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

2RW867F Houston, Texas, USA. 17th Sep, 2023. Houston Texans wide receiver Nico Collins (12) avoid Indianapolis Colts cornerback Darrell Baker Jr. (39) after a pass reception during the fourth quarter between the Houston Texans and the Indianapolis Colts at NRG Stadium in Houston, TX on September 17, 2023. (Credit Image: © Erik Williams/ZUMA Press Wire) EDITORIAL USAGE ONLY! Not for Commercial USAGE! Credit: ZUMA Press, Inc./Alamy Live News

Start Trevor Lawrence: The Jacksonville Jaguars star is on a hot streak and is well-suited to face the Pittsburgh Steelers defense.

Sit Zack Moss: Jonathan Taylor has played only 50% of his team's offensive snaps since his return, but this could be the week he starts taking over the backfield.

Start Nico Collins: The Houston Texans’ top wide receiver has become a weekly must-start because of his recent performances. However, it's especially important to have him in lineups in Week 8, given his matchup. 

Estimated reading time: 8 minutes


Deciding who to start or sit in fantasy football can be as easy as looking at the PFF rankings and going with the higher-ranked player. This start ’em, sit ’em column digs a step 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.

Jump to a position group:

QB | RB | WR | TE | DEF/ST | K

WR:CB Matchup Chart

QUARTERBACKS

START

Trevor Lawrence, Jacksonville Jaguars
  • Lawrence got off to a slow start to his season from a fantasy perspective, but he has finished as a top-12 fantasy quarterback in each of the last two weeks.
  • He’s played relatively well all season, with his 81.8 overall grade ranking eighth among quarterbacks through Week 7.
  • According to PFF's strength of schedule tool, the Jaguars have the seventh-best matchup for quarterbacks.
  • The Steelers have allowed 241 passing yards per game, eighth-most among defenses. They line up in man coverage at the seventh-highest rate in the league.
  • Over the last two seasons, Lawrence has earned an 81.0 passing grade against man coverage compared to a 73.0 grade against zone. His big-time throw rate is 5.6% against man coverage compared to 3.9% against zone.

Jared Goff, Detroit Lions
  • Goff has been outstanding to start the year, earning an 85.7 overall grade that ranks fifth among all quarterbacks through seven weeks.
  • However, he’s been hit or miss from a fantasy perspective. He has three games as a top-four fantasy quarterback, but he's also finished outside the top 12 four times.
  • He’s thrown at least 28 times for 200-plus yards in every game. The big difference between his good and bad fantasy games is his touchdown count.
  • The three good games came against defenses that have allowed a touchdown on 3.9% of passing attempts. The four bad games came against defenses that have allowed a touchdown on 3.2% of passing attempts.
  • The Lions have the sixth-best matchup for quarterbacks this week, according to our strength of schedule tool. The Raiders have allowed a touchdown on 4.2% of passing attempts, increasing the odds that Goff can find the end zone multiple times in week 8.
  • Amon-Ra St. Brown is top-10 among wide receivers in missed tackles forced, while the Raiders have missed a tackle on 15% of their passing plays, the fourth-worst mark among defenses. This increases the chances of St. Brown breaking off a big play for a touchdown.

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