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Erickson: NFL Week 8 fantasy football start 'em or sit 'em

Oct 25, 2020; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Leonard Fournette (28) is tackled by Las Vegas Raiders free safety Erik Harris (25) during the first half at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Week 8 presents the start of the “witching hour” for fantasy football managers, as the start/sit decisions made this week will either jump start a championship run or result in other managers questioning if Adam Gase is in charge of the roster. 

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Injuries continue to ravage fantasy lineups, and bye weeks have us scrambling to find replacements for the likes of  Kyler Murray, DeAndre Hopkins, Deshaun Watson, Terry McLaurin, Will Fuller V, James Robinson and D.J. Chark Jr.

Many rosters won’t be at 100% in Week 8, so we need to salvage victories however we can. I'm here to be your guide through weekly sit/start questions across traditional 10- and 12-team leagues, along with deeper formats.

So, without further ado, get ready for the eighth edition of the 2020 PFF fantasy football start ‘em or sit ‘em. It's time to find out which players are tricks and which ones are treats for NFL Week 8.

QUARTERBACKS

Oct 22, 2020; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz (11) passes the ball against the New York Giants during the first quarter at Lincoln Financial Field. Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

TREAT: CARSON WENTZ, PHILADELPHIA EAGLES

Carson Wentz has had the odds stacked against him this season, with injuries across the offensive line and to the majority of his pass-catchers. But despite the team’s offensive woes over the past two weeks, he has averaged over 28 fantasy points per game.

He hasn’t scored fewer than 17 points since Week 2, and he finally gets a great matchup in Week 8 against the Dallas Cowboys. Big D has allowed the league’s second-highest passer rating (123.6) to opposing quarterbacks and has given up the second-highest passing touchdown percentage (7.2%).

Wentz is also running the ball more than he has in years past, which is significantly increasing his fantasy value. He’s averaging five rushing attempts per game, and although it is hard to rely on him to keep up his pace of rushing touchdowns (0.71 per game), he should see positive touchdown regression on his passing attempts.

The Eagles signal-caller owns a 2.2% end-zone touchdown percentage, 21st among quarterbacks, and the Dallas defense has allowed a touchdown on over 50% of the end-zone throws faced.

There’s also a glimmer of hope that Wentz’s offensive arsenal could receive a boost in the form of rookie Jalen Reagor, who has a chance to be available for Sunday night. Reagor has only played in two games this season, though he did flash his big-play upside by hauling in one catch for 40-plus yards. 

TREAT: JOE BURROW, CINCINNATI BENGALS

Burrow is coming off his best game to date as a pro, throwing for over 400 yards and three touchdowns against a woeful Cleveland Browns defense. Based on that performance, he has to be locked into starting lineups in another plus matchup against the Tennessee Titans.

Tennessee has allowed an average of three passing touchdowns and over 300 yards passing in their last two games, and Mike Vrabel & Co. also offers Burrow the chance to cash in on some serious touchdown regression when it comes to end-zone throws.

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