Gronk has turned back the clock these past few weeks and should be able to take advantage of a great matchup on Monday night
Fantasy owners heading into Week 8 need to look at their team and try to win. Obviously, you want to do that each week, but the playoffs are going to be here before we know it. The Sunday slate on Week 8 is on Nov. 1 — somehow we made it to November, but with Thanksgiving around the corner, the fantasy season will be over before we know it. Start the guys on your team (don't forget about byes) that have the best matchups and will perform the best (as well as we can predict). It's time to drop the dead weight on your bench and play to win.
Teams on bye: Arizona, Houston, Jacksonville, Washington
START These QBs
Ryan Tannehill, Tennessee Titans at Cincinnati Bengals
Tannehill has looked good in the past few weeks, even in what were tough matchups. He faced the Bills in Week 5 and threw three touchdowns and ran for another. He followed that up in Week 6 against the Texans with four touchdowns. And last week, against the Steelers, he still threw for 220 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. It's not to say that Tannehill is matchup-proof, but against the Bengals, who allowed Baker Mayfield to throw five touchdowns last week, Tannehill should be started.
Carson Wentz, Philadelphia Eagles vs. Dallas Cowboys
The Eagles don't have a lot of pass catchers and the offense does struggle. However, they are facing the Cowboys, who have plenty of issues of their own. Wentz needs this game and he's coming off one where he threw for 359 yards, produced three total TDs (one rushing), and turned it over just once. Wentz the runner has saved his season fantasy-wise with five rushing touchdowns. Even if he doesn't add to that total on Sunday night, he's a back-end QB1 in Week 8.
SIT These QBs
Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints at Chicago Bears
Brees plays best at home against teams that are quarterback-friendly. Neither of those is going to happen in Week 8. Brees heads to Chicago to face what is a tough defense. He may be without Michael Thomas and/or Emmanuel Sanders again this week. It could be another Alvin Kamara week. The Bears' defense is tough across the board (second-fewest fantasy points allowed to QBs, fourth-fewest to WRs, ninth-fewest to RBs). Brees is only a QB2 this week.
Cam Newton, New England Patriots at Buffalo Bills
Newton was benched in Week 7, but he is still the team's starting quarterback. After missing a game because of COVID-19, Newton has yet to throw a touchdown, but he's thrown five interceptions in that same span. He has one game (Week 2) with more than 200 passing yards. Newton faces the Bills in Week 8. Buffalo's defense is certainly no pushover, so this won't be easy for the Patriots or Newton to turn things around. He hasn't found a receiver that he can truly connect with and the running game isn't taking over for him. If possible, keep Newton on the bench this week.
START These TEs
Rob Gronkowski, Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New York Giants (Mon.)
In the past two weeks, Gronk has had five receptions for at least 60 yards and a touchdown in each game. Tom Brady has found his old pal, and the two are going to continue to connect as long as Gronk is healthy. Chris Godwin is out this week because of a finger injury. Antonio Brown has joined the team, but is not going to be active in Week 8. This is going to be a week where Mike Evans and Gronkowski hog the targets. The Bucs should easily beat the Giants and Gronk should be a large part of that.
Richard Rodgers, Philadelphia Eagles vs. Dallas Cowboys
Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert are still on injured reserve. The Eagles are lacking in pass catchers and they need a tight end to step up. Rodgers was the starting tight end in Week 7 and had eight targets. He caught six of them for 85 yards. He'll be the starting tight end again against the Cowboys in Week 8. The Cowboys allowed Logan Thomas to score in Week 7 (one of four tight ends to do so this season). Rodgers is a decent fill-in for fantasy owners.
SIT These TEs
Evan Engram, New York Giants vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Mon.)
Engram had the opportunity to win the game for the Giants in Week 7 and he dropped a ball that was in his hands. He also tipped a pass from Daniel Jones, which resulted in an interception. As a quarterback, it will be hard for Jones to trust his tight end. The matchup against the Bucs isn't an easy one and the Giants now have Sterling Shepard back to take some targets away. Fantasy owners may not have better options, but Engram is no longer a TE1.
Jared Cook, New Orleans Saints at Chicago Bears
The Saints face the Bears in Week 8, which is a tough matchup to begin with. Cook seemed like he was going to be a TE1 this season. That hasn't quite happened. He hasn't had more than three receptions in a game since Week 1. He has three touchdowns, and those are the only thing keeping him fantasy relevant. A touchdown may be tough to come by in Week 8, making Cook a mediocre fantasy option.
START This Defense/Special Teams (DST)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New York Giants (Mon.)
The Bucs face the Giants, a team in shambles. They lost to the Eagles (who also are not a great football team) and Daniel Jones has been struggling all season. He has seven interceptions and five fumbles in seven games this season. The Bucs DST has had an interception in every game since Week 1 and also has produced 11 sacks in the past three weeks. Tampa Bay is a great start for Week 8.
SIT This Defense/Special Teams (DST)
Pittsburgh Steelers at Baltimore Ravens
The Steelers have been a solid defense this season. However, they are facing the Ravens in Week 8. They have had a great offense this season, scoring at least 20 points in every game. They lost the one game where they did score 20, and won all the rest, scoring 27 or more points. Lamar Jackson has only thrown two interceptions this season. The Steelers DST is certainly worth holding onto, but sit them this week if possible.
— 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.
(Top photo courtesy of buccaneers.com)