2017 NFL Week 8 Start 'em Sit 'em

2017 NFL Week 8 Starters and Sitters
Arizona Cardinals
Green Bay Packers
Jacksonville Jaguars
Los Angeles Rams
New York Giants
Tennessee Titans
Running Backs (RB)
Start: Alvin Kamara rushed 9 times for 57 yards and added another 50 yards on 5 catches.  C.J. Anderson struggled against a Chargers front posting just 44 yards on 10 carries and added another 17 on a reception.   DeMarco Murray took 18 totes for 59 yards and snagged 3 passes for another 17.  Carlos Hyde had 14 carries for 68 yards and added another 20 on 4 receptions.  Jay Ajayi rushed 23 times for 51 yards and snagged 3 targets for 26 yards.
Sit: Frank Gore posted just 34 yards on 9 carries.  Doug Martin ran 20 times for 49 yards and added 31 yards in 2 catches.  Joe Mixon carried 7 times for 48 yards and caught 3 passes for 20 yards.  LeGarrette Blount had 14 carries for just 29 yards.
Wide Receiver (WR)
Start: Devin Funchess struggled, catching 4 passes for just 41 yards.  Pierre Garcon caught 5 passes for 49 yards.  Rishard Matthews caught just 3 passes for 40 yards.  Jarvis Landry snagged 7 targets for 93 yards and a score. Cooper Kupp caught 4 passes for 51 yards and reached paydirt.
Sit: Mike Evans went off for 7 catches for 88 yards and a touchdown.  T.Y. Hilton, was held to just 2 catches for 27 yards.  John Brown caught just 1 pass for 6 yards.  Mike Wallace caught just 1 pass for 9 yards before suffering a concussion.  Terrelle Pryor caught just 2 passes for 14 yards.
Tight End (TE)
Start: Evan Engram caught 6 passes for 60 yards and a touchdown.  Austin Stefarian-Jenkins reeled in 3 passes for 21 yards and a touchdown.  George Kittle caught just 1 pass for just 16 yards.  Nick O'Leary snared 2 passes for 58 yards.  
Sit: Jack Doyle caught 6 passes for 44 yards, Martellus Bennett had 2 catches for 17 yards.  Jared Cook had 6 catches for 107 yards.
Quarterback (QB)
Start: Matt Ryan threw for 233 passes and a touchdown.  Marcus Marriota threw for just 203 yards and added 8 more on a rush.  Carson Wentz threw for 268 yards, 4 scores, and a pick.  Derek Carr went off for 417 yards, 3 touchdowns, and added another 15 yards on a rush.
Sit: Kirk Cousins threw for 303 yards, 3 scores and a pick, and added another 18 yards on the ground.  Russell Wilson threw for 334 yards, 3 touchdowns, and added another 10 rushing yards.  Ben Roethlisberger threw for 224 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Defense/Special Teams (D/ST)
Start: The Philadelphia Eagles allowed 24 points but picked off Cousins once.  The New Orleans Saints allowed 17 points but had a pick.  The New York Jets allowed 4 touchdowns but picked off Dolphins QB's twice.
Sit: The Carolina Panthers held the Bears in check, limitting them to just 5 first downs and less than 200 total offensive yards.  The Buffalo Bills gave up 3 touchdowns through the air, but had 1 pick and recovered 2 fumbles.
Melvin Gordon, RB, Los Angeles Chargers
Sure, Gordon struggled against one of the best run defenses in the league.  He put up just 3 or 4 points in standard scoring, and added just 1 additional point in PPR leagues.  He should bounce back this week against a much softer, subpar Patriots defense.  As a matter of fact, the Chargers may even use him extensively to keep the Patriots' offense off of the field and give their own defense a rest in case the Pats go no-huddle.  Gordon's one of this season's few fantasy studs. 
Jay Ajayi, RB, Miami Dolphins
Ajayi has struggled all season, but could break out this week against a Ravens defense that has struggled against the run all season.  Things should open up a bit more for Ajayi with Moore throwing the ball downfield.  Ajayi is worth the start this week, quick turnaround and elbow and knee injuries in all.
Joe Mixon, RB, Cincinnati Bengals
Mixon has gotten decent usage, and should be started against a lousy Colts front.  The Colts' defense won't be able to stay off the field, and Mixon could be used to wear them down and maintain a lead in the second half of the game.  After tough matchups against the Browns, Bills, and Steelers, Mixon should be in the lineup this week.  
Javorius "Buck" Allen, RB, Baltimore Ravens
The Ravens' one relatively consistent weapon has been Buck Allen, the Ravens' receiving back.  The Dolphins surrendered 7 catches for 81 yards to the Jets' backs last week, accounting for over a quarter of their offensive yards.  The Ravens have struggled moving the ball, so there's a decent chance Buck could duplicate those numbers.  He's worth a start with all of the guys on byes this week.
James White, RB, New England Patriots
White's fantasy ceiling goes up this week due to a potential increase in usage.  New England faces one of the top pass defenses in the league.  The Chargers have multiple receiving weapons and could run up the score.  If the Patriots do need to chase points, they'll likely use their receiving backs to move the ball up the field quickly and efficiently, with James White leading the charge.
Dion Lewis, RB, New England Patriots
The Chargers have one of the worst run defenses in the league.  The Patriots may use their running game extensively so they don't expose their soft secondary to the Chargers potent passing attack.  Lewis could get extensive usage to chew up clock.
Ameer Abdullah, RB, Detroit Lions
Abdullah might be the starting back in Detroit, but don't start him.  Even with all of the players on bye this week, there might be better options on the wire.  The Steelers' defense is fast and plays sideline to sideline.  It could be a long day for Abdullah this week.
Rob Kelley, RB, Washington Redskins
Kelley has been an absolute dud since week 3.  He's struggled to move the ball and Jay Gruden seems to prefer throwing it to Thompson anyway.  He's a sit this week against a revitalized Dallas defense that held Hyde to just 68 yards last week.  Keep Kelley on the bench, even with all of the backs out on byes.
LeGarrette Blount, RB, Philadelphia Eagles
The Eagles are a pass-first team under Head Coach Doug Pederson, and the Eagles' backfield is a timeshare.  Wendell Smallwood is back and healthy, which means Blount could cede even more of his already few carries to the second year man.  Bench Blount this week, even in a favorable matchup against the 49ers.
C.J. Anderson, RB, Denver Broncos
Inconsistent play by the Broncos offensive line and 2 tough opponents in 2 weeks have contributed to C.J. Anderson's struggles.  He'll run against the Chiefs' soft front seven at Arrowhead stadium next week, but Anderson should be benched until his coaches and teammates iron out the wrinkles.  Anderson is a risky start for those without options, but his struggles could continue this week.
Carlos Hyde, RB, San Francisco 49ers
Hyde could have a bounce back week, but not this week.  Even though the 49ers are averaging 4.3 yards per carry, they're only attempting to run 22.6 times per game, one of the leagues' lowest averages.  The Eagles are missing 2 out of 3 of their starting linebackers, but they've allowed the fewest yards to opposing ground attacks. 
Demaryius Thomas, WR, Denver Broncos
Thomas could take this opportunity to bounce back from a couple of tough weeks like Amari Cooper did.  Thomas will almost certainly be matched up with the best Chiefs defensive back Marcus Peters, but the Broncos don't really have anyone else to throw to.  While the Chiefs have struggled to generate a pass rush, the Broncos' offensive line has struggled with pass protection at times.  This makes Thomas a risky start this week.
Julio Jones, WR, Atlanta Falcons
Yes, the Falcons' offense has looked sluggish at times, but Jones lines up opposite a Jets defensive unit that just gave up 188 yards and 2 touchdowns to Dolphins quarterback Matt Moore.  If Matty Ice can deliver the ball, Jones could bounce back from a season-long slump.  Jones is a risky start though since he's looked like he was on a different page than his QB at times.  
Kelvin Benjamin, WR, Carolina Panthers
The Buccaneers backfield looks like it's on disarray, and there could be some dissention.  Benjamin will look to bounce back this week after a rough outing in Chicago.  He was limited to just 3 catches on 65 yards last week.  He'll try to take advantage of a Buccaneers' secondary has been the team's Achilles heel all season.
Pierre Garcon, WR, Washington Redskins
Garcon has been targeted plenty but has been one of the but hasn't been able to find the endzone or capitalize on his opportunities. This has relegated him to the bench in standard formats, and a flex play in PPR leagues.  The 49ers travel east again to face the Eagles' struggling secondary.  This could finally be Garcon's breakout game.
Jarvis Landry, WR, Miami Dolphins
Parker is still out which means Jarvis Landry could still be the man.  It looks like someone flipped a switch when Matt Moore, who threw for 188 yards and 2 touchdowns, came into the game.  Landry is the primary receiving option in Miami's passing offense, so it's worth leaving him in the lineup even against a tough matchup.  
Deandre Hopkins, WR, Houston Texans
Seattle's secondary is still one of the best in the league.  Richard Sherman will almost certainly be matched up with Hopkins, and the Seahawks' pass rush could be trouble for a Texans offensive line that has looked shaky at times.  Watson has used his feet to get out of trouble at times, but the rookie QB will face his first real test against an elite defensive unit.  
Marvin Jones, WR, Detroit Lions
With Tate out, Jones will be the default WR1.  His former AFC North foe Joe Haden should be able to cover him long enough for the Steelers' pass rush to get to him though.  Haden held A.J. Green to just 3 catches for 41 yards.  Expect similar results this week and leave Jones on the bench.
Terrelle Pryor, WR, Washington Redskins
Pryor didn't exactly fall this week.  His targets have gone from 11 in week 1 to roughly 4.5 in the last 6 weeks.  The emergence of a healthy Josh Doctson and ageless wonder Vernon Davis look like they've cut into Pryor's target share as well.  While he may have a decent matchup this week, it may be wise to bench him until he gets more consistent usage or another receiving option for the Redskins goes down.  
T.Y. Hilton, WR, Indianapolis Colts
The Jaguars' defense absolutely dominated the Colts' offense last week.  Offensive line woes continue and so do Hilton's struggles.  They could have their hands full with a stout Bengals front this week.  Leave Hilton on the bench.
Tyler Kroft, TE, Cincinnati Bengals
Kroft should have a career day this week against a Colts' defense that's ranks toward the bottom of the league.  Their secondary got even worse after losing star rookie Malik Hooker for the year to ACL and MCL tears.  Kroft is third on the team in targets and should be in all starting lineups this week.
Nick O'Leary, TE, Buffalo Bills
O'Leary could be the lone target in a Bills passing offense void of receiving options.  He showed some rapport with Tyrod Taylor by hauling in 7 passes for 112 yards in his last 2 games.  O'Leary could break out this week against a sorry Raiders secondary.  
Kyle Rudolph, TE, Minnesota Vikings
This is a conditional start.  Diggs has been down with a groin injury that could take some time to heal.  If Diggs is out, Rudolph could play a critical role helping the Vikings move the ball.  Even if Diggs is active, Rudolph could still get plenty of targets.  He's had at least 5 catches in his last 3 games and could find the endzone this week against the Browns.  
Jack Doyle, TE, Indianapolis Colts
The Bengals have a top-5 pass defense, and they just need to lock down Doyle and Hilton.  Brissett has thrown just 1 touchdown in his last 3 games.  The Colts' offensive line could struggle this week, meaning Doyle may not even have time to get open and catch the ball.  Leave him on the bench this week.
Ed Dickson, TE, Carolina Panthers
For those rostering Dickson, find another option this week.  The Buccaneers have struggled against wideouts, but have done well defending tight ends.  Cam struggled to move the ball last week anyway, meaning Dickson could be a non-factor this week.  
David Njoku, TE, Cleveland Browns
For all that Njoku brings to the table as an athlete, he's still on a Browns team that has a revolving door at quarterback.  The Browns could get shut out by an elite Vikings defensive unit this week.  Leave him on the bench.  
Andy Dalton, QB, Cincinnati Bengals
The Colts have allowed the 2nd-most yards to opposing air attacks so far.  They even have up over 300 yards and a touchdown to Blake Bortles and the Jaguars receiving corps last week.  The Colts' defense, which just lost rookie first rounder Malik Hooker, can't stay off the field, and should be completely gassed by the end of the game.  Dalton gets the nod this week.
Philip Rivers, QB, Los Angeles Chargers
Rivers completed 15 of 26 passes for 183 yards and 2 touchdowns against the Broncos' "No Fly Zone."  He proved that he could, indeed, sling the rock against their AFC West rival, and should have an easier time against a Patriots secondary that lost their signal caller, Dont'a Hightower, again.  Rivers is a solid start this week.
Case Keenum, QB, Minnesota Vikings
The Browns' have been stingy against the run, but their suspect secondary presents an inviting target for the Vikings' air attack.  If Diggs is ready to go, Keenum is a must start.  Even if Diggs isn't available, the Vikings still have plenty of receiving weapons for Keenum to choose from.
Tyrod Taylor, QB, Buffalo Bills
Khalil Mack leads a serviceable front 7 for the Raiders, which means the Bills will need to beat them through the air.  While Deonte Thompson isn't a superstar by any means and Nick O'Leary needs to prove his consistency, Shady should draw enough defenders to allow Thompson and O'Leary to get open.  This means the game could be lost when Taylor throws against a beatable Raiders secondary.  Taylor is worth a dart throw this week.
Matt Ryan, QB, Atlanta Falcons
The Falcons' play has been downright offensive in that they completely lack any offense.  Julio Jones snagged his first touchdown in garbage time against the Patriots last week, and the whole unit just looks lethargic.  Ryan gets the bench against all opponents until Falcons Offensive Coordinator Steve Sarkasian figures things out.  Freeman might be the only skill player to trust in this unit. 
Matthew Stafford, QB, Detroit Lions
Even with Jim Bob Cooter calling the plays, the Lions have struggled to get the ball moving on the ground.  They'll need to take to the air against a speedy Steelers defense that has allowed the least yards and just 7 touchdowns to opposing air attacks this season.  Stafford could be in for a long day against Ward, Shazier, and a tough Steelers pass rush.  
Deshaun Watson, QB, Houston Texans
This young rookie has been on fire the last 3 weeks, throwing and rushing for a combined 13 touchdowns to just 2 picks.  However, he could go ice cold this week against a formidable Seahawks secondary.  The X-factor here is the Texans' starting tight end, Ryan Griffin.  The Seahawks' defense has continued to struggle against opposing tight ends, which leaves a window of opportunity for the Texans' offense to work.  Still, sit Watson to be on the safe side this week.
Miami Dolphins
Last season, the Ravens attempted a league-high 679 passes.  This season, the Ravens have struggled to move the ball through the air.  The Dolphins' pass rush could be trouble for the offensive line.  If the Ravens do move the ball, they'll probably do it on the ground, where the Dolphins have allowed the 5th least yards.  The Dolphins D is a go this week.
Philadelphia Eagles
Even with Kyle Shanahan calling the plays, the 49ers have struggled to score or move the ball this year with the exception of the Rams game where they put up 39.  The Eagles defense is worth a start this week.  Buyer beware: the Eagles did lose linebacker Jordan Hicks to a ruptured Achilles tendon.
Detroit Lions
The Steelers look like they've found the winning formula by feeding Bell and letting their defense rest.  They also look like they're on the field having fun and playing football.  With the struggles during the beginning of the season behind them, Big Ben, Bell, and Brown will head to Ford Field and light up Darius Slay and the Lions this week.
Chicago Bears
While it may be tempting to start the Bears' defense this week, it's important to keep in mind that they are facing an elite passing offense and a resurgent run game.  Either Drew Brees will remind everyone why he's elite or the Bears' defense will prove they're the real deal.  It's not worth rolling the dice this week.

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