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Week 8 starts & sits: Brandon Aiyuk, Julian Edelman, Le’Veon Bell, & more

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5 players to start and sit this week in fantasy football.

NFL: San Francisco 49ers at New England Patriots Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

Normally I give you my top fantasy football starts and sits for any given week in audio form but since I was rudely ditched by all my co-hosts on the RB1 podcast, this week I’m coming to you via the written medium.

So, no time to waste, let’s just jump right into five players to start and five players to sit in Week 8 fantasy football.

START

QB Teddy Bridgewater vs Atlanta Falcons

Bridgewater has been on a nice little run as of late, throwing two touchdowns in three of his last four games. Now he has the pleasure of playing the Falcons who have surrendered the most passing touchdowns to quarterbacks this season (19!). Bridgewater had his second best fantasy game of the season against the Falcons when he first played them back in Week 5, throwing for 313 yards and two touchdowns. I’d fully expect similar numbers this week.

RB Le’Veon Bell vs New York Jets

There’s no narrative I love more in all of sports than a good ol’ revenge narrative and you KNOW there’s nothing Bell wants more than some good sweet revenge on the New York Jets, more specifically a certain head coach named Adam Gase. And I’m not just guessing here. It’s no coincidence that the three teams Bell was picking between after becoming a free agent were the Dolphins, Bills, and Chiefs, all of whom were the Jets next three opponents. Now Bell has his chance to inact his revenge and stick it to Gase right where it hurts. Yes Clyde Edwards-Helaire is the unquestioned starting back in Kansas City, but I have a feeling Bell’s rushing for at least one touchdown this week.

WR Brandon Aiyuk vs Seattle Seahawks

Aiyuk is coming off his best game of his young career against the Patriots, catching six of his seven targets for 115 yards. Now the gets to face the worst secondary in the NFL, allowing the most points to wide receivers this year—over 60 PPR points to the position, PER GAME! It also helps that Aiyuk is the only healthy 49ers receiver as Deebo Samuel tweaked his hamstring last week and will be out this game. I would fully expect Aiyuk to rack up 100+ total yards with work both in the passing game and on the ground.

WR Nelson Agholor vs Cleveland Browns

I’ve kind of become obsessed with Agholor this week ever since I realized that he’s been low key balling out in Las Vegas the last couple of weeks. Agholor has scored a touchdown in each of his last three games and is coming off his best outing, catching five balls for 107 yards and a score. He has a great chance to continue his touchdown streak as the Browns have allowed the second most passing touchdowns to wide receivers this year. And I won’t be worried about Agholor getting pushed to the side if Henry Ruggs is fully ready to go. Back in Week 5 against the Chiefs, both Agholor and Ruggs went over 60 yards and scored.

TE Mike Gesicki vs Los Angeles Rams

It’s a tall order to ask your rookie quarterback to make his first start against Aaron Donald, Jalen Ramsey, and the Rams defense. However, this D does have a weakness and it’s guarding tight ends, who just so happen to be a young quarterback’s best friend. The Rams are allowing the 5th most catches to the position this year, along with the 5th most receiving touchdowns. Added bonus, Gesicki has reportedly had a lot of practice with the practice squad, meaning he’s run extra reps with Tua Tagovailoa, meaning the two of them could hit the ground running in Tua’s first start.

SIT

QB Drew Brees vs Chicago Bears

If you’re in a traditional league that only starts one quarterback and you’re still running with Brees, might I politely ask you find yourself a new signal caller. Brees has been fine but he hasn’t had any wow performances and that won’t change this week. The Bears defense is legit and they’ve allowed the fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks this year and have surrendered only SIX passing touchdowns this year.

RB D’Andre Swift vs Indianapolis Colts

As a Swift manager this is hard for me to write but that just shows you how dedicated I am to my craft. I’m willing to put bad juju out into the world about a player that I have on my roster. Swift has had two solid weeks now but faces easily the toughest defense yet. The Colts are allowing the fourth fewest fantasy points this year and have given up only 435 yards rushing total (3rd best). We also saw Swift out carried by Adrian Peterson last week despite the fact he was supposed to see more touches after his Week 6 breakout. I have a feeling the Lions backfield might regress this week back to Peterson to handle the work against a tougher opponent.

WR Julian Edelman vs Buffalo Bills

Look, until they show you otherwise, you shouldn’t be starting anyone in the Patriots offense, but you especially shouldn’t be starting Edelman this week. The Bills defense is susceptible to slot receivers this year but even that doesn’t instill confidence in me. Edelman has been a complete fantasy dud after his absurd Week 2 when he went for 179 yards. Since then he’s caught a total of eight balls for 79 yards and no touchdowns. That his total stats from FOUR games. Honestly, unless he suddenly starts looking five year younger and the Patriots offense looks like anything it did at the start of the year, I’d feel pretty confident in dropping Edelman.

WR CeeDee Lamb vs Philadelphia Eagles

Ugh watching this Cowboys offense completely fall apart is painful. The loss of Dak Prescott has not only torpedoed the Cowboys in real football, it’s also torpedoed the Cowboys in fake football. Amari Cooper and Ezekiel Elliott are the only guys you can reliably trust now and even then you have a right to be worried about them. Lamb is coming off his worst game of the year in which he didn’t catch a single one of his five targets, but did have a one yard run. So that’s 0.1 fantasy points! The Eagles secondary has surrendered the 10th fewest passing yards to wide receivers the last four games and I’m not sure I want to trust concussed Andy Dalton or some guy from the Sopranios to get Dallas’ offense back on track.

TE Gerald Everett/Tyler Higbee vs Miami Dolphins

Both Rams tight ends are banged up—Everett is dealing with an illness while Higbee’s dealing with a hand injury—but outside of just their health, the matchup against the Dolphins is not one that favors the position. The Dolphins have been money against tight ends this year, allowing the second fewest fantasy points and one of only three teams to have not allowed a single touchdown to the position this year. Don’t run with either of these guys this week.