Week 8 Start ‘Em: Wide Receivers
Byes: Cardinals, Football Team, Jaguars, Texans
Start of the Week
Tyler Boyd vs. Titans
Boyd was listed as a start ‘em last week, and he produced a solid line with 13 targets, 101 yards, and nearly 28 fantasy points against the Browns. He should remain in all lineups this week too, as a favorable matchup against the Titans is next on the slate. Their defense has struggled against slot receivers, allowing 7.5 catches and the third-most fantasy points per game to the position. In fact, five wideouts have scored at least 10 points against them on routes out of the slot. Consider Boyd a high-end No. 2.
Week 8 Start 'Em, Sit 'Em
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Justin Jefferson at Packers
Jefferson has been on absolute fire in recent weeks, leading all wide receivers in yards (467) and fantasy points (89.7) in the three weeks before the Vikings’ bye. He also saw an average of 7.5 targets per game in that time, and that sort of volume should continue in Green Bay. While the threat of seeing Packers CB Jaire Alexander looms, their defense can be vulnerable to wideouts. We saw that last week, as Houston’s trio of Randall Cobb, Brandin Cooks and Will Fuller all scored at least 12.5 fantasy points.
Travis Fulgham vs. Cowboys (SNF)
Fulgham has emerged as one of the season's top waiver-wire adds, scoring at least 12.3 fantasy points in four straight games, including one game with over 31 points. I like him as a No. 2 wideout this week, as Dallas has been awful against receivers lined out wide. In fact, their defense has allowed 10 touchdowns and the third-most fantasy points to the position. In all, seven receivers have scored at least 15 points versus their putrid defense while lined out wide, including four who’ve scored at least 19 points.
Brandon Aiyuk at Seahawks
Aiyuk is coming off a solid game against the Patriots, producing six catches on seven targets and 17.5 fantasy points. He's going to be in play this week too, as the Niners travel to Seattle to face the Seahawks. Their defense has been dreadful against wide receivers, allowing 60.2 fantasy points per game (not a typo) to the position. No other team is allowing even 50 points per game. With Deebo Samuel (hamstring) out for Week 8, Aiyuk could wind up seeing plenty of targets in this tremendous matchup.
Jarvis Landry vs. Raiders
Landry didn't produce a huge stat line last week, but he did catch five passes on six targets in a win over the Bengals. With Odell Beckham Jr. out for the season, Landry should now see a slightly larger target share in the passing attack moving forward. That's good news for fantasy fans, as is this week's matchup against the Raiders. Their defense has allowed the fifth-most fantasy points to enemy slot receivers, including six catches and 80.2 yards per game. I'd consider Landry a nice flex option this weekend.
- Mike Evans at Giants (MNF)
- Cooper Kupp at Dolphins
- Tee Higgins vs. Titans
- Brandon Aiyuk at Seahawks (DraftKings: $5,800)
- Corey Davis at Bengals (DraftKings: $5,100)
- Rashard Higgins vs. Raiders (DraftKings: $4,200)
Week 8 Sit ‘Em: Wide Receivers
Sit of the Week
Amari Cooper at Eagles (SNF)
I get it. Sitting Cooper is tough to do during the bye weeks. But for those who have depth at wide receiver, he's a player to avoid for several reasons. First, the Cowboys offensive line is a total mess of injuries. Second, third-string quarterback Ben DiNucci could be under center with Andy Dalton in the NFL's concussion protocol. Finally, a matchup against Eagles cornerback Darius Slay is anything but favorable. If you do start Cooper, I will temper expectations in this matchup of NFC East foes.
Darius Slayton vs. Buccaneers (MNF)
Slayton failed to produce a strong stat line last week, as he played second fiddle in the passing attack to Sterling Shepard and Evan Engram. He’s also averaged just 8.1 fantasy points in his last two games, and an upcoming matchup against the Bucs makes him a fade for me. Their defense has allowed an average of 97 yards with three touchdowns to opposing receivers lined out wide, which is where Slayton has run an average of 28.9 routes per game. Slayton’s matchup, plus a low floor, make him a sit ‘em.
DeVante Parker vs. Rams
Parker has been a reliable option for fantasy fans this season, averaging nearly 13 points per game while leading the Dolphins wideouts in snaps, routes, and targets. This week's matchup isn't great though, as he'll face cornerback Jalen Ramsey and a Rams defense that's allowed just one receiver to score more than 10.7 fantasy points on out-wide routes. We’re also not certain what sort of rapport Parker will have with his new quarterback, rookie Tua Tagovailoa. Unless you lack depth, Parker is a fade this week.
T.Y. Hilton at Lions
Hilton has a good matchup on paper this week, as the Lions have surrendered seven touchdowns and the 7th-most fantasy points to wideouts. Here’s the problem. Hilton has had more than his share of favorable matchups this season, and he’s still put up one game with more than 9.3 points. The Colts should find plenty of success on the ground against Detroit too, so the game script is unlikely to be in Hilton’s favor. The Colts are also 27th in pass attempts per game, which is another reason to sit Hilton again.
Chase Claypool at Ravens
Claypool is tough to sit during the bye weeks, but his usage went way down last week with Diontae Johnson back in the lineup. If D.J. is active once again, Claypool will be tough to trust. The rookie has had a max of four targets in games Johnson has played, and that's not going to get it done for fantasy fans. Also keep in mind that Baltimore is fresh off a bye week and have allowed the fifth-fewest fantasy points to receivers lined out wide. What's more the position has averaged 73 yards with just two touchdowns.
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- Mike Williams at Broncos
- Jerry Jeudy vs. Chargers
- Marvin Jones Jr. vs. Colts
- Adam Thielen at Packers (DraftKings: $7,200)
- DeVante Parker vs. Rams (DraftKings: $5,700)
- JuJu Smith-Schuster at Ravens (DraftKings: $5,400)
Michael Fabiano is an award-winning fantasy football analyst on Sports Illustrated and a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA) Hall of Fame. You can follow Michael on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram for the latest news and analysis!
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