Is Aaron Rodgers back? Sure, this is all about the wide receivers, but if Rodgers is back, that has a lot to do with wide receiver strategy.

Take week 7 for example. Davante Adams and Randall Cobb finished in the top-five for fantasy scoring among wide receivers. Ty Montgomery (who is doubling as a secret running back/wide receiver agent) placed 17th among that same group.

Three wide receivers finished in the top-20 for fantasy scoring from the same team. That doesn’t happen with other teams. But if Rodgers is hitting on all cylinders, then it can happen on a semi-regular basis with the Packers.

If the Packers can throw, then they can go four-deep with receivers who can consistently score in fantasy football. If Rodgers is limited, then it’s likely one receiver has fantasy value.

Keep that in mind when watching as the season progresses. Here’s the week 8 wide receivers start ’em, sit ’em guide.

Davante Adams is among the solid week 8 Daily Fantasy additions. Flickr/ Morbeck
Davante Adams is among the solid week 8 Daily Fantasy additions. Flickr/ Morbeck


Davante Adams vs. Atlanta Falcons

I’ve been known to be an apologist for Adams in the past. There’s just something about him that Rodgers likes. Even last year when he couldn’t catch a cold, Rodgers kept going his way.

His targets would be consistently in the eight to nine range, while his catches were below five.

After a breakout game in week 7 against Chicago, maybe now’s the time that the tremendous target volume turns into high fantasy production.

Even before he was targeted 16 times in week 7, he managed three out of five games of at least seven targets. He’s also been a touchdown magnet this season, going for five TDs in only six games.

What also helps is that Green Bay may continue to pass on the running game, like it did against Chicago, making several options solid plays this week for the Packers. Atlanta owns the second-worst pass defense in the NFL, so Rodgers will fling it all over the field.

Brandon LaFell vs. Washington Redskins

At some point, Cincinnati has to develop a second wide receiver. LaFell was the obvious choice in the preseason, but a slow start had many wondering how the Bengals could keep moving the chains on a weekly basis.

But slowly, LaFell is emerging as a decent second option, especially in the red zone.

LaFell has 27 targets in the last four games and has turned those into four touchdowns during that time span. He’s gone over 60 yards receiving in two of the last three games, including an 83-yard effort in week 7 against Cleveland.

With Tyler Eifert still not 100 percent, LaFell is the likely target in the red zone for quarterback Andy Dalton. That should continue at least through the bye week set for week 9.

Washington hasn’t been horrible against the pass this season, but it has shown several times to not be good against opposing quarterbacks. The Redskins allow over a 65 percent completion rate, meaning Dalton should put up big numbers in London. LaFell should see some of those targets, and with bye weeks hampering some fantasy rosters, he can be a decent WR2/3 option.

Will Fuller vs. Detroit Lions

Houston is who I thought it was. The Texans can’t compete against good teams. That was evident from week 7 against Denver, in which Houston’s star receiver DeAndre Hopkins was held to only 36 yards.

But the NFL is funny sometimes. And so is Houston’s ability to compete against similarly talented teams. Houston can beat teams like Tennessee, Kansas City and Indianapolis, who are basically the same teams as Houston.

But when it comes to playing Minnesota, New England and Denver, they have no chance.

So with a matchup this week against Detroit, I expect far better fantasy days for their skill position players, including Fuller.

He’s had a rough go in recent weeks, going for only five receptions in his last two games for a blistering 26 yards. Despite the bad numbers, he’s still being targeted. He owns at least seven targets in all but one game this season.

If that volume continues against Detroit, then he’ll have a big fantasy day. Detroit owns one of the worst passing defenses in the NFL, and allows quarterbacks to generally have career days against them. Fuller will produce again in week 8.


Cameron Meredith vs. Minnesota Vikings

Jay Cutler is back, but that doesn’t matter for fantasy owners with Meredith on their rosters.

Meredith took a step back against Green Bay, thanks to an increased attention from the defense and the quarterback carousel that resulted from the week 7 loss.

There is some fantasy value with Meredith going forward since he’s locked in at the second wide receiver spot for the Bears, but against the Vikings, very few fantasy players have any value.

The Vikings own the best pass defense in the NFL. And with Cutler returning this week from an injury, I highly doubt he’ll be effective. The only hope is the Vikings will jump out to a big lead, forcing the Bears to pass more. With the way Minnesota looked in week 7 on offense, that’s a long shot.

Jeremy Maclin should be sat in the week 8 start/sit for wide receivers. Flickr
Jeremy Maclin should be sat in the week 8 start/sit for wide receivers. Flickr

Jeremy Maclin vs. Indianapolis Colts

How many times are we going to blindly start Maclin each week and face the same disappointment? He has yet to go over 80 yards receiving in any game this season, and now, his volume is hitting the basement floor.

He’s registered eight targets in the last two weeks, going for seven receptions for 89 combined yards. He has yet to score a touchdown since week 1 and has yet to break the 10-point fantasy barrier since that time.

And it’s not like the matchups haven’t been favorable. He’s played Oakland, Pittsburgh, New Orleans and the New York Jets in four of six games. Those teams account for four of the worst six pass defenses in the NFL.

And during those tilts, he managed to haul in 16 receptions. That’s not enough to keep putting him in my lineup.

The Colts are a favorable matchup, too, but we’ve seen this movie before. I don’t care to see it again.

Tyrell Williams vs. Denver Broncos

It’s almost becoming a strict rule than a guideline. If you have an option that can breathe on your bench, it’s likely better to use that person than anyone facing the Broncos.

The Broncos just don’t let much happen against the pass. They allow 175 yards per game through the air and 5.7 yards per completion, the lowest rate of any team in the NFL. Teams have thrown for four touchdowns, while the Broncos have recorded five interceptions.

It’s just not in your best interest to start a receiver against the Broncos. I sat Hopkins in week 7 and that proved to be beneficial. And while Williams has been on a hot streak, going for more than 100 yards receiving in two of the last three weeks, he should be sat in this game.

There’s very little upside for fantasy wide receivers against Denver. Find someone else to start.

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