Start 'em, Sit 'em - Week Eight

This article first appeared on ETSF-



  1. Carson Palmer, Arizona Cardinals - Palmer has been one of the most consistent quarterbacks in the league this season while leading the Cardinals to a 6-1 record. During the Cardinals seven games Palmer has completed 69 percent of his passes for 2,012 yards, 16 touchdowns, and five interceptions.

This week Palmer has one of those matchups against the Cleveland Browns that could go either way since the Browns defense is ranked 17th against opposing quarterbacks. As long as you stack Palmer with wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald and running back Chris Johnson he will be worth the play at $7,000 on Draft Kings.

Palmer is owned in 95.1 percent of fantasy leagues on ESPN. As long as you have one of his receivers to stack him with he will be a solid play. If you just have Palmer you may want to sit him this week.

2. Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers - Rivers has been one of the hottest quarterbacks in the league this year completing 65.5 percent of his passes for 2,452 yards, 15 touchdowns, and seven interceptions. This week Rivers should put up huge numbers against a Baltimore Ravens defense that ranks 32nd in the league against opposing team’s quarterbacks.

Rivers is a value at $6,600 on Draft Kings. Thing about Rivers is you need to stack him with either wide receiver Keenan Allen, and tight ends Antonio Gates or Ladarius Green.

3. Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons - Ryan has the Falcons flying high this season by completing 64.4 percent of his passes for 2,002 yards, nine touchdowns, and six interceptions. Matty Ice has cooled off over the last couple of weeks but should be able to put some points up against a Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense that ranks 30th against opposing team’s quarterbacks.

Ryan is a pricey pick at $7,100 on Draft Kings but if paired with wide receiver Julio Jones definitely worth paying the price.

Running Backs

  1. Doug Martin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Martin has become a workhorse back again this season with 109 carries for 541 yards and four touchdowns. He has also added 31 receptions for 263 yards and two touchdowns as a receiver out of the backfield making him extra valuable in ppr leagues. This week Martin faces an Atlanta Falcons defense that ranks 31st against opposing teams running backs.

You can get Martin for the low price of $5,500 on Draft Kings for your daily fantasy team. He is definitely worth a start this week and any other week honestly. Take advantage especially while he is at a decent price at least.

2. Todd Gurley, St. Louis Rams - Gurley has been the top pick of the 2015 draft so far this season with 74 carries for 442 yards and two touchdowns in four games this season. This week Gurley faces a San Francisco 49ers defense that ranks 28th in the league against opposing teams running backs.

Gurley will cost you $6,300 this week if you use him on Draft Kings in one of your daily fantasy leagues but is worth every dime.

4. Chris Johnson, Arizona Cardinals - Johnson was a back anybody could've had this season but did not want to take a chance on because of his age and off field issues. That's when the Cardinals picked him up and all of a sudden Chris Johnson has jumped back into his CJ2K suit.

In seven games Johnson has carried the ball 111 times for 567 yards and three touchdowns in seven games. This week Johnson has another favourable matchup when he faces a Cleveland Browns defense ranked 30th in the league against opposing running backs.

Johnson is a value pick at $4,600 on Draft Kings. If you play daily fantasy, Johnson is a guy you need to have in plenty of your lineups.

Wide Receivers

  1. Stefon Diggs, Minnesota Vikings - Diggs has proven to be a must start in weekly fantasy as well as in yearly leagues after breaking out the past three weeks with 19 receptions for 324 yards and one touchdown. This week Diggs will have another favourable matchup against the Bears 23rd ranked pass defense even though the game is being played in Chicago.

Diggs is only owned in 59.4 percent fantasy leagues hosted by ESPN so chances are he is still available in your league. As far as daily fantasy goes Diggs is a bargain at $4,800 but if he keeps playing the way he has been that price will start going up so take advantage while you can.

2. Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Evans has found his groove plus he is seeing extra balls thrown his way with the rest of the Buccaneers receiving core dealing with injuries. In five games this season Evans has recorded 21 receptions for 338 yards and one touchdown. This week he has an unfavourable matchup when he faces an Atlanta Falcons defense ranked fourth against opposing wide receivers but should still be able to do a good amount of damage.

This week Evans will run you $6,800 in Draft Kings leagues which seems kind of high but still worth the value. If you need a tight end in ESPN leagues to help fill a void due to a bye this is not the guy to think about picking up since he is owned in 95.5 percent of leagues. If anything try to make a trade for Evans, he will be worth it later in the season.

3. DeAndre Hopkins, Houston Texans - Hopkins is worth the start every week despite who is throwing the ball to him. In seven games this season Hopkins has pulled in 58 receptions for 776 yards and five touchdowns. This week Hopkins faces a Houston Texans defense ranked 11th against opposing team’s receivers.

Hopkins is $8,700 in Draft Kings leagues and is owned in practically every league known to man in fantasy leagues on ESPN.

4. Keenan Allen, San Diego Chargers - Allen has put up solid numbers this season while dealing with nagging injuries. In seven games Allen has made 62 receptions for 690 yards and three touchdowns. This week Allen faces a Baltimore Ravens defense that ranks 31st against opposing teams receivers.

Allen is a pricey pick up in Draft Kings fantasy leagues at $7,700 but if you stack him with quarterback Philip Rivers he is worth every penny of what you pay for him.

Tight Ends

  1. Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs - Kelce has once again been the leading receiver in Kansas City this season with 34 receptions for 489 yards and two touchdowns. This week Kelce faces a Detroit Lions defense that ranks 22nd against opposing teams tight ends in London.

Kelce is owned in 98.5 percent of ESPN fantasy leagues. He is however a good value at $5,000 in daily fantasy on Draft Kings.

2. Benjamin Watson, New Orleans Saints - Watson has been a solid replacement for Jimmy Graham in the Saints offense with 29 receptions for 325 yards and two touchdowns. This week he has another favourable matchup when he faces a New York Giants defense that is ranked 30th in the league against opposing tight ends.

Benjamin is a steal in daily fantasy on Draft Kings with a low price of $3,500 set. He is only owned in 48.2 percent of fantasy leagues on ESPN if you need a tight end to play for a bye week.

3. Jason Witten, Dallas Cowboys - Witten has been solid this season with 36 receptions for 344 yards and two touchdowns while playing with a backup quarterback throwing the ball. This week Witten faces a Seahawks defense that ranks 31st against opposing tight ends. With the availability of wide receiver Dez Bryant still in the air, Witten could see a ton of work once again this week.

Witten is owned in 95.2 percent of ESPN leagues so you're pretty much out of luck finding him in any free agent pools. In daily fantasy Witten runs $5,200 on Draft Kings.

4. Gary Barnidge, Cleveland Browns - Barnidge has slowly become the number two fantasy football tight end and could take over the top spot id Rob Gronkowski does not pick things back up. This season Barnidge has made 33 receptions for 514 yards and five touchdowns.

Barnidge has an unfavourable matchup this week when he faces a Falcons defense that ranks 3rd against opposing defenses. When it comes to Barnidge it does not matter what a defense does against other tight ends, this guy finds a way to get his yards and has found the end zone in four of the seven games he has played in.

Barnidge is still available in a few fantasy leagues on ESPN but not many. In daily fantasy on Draft Kings, Barnidge is still a bargain at $4,700 so he is at least worth a FLEX start from week to week if you have Gronk or Greg Olsen.