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START/BENCH: Week 8

Last Sunday night’s thriller between Seattle and Arizona was a microcosm of the 2020 fantasy campaign as a whole.

As one might expect in a game that featured over 1,000 yards of offense, there was plenty for managers to like. Kyler Murray continued his Year 2 statistical onslaught, passing for 360 yards and three scores while pacing Arizona with 67 rushing yards and a score. Russell Wilson threw three interceptions, but he also passed for 388 yards and three touchdowns.

At wide receiver, DeAndre Hopkins had another big game Arizona, catching 10 passes for 103 yards and a touchdown. But he was one-upped by Seattle’s Tyler Lockett, who exploded for 15 receptions, 200 yards and three scores —including a ridiculous toe-tap in the back of the end zone in the second half.

However, there was some bad, too — DK Metcalf was all but invisible, managing just two grabs for 23 yards. And there were injuries, because of course there were — both Seattle running back Chris Carson and Arizona tailback Kenyan Drake went down with injuries that are expected to result in multi-week absences.

Drake’s fantasy managers won’t have to worry about a replacement in Week 8 — at least not because of that injury. This is another four-team bye — Arizona, Houston, Jacksonville and Washington are all off this week.

Now let’s take a look at the players who will be in action this week.

QUARTERBACKS

STUDS

Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City (vs. New York Jets)

Lamar Jackson, Baltimore (vs. Pittsburgh)

Russell Wilson, Seattle (vs. San Francisco)

Kyler Murray, Arizona (BYE)

Josh Allen, Buffalo (vs. New England)

Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay (vs. Minnesota) 

ROLL THEM OUT

Teddy Bridgewater, Carolina (vs. Atlanta): Over the past four weeks, Bridgewater has been a Top 10 fantasy option at the position in Sharks League Scoring. That hot streak should continue against an Atlanta team allowing the second-most fantasy points per game to quarterbacks in 2020.

Jimmy Garoppolo, San Francisco (at Seattle): Last week’s trip to New England was the second time in three weeks that Garoppolo had no touchdown passes and two interceptions. But Seattle has been making opposing quarterbacks look very good all season long.

Justin Herbert, Los Angeles Chargers (at Denver): Over his last three games, Herbert has averaged just over 300 passing yards and three touchdown passes a game. Over that span, only Kyler Murray has more fantasy points per game at the quarterback position.

Baker Mayfield, Cleveland (vs. Las Vegas): The loss of Odell Beckham Jr. to an ACL tear was a major blow. But as weird as it is to say this, Mayfield genuinely seems to play better when Beckham isn’t out there. Las Vegas can also be had through the air — fifth in fantasy points given up to quarterbacks.

SIT THEM DOWN

Josh Allen, Buffalo (vs. New England): Allen started off the 2020 season on fire but has cooled off considerably over his last three contests. A New England team that ranks 28th in fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks this year doesn’t set up well as a slump-buster.

Drew Brees, New Orleans (at Chicago): Brees is the most prolific passer in NFL history and a first-ballot Hall of Famer. But he’s also been known to struggle outdoors and faces a stout Chicago defense that ranks last in the NFC in fantasy points given up to quarterbacks in 2020.

Lamar Jackson, Baltimore (vs. Pittsburgh): You aren’t going to sit Jackson, regardless of matchup. But he’s just 11th in fantasy points per game among quarterbacks this year and draws a tough fantasy matchup against a stout Pittsburgh defense in the biggest game of Week 8.

Matthew Stafford, Detroit (vs, Indianapolis): Stafford has been a disappointment for fantasy managers in 2020 — he ranks outside the Top 20 quarterbacks in fantasy points per game. That’s not going to be reversed in the worst fantasy matchup for the position against (Indianapolis) in Week 8.

About Gary Davenport

A member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association and Pro Football Writers of America who resides in Columbus, Ohio, Gary has been featured on a number of fantasy websites and in nationally circulated publications. These publications include the USA Today Fantasy Football Preview and the magazines distributed by Fantasy Sports Publications Inc., for whom Gary is a both a contributing author and associate editor. Gary is an nine-time FSWA Award finalist and three-time winner who has been a finalist for that organization's Fantasy Football Writer of the Year award each of the last four years. He won the honor in 2017 and 2019. Gary also appears regularly on Sirius XM Radio (including live from Radio Row at Super Bowl XLIX) and over-the-air stations across the country. Gary was one of the co-founders of, and Head Writer at, Fantasy Football Oasis before joining Fantasy Sharks as an IDP Senior Staff Writer in 2011. He knows football. Or so he's heard.