Week 8 Start'em/Sit'em

Wednesday, Oct 27, 2021 at 8:11 pm ET

This is the Fantasy Nerd's look at the best and worst matchups for Week 8 of the 2021 NFL season. Analysis is aggregated from multiple sources including FN. Rankings are based upon PPR (point per reception) scoring. Given the known conditions, these matchups are the ones to watch and/or avoid.

Please Note: This list does not generally include the elite players that you are going to start regardless of matchup. You don't need us to tell you to start Alvin Kamara, Travis Kelce, or Davante Adams. Instead, we take a look at other players on your team that we believe either have great matchups or should be avoided for multiple reasons. Factors like opposing defense, performance trending, and peer comparisons may influence our decisions.

Start 'em Joe Burrow (CIN, QB)
Ranked inside our Top 10 this week is Joe Burrow fresh off a monster 416 yard, 3-score performance against the Ravens. Now, he'll face a Jets defense that gave up back to back 22-point weeks to both Mac Jones and Matt Ryan.
8th Fewest Pts to QB
Start 'em Kirk Cousins (MIN, QB)
The Vikings/Cowboys game is the highest projected point total on the Week 8 slate, so we're expecting a shoot out in this one. Cousins delivered last week to the tune of 373 yards and 3 touchdowns. Keep him penciled in against Dallas who ranks in the top ten in points allowed to QBs on the season.
8th Most Pts to QB
Start 'em Daniel Jones (NYG, QB)
While the last three weeks have not been kind to Danny Dimes, this is a get-right game. The Chiefs are currently surrendering the 2nd-most fantasy points to QBs on the season including multiple 30+ point games this season.
2nd Most Pts to QB
Start 'em Kenneth Gainwell (PHI, RB)
Assuming Miles Sanders misses this game, the Kenneth Gainwell cup may runneth over. He was productive with Sanders atop the depth chart, so it will be interesting to see how the touches are divided between him and Boston Scott. In a plus matchup against the Lions, Gainwell is an RB2 with upside. He's ranked 22nd on Fantasy Nerds this week.
5th Most Pts to RB
Start 'em James Robinson (JAC, RB)
This is a fantastic matchup for Robinson. Not only does Seattle give up the second-most fantasy points to RBs, but Robinson is riding a hot streak finding the endzone at least once in each of his last four games. He's a high-end RB2 with the potential to flirt with RB1 numbers this week.
2nd Most Pts to RB
Start 'em Damien Harris (NE, RB)
This is another fantastic matchup for fantasy owners. After racking up a season-high 106 yards last week (oh yeah - and two scores), Damien Harris gets to face a Chargers defense that has surrendered the third most fantasy points to RBs this season.
3rd Most Pts to RB
Start 'em Michael Pittman (IND, WR)
Ranked 23rd this week among receivers is Michael Pittman fresh off a 4/105/1 performance last week. The matchup is fantastic as nobody has surrendered more fantasy points to receivers than the Titans. Pittman has been averaging 7 targets per game this season, and he could see similar volume if T.Y. Hilton can't go.
Most pts to WR
Start 'em Emmanuel Sanders (BUF, WR)
What a great matchup here for Sanders and the Bills! Miami is giving up the third most fantasy points on the season and has frequently given up double-digit points to opposing teams' #1 and #2 receivers (Ridley/Gage, Jones/Shenault, Evans/Godwin/Brown, Ruggs/Renfrow). Sanders has four straight games of double-digit points and should be a great flex option for fantasy owners this week.
3rd Most Pts to WR
Start 'em Chase Claypool (PIT, WR)
Ranked 29th this week on Fantasy Nerds is Chase Claypool who should be plenty rested after his bye last week. He should have ample opportunity here as Cleveland can be had on big plays. This is the same team that gave up 37 points to Tyreek Hill and 36 points to Mike Williams. He's a flex play with big-play upside.
11th Most Pts to WR
Start 'em Hunter Henry (NE, TE)
Hunter Henry has four straight games with trips to the endzone. While he's sharing duties with Jonnu Smith, it has been Henry who has been the most productive. He's ranked 11th this week on FN facing one of the most generous defenses to tight ends this year.
5th Most Pts to TE
Start 'em Tyler Higbee (LAR, TE)
There are a lot of mouths to feed in the Rams' receiving corp (we're looking at you Cooper Kupp), but a matchup with the Texans is so enticing that Higbee is ranked as a TE1 even though he hasn't delivered big points this season.
2nd Most Pts to TE
Start 'em Cincinnati Bengals (CIN, DEF)
Our top ranked fantasy defense this week is the Cincinnati Bengals facing a Jets offense that has resorted to trading for Joe Flacco. While we can't expect Flacco to pick up the entire playbook in a matter of days, he may actually be an upgrade from what we saw with rookie Zach Wilson. Regardless, this is a matchup where the Bengals are going to feast.
Most pts to DEF
Start 'em Tyler Bass (BUF, K)
Prior to his bye last week, Tyler Bass was the top kicker in fantasy football. He'll look to regain that mantle in a fantastic matchup against Miami. The Dolphins have given up the second-most fantasy points to kickers including multiple double-digit points.
2nd Most Pts to K
Sit 'em Sam Darnold (CAR, QB)
After three less-than-ideal outings, HC Matt Rhule benched Sam Darnold in the fourth quarter last week. Hopefully that was a wake-up call, because this is an incredible matchup against the Falcons. The problem is that it's difficult to trust Darnold to deliver.
3rd Most Pts to QB
Sit 'em Jameis Winston (NO, QB)
Jameis Winston has two games this year with at least 25 points and four games with 16 points or less. It's hard to believe that a Bucs defense that has largely been middle-of-the-road against QBs will suddenly lay down for Winston. We have low expectations for him this week.
15th Most Pts to QB
Sit 'em Tua Tagovailoa (MIA, QB)
Tua Tagovailoa's return has been solid. He's posted at least 21 fantasy points in his last two games, but he will likely struggle this week against the Bills. Nobody is giving up fewer fantasy points to QBs than Buffalo. He got hurt in Week 2 playing against them. We think the outcome will be better than their last matchup obviously, but Tua is barely startable this week even in SuperFlex formats.
Feweset Pts to QB
Sit 'em D'Ernest Johnson (CLE, RB)
If you played D'Ernest Johnson last week in lieu of Chubb/Hunt, you were handsomely rewarded with 146 yards and a score. This week he'll play backup to Nick Chubb. The real question is whether or not he'll fill the Kareem Hunt role in terms of touches or be relegated to splitting those carries with Felton. The lack of clarity on usage along with a brutal matchup against the Steelers (kept both Aaron Jones and Joe Mixon to 10 points) keeps Johnson in flex consideration but not much else.
7th Fewest Pts to RB
Sit 'em Mike Davis (ATL, RB)
Mike Davis is getting awfully close to drop status with Cordarrelle Patterson becoming the clear top option in the Atlanta backfield. Davis was given just four carries last week and tallied a whopping ten yards in the process (1 fantasy point). Add in a tough matchup with the Panthers and Davis shouldn't be anywhere near your lineup for Week 8.
Feweset Pts to RB
Sit 'em Rashaad Penny (SEA, RB)
The Seattle offense is not what it used to be. Opposing defenses are not afraid of Geno Smith, nor are they afraid of the Seattle run game. Rashaad Penny was poised to have a great day in his return last week, and although he played more than a third of the snaps, he finished the day with just nine rushing yards. With Alex Collins expected to garner the lions share of touches this week, Penny can be benched.
8th Most Pts to RB
Sit 'em Allen Robinson (CHI, WR)
At this point, Allen Robinson is simply not startable, and it's going to be tough to trade him and get something of value back. What's a fantasy owner to do? Well, he's ranked 46th this week so putting him on your bench until Justin Fields can become a productive NFL quarterback is probably your best bet.
12th Fewest Pts to WR
Sit 'em Tyler Lockett (SEA, WR)
It's amazing how impactful QB play can be. Lockett has traditionally been a solid fantasy play, but with Geno Smith under center, he's managed just two catches per game. The matchup here is pretty solid and the Jacksonville secondary can be exploited, but can you trust Lockett to deliver anything more than low-end WR3/flex numbers? Probably not.
11th Most Pts to WR
Sit 'em Odell Beckham (CLE, WR)
Here we go again with the injury bug. Beckham is dealing with injuries to both of his shoulders and does not plan on surgery until after the season. Sound familiar? His injury history is long and distinguished. Unfortunately, so are his poor performances. He's averaging just 8 fantasy points (PPR) in the games that he's played this year.
4th Most Pts to WR
Sit 'em C.J. Uzomah (CIN, TE)
A popular waiver wire pickup has been C.J. Uzomah who had a monster fantasy day in Week 7 (3/91/2). The concern is that he scored two touchdowns on three receptions - an unsustainable ratio. He's averaging just 2.7 targets per game and is just not going to see the bulk of the targets given the other skill players on this team. That being said, it's also not normal to see a tight end with multiple 2-TD performances (Uzomah has done that twice now), so if you're streaming and need to hit a homerun, perhaps Uzomah is your guy. Statistically, it's not likely.
6th Most Pts to TE
Sit 'em David Njoku (CLE, TE)
David Njoku has just one big game this year. Given the injuries in the receiving corp, it would have been reasonable for the Browns to lean on the tight end position a bit, but that hasn't happened. It's not likely to happen this week either facing a Steelers defense that ranks inside the Top 10 of fewest fantasy points allowed.
8th Fewest Pts to TE
Sit 'em Indianapolis Colts (IND, DEF)
One of fantasy's best defenses this year belongs on your bench in Week 8. The Colts will face Derrick Henry, a resurgent A.J. Brown, and a Titans team that will be hard to contain.
6th Fewest Pts to DEF
Sit 'em Jason Sanders (MIA, K)
The Bills simply don't allow many points on the board this year (tied for fewest in the league), and the Dolphins may struggle to move the ball effectively in this one. Combine that with Sanders 67% success rate and there are better streaming options.
7th Fewest Pts to K

Join the Discussion

If asking a sit/start question, be sure to provide your scoring format and contribute to answering questions from other FN members as well.

Geoguy CommentedOct 28, 2021 9:28 am

I am in a horrible RB situation with CMC and CEH out... I need two from these yahoos:
M. Davis, J. Williams(Det), D. Johnson(Cle), D. Williams(Chi)...

I think Jamaal is one... for the second I believe Davis will get more carries this week as a 'get right' game.. and I believe CLE can run on PIT, but will D'ernest see enough volume?... Damien.. is he back from covid enough to at least get 50-50 or is he just done and droppable.

Hard to believe the projections on any of these guys... thoughts?

jamisdiablo CommentedOct 28, 2021 6:24 pm

Davis, Williams for me.

Nerd CommentedOct 28, 2021 6:32 pm

Agreed - Davis and Williams

drcharlie CommentedOct 30, 2021 11:41 am

I assume Williams is Jamaal Williams.

Nerd CommentedOct 31, 2021 12:16 pm

Well, Jamaal Williams was just ruled inactive. Would probably go Johnson now

RogueRaider CommentedOct 28, 2021 3:19 pm

I'm concerned starting Rodgers tonight, other option is Tannehill, any thoughts?

jamisdiablo CommentedOct 28, 2021 6:24 pm

Rodgers gonna do fine.

Nerd CommentedOct 28, 2021 6:33 pm

I'd still roll with Rodgers.

jamisdiablo CommentedOct 28, 2021 6:26 pm

Ok guys, full PPR, FLEX start CEdmonds tonight, Thielen or Cooks this weekend? Thanks!

Nerd CommentedOct 28, 2021 6:34 pm

Gotta go Adam 'Hooked on a Thielen'

drcharlie CommentedOct 30, 2021 11:41 am

now i have that song in my head

jamisdiablo CommentedOct 28, 2021 7:58 pm


OldGeezer CommentedOct 29, 2021 2:28 pm

Been working around the injury bug, need to start 5, half ppr. Chubb, Patterson, Fournette, AJ Brown, DK Metcalf, Godwin, E Sanders, Shepard. 2 RB, 2 WR, 1 Flex. Thoughts

Nerd CommentedOct 29, 2021 3:15 pm

Godwin, Brown

jamisdiablo CommentedOct 29, 2021 7:05 pm

Chubb, Godwin, Fournette, Brown, Patterson or Sanders... i just cant with Cordarelle though.

drcharlie CommentedOct 30, 2021 11:42 am

Cordarelle is the backfield and is basically a WR playing RB. Should catch some balls.

jamisdiablo CommentedOct 29, 2021 7:07 pm

full point PPR - start Emitchell or Bcooks in the FLEX, thanks. Don't like cooks QB sitch, but the revenge narrative is there... and yeah, I know Mitchell catches no balls but the volume is there... ugh, maybe I just go Zmoss instead?

Nerd CommentedOct 29, 2021 8:06 pm

I'd still play Cooks

OldGeezer CommentedOct 30, 2021 4:39 am

Streaming defense, can choose between, Colts, Panthers, Falcons, and 49ers.

Nerd CommentedOct 30, 2021 11:37 am

San Fran

drcharlie CommentedOct 30, 2021 11:42 am

49ers for sure

mrock CommentedOct 30, 2021 2:45 pm

Niners should be stout

BlairTaylor CommentedOct 30, 2021 12:28 pm

Gainwell or Mitchell?
Mitchell has volume. Scared of Eagles running backs.

Nerd CommentedOct 30, 2021 12:32 pm

Eli Mitchell in all formats

mrock CommentedOct 30, 2021 2:46 pm


Gary Wieser CommentedOct 30, 2021 1:58 pm

Gainwell, Booker or Javonte? Which 2

mrock CommentedOct 30, 2021 2:46 pm

Gainwell and Booker

Nerd CommentedOct 31, 2021 10:40 am

It helps if you mention scoring. If standard, I'd go Booker/Williams. If half or PPR, I agree with mrock and would go Gainwell/Booker

Jaleelburton53 CommentedOct 30, 2021 2:12 pm

Deebo Samuel, Justin Jefferson, Jamar Chase, Terry Mclaurin, Diontae Johnson, Michael Pittman Jr… Abundance of riches but I struggle each week about who to start and sit. 10 team league PPR.

mrock CommentedOct 30, 2021 2:48 pm

Deebo and Jefferson.

Dude here are two suggestions. 1. Put them in the nerd lineup tool. 2. Trade two of those guys. You should be able to get some solid backs, TE, or whatever. Lots of great guys to not be playing. Just my opinions

Greek 1 CommentedOct 30, 2021 4:57 pm

0.5 ppr k. Allen, C. Patterson, E. Sanders k. Gainwell, need 3 of 4. Help please.

jamisdiablo CommentedOct 31, 2021 10:02 am

Sit gainwell

Nerd CommentedOct 31, 2021 10:39 am

I agree. Sit Gainwell.

jamisdiablo CommentedNov 2, 2021 9:36 am

whats up with mahommes? would you try and move him at this point or stick it out? thanks!

Nerd CommentedNov 2, 2021 9:41 am

Perhaps Aaron Rodgers said it best: Relax
Mahomes is still elite. He'll be fine.

OldGeezer CommentedNov 3, 2021 7:03 pm

Have Bridgewater as my QB this week with Brady off. Should I stay with Bridgewater or pick up Siemian

RogueRaider CommentedNov 4, 2021 12:00 pm

Bridgewater, at least you have a somewhat reliable floor. Who knows maybe Hill will start for NO. He would be an interesting stream because of his rushing ability.

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