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NFL Week 8 fantasy football start ’em, sit ’em

Jacksonville, Florida, USA; New York Giants quarterback Daniel jones (8) gets ready to throw the ball against the Jacksonville Jaguars in the fourth quarter at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Reper-USA TODAY Sports

• Start Daniel Jones: The Giants quarterback has put up excellent rushing production mixed with average passing. He can be a fantasy starter most weeks, but his Week 8 matchup pushes him over the top.

• Sit Kareem Hunt: The Browns running back hasn’t had much fantasy success since Week 1, and his Week 8 matchup against the Bengals isn’t a strong one for him to rebound.

• Start Mike Gesicki: He’s been inconsistent this season with very high highs and low lows, but this Week 8 matchup against the Lions is one where he can excel.

Estimated Reading Time: 10 mins

Deciding who to start or sit can be as easy as looking at the PFF rankings and starting the player ranked higher. This start ’em, sit ’em column digs a bit deeper, looking into why someone you might typically start might not have a good week, or why someone overlooked might have a good week. In many cases, it’s the usual starters who should star, but we want to explore the borderline players, too.

QUARTERBACKS

START

Derek Carr, Las Vegas Raiders
  • Carr has finished as a top-12 fantasy quarterback in three of his past five games.
  • That’s in part because he has one of the best wide receiver trios in the NFL.
  • Las Vegas should have all of its starting receivers in this game, as Darren Waller is practicing after missing last week and Hunter Renfrow has played in their past two games after missing time earlier in the season.
  • The Raiders' offensive line started as one of the worst in the league but has improved as the season has progressed.
  • Las Vegas plays the Saints, who lack a single player in their front four with a pass-rush productivity mark above 7.0.
  • All nine of Carr’s touchdowns this season have come when he’s not under pressure.
Daniel Jones, New York Giants
  • Jones has scored the 10th-most fantasy points for a quarterback this season.
  • His 0.52 fantasy points per dropback also ranks 10th-best among quarterbacks.
  • Jones’ 81.1% adjusted completion percentage is the best among quarterbacks this year.
  • The Giants have the seventh-best matchup for quarterbacks this week, according to PFF's strength of schedule tool.
  • Jones is averaging 7.1 yards per attempt against zone defense the past two seasons, compared to 5.4 against man.
  • He’s playing the Seahawks, who play zone defense at the eighth-highest rate in the NFL.

SIT

Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
  • Rodgers has yet to register a single top-10 fantasy finish this season. Jacoby Brissett is the only other quarterback who has started every game to also not finish with a top-10 rank in a game.
  • This is in part due to the Packers having one of the worst trios of wide receivers in the NFL.
  • The Packers have the sixth-worst matchup for quarterbacks this week, according to PFF's strength of schedule tool.
  • The Bills have used zone defense on 76.3% of pass plays — the fifth-highest rate in the NFL this season.
  • Rodgers sports an 8.7% big-time throw rate against man defenses over the past two seasons, but that decreases to 5.2% against zone.
Trevor Lawrence, Jacksonville Jaguars
  • Lawrence has finished as a bottom-half quarterback in fantasy points for two of the past four games.
  • His wide receivers have value in fantasy football due to volume, but the unit is fifth-worst in the league this season.
  • He faces the Broncos, who have allowed the fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks per game.
  • They have allowed only three touchdowns to quarterbacks, while every other team has surrendered at least five.
  • Lawrence has a 9-to-7 touchdown to interception ratio against man defenses the past two seasons, compared to 4-to-14 against zone over the same span.
  • The Broncos are employing zone at the sixth-highest rate this season.

RUNNING BACKS

START

Raheem Mostert, Miami Dolphins
  • Mostert has finished as a top-15 fantasy running back in two of his past three games.
  • The Dolphins have the best matchup for running backs this week, according to PFF's strength of schedule tool.
  • The Lions have allowed the second-most fantasy points to running backs per game.
  • The Dolphins are favorites in Detroit, so they should be running more than usual against the Lions.
  • Mostert has been the unquestioned top running back in Miami over the past month, including playing a majority of third downs and in two-minute drills despite being a traditional two-down running back.

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