Why A.J. Green is a must-sit and which TE should you start in place of Rob Gronkowski this week?
It was feast or famine once again for wide receivers in fantasy football in Week 8.
Four players notched more than 20 fantasy points, while only 10 other wide receivers were in double digits.
Finding quality matchups continues to be difficult, but noteworthy, with some of those receivers who are teetering on the WR2/WR3 line.
Lineup decisions for wide receivers (and tight ends) figure to be challenging once again with six teams on bye.
Good Calls for Week 8...
Sit Dez Bryant (3.9 fantasy points) – The Cowboys don’t really need a passing game when Ezekiel Elliott is running like he is. However, that won’t the case moving forward it appears.
I said it might be worth the risk to start DeAndre Hopkins (28.4 FP) and I sure hope you listened as he torched the Seahawks for 224 receiving yards, including a long touchdown.
I also warned you about starting Amari Cooper (5.2 FP) one week after his massive 200-yard game and Cooper was back to his usual self – doing nothing.
Bad Calls for Week 8...
Sit Adam Thielen (15.8 FP) – Even with Stefon Diggs back, Thielen dominated the Browns and almost had 100 receiving yards.
Sit Jack Doyle (18.1 FP) – Apparently, Doyle is the only offensive weapon that the Colts have. Just think about that for a second.
Teams on bye: Chicago, Cleveland, Los Angeles Chargers, Minnesota, New England, Pittsburgh
START THESE WRs...
Will Fuller, HOU (vs. IND)
Coming from someone who regrets trading some of his shares of Fuller, it’s time to consider him a top-20 WR, if not higher. Will the regression come? It must. But even if it does, it seems like Fuller’s basement is going to be high enough to make him a must-start every week. He saw eight targets against Seattle, which should ease some of the fears around his high-touchdown, low-volume games, so enjoy while you can.
T.Y. Hilton, IND (at HOU)
In bad matchups, Hilton has done really bad. In good matchups, Hilton had his best games, recording more than 150 receiving yards. The Texans’ defense struggled at stopping the big plays last week, and Hilton still has big-play potential, making him starter-worthy this week when fantasy owners are starting to not feel bad about leaving him on the bench.
Devin Funchess, CAR (vs. ATL)
Funchess' stock went sky high as a result of the Kelvin Benjamin trade, and this week's matchup against the Falcons makes him a must-start, especially with all the teams on bye. Over the last three weeks, Atlanta has allowed four top-20 PPR WR outings, including two that have ranked sixth or better. Funchess might even still be on the waiver wire in some leagues.
MIGHT BE WORTH THE RISK...
Marvin Jones, DET (at GB, Mon.)
After a quiet start to the year, Jones is starting to come on strong against defenses that will be focusing on the primary receiver. Since Green Bay could be putting most of its attention on Golden Tate, Stafford could feed Jones early and often. Especially since the Packers aren’t likely to be on offense for long stretches of time.
SIT THESE WRs...
A.J. Green, CIN (at JAC)
You know how some receivers are so good, you can start them against anybody? That only works if the quarterback can get passes off. This will not be the case in Jacksonville on Sunday as the Jaguars, well-rested after their bye, harass Andy Dalton and blanket his main receivers the whole game. If you must play a Bengal, try running back Joe Mixon, because the wide receivers might not see a pass (the Jaguars have given up the fewest fantasy points to WRs all season).
All Green Bay WRs (vs. DET, Mon.)
Losing Aaron Rodgers, as expected, was truly a death knell for this passing offense. It’s over. New QB Brett Hundley is averaging 1.4 yards per attempt. He threw for 87 yards and a pick, but ran for 44 and a touchdown. All is lost.
Jamison Crowder, WAS (at SEA)
For owners trying to guess which Washington Redskins wide receiver sees the most targets, you're better off picking the winning lotto numbers on any given day. Kirk Cousins has targeted three wideouts at least 30 times through seven games. Crowder's 123-yard performance in the previous outing may entice you but fight the urge to start him. He's going to CenturyLink Field and draws a tough matchup against the Seattle Seahawks. Remember, Crowder has logged five games with fewer than 50 receiving yards. Look at his previous performance as a blip not the start of a trend.
YOU’VE BEEN WARNED...
Demaryius Thomas, DEN (at PHI)
If you’re an owner that has Will Fuller, Kenny Stills or Mohamed Sanu on your roster, do you bench Thomas this week? Probably not, but with Brock Osweiler taking over Trevor Siemian, it’s clear the Broncos’ offense is searching for answers, and they may not come against the Eagles’ stout defense. You don’t want to bench your studs blah blah, but Thomas is a WR3 on the year. JuJu Smith-Schuster is having a better year than him.
START THESE TEs...
Jack Doyle, IND (at HOU)
The man has 32 targets over his last three games and finally had a huge performance, catching 12 passes for 121 yards and a touchdown against the Bengals. There’s no reason to expect Doyle’s target share (he had a whopping 36.8 percent in Week 8) to go down.
Cameron Brate, TB (at NO)
Tampa Bay’s other breakout TE has had six games in a row of double-digit PPR production. Brate has 22 targets over the last three weeks, with a low of five during hta span. He should see plenty of opportunities against the Saints. Play him.
Tyler Higbee, LAR (at NYG)
It’s like science. H + H and O make water. The sky is blue because it is. Tight ends score touchdowns against the Giants. There is no questioning the logic or theory. It is set in stone. Even in the Giants’ lone victory, when they held A.J. Derby and Virgil Green without a touchdown all game, third-string tight end Jeff Heuerman snuck behind the defense and scored. Higbee will play an important role in the Rams’ offense as New York’s secondary has fared well against opposing wide receivers. Look for him to have around five catches and the ninth touchdown scored by a tight end in eight games against the G-Men.
MIGHT BE WORTH THE RISK...
Ben Watson, BAL (at TEN)
It’s a terrible week in a terrible season for tight ends, so let’s just throw Watson out here as someone worth considering if you have Kyle Rudolph or Rob Gronkowski on bye. He’s seeing a consistent 5-6 targets a week and could be a safety valve for either Joe Flacco or Ryan Mallett.
SIT THESE TEs...
Eric Ebron, DET (at GB, Mon.)
Times are desperate, I know. But do you know Darren Fells? He’s getting just as many looks at the TE position as Ebron, and doing a lot more with them. Ebron showed that he was still on the roster last week, but don’t put much stock into him until he puts a few nice games in a row together.
Tyler Kroft, CIN (at JAC)
Tight ends are a safer play than wide receivers against the mighty Jacksonville pass defense, but they still aren’t a very safe play. Kroft will be chipped, pushed, and trapped all over the field Sunday by defenders on their way to Andy Dalton. Avoid the Bengals’ offense this week.
O.J. Howard, TB (at NO)
Howard went off for two touchdowns and 27.8 PPR points two weeks ago, but those who chased the points received a mere 3.6 points in a loss to the Panthers. Regardless, it’s best to avoid the rookie this week as he faces a Saints defense that has surrendered an average of just 37.1 receiving yards and the third-fewest fantasy points to tight ends on the season.
YOU’VE BEEN WARNED...
Austin Hooper, ATL (at CAR)
Hooper will be a popular waiver wire add and streamer this week based on last week’s top-10 performance. But just like his 18 points in Week 1, last Sunday’s performance against the Jets is not the new weekly norm in Atlanta. Driving rain and wind limited deep options and bumped Hooper up in the pecking order. It could be another seven weeks before he scores another touchdown.
— Written by Michael Horvath, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Horvath is a Canadian who also happens to be a fantasy football (not to be confused with CFL) and fitness nut. Follow him on Twitter @realmikehorvath.