Start ‘Em, Sit 'Em is the ultimate look at the best and worst matchups based on a PPR scoring system in fantasy football. This column will not cover the elite players in the NFL like Patrick Mahomes, Christian McCaffrey, Davante Adams, or Travis Kelce. Instead, I'll look at the players you have the most questions about to help you set the most effective starting lineup possible. For all of your final fantasy lineup decisions, be sure to check out my weekly player rankings which will be updated daily throughout the 2021 NFL season.
Byes: Raiders, Ravens
Week 8 Start ‘Em: Quarterbacks
Start of the Week
Kirk Cousins vs. Cowboys (8:20 p.m. ET, NBC): Cousins has been solid for fantasy fans, scoring 22-plus points in four of his first six games. I like him to produce another nice line this week, as he faces a Cowboys defense that’s surrendered 12 touchdown passes and the ninth-most fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks. The folks over at SI Sportsbook have the over/under at 53.5, so expect a high-scoring affair.
Week 8 Start 'Em, Sit 'Em
Joe Burrow at Jets (1 p.m. ET, CBS): Burrow put up a strong stat line last week and seems to be getting into a nice statistical groove in an explosive Bengals offense. He’s a solid option this week, as his team heads to the Big Apple to face the Jets. The Men in Green have allowed 20-plus fantasy points to quarterbacks in two straight games, during which time their starters have averaged well over 300 yards through the air.
Ryan Tannehill vs. Chiefs (1 p.m. ET, CBS): Tannehill hasn’t put up great totals this season, but he is a viable option this week based on a nice matchup against the Colts. Their defense has allowed 16 touchdown passes, which is tied for the second-most in the league, and three quarterbacks have scored more than 21 points against them in 2021. That includes Tannehill, who beat the Colts for 21.5 points back in Week 5.
Carson Wentz vs. Titans (1 p.m. ET, CBS): Wentz has been more productive over the last three weeks, scoring 20-plus points twice while producing a combined seven touchdowns with no interceptions. He’s a streamable option this week, as the veteran goes up against a Titans defense that’s allowed four different quarterbacks to put up 21-plus fantasy points. Consider Wentz a nice multi-quarterback league starter.
Teddy Bridgewater vs. Football Team (4:25 p.m. ET, Fox): Bridgewater hasn’t been all that effective in recent weeks, failing to score more than 18.6 points in five straight games. I do like him as a streamer this week, however, as he has a great matchup at home against the Football Team. No team has allowed more fantasy points to enemy quarterbacks, and the position has recorded six games with 22-plus fantasy points.
- Matthew Stafford at Texans (1 p.m. ET, Fox)
- Matt Ryan vs. Panthers (1 p.m. ET, Fox)
- Trevor Lawrence at Seahawks (4:05 p.m. ET, CBS)
- Matt Ryan vs. Panthers ($5,900)
- Carson Wentz vs. Titans ($5,700)
- Teddy Bridgewater vs. Football Team ($5,400)
Week 8 Sit ‘Em: Quarterbacks
Sit of the Week
Sam Darnold at Falcons (1 p.m. ET, Fox): Darnold has a great matchup this week on paper, as the Falcons have allowed the third-most fantasy points per game to enemy quarterbacks. The problem is that Darnold has been dreadful lately, averaging a mere 7.9 fantasy points in his last three games, all against less-than-stellar defenses. He was also benched in favor of P.J. Walker last week, making Darnold a risk for managers.
Tua Tagovailoa at Bills (1 p.m. ET, CBS): Tagovailoa was a popular streamer in Week 7, and he delivered with four touchdowns and 26.5 fantasy points. He’s now scored 21-plus points in two straight games, but this week’s matchup in Buffalo makes him a sit. The Bills’ defense has been tough on quarterbacks, allowing a league-low five touchdown passes and the fewest fantasy points per game to the position.
Taylor Heinicke at Broncos (4:25 p.m. ET, Fox): Heinicke had a good stat line last week, scoring 20.2 points in a loss to the Packers. He scored 9.5 of those points as a runner, however, and he’s now failed to score more than one touchdown in each of his last three games. Next up is a tough road date against the Broncos, who have allowed just eight touchdown passes and the fourth-fewest points per game to quarterbacks.
Ben Roethlisberger at Browns (1 p.m. ET, CBS): Big Ben and the Steelers are back from a bye week, but this week’s matchup in Cleveland makes him tough to use. While their defense has allowed the fourth-most points per game to the position, that’s due in large part to facing superstars like Kyler Murray, Patrick Mahomes and Justin Herbert. Roethlisberger has also struggled historically in road matchups against the Browns.
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Justin Fields vs. 49ers (1 p.m. ET, Fox): Fields might have a bright future in the NFL, but the here and now has been awful. He’s failed to score more than 8.8 fantasy points in a game, and he’s committed more turnovers (5) than he’s scored touchdowns (2). So while this week’s matchup against the 49ers is actually favorable on paper, you just can’t start Fields with any kind of confidence, even in multi-quarterback leagues.
- Mac Jones at Chargers (4:05 p.m. ET, CBS)
- Jared Goff vs. Eagles (1 p.m. ET, Fox)
- Jimmy Garoppolo at Bears (1 p.m. ET, Fox)
- Jimmy Garoppolo at Bears ($5,600)
- Sam Darnold at Falcons ($5,600)
- Tua Tagovailoa at Bills ($5,500)
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. Click here to read all his articles here on SI Fantasy. You can follow Michael on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram for your late breaking fantasy news and the best analysis in the business!
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