Welcome to one of the toughest bye weeks in memory. We have six teams on a bye—the Broncos, Cowboys, Giants, Browns, 49ers, and Steelers—which leaves plenty of holes to fill in the lineup. Combined with injuries, you’re likely looking at some tough choices. Such is life in the NFL. While we’re all blissfully rejoicing in the return of the NFL, with it comes the specter of lineup decisions. Who should start? Who should sit? Let this weekly post be your guide as I go on a journey with you these next 18 weeks.
The criteria are simple: I pick one sit and one start from each position (quarterback, running back, wide receiver, and tight end). This is based on my rankings for each week, which you can find in full at www.campus2canton.com. The standard is Top 12 for quarterbacks and tight ends, and Top 24 for wide receivers and running backs. Each week I’ll begin with a review of how I did the previous week because accountability is a part of this process.
Before we move forward, let’s look at how I did in Week 8.
Starts Week 8
QB: Daniel Jones, QB25 Miss. The Giants were held in check by the Seahawks.
RB: Josh Jacobs, RB41 Miss. The Raiders’ offense fell off the table.
WR: Gabe Davis, WR61 Miss. Ah, Davis, how you vex me.
TE: Greg Dulcich, TE9 Hit. Dulcich continues to be hot.
Start Record: 1-3
Sits Week 8
QB: Aaron Rodgers, QB20 hit. Fine in Superflex, but Rodgers isn’t producing big numbers.
RB: Melvin Gordon, RB19, Latavius Murray, RB22 Miss. The Broncos scored three touchdowns in London. Who knew?
WR: Diontae Johnson, WR50 Hit. The Steelers’ pass offense is unpredictable, though trading Claypool will help.
TE: Kyle Pitts, TE3 Miss. The Falcons FINALLY got Pitts involved, including his first touchdown of the season.
Sit Record: 2-2
Start: Tua Tagovailoa, Miami Dolphins
About: The Dolphins are 5-3 on the season. In the games Tua has started AND finished, the team is 5-0. He’s been on fire and he’s taking Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle to the Top 12 with him. This week Tua takes the Dolphins on the road against a Bears’ defense that just gave up 49 points in Dallas. Tua is QB7 on a points-per-game basis this season, and with six teams on a bye, he’s a Top 5 option for me.
Sit: Matthew Stafford, Los Angeles Rams
About: Stafford was a great story in 2021. After a career toiling for the Lions, he came to the Rams and guided them to a Super Bowl. This season, behind a makeshift offensive line and battling some arm fatigue, Stafford hasn’t looked the same. Neither has the Rams’ offense. With six teams on a bye and the Rams facing the Buccaneers, you might be tempted. If you need a Superflex option, OK. If you’re hoping for a Top 12 finish, I’m skeptical. Stafford is averaging just over 13 points per game, QB30 on the season in that category. If you need production, look elsewhere.
Start: Aaron Jones, Green Bay Packers
About: Two things are playing in Jones’ favor this week. First, the Packers are playing a Lions’ defense that is the worst in the league. Second, the Packers seem to have figured out the way to compete is to feed Jones and A.J. Dillon, giving Jones 20 carries for 143 yards on Sunday against the Bills. He’s also been active in the passing game, all of which has him sitting as RB8 on the season. I’m firing him up, hoping Matt LaFleur puts the lessons learned in Week 8 into use going forward.
Sit: Tyler Allgeier, Atlanta Falcons
About: When Cordarrelle Patterson went out with injury, it seemed like a great shot for Allgeier to get a shot to shine. While he’s gotten plenty of touches, and touchdowns have helped, his efficiency hasn’t been great. That’s why he’s still splitting carries with Caleb Huntley. Allgeier is RB37 on the season, averaging 7.4 points per game despite some touchdowns. Even with this many teams on a bye, I’m not confident about starting him.
Start: DeAndre Hopkins, Arizona Cardinals
About: The Cardinals have been a mess, sitting at 3-5 and quickly playing out of the playoff race. Hopkins also missed six games due to suspension. But since coming back, he’s been red hot. He’s WR3, averaging 16.1 points per game. He and Kyler Murray have a great connection and Hopkins has picked right up where he left off. He’s a set-it-and-forget-it start once again.
Sit: Chase Claypool, Chicago Bears
About: Claypool was supposed to get a bye this week. Instead, he got dealt to the Chicago Bears on Tuesday. Claypool is an instant upgrade for Justin Fields who has Darnell Mooney and not much else. He’s also a big play weapon, so I get the excitement and appeal. However, the Bears’ offense isn’t incredible. The Bears are facing a stout Miami defense. And the Bears will have had Claypool on the squad for only a couple of days. I think he can make a splash in Chicago, but I don’t think it comes in Week 9.
Start: Gerald Everett, Los Angeles Chargers
About: Injuries, especially at wide receiver, have plagued the Chargers. Keenan Allen hasn’t played since the first half of Week 1. Josh Palmer has missed time and now Mike Williams has an ankle injury that figures to keep him out. All the while, Everett has been there to pick up the slack. Everett has 27 receptions for 305 yards and two touchdowns in seven games. With the Chargers playing a crucial Week 9 game and questions at receiver, I suspect Everett will once again be a big piece of the passing game.
Sit: Cole Kmet, Chicago Bears
About: The Bears’ passing game is getting better. The team also now has more competition for targets with Claypool coming in. While I don’t think he’ll be incredible this week, he’ll take targets. And this isn’t a high-volume pass offense. The team is No. 32 in pass attempts with just 160 in eight games, an average of just 20 per game. Kmet is TE31, averaging 2.7 points per game. You can do better.
Matthew Fox is a die-hard NFL fan and Broncos’ homer. He’s a member of the FSWA. You can find more from him on Twitter @knighthawk7734 or as co-host of the Fantasy Football Roundtable Podcast, a part of the Campus2Canton Network.