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USATSI

Bye weeks are on bye, and that's a relief after a six-team bye beatdown in Week 7. We still have lots of impactful injuries for Week 8, including DK Metcalf, Deebo Samuel, Christian Watson and Justin Jefferson 

Jamey Eisenberg has his Start 'Em & Sit 'Em calls for Week 8 at running back here. His Waiver Wire column can also direct you to the best options that may be available in your leagues. And don't forget to check out Heath Cummings' wide receiver preview for more help with matchup notes, Week 8 numbers to know and more. Plus check out Heath's Week 8 premium projections over at SportsLine.

Removed on Sunday: Josh Palmer as a Start.

START 'EM & SIT 'EM
Wide Receivers
WRS to Start
Projections powered by Sportsline
HOU Houston • #12
Age: 24 • Experience: 3 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ CAR HOU -3 O/U 43.5
OPP VS WR
6th
PROJ PTS
13.6
WR RNK
15th
YTD Stats
REC
29
TAR
42
REYDS
547
TD
3
FPTS/G
17
The Panthers have struggled with No. 1 receivers for most of this season, and I expect that to continue in Week 8 against Collins. Starting in Week 2, Chris Olave (14.6 PPR points), DK Metcalf (17.2 PPR points), Justin Jefferson (26.5 PPR points), Josh Reynolds (17.6 PPR points with Amon-Ra St. Brown out) and Tyreek Hill (28.3 PPR points) have all crushed Carolina's secondary. Collins should follow suit, and he has at least 12.0 PPR points in four of six games this season. I like him as a top-15 Fantasy receiver in all leagues for Week 8.
PIT Pittsburgh • #14
Age: 22 • Experience: 2 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
vs JAC JAC -2.5 O/U 42
OPP VS WR
25th
PROJ PTS
14.3
WR RNK
22nd
YTD Stats
REC
27
TAR
48
REYDS
500
TD
2
FPTS/G
15.1
I thought the return of Diontae Johnson from his hamstring injury in Week 7 at the Rams would be a problem for Pickens, but he had another standout game with five catches for 107 yards on eight targets. He's now scored at least 15.7 PPR points in three of his past five games, and he's having a sophomore breakout campaign. He should have the chance for another quality outing in Week 8 against the Jaguars, who have allowed nine receivers to score at least 12.7 PPR points this season. Start Pickens as a solid No. 2 Fantasy receiver in all leagues.
NYJ N.Y. Jets • #17
Age: 23 • Experience: 2 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ NYG NYJ -3 O/U 36.5
OPP VS WR
21st
PROJ PTS
12.7
WR RNK
20th
YTD Stats
REC
32
TAR
55
REYDS
369
TD
2
FPTS/G
13.5
The Giants have struggled to defend No. 1 receivers for most of the season, and Wilson won't be any different. Since Week 2, Marquise Brown (17.4 PPR points), Deebo Samuel (25.1 PPR points), DK Metcalf (12.4 PPR points), Tyreek Hill (32.1 PPR points), Stefon Diggs (20.0 PPR points) and Terry McLaurin (15.0 PPR points) have all crushed the Giants' secondary. Wilson has scored at least 14.4 PPR points in four of six games this season, and he's coming off a standout game against the Eagles in Week 6 with eight catches for 90 yards on 12 targets. Wilson has top-15 upside in this cross-town rivalry.
ATL Atlanta • #5
Age: 22 • Experience: 2 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ TEN ATL -3 O/U 36
OPP VS WR
17th
PROJ PTS
12.3
WR RNK
30th
YTD Stats
REC
32
TAR
49
REYDS
383
TD
2
FPTS/G
11.9
London had a somewhat down game in Week 7 at Tampa Bay with six catches for 54 yards on seven targets, and I like that we're now considering 11.4 PPR points a bad performance for London. Prior to that, he scored at least 14.7 PPR points in each of his past two games against Houston and Washington, and he should get back on track in Week 8 at Tennessee. The Titans are No. 7 in most Fantasy points allowed to opposing receivers, and nine receivers have scored at least 13.8 PPR points against Tennessee this season. London is worth starting as a No. 2 Fantasy receiver in all leagues.
Sleepers (Start/Sit)
Projections powered by Sportsline
KC Kansas City • #4
Age: 23 • Experience: Rookie
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ DEN KC -7 O/U 46
OPP VS WR
19th
PROJ PTS
10.6
WR RNK
40th
YTD Stats
REC
26
TAR
34
REYDS
305
TD
3
FPTS/G
10.6
We said last week that Rice was on the verge of a breakout, and he had a standout outing in Week 7 against the Chargers with five catches for 60 yards and a touchdown on six targets. He's now scored at least 13.3 PPR points in two of his past three games, and he played a season-high 59 percent of the snaps against the Chargers, which shows that Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid are starting to trust him more. He had four catches for 72 yards on four targets against Denver in Week 6, and Rice should be considered a quality No. 3 Fantasy receiver in the rematch this week.
IND Indianapolis • #1
Age: 22 • Experience: Rookie
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
vs NO IND -1 O/U 43.5
OPP VS WR
15th
PROJ PTS
10.4
WR RNK
35th
YTD Stats
REC
33
TAR
47
REYDS
401
TD
2
FPTS/G
12.2
Downs is working his way into must-start status, especially in three-receiver leagues, and Gardner Minshew appears to love the rookie receiver. In his past three games, Downs has scored at least 13.1 PPR points, and he has at least five catches and six targets in each outing against Tennessee, Jacksonville and Cleveland. He also has two games with at least 97 yards over that span, as well as two touchdowns, and Minshew should continue to lean on Downs in Week 8 against the Saints. While New Orleans is a tough matchup, Chris Godwin in Week 4 (19.4 PPR points), Nico Collins in Week 6 (12.0 PPR points) and Christian Kirk in Week 7 (21.0 PPR points) have all done well against this secondary in the past four weeks, so don't shy away from Downs as a high-end No. 3 Fantasy receiver in all leagues.
NE New England • #84
Age: 28 • Experience: 7 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ MIA MIA -9.5 O/U 47
OPP VS WR
27th
PROJ PTS
11.6
WR RNK
39th
YTD Stats
REC
34
TAR
51
REYDS
370
TD
3
FPTS/G
12.5
JuJu Smith-Schuster (concussion) returned to practice Wednesday, so we'll see if he impacts what happens with Bourne heading into Week 8 at Miami. For the past two weeks, Bourne has been the best receiver for the Patriots against the Raiders and Bills with at least 16.3 PPR points in each outing, and he has 18 targets for 16 catches, 152 yards and a touchdown over that span. This is now four games this season where Bourne has at least seven targets, and he's scored at least 16.3 PPR points in three of them. Now, he had nine targets against Miami in Week 2 and finished with just four catches for 29 yards, but I expect him to perform better if he continues to be heavily involved from Mac Jones this week. The Dolphins have also allowed Courtland Sutton (23.1 PPR points), Stefon Diggs (36.0 PPR points), Adam Thielen (28.5 PPR points) and A.J. Brown (29.7 PPR points) to have big games against them in four of the past five games, so hopefully Bourne can do something similar.
NO New Orleans • #13
Age: 30 • Experience: 8 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ IND NO -1 O/U 43.5
OPP VS WR
18th
PROJ PTS
10.8
WR RNK
42nd
YTD Stats
REC
34
TAR
54
REYDS
371
TD
1
FPTS/G
11
Chris Olave remains the No. 1 receiver for the Saints, and he's worth starting in all leagues as a top-15 Fantasy option. But Thomas will hopefully take advantage of this matchup against the Colts, who have allowed nine receivers to score at least 13.0 PPR points this season. Thomas just had his best Fantasy game of the season in Week 7 against Jacksonville with 13.2 PPR points because he scored his first touchdown of the year. But he also has four games with at least 11.1 PPR points, and he should stay in that range in this matchup, making him a quality No. 3 PPR receiver for Week 8.
DAL Dallas • #3
Age: 30 • Experience: 10 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
vs LAR DAL -6.5 O/U 45.5
OPP VS WR
7th
PROJ PTS
9.5
WR RNK
NR
YTD Stats
REC
13
TAR
23
REYDS
109
TD
1
FPTS/G
6.4
I'm hopeful that Cooks finally developed a rapport with Dak Prescott in Week 6 at the Chargers prior to the bye week. Against the Chargers, Cooks caught his first touchdown of the season and finished with four receptions for 36 yards on four targets, along with one carry for 14 yards. He was making off-script plays with Prescott, and maybe there's finally a comfort factor for Cooks after a slow start. CeeDee Lamb, Michael Gallup and Jake Ferguson will obviously continue to command targets for the Cowboys, but hopefully Cooks can start making more plays, including in Week 8 against the Rams. I like him as a low-end No. 3 Fantasy receiver against his former team.
WRs to Sit
Projections powered by Sportsline
CLE Cleveland • #2
Age: 29 • Experience: 9 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ SEA SEA -3.5 O/U 38
OPP VS WR
22nd
PROJ PTS
11.7
WR RNK
33rd
YTD Stats
REC
24
TAR
47
REYDS
389
TD
1
FPTS/G
11.5
Without Deshaun Watson (shoulder), Cooper has one good reception in his past three games against Baltimore, San Francisco and Indianapolis. He had a 58-yard reception in Week 6 against San Francisco, which helped him finish with four catches for 108 yards on eight targets. Without that reception, he has six catches for 88 yards in his past three outings. P.J. Walker is starting again for the Browns at Seattle, and Cooper is just a No. 3 Fantasy receiver at best in the majority of leagues.
DEN Denver • #10
Age: 24 • Experience: 4 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
vs KC KC -7 O/U 46
OPP VS WR
12th
PROJ PTS
9.3
WR RNK
46th
YTD Stats
REC
25
TAR
34
REYDS
286
TD
0
FPTS/G
8.9
Jeudy is still looking for his first touchdown this season, and he struggled the last time he faced the Chiefs in Week 6 with three catches for 14 yards. Courtland Sutton has clearly emerged as the No. 1 receiver for the Broncos, and Jeudy might be on the verge of getting traded. The Chiefs are No. 10 in fewest Fantasy points allowed to opposing receivers, and Jeudy isn't trustworthy enough to use in a difficult matchup, even at home.
TEN Tennessee • #10
Age: 31 • Experience: 10 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
vs ATL ATL -3 O/U 36
OPP VS WR
9th
PROJ PTS
11.2
WR RNK
43rd
YTD Stats
REC
27
TAR
47
REYDS
376
TD
0
FPTS/G
10.8
Hopkins is coming off a miserable game against Baltimore in Week 6 prior to the Titans bye when he had one catch for 20 yards on five targets in London. Ryan Tannehill (ankle) is out for this game, and Tennessee plans to start Will Levis, while also working in Malik Willis. It seems messy, and Hopkins could suffer with even worse quarterback play. The Falcons are also No. 6 in fewest Fantasy points allowed to opposing receivers, and I would only start Hopkins in three-receiver leagues.
SEA Seattle • #16
Age: 31 • Experience: 9 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
vs CLE SEA -3.5 O/U 38
OPP VS WR
1st
PROJ PTS
11
WR RNK
32nd
YTD Stats
REC
27
TAR
40
REYDS
289
TD
2
FPTS/G
11.7
With DK Metcalf (ribs/hip) out in Week 7 against Arizona, Lockett failed to step up as the No. 1 receiver for Geno Smith. Instead, it was Jaxon Smith-Njigba and Jake Bobo leading the way for the Seahawks, and Lockett finished with just four catches for 38 yards on five targets. Metcalf appears on track to return in Week 8, and now we'll see how Lockett fares if Smith-Njigba remains more of a focal point in the game plan. Along with that, the Browns secondary is tough, allowing the fewest Fantasy points to opposing receivers this year. Lockett should only be started in three-receiver leagues for Week 8.
Bust Alert (Start/Sit)
Projections powered by Sportsline
JAC Jacksonville
Age: 29 • Experience: 5 yrs.
Weekly Breakdown
MATCHUP
@ PIT JAC -2.5 O/U 42
OPP VS WR
24th
PROJ PTS
11.6
WR RNK
27th
YTD Stats
REC
27
TAR
48
REYDS
368
TD
2
FPTS/G
11
I hope that this matchup with the Steelers will lead to a breakout game for Ridley, who has been struggling the past two weeks against the Colts and Saints. He's combined for just 8.1 PPR points over that span with five catches for 35 yards on 12 targets, and he hasn't scored a touchdown since Week 4. I'm still starting him in three-receiver leagues, but it's hard to call him a must-start Fantasy option in all formats, especially with Christian Kirk still operating as the No. 1 receiver for Trevor Lawrence. Hopefully, Kirk and Ridley will star against the Steelers, who are No. 2 in most Fantasy points allowed to opposing receivers. But Ridley's recent production makes him tough to trust as a must-start Fantasy option.