Fantasy Football: Week 8 sleepers, daily advice, mailbag

Week 8: Start 'Em & Sit 'Em | Lineup Cheat Sheet

This week might be about survival for your Fantasy team. With the usual allotment of injuries, we also have six teams on a bye, which is always hard to overcome.

It might be tough to field your usual dominant roster, especially with players from Miami, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Los Angeles, San Francisco and the Giants on bye. And several standout Fantasy options are banged up, including LeSean McCoy (hamstring), Tevin Coleman (hamstring) and Martellus Bennett (ankle), among others.

You could find yourself starting several of the players listed here, including Rob Kelley for the Redskins, Quincy Enunwa for the Jets and Cameron Brate for the Buccaneers. And even mediocre quarterbacks like Ryan Fitzpatrick and Brock Osweiler could be worth starting this week since they have exceptional matchups.

We hope your Fantasy teams don't fall apart in Week 8. If you're stuck, go with a few of the players listed here since they should help lead you to a victory.

For all of your must-start options go here for the Week 8 Start 'Em and Sit 'Em.

Editor's Note: Projections are provided by CBS Sports and not Jamey Eisenberg.


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Alex Smith WAS • QB • 11
Week 8 projected stats at IND

The good news for Smith is that four quarterbacks in a row have scored at least 20 Fantasy points in a standard league against the Colts, including Blake Bortles, Brian Hoyer and Osweiler. The bad news for Smith is he doesn't typically post back-to-back games with 20 Fantasy points on a regular basis. He's done that just three times over his past 38 games going back to 2014, but hopefully this is one of those rare moments.

He had 20 Fantasy points against the Saints in Week 7, and that's just the third time this season he's reached that mark. Spencer Ware will obviously dominate touches this week for the Chiefs, but Smith is worth using as a streaming option, especially in two-quarterback leagues.

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Ryan Fitzpatrick TB • QB • 14
Week 8 projected stats at CLE

We're going to find out what's worse this week, the Browns defense or Fitzpatrick. Cleveland has allowed every quarterback this season to score at least 20 Fantasy points in a standard league, including Carson Wentz, Joe Flacco and Ryan Tannehill. Every quarterback has thrown at least two touchdowns against the Browns, and this is as cushy a spot for Fitzpatrick to play well as you can find. But he's been awful this season, and he's only starting this week because Geno Smith (knee) is out for the year

Fitzpatrick has one game this year with at least 20 Fantasy points, which was Week 2 at Buffalo, and he's a risky starting option. But given the matchup and lack of options with six teams on a bye this might be a good week to trust Fitzpatrick, at least as a starter in two-quarterback leagues.

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Brock Osweiler MIA • QB • 8
Week 8 projected stats vs. DET

Fitzpatrick and Osweiler are in similar situations this week. Both have been terrible all year. Both have amazing matchups. And hopefully both succeed if Fantasy owners need to start either one. For Osweiler, he's facing a Lions defense that has allowed every quarterback this season to score at least 20 Fantasy points in a standard league, including Wentz, Hoyer and Case Keenum.

It's hard to imagine even Osweiler screwing this up since he's at home, and his three-best games have been in Houston, with 20 Fantasy points against Chicago in Week 1, 19 points against Tennessee in Week 4 and 20 points against the Colts in Week 6. He should be in that range again this week since the Lions are beat up in their secondary with Darius Slay (hamstring) out, and Osweiler is a quality starting option in all two-quarterback leagues for Week 8.

Running backs

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Matt Asiata DET • RB • 41
Week 8 projected stats at CHI

We're not sure what's going to happen with Jerick McKinnon (ankle) this week, but he was in a walking boot Thursday and has yet to practice as of Friday. If he's out, Asiata could be a star this week at the Bears on Monday night, but even if McKinnon plays we still like Asiata as a low-end starting option. He's been better than McKinnon the past two games, with 15 Fantasy points in a standard league in Week 5 against Houston and seven points at Philadelphia last week.

McKinnon had four points against the Texans and Eagles in each game, and clearly he's not healthy. Asiata also is the better bet to work at the goal line, and he has nine catches to two for McKinnon in the past two games. The Bears have only allowed four running backs to score at least nine Fantasy points this year, but Asiata could be a solid option if given an increased workload this week.

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Jonathan Stewart NYG • RB • 28
Week 8 projected stats vs. ARI

It's not an ideal situation to trust Stewart this week, but given the teams on bye, he could be better than expected. Arizona has allowed only three running backs to score double digits in Fantasy points in a standard league, which were LeGarrette Blount in Week 1, McCoy in Week 3 and Carlos Hyde in Week 5. But the Cardinals defense could be a little fatigued after five grueling quarters against Seattle in Week 7 and then a long road trip to the East Coast for a 1 p.m. start.

The last time Arizona played under that scenario was Week 3 at Buffalo, which is when McCoy led the Bills to a 40-7 victory. Stewart last faced the Panthers in the NFC Championship Game last year and had 19 carries for 83 yards. He should be around eight Fantasy points in a standard league this week, which puts him in the conversation as a No. 2 running back.

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Theo Riddick DET • RB • 25
Week 8 projected stats at HOU
Dwayne Washington RB •
Week 8 projected stats at HOU

It's risky to trust players coming off injuries, but this could be a good week for the Lions backfield now that Riddick and Washington are expected to be active. Riddick has been out two games with an ankle injury, and Washington has missed three games with the same ailment. But the Texans have been miserable in their run defense since J.J. Watt (back) got hurt. A running back has scored or ran for at least 100 yards in five games in a row against Houston, with six running backs scoring double digits in Fantasy points in a standard league over that span.

Detroit doesn't have a traditional backfield, but Washington could score in this game if the Lions get near the goal line (Zach Zenner scored for the Lions last week). And Riddick should be around 80 total yards with the chance to score, which has happened twice in five games for him. Both Lions are at least flex options this week in the majority of leagues, with Riddick a solid starter in PPR.

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Rob Kelley WAS • RB • 20
Week 8 projected stats at CIN
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Chris Thompson WAS • RB • 25
Week 8 projected stats at CIN

Matt Jones (knee) is out for the game in London against the Bengals, which makes Kelley and Thompson the duo for the Redskins this week. Both have the chance to be at least flex options in the majority of leagues, with Thompson a solid starter in PPR. Kelley had a solid preseason and has started to get more work of late, with five carries for 59 yards in Week 6 against Philadelphia and four carries for 15 yards and a one-yard touchdown catch in Week 7 at Detroit. He's worth adding in all leagues where available in case Jones' injury lingers past this week. Thompson is coming off his best game of the year with 12 carries for 73 yards against Detroit and seven catches for 40 yards on seven targets.

He has at least 12 touches in consecutive games and has scored at least nine Fantasy points in a standard league three times this year. Thompson has a higher ceiling than Kelley this week given his ability to catch the ball, but both running backs should be helpful against the Bengals. Cincinnati has allowed a running back to score in three games in a row, with four running backs scoring double digits in Fantasy points in a standard league over that span.

Wide receivers

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Donte Moncrief JAC • WR • 10
Week 8 projected stats vs. KC

Moncrief was one of my favorite breakout candidates this year, so it was painful when he was knocked out in Week 2 with a shoulder injury. He missed five games, but he's expected to return this week against the Chiefs. We don't know how much he'll play, but if he's active he's worth using as a potential No. 3 Fantasy receiver in the majority of leagues.

This is a good matchup since Kansas City has allowed eight touchdowns to opposing receivers, and the Chiefs allow the second-most Fantasy points to the position. T.Y. Hilton is a must-start receiver, but Phillip Dorsett (hamstring) isn't 100 percent and has struggled since Moncrief went down. Andrew Luck probably can't wait to have Moncrief back on the field, and Fantasy owners likely feel the same. Hopefully he will play well in his return to action.

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Brandon LaFell OAK • WR • 19
Week 8 projected stats at WAS

LaFell could be in line for a big game if Washington cornerbacks Josh Norman (concussion) and Bashaud Breeland (ankle) don't play, although the expectation is they will be active. Still, it's hard to overlook the way LaFell has played of late, and he's worth using as a No. 3 Fantasy receiver this week. He's become a reliable weapon for Andy Dalton with four touchdowns in his past three games, including two games with at least four catches and 68 yards over that span.

The Redskins have allowed just six touchdowns to receivers and six to score double digits in Fantasy points in a standard league, but Dalton should test this secondary with A.J. Green, Tyler Eifert and LaFell. And we expect LaFell to match up most with Breeland, which should allow him the chance for another touchdown this week.

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Stefon Diggs MIN • WR • 14
Week 8 projected stats vs. CHI

Diggs has been quiet since his hot start to open the season, and he's been held to four Fantasy points or less in three games since Week 2. He missed Week 5 with a groin injury, which was part of the reason for his poor performances of late, but he should he healthy now after returning in Week 7 at Philadelphia.

He only had two catches for 18 yards against the Eagles, but that should be the game to shake off the rust from being out. Now that he's full-go, we hope he steps up against the Bears, who have allowed the most Fantasy points to opposing receivers this year. Chicago has allowed eight touchdowns to opposing receivers and eight have scored double digits in Fantasy points in a standard league, including six in the past three games.

This is a good week to trust Diggs as a No. 3 Fantasy receiver in all formats.

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Quincy Enunwa NYJ • WR • 81
Week 8 projected stats at CLE

Enunwa just had his best Fantasy performance in Week 7 against Baltimore with 13 points in a standard league. He only had two catches for 73 yards, but he scored on a 69-yard catch and run. He's been quiet since a hot start, which has been frustrating with Eric Decker (shoulder) out, but he could play well this week against the Browns. Brandon Marshall is a must-start Fantasy receiver, but Cleveland has allowed a receiver duo to score in four games this year, including twice in the past two weeks with Kendall Wright and Rishard Matthews and Green and LaFell.

Marshall and Enunwa could be next, and he's worth starting as a No. 3 Fantasy receiver in the majority of leagues.

Tight ends

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Cameron Brate TB • TE • 84
Week 8 projected stats vs. OAK

Our projections have Brate as the No. 6 tight end this week, ahead of guys like Travis Kelce, Kyle Rudolph and Eifert, among others. We hope that's right because Brate is due for a big game. After scoring two touchdowns in Week 3 against the Rams with 16 Fantasy points in a standard league, he's combined for 11 points in his past three games. But this is a great matchup to trust him against the Raiders, who allow the fifth-most Fantasy points to opposing tight ends. And three tight ends have scored against Oakland in the past three games, including Julius Thomas last week.

I expect Brate to be a top 12 tight end in Week 8.

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Gary Barnidge CLE • TE • 82
Week 8 projected stats vs. NYJ

There are two things working in Barnidge's favor this week -- his matchup against the Jets and Josh McCown (shoulder) back as the starter. Barnidge's best production in the past two years has been with McCown, and the Jets have struggled with opposing tight ends all season. Kelce, Jimmy Graham and Jesse James have all scored double digits in Fantasy points against the Jets, and Barnidge is due for his first touchdown this season.

He's been a bust so far in standard leagues with no games with double digits in Fantasy points and four games with five points or less. He's been better in PPR with at least five catches in four of his past five games and least 57 receiving yards in all five outings over that span. This week, he should be good in both formats and is worth starting in all leagues.

DFS Advice for Week 8

Here's my FanDuel lineup for Week 8

Here's my DraftKings lineup for Week 8

I'm excited about Winston this week against the Raiders, and it's easy to stack him with Evans in this matchup on FanDuel. Ware should once again be awesome with Jamaal Charles (knee) out, and Booker will be popular given his price and expanded role now that C.J. Anderson (knee) is out. I have no problem spending big money on Jones at home against the Packers, and Graham has the revenge factor against the Saints this week. And Fuller should do well at home against the Lions.

I'm stacking the Packers on DraftKings this week with Aaron Rodgers, Cobb and Montgomery, and I even considered using Davante Adams in the flex. I opted for Jacquizz Rodgers instead, and he should stay hot against the Raiders. Blount should also remain productive against the Bills, especially after Jay Ajayi just ran through that defense, Gronkowski has a dominant history against Buffalo. I wouldn't be surprised if Snead is great against the Seahawks, who are banged up defensively, and I'm also using Booker here. This should be a good lineup in Week 8.


That's probably a fair trade right now -- Robinson for Martin, not the Jameson -- given how bad Robinson has played, which is mostly a result of the struggling Bortles. We hope Martin is back in Week 9, and if that happens he should get the chance for a quality workload, even as well as Rodgers has played the past two games. Robinson will remain a No. 2 Fantasy receiver moving forward, and hopefully he will snap out of his slump in Week 9 at Kansas City.

James Starks (knee) might be out until Week 11 or 12, and it's hard to know what the Green Bay backfield will look like by then. Things could stay the same, with Montgomery still getting snaps in the backfield, or Knile Davis could take over and lead the team in touches. It's not bad to stash Starks if you have an open roster spot, and the Packers might need him when he's finally healthy. As for Montgomery, he should continue to be a factor in PPR leagues, and he's a No. 3 receiver in standard leagues as well.

I don't want to say that Eifert has a one-week trial period for Fantasy owners, but that might be the case this week against the Redskins. He is expected to see an increase in playing time after returning in Week 7 from his ankle and back injuries to start the year. He only had one catch for 9 yards on two targets, and he played just 15 snaps against the Browns. But if he doesn't produce against Washington then Fantasy owners could cut him since the Bengals have a bye in Week 9. We hope he delivers, but another poor performance could leave Fantasy owners frustrated and ready to move on.

I would only pick up Green if you have a deep roster because it's hard to say if the Steelers will activate him any time soon. And if they do, you can't trust him if Ben Roethlisberger remains out with his knee injury. There's a lot of upside for Green, but he's not worth stashing at the moment in shallow leagues. We hope he's back at 100 percent in the next couple of weeks, but you can wait to add him in most formats.

I would consider it depending on what other players are out there at running back and receiver, but Winston can be your starter for the rest of the year. He has a tremendous schedule in the near future with Oakland, Atlanta and Chicago in the next three games, and his only terrible matchup is against Seattle in Week 12. You might have a different quarterback by then, but Winston should be better than Palmer and Smith for the next few weeks. I'm using Winston as a starter in two of my leagues.

Senior Fantasy Writer

Jamey Eisenberg has been a Senior Fantasy Writer for CBS Sports since 2006 with a focus on Fantasy Football. A University of Florida grad (class of '98), Jamey got his start in the newspaper business and... Full Bio

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