I’ve rebranded the classic fantasy football start sit column into “Roasts & Ghosts”. A roast is a player who is not only a clear start, but is in for a monster game. A ghost meanwhile is a player who could just be a typical sit, but also might be a star player who gives you less than you were expecting.
I have a roast and a ghost for each position to help you set your best lineups for Week 8. Let’s get it!
Roast: Carson Wentz vs Tennessee Titans
Wentz has been kinda not bad this year, after the trainwreck that was his 2020 season. He’s averaging 242 yards passing and almost 2 touchdowns per game this season. Over the last three weeks, Wentz has been the QB9, averaging just under 20 fantasy points per game. This week he gets to face a Titans’ defense that’s allowing the sixth-most fantasy points to opposing QBs this year. And that’s including last week in which he held Patrick Mahomes to under 10 points.
With the way the Titans’ offense has been playing recently, game script is there for this to turn into a high scoring affair. Wentz and the Colts will have to throw the ball often in order to keep up with Ryan Tannehill, Derrick Henry, A.J. Brown and company.
Ghost: Tua Tagovailoa vs Buffalo Bills
Tua is coming off a terrific fantasy performance where he finished the QB2 behind just Joe Burrow. He did it however against a Falcons’ defense giving up the fourth-most points to QBs. This week unfortunately, Tua has to go up against the Bills.
Buffalo is giving up the fewest fantasy points to QBs and they rank No. 1 in NEFF pass defense by a wide margin. They’ve allowed just five passing touchdowns this year and are second in the league in interceptions (10). This is a real tough spot for Tua and the rest of the Dolphins’ pass catchers. Tua managers should try and look elsewhere this week for quarterback help.
Roast: Darrell Henderson Jr vs Houston Texans
After a lot of hype going into the week, Henderson put forward a dud against the Lions last week. However, he still racked up 18 touches and was the Rams’ clear RB1. The fact that that game was a lot closer than expected likely didn’t help Henderson’s production either.
Never fear Henderson managers as this week the Rams face off against the Texans and their 31st-ranked run defense per NEFF rating. Houston is allowing the most rushing yards (891) and highest yards per carry (5.24) to backs this year. This game will likely get out of hand fast, meaning we could see a lot of Henderson late in game to run out the clock. I’m betting on him finishing a top-5 back this week in fantasy.
James Robinson vs the Seahawks has the potential to be a real, juicy roast this week however, a) you never pick in favor of the Jaguars and b) I’m playing against Robinson this week in my home league so don’t want to put out good vibes.
Ghost: Leonard Fournette vs New Orleans Saints
Fournette has been on a hell of a tear recently, ranking as the RB3 in .5PPR over the last four weeks. Unfortunately for Fournette managers, Week 8 brings with it though his toughest matchup of the year. The Saints boast the best run defense in the league per NEFF rating, giving up just 333 rushing yards to backs. They’re allowing a staggeringly low 2.78 yards per attempt (obviously best in the league) and rank third in RB PPG allowed (18.3). It’s tough to bench a back as hot as Fournette, but this has all the making of a dud performance.
Roast: Deebo Samuel vs Chicago Bears
With all the Ja’Marr Chase and Cooper Kupp love, it’s easy to ignore what Deebo has done to start this year. The 49ers’ wide receiver is the WR5 in .5PPR, averaging 18.7 PPG. He’s seen at least 8 targets and 52 yards receiving in every game this season. He actually has more 90+ yard games than 50 yard games over the first 7 weeks. Shoutout to those who drafted Samuel over Aiyuk in redraft.
It’s another smash spot for Deebo this week as the 49ers take on the Bears. Chicago’s once proud defense has been one of the worst at stopping the pass. They’re giving up the fifth-most yards, fourth-most yards per target, fourth-most FPPG, and most touchdowns to wide receivers this year. They just came off a game in which they were shellacked by both Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, giving up over 20 .5PPR points to both. I’ve got Deebo ranked my WR6 this week and that might be low.
Ghost: Jakobi Meyers vs Los Angeles Chargers
As a Patriots fan and a Jakobi Meyers manager, this pains me to write. I just didn’t have the stones to pick Cooper Kupp as my ghost this week so I instead went with Meyers facing the best fantasy defense against wide receivers. (This is my sneaky way of slipping Kupp in as a ghost so that if it happens, I look real smart.)
The Chargers are allowing just 25.8 PPG to opposing wide receivers and are giving up the fewest receptions to the position. Sadly, as someone who can’t seem to find the end zone no matter how hard he tries, catches are the most important thing for Meyers’ fantasy value. My guess is the Patriots will come out running the ball against a bad Chargers run defense and limit their passing as much as possible.
Also, Jaylen Waddle is an honorary ghost. The Bills defense is good people.
Roast: T.J. Hockenson vs Philadelphia Eagles
After a hot start, it’s been slow going for Hockenson. The Lions’ tight end hasn’t scored a touchdown since Week 2 and only has one game of over 48 yards receiving since then. It hasn’t been for lack of trying as Jared Goff is targeting Hockenson almost eight times per game this year. Week 8 smells like a bounce-back game as the Eagles rank sixth in TE PPG, allowing 17.2 to the position. They’re also giving up the most touchdowns. I’m putting my faith in Hock returning to elite TE status this week.
Ghost: Ricky Seals-Jones vs Denver Broncos
Since filling in for Logan Thomas in Week 5, RSJ has been the TE8 in .5PPR. He’s taken full advantage of both the opportunity and the favorable matchups Washington has had. This week however Seals-Jones has a tough outing ahead of him ver Denver. The Broncos are allowing the fourth-fewest TE PPG and are one of four teams to not have surrendered a touchdown to the position. Even if RJS sees the 7.3 targets he’s been seeing over his three starts, I don’t trust he’ll be able to produce TE1 numbers against this defense.