Start ‘Em or Sit ‘Em (2020): Wide Receiver Edition: Week 8: Chase Claypool, Brandon Aiyuk, Travis Fulgham & More

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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 – Travis Fulgham (PHI) – vs. Dallas

Fulgham continues to prove that his breakout is no aberration, as he’s been targeted at least 10 times in three straight games:

  • at Pittsburgh – 10 catches for 152 yards and 1 TD
  • vs. Baltimore – 6 catches for 75 yards and 1 TD
  • vs. New York Giants – 5 catches for 73 yards

We all know how poor the Cowboys defense is, including allowing 12 receiving TD (tied for the most in the league). With the Eagles still depleted by injuries, Fulgham should continue to get opportunities and be able to take advantage.

Sit – Chase Claypool (PIT) – at Baltimore

You can argue that Claypool is a viable WR3/FLEX, but that’s hardly a given considering his matchup with the Ravens. There’s also going to be questions about how many opportunities he’ll get, as we saw last week against the Titans:

  • JuJu Smith-Schuster – 9 catches (14 targets), 85 yards
  • Diontae Johnson – 9 catches (15 targets), 80 yards, 2 TD
  • Chase Claypool – 1 catch (1 target), -2 yards

Eric Ebron was also targeted 8 times, just further clouding the issue. Claypool has the potential, as we’ve seen, but with everyone healthy and a difficult matchup it’s hard to trust him.

Start – Brandon Aiyuk (SF) – at Seattle

With Deebo Samuel sidelined Aiyuk will take the lead in the receiving corps, joining George Kittle against the Seahawks. It’s not something we’d have expected, but Seattle has been abysmal against opposing wide receivers this season. Just look at the numbers they’ve allowed thus far:

132 receptions, 1,681 yards and 10 TD

In other words you want to try and take advantage of the matchup when the opportunity presents itself. This week that means Aiyuk, whose coming off a 115 yard performance against the Patriots.

Sit – Darius Slayton (NYG) – vs. Tampa Bay

The matchup against the Buccaneers is going to be a difficult one, as the Buccaneers have allowed the eighth fewest points per week to opposing wide receivers. The return of Sterling Shepard also will likely cut into his opportunities, as evidenced by his 3 targets against the Eagles (he now has 7 total targets over his past two games). Then we have to consider that Daniel Jones has thrown for 222 yards or fewer in each of his past five games (and has 5 TD throws this season), and nothing appears to be working in his favor. Just to summarize:

Bad Matchup + Questionable Opportunities + Questionable QB Play = Sit ‘Em

Start – Tee Higgins (CIN) – vs. Tennessee

We could’ve put Tyler Boyd here, but that would’ve been too obvious. The Titans have allowed the fourth most points per week to opposing wide receivers, so there should be enough opportunities for Boyd, Higgins and A.J. Green to produce.

Higgins’ production has been consistent, with at least 5 targets per week. Over his past four games he’s had 60+ yards each time, including 125 yards in Week 6. He’s also consistently shown the ability to make bigger plays, with at least 14.2 yards/catch over these past four weeks.

While the receiving corps is deep, Higgins recent production and the matchup makes him an ideal WR3 (or potential WR2).

Sit – DeVante Parker (MIA) – vs. Los Angeles Rams

It’s not impossible to think that Parker will be able to produce, but consider that:

  1. Tua Tagovailoa will be making his NFL debut
  2. The Rams have allowed the second fewest points per week to opposing wide receivers
  3. Parker has 5 catches for 85 yards and 1 TD over the past two weeks combined

That’s a lot working against him and makes it extremely hard to trust him.

Sources – ESPN, NFL.com

Make sure to check out all of our Week 8 rankings:

Quarterbacks
Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Kickers
Defenses

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