Some very intriguing matchups on the schedule for Week 8 as we take a look at the favorable and not so favorable games for your fantasy lineups this week. One thing to keep an eye on this week is the weather reports and how they factor into each fantasy matchup — plenty of rain in the forecast this weekend and that usually lends itself to a more run-heavy approach in the offensive play-calling. Without out further adieu, let’s dive into the starts and sits for this week…
Andy Dalton, QB, Cincinnati Bengals (START)
He might be QB27 in fantasy scoring through 7 weeks of the season, but this is an intriguing matchup on paper for Dalton. He is at home to an Indianapolis Colts defense that has given up the 6th-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this year. And, let’s face it, the Colts have lined up against Jared Goff (QB12), Carson Palmer (QB14), DeShone Kizer (QB31), Russell Wilson (QB6), Brian Hoyer (QB28), a very hobbled Marcus Mariota (QB21) and Blake Bortles (QB19). None of these, with the exception of Wilson, have been overwhelming matchups and the opportunity for Dalton to have a big week is there.
Deshaun Watson, QB, Houston Texans (SIT)
I’m not taking anything away from Watson to this point in the season (currently QB5 in fantasy scoring), but this matchup frightens me. This will be his toughest test yet, travelling on the road to Seattle against a Seahawks defense that has surrendered the 4th-fewest fantasy points to opposing QB’s this season. Plus, he will have to deal with that infamous 12th man on the road as a rookie.
LeSean McCoy, RB, Buffalo Bills (START)
McCoy finally reached the end zone (twice) last week at home to Tampa Bay and piled up 122 total yards from scrimmage in the process. He now gets an Oakland Raiders defense that has given up the 13th-most fantasy points to opposing RB’s this year and also playing into his favor is the forecast — they are calling for a chance of rain in Buffalo. If the weather permits, look for the Bills to lean on the ground game with Shady and fantasy owners should reap the benefits.
Carlos Hyde, RB, San Francisco 49ers (SIT)
Hyde has been one of the lone bright spots for the 0-7 49ers so far, averaging 4.3 YPC and rushing for 4 TD’s. Although he sits at RB9 in standard scoring, this matchup on the road in Philadelphia presents some problems. The Eagles have given up the 8th-fewest fantasy points to RB’s this year and I don’t like the 49ers to stick around in this game. If they fall behind early and often, Hoyer will be forced to throw the ball down field to play catch up and that takes Hyde out of the equation.
Kelvin Benjamin, WR, Carolina Panthers (START)
You should feel confident in starting either of the Panthers’ twin towers this week, but specifically Benjamin is the play. He’s only found the end zone once this year (Week 3 in Detroit), but consider that Benjamin has been targeted 25 times in the past three games and hauled in 16 catches for an average of 13.9 YPR. The Bucs are allowing the most points to WR’s this year and have given up 7 TD’s in the process — Benjamin’s breakout game is coming.
T.Y. Hilton, WR, Indianapolis Colts (SIT)
It’s hard to trust in any Colts player in your fantasy lineup at the moment and typically we think of the strategy to stick with your star fantasy players. However, this week is a different story for Hilton as he travels to Cincinnati and will be blanketed by Adam “Pacman” Jones and a Bengals defense that has been stout against the pass — 5th-fewest fantasy points to WR’s. Hilton has just three catches for 46 yards over the last two weeks and has found the end zone once this year.
Kyle Rudolph, TE, Minnesota Vikings (START)
Another game in London on Sunday morning — at least for North Americans — as the Vikings square off with the Cleveland Browns. It could be a snooze fest as many expect the Vikings defense to swallow Kizer whole, but Rudolph carries some fantasy promise in Week 8. The Browns have given up the 2nd-most fantasy points to TE’s this year to go along with 5 TD’s. Even if Stefon Diggs plays, he might be on a snap count and Rudolph owners should like what they see in this matchup.
Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TE, New York Jets (SIT)
Seferian-Jenkins has been rock solid for fantasy owners since coming off his suspension at the start of the season, riding a three-game TD streak. But, he lines up against an Atlanta Falcons defense giving up the 8th-fewest fantasy points to TE’s and if the forecast is correct about the heavy rain, then both teams could be leaning on the ground game.