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Fantasy Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em Week 8: Kadarius Toney, Carson Wentz among key starts

Here's a look at some key start 'em and sit 'em options for fantasy football in Week 8, including what to do with Cowboys QB Dak Prescott.

A full day of NFL matchups is in front of us. As you peruse your lineups and look to make some decisions, let’s look over some key start ’em and sit ’em decisions for fantasy football in Week 8.

NFL Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em for Week 8: Quarterbacks

Let’s get started with some signal-callers worth discussing for this week.

Start ‘Em: Carson Wentz, Indianapolis Colts (vs. TEN)

Carson Wentz has actually been pretty good lately. With Jonathan Taylor proving to be one of the top running backs in the game and second-year wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. in the middle of his own breakout, Wentz has been balling.

Since Week 5, Wentz has been the QB9 overall and has thrown 6 TDs and 0 INTs in that stretch. He’s posted over 20 fantasy points in two of the last three games. Now, he gets a Titans defense that’s allowing the seventh-most fantasy points per game to the QB position. Wentz is a solid play in Week 8.

Sit ‘Em: Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys (@ MIN)

Listen, if we knew going into the early slate of Sunday games that Dak Prescott was for sure going to start — even against a surprisingly tough Vikings defense — then he’d be the must-start that he always is. However, fantasy managers are in a position where decisions will have to be made before we know his status.

With the Cowboys playing on Sunday Night Football and Prescott looking like a 50/50 game-time decision, it’s bold to count on him suiting up. If you have a viable second option, play him over Prescott.

Running Backs

If you have questions at running back, join the club. It’s rough in these fantasy football streets.

Start ‘Em: Kenneth Gainwell, Philadelphia Eagles (@ DET)

Quite frankly, I’d be playing Kenneth Gainwell as a viable flex option against a soft Lions defense even if Miles Sanders was in the game (which he’s not). Sanders has been placed on IR and will miss at least the next three games. Gainwell is splitting the backfield with Boston Scott, but Gainwell is also heavily utilized in the passing game. In last week’s game that saw Sanders go down to injury, Gainwell matched his season-high total with 8 targets.

I’m trusting Gainwell as an RB2 this week against the Lions.

Sit ‘Em: Leonard Fournette, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@ NO)

There won’t be many rushing yards to come by in the matchup between the New Orleans Saints and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Both teams account for two of the three stingiest rush defenses in the NFL.

Leonard Fournette has been on a heater lately, scoring over 15 fantasy points in four straight games. He’s done so on the back of 4 TDs in the last three games. In that span, he’s also piled up some solid rushing-yard totals, logging 81+ rushing yards in three of the four games. Christian McCaffrey has posted the most rushing yards against New Orleans this season at 72.

You probably can’t afford not to play Fournette. However, understand that the floor is potentially low in this game.

NFL Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em for Week 8: Wide Receivers

There are a few fascinating names to monitor at the wide receiver position. Let’s go over a couple of names to know for Week 8.

Start ‘Em: Kadarius Toney, New York Giants (@ KC)

Rookie route-running extraordinaire Kadarius Toney has been sidelined with injury for the last week. Nevertheless, he’s ready to make his return for the Giants against the Chiefs on Monday Night Football. This is a smash start for me.

Fellow WR Kenny Golladay has been ruled out for this game, putting Toney in line to start with Sterling Shepard and resume his role as a target hog.

You’ve seen me write this statistical fact several times this week, and I’m going to write it again. In Weeks 4-5, Toney saw 22 targets, catching 16 of them for 267 yards.

That’s elite usage.

The Chiefs have been middle of the road to opposing wide receivers so far this season. Still, the crisp route running of Toney out of the slot is going to open a lot of opportunities for QB Daniel Jones. Start Toney.

Sit ‘Em: Tyler Boyd, Cincinnati Bengals (@ NYJ)

On the surface, you’re scrolling through your fantasy roster and see that Tyler Boyd is playing against the Jets. Naturally, the gut reaction is to instantly start him. I know the feeling. It’s my knee-jerk reaction as well.

Looking deeper, it’s not that simple.

Ja’Marr Chase is the lead dog in the Cincinnati pass attack — by a lot — and the Jets are one of the most lopsided defensive units in the league. While they are downright awful against opposing RBs (giving up an astounding 27.9 points per game to the position), they’re shockingly stout against the pass. Opposing wide receivers are averaging the second-lowest in the NFL at only 19.1 points per game by a team’s entire receiving corps.

Boyd is a surprisingly risky play in Week 8.

Tight Ends

If you aren’t one of the fortunate few with an elite tight end, the position can cause weekly headaches. Don’t stress! We’re here to help.

Start ‘Em: Dallas Goedert, Philadelphia Eagles (@ DET)

For the last couple of years, fantasy managers have wondered how Dallas Goedert would fare if Zach Ertz were out of the picture. That situation is now a reality. In his first game for the Eagles after seeing Ertz get traded, Goedert saw a season-high 70 receiving yards.

Surprisingly, the Lions have been one of the better teams against opposing tight ends, allowing only 5.4 points per game to the position. However, Goedert should be able to overcome this matchup as one of the featured options in the Eagles’ passing game. At a tough position for fantasy managers to navigate, Goedert is a must-start.

Sit ‘Em: Cole Kmet, Chicago Bears (vs. SF)

Quite frankly, there isn’t any option in the Chicago Bears’ passing attack that I would recommend starting in any game moving forward. The entire game plan is disheveled at best. And with rookie quarterback Justin Fields unable to find a rhythm behind a horrible offensive line, no passing attack in the NFL has been more futile.

Cole Kmet has yet to reach 7 half-PPR fantasy points in any game this season despite averaging 5 targets per game over the last three weeks. He hasn’t found the end zone, and the Bears will be playing a 49ers defense that has allowed the fewest fantasy points per game to the position at only 2.5. Kmet is an easy sit.

Jon Helmkamp is a fantasy football and NFL contributor for Pro Football Network. You can find him on Twitter: @JonHelmkamp and find more of his work here. Don’t forget to listen to the PFN Fantasy Football podcast and check out our free fantasy newsletter.

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