Week 8 Starts And Sits October 27, 2016  |  Jackson Safon


I went to the Senior Bowl this year to do some general scouting, but also to cover the USC players attending. The general impression from everyone there was that this crop of quarterbacks was pretty awful and one of the worst in recent years. Yet, this week it looks like Kevin Hogan will start for the Browns, marking the FIFTH quarterback from the Senior Bowl to get a start (Hogan, Kessler, Prescott, Wentz, Brissett). While this is remarkable in its own right, it’s comical when considering that number one overall pick Jared Goff has yet to take an NFL snap.

But this column is about starts and sits, not the absurdity of the NFL, so let’s bring it back:

Don’t start Kevin Hogan this week. Just don’t.

As far as last week went, I’ll take a victory on the quarterbacks (Mariota was QB12 and Manning was QB24) and the tight ends (Doyle was TE3 and Ertz was TE27). It goes downhill from there though. I advocated for starting Jamaal Charles and sitting Matt Forte. Granted, the Charles recommendation was prior to his knee swelling up in practice, but it was still a rough day for me calling shots on running backs. With that, let’s get to it.


Quarterbacks

Start: Russell Wilson @ NO

The consensus number three quarterback in fantasy football this summer has been a massive disappointment. He’s not even a top-20 quarterback so far. But there’s good news! He’s going up against a Saints team allowing the seventh most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks so far this year. This game has the fourth highest over/under of the week so Vegas is expecting some points to be scored.

Wilson has been clearly hobbled so far this season by his knee injury, but the Saints have the third fewest sacks in the NFL this season, so the Seahawks won’t be expecting a ton of pressure. While Wilson isn’t an elite play simply because he’s been so disappointing this year, this week is a great opportunity for him to bounce back.

Other starts: Derek Carr @ TB, Andrew Luck vs. KC

Sit: Dak Prescott vs. Phi

Dak “The Savior” Prescott has been infinitesimally better than advertised so far this season (although someone said he looked better than Wentz at the Senior Bowl), all the way to a top-15 fantasy season so far. He’s made great decisions, been accurate with his throws, and has rode Ezekiel Elliot. He might even have worked his way into a starting job when Tony Romo returns.

But he should not be starting for your team this week.

The Eagles defense has arguably been a top-5 unit so far this season, and they have been fantasy death to opposing quarterbacks. Philadelphia has allowed the fewest fantasy points to opposing QBs, at a measly 11.61 per game, according to Yahoo. Sure, Prescott could find the end zone, but in a game with the lowest over/under of the week, and going up against a great defense, I’m staying away.

Other sits: Cam Newton vs. Ari, Tyrod Taylor vs. NE


Running Backs

Start: Melvin Gordon @ Den

There are definitely a lot of reasons to be skeptical about Gordon this week. He’s almost assuredly going to regress in the touchdown department; he yards per carry numbers aren’t great; and he is going up against the Broncos defense. Not ideal.

However, the Broncos defense has actually been pretty average in terms of defending running backs so far this season. While these numbers are inflated due to the pummeling given to them by the Falcons backfield, they are still only 14th in fantasy points allowed to running backs. Plus, while Gordon is likely to regress in terms of touchdowns, he’s a lock for touches. Gordon played a career-high 65 snaps last week and has averaged over 55 in the past six games. Since Danny Woodhead has been out, Gordon has simply played a ton and has shown some improvement as a receiver this year.

While the matchup isn’t great, the lock for touches is safe enough to play Gordon this week.

Other starts: Jacquizz Rodgers vs. Oak, Spencer Ware @ Ind

Sit: Mark Ingram vs. Sea

On a per-game basis this year, Ingram is actually the RB12 in PPR scoring. And the Saints offense always seems to click at home. And this game has the fourth highest expected points total of the week.

Too bad he’s going up against Superhuman Bobby Wagner and the Seahawks defense. While the Cardinals-Seahawks game last weekend was pretty unexciting to watch, Wagner was basically Hercules on the field. David Johnson did amass over 110 yards but was held to under 4 yards per carry. The Seahawks offense has been abysmal this year, but the defense has been the same old, same old. The Saints’ passing game should be okay, but Ingram does not get a start for me this week.

Other sits: Jonathan Stewart vs. Ari, Mike Gillislee vs. NE


Wide Receivers

Start: Brandon Marshall @ Cle

Another disappointing week for Marshall despite a mild bounce-back from Ryan Fitzpatrick. I still believe the Marshall has some left in the tank, and if he’s going to show it, this would be the week. The Browns defense has surrendered the fifth most fantasy points to receivers this year and don’t have much talent in the secondary.

The Browns haven’t generated a ton of pressure this year either, so Fitzpatrick should have some time in the pocket to find his receivers. Marshall still received 36 percent of the Jets’ targets last week, so the volume should be there. While betting on Fitzpatrick finding his guys is never a good idea, I think this could be a resurgent week for Marshall.

Other starts: Allen Robinson @ Ten, Doug Baldwin @ NO

Sit: Alshon Jeffery vs. Min

Stay. Away. From. The. Vikings. Defense.

I said it last week and Jordan Matthews ended up with three catches for ten yards. The Minnesota secondary is where passing attacks go to die. I’m still a believer in Jeffery this season, especially with Cutler on the mend, but this is not the week.

Other sits: Kelvin Benjamin vs. Ari, Robert Woods vs. NE


Tight Ends

Start: Jack Doyle, P.I. vs. KC

Jack Doyle, Private Investigator, Sherlock’d his way to a touchdown last week, and I think this week will be more of the same. He’s played great, and if Dwayne Allen misses another week, he could be an elite play this week. Andrew Luck simply loves the guy and continues to feed him targets.

Other starts: Gary Barnidge vs. NYJ, Jimmy Graham @ NO

Sit: Coby Fleener vs. Sea

Fleener was honestly one of my favorite tight ends going into this season, but recently he hasn’t even been outsnapping Josh Hill. Fantasy football is all about volume, and Fleener just simply isn’t getting it right now. It’s always good to hammer the Saints passing game when they play in the Superdome, but I’m not a huge fan of Fleener’s usage right now.

Other sits: Zach Miller vs. Min, Tyler Eifert vs. Wash

You can tell Jackson why he’s wrong or ask him any start/sit questions on Twitter.

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