Stafford's arm could get a lot of work on Sunday
Fantasy owners looking ahead to Week 8 are likely faced with some tough start/sit decisions. With injuries and two teams on a bye, trying to fill your lineup is tough. For most owners, their quarterback and tight end may be set, but they are playing defense/special teams (DST) roulette. Others may have the Patriots DST locked in their roster but are debating between two quarterbacks or tight ends. Always look at the match-up and how the players are most likely to perform.
Teams on bye: Baltimore, Dallas
START These Quarterbacks
Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks at Atlanta Falcons
Wilson has been fairly consistent this season, throwing for about 275 yards and a couple of touchdowns each game. He only has one interception on the season and will also likely contribute about 25 yards on the ground. In Week 8, however, he faces the Atlanta Falcons, who allow the second-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks. The secondary is beatable, and Wilson will likely take every advantage of that. He's a solid QB1 for Week 8.
Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions vs. New York Giants
With Kerryon Johnson on injured reserve, Ty Johnson and J.D. McKissic will take over at running back. What that means for Stafford is less reliance on the running game. McKissic is a decent pass-catching back, and Stafford will likely involve him this week. More likely, however, Stafford will take advantage of a good matchup against the New York Giants. He just threw for 364 yards and four touchdowns (all to Marvin Jones) in Week 7. He'll continue throwing in Week 8, making him a borderline QB1.
SIT These Quarterbacks
Philip Rivers, Los Angeles Chargers at Chicago Bears
The Chargers face the Bears in Week 8. While the Bears offense has been struggling, the defense has still been solid. The Bears have only allowed six TD passes and only one quarterback has more than 300 yards. Rivers has been playing well, but he often struggles with tough matchups. This is the case for Week 8. He's a QB2.
Jacoby Brissett, Indianapolis Colts vs. Denver Broncos
After throwing for 326 yards and four touchdowns, it's tough to put Brissett on the "sit" list, but this is matchup-based. Brissett has done a great job of exploiting suspect defenses. In Week 8, he goes up against the Broncos, who give up the third-fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks. They've only allowed six TD passes so far this season, and the only quarterback to throw for more than 250 yards was Derek Carr in Week 1. Brissett should be viewed as a QB2 this week.
START This Tight End
Cameron Brate, Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Tennessee Titans
Assuming O.J. Howard is out, Brate may flirt with TE1 status. Howard had a limited practice on Wednesday but was out on Thursday. Mid-week downgrades are never good, so fantasy owners should plan to be without Howard. This paves the way for Brate, who already has two touchdowns in the past three weeks. He also only has six receptions, so fantasy owners are hoping that he scores a touchdown. However, against the Tennessee Titans, who have given up for touchdowns to opposing tight ends, it's likely he does find the end zone.
SIT This Tight End
Greg Olsen, Carolina Panthers at San Francisco 49ers
Olsen did well in Weeks 2 and 3, against Tampa Bay and Arizona, but struggled against Houston and Jacksonville. In Week 8, he faces the 49ers, who allow the third-fewest fantasy points to opposing tight ends. While Olsen used to be a no-brainer TE1, at this point, he's inconsistent. He should be started for good matchups, but don't expect him to excel in the tough games.
START This Defense/Special Teams (DST)
Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Miami Dolphins (Mon.)
The Steelers face the tanking Dolphins. So far, depending on league scoring, all teams facing the Dolphins have scored double-digit fantasy points. Each team has recorded at least one sack, and all but Dallas posted at least one interception. The Dolphins scored a season-high 21 points last week. The Steelers have a sack in every game so far and have an interception in their last four games. This DST should put up decent fantasy points in Week 8.
SIT This Defense/Special Teams (DST)
Carolina Panthers at San Francisco 49ers
The Panthers DST has performed very well since Week 1, recording a sack in every game. They recorded eight sacks against the Cardinals. Before the bye week, they had seven sacks and five interceptions against the Bucs. However, they face a much tougher opponent in the 49ers in Week 8. Jimmy Garoppolo hasn't been sacked more than twice in a game. He does have six interceptions on the year, but this isn't a great matchup for the Panthers DST.
— Written by Sarah Lewis, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network and lives, eats, and breathes fantasy football. Have a fantasy football question? Send it to her on Twitter @Sarah_Lewis32.