrish Cox will have their hands full with Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns. Lee, a former first round pick, has a matchup advantage over slot corner Brice McCain on Thursday.
Chris Thompson, RB, Redskins -
Matt Jones’ fumbling issues have opened the door for this scat back. Last week, Thompson posted seven receptions for 40-yards in addition to 73-yards rushing. Jones may not even suit up due to a knee injury, and while Rob Kelly may earn the starting nod, Thompson will have a large role in the game plan. The Bengals have allowed the 10th most fantasy points to running backs this season, and the oddsmakers predict a high scoring game.
Devontae Booker, RB, Broncos -
The rookie rusher is emerging as a potent fantasy player. Booker notched 83-yards rushing and a score in a rotational role in Week 7, and now will start with C.J. Anderson on the shelf. The Broncos offensive line is not very talented, but Kubiak’s unpredictable playcalling helps to create running lanes. The Chargers have allowed the 2nd most fantasy points to running backs this season.
Stefon Diggs, WR, Vikings -
Diggs has cooled off considerably from his hot start this season, and Cordarrelle Patterson has lead the Vikings receivers over the last couple weeks. However, the Bears have given up the most fantasy points to receivers this season. Diggs has produced some of his biggest games in primetime, his upside is worth a shot as a bye week fill-in on Monday night.
Brandon Marshall, WR, Jets -
After several strong showings, Marshall was limited last week by the Ravens. But the Browns and their poor pass defense are on tap this week. The Browns top corner Joe Haden is questionable to play after missing the last two games with a groin injury. With Eric Decker on injured reserve, Ryan Fitzpatrick has few options besides Marshall.
Kelvin Benjamin, WR, Panthers -
Benjamin has been a consistent scorer, but faces his toughest test of the season in Patrick Peterson of the Cardinals. Peterson is possibly the top cover corner in the league right now, and spearheads a pass defense that is among the best in the league. If there are other viable options on your bench, sit Kelvin this week.
Martellus Bennett, TE, Patriots -
Bennett’s role in the offense has diminished lately, he managed one catch for 5-yards last Sunday. He played in less than 53% of the Patriots snaps and only ran ten routes against Pittsburgh. In addition, Bennet will be limited by an ankle injury, and Buffalo has allowed the third fewest fantasy points to tight ends this season.
QB Phillip Rivers, QB, Chargers -
The veteran passer had been producing without some of his top weapons, until failing to post 20 fantasy points in either of the last two games. He will face Denver’s pass defense this week, which boasts the best combination of pass rushers and cover corners in the NFL. Two weeks ago, at home against the Broncos, Rivers accumulated only 11 fantasy points. There are better quarterbacks available for Week 8.
Alshon Jeffrey, WR, Bears -
Jay Culter is expected to return to the field this week, but Jeffrey is scheduled to face the stingy Vikings defense and improving corner Xavier Rhodes. Minnesota has given up the 2nd fewest wide receiver points in the NFL. Jeffrey has failed to find the end zone in seven consecutive games and secured only 3 of 11 targets in Week 7.
WR Jordy Nelson, WR, Packers -
Nelson has some upside against the Falcons league average pass defense, in a game that is expected to be a shoot out. But even with the Packers transitioning to passing heavy gameplans, Nelson managed one catch on four targets last week. Randall Cobb and Ty Montgomery have been Aaron Rodgers primary targets lately. Quietly, the Falcons Desmond Trufant and Robert Alford are developing into one of the better cornerback tandems in the league.