Trying to decide who you should start or sit this week? Let’s take a look at a few potential decisions owners have and try to sort through them:
Start – Ryan Tannehill – Tennessee Titans (vs. TB)
Who would’ve thought that Tannehill would’ve been considered a good start at any point during the 2019 season? After taking over for Marcus Mariota and getting his first start of the season he delivered a big performance against the Chargers in Week 7 (312 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT). He’s thrown a total of 45 passes the past two weeks, completing an impressive 80.0% of them.
The Buccaneers have allowed the seventh most points per week to opposing quarterbacks this season. They’ve allowed at least 2 TD throws in four straight games and their 1,911 passing yards is among the 10 most in the league. Given his history it may be tough to trust him, but he’s a solid QB1 heading into the week.
Sit – Jacoby Brissett – Indianapolis Colts (vs. DEN)
Brissett has been tremendous this season, stepping in after Andrew Luck surprisingly retired before the start of the season. He’s thrown for 14 TD vs. 3 INT and he’s been unbelievable at home:
- Home – 7.4 yards/attempt, 9 TD, 1 INT
- Road – 5.8 yards/attempt, 5 TD, 2 INT
So why is he a sit at home this week? Denver’s defense has allowed the third fewest points per week to opposing quarterbacks, behind only the Patriots and 49ers. Opposing quarterbacks have thrown just 6 TD against them, compared to 5 INT (with all 5 INT coming in their past three games). With only two bye weeks to cover, the risk of Brissett seems to outweigh the potential reward.
Another Quarterback to Start:
- Jared Goff (LAR vs. CIN) – The Bengals have allowed the fifth most points per week to opposing quarterbacks, and their secondary remains banged up (even if William Jackson does return). That should help Goff, who has had his issues this season (9 TD vs. 7 INT), but is coming off a strong performance (268 yards and 2 TD + 1 rushing TD). Let’s not forget how much upside this passing game was thought to have entering the season, and we could easily see them explode in this matchup.
Another Quarterback to Sit:
- Jameis Winston (TB at TEN) – The matchup against Tennessee isn’t terrible, though it also isn’t a great one (they’ve allowed the 10th fewest points per week to opposing quarterbacks). Without a fantastic matchup it’s easy to ignore Winston until we see some improvement, after he tossed 5 INT and lost a fumble the last time we saw him.
Start – Jimmy Graham – Green Bay Packers (at KC)
The Kansas City Chiefs have been prone to opposing tight ends this season, despite only allowing 1 TD, as they’ve allowed the third most receptions (47) as well as 436 yards. With the Packers’ wide receiving corps still banged up, even if they have their full complement of weapons it’s easy to envision some limitations to the group.
That opens the door for Graham, who took advantage of it last week (4 receptions, 65 yards, 1 TD). He’s racked up 60+ yards with 1 TD in two of his past four games, and that’s a trend that could continue.
Sit – Vance McDonald – Pittsburgh Steelers (vs. MIA)
There has seemed to be high hopes for McDonald since the preseason, but he’s completely fallen flat. Just look at some of these numbers:
- He’s find the end zone in just one game
- Over the past three weeks he has a total of 6 targets
- His overall line is an underwhelming 14 receptions, 127 yards and 2 TD
We may want to exploit the Dolphins whenever possible, a common trend this season, but McDonald simply doesn’t have a high enough floor to consider it. Maybe he produces, but the downside is so low that we can’t trust him.
Another Tight End to Start:
- Josh Hill (NO vs. ARI) – The Cardinals have allowed the most points per week to opposing tight ends (49 receptions, 638 yards, 8 TD), and if it wasn’t for a few drops by Evan Engram those numbers would look even worse. Hill was solid in Week 7 with Cook sidelined (3 catches, 43 yards, 1 TD) and could be even better this week with Jared Cook sidelined again.
Another Tight End to Sit:
- T.J. Hockenson (DET vs. NYG) – After Week 1 Hockenson was all the rage, but we’ve quickly learned why rookie tight ends are difficult to trust. In five games since his impressive debut he’s totaled 12 catches and 88 yards. Regardless of the matchup, does anyone really trust him?
Sources – ESPN, NFL.com
Make sure to check out all of our Week 8 rankings: