Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Week 8: Advice for Fringe Flex Fantasy Football Starters

Jake RillAnalyst IIIOctober 23, 2019

New Orleans Saints running back Latavius Murray (28) celebrates a touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game against the Chicago Bears in Chicago, Sunday, Oct. 20, 2019. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
Charles Rex Arbogast/Associated Press

Want to make the playoffs in your fantasy football league? Then making the right decisions continues to be crucial.

With seven weeks of the NFL season complete, there's a solid chance you're locked in a tight race in your fantasy league, needing to start the right players and sit the others so that your season doesn't end before the fantasy playoffs.

Need help deciding who to start? Here's a look at three flex players you need in your lineup, whether they're still available on the waiver wire or have been stashed on your bench. At the other end of the spectrum, we also have three flex players you'll want to bench if they've been in your starting lineup in recent weeks.


Running Back

Start 'Em: New Orleans Saints RB Latavius Murray vs. Arizona Cardinals

There's still uncertainty about whether Alvin Kamara (ankle/knee injuries) will play this week after he didn't suit up for the Saints' win over the Bears on Sunday. Latavius Murray thrived in his absence, and that will be the case again if he fills in as the starter this weekend at home against the Cardinals.

The 29-year-old had 27 carries for 119 yards and two touchdowns, along with five receptions for 31 yards, against Chicago. Even if Kamara plays against Arizona, he may not be at full strength, so expect Murray to still get plenty of touches as New Orleans play its final game before its bye week.

The Cardinals may have won three games in a row, but they continue to struggle stopping the run. They're allowing 129.1 rushing yards per game, which ranks eighth-worst in the NFL, so Murray will have a favorable matchup.


Sit 'Em: Buffalo Bills RB Frank Gore vs. Philadelphia Eagles

Frank Gore has been consistent of late, as he's averaged at least 4.3 yards per carry in each of his last four games. However, his overall numbers have been unimpressive, and he's had only one game with more than 100 total yards and his only two touchdowns came in Weeks 2 and 3.

It may not get much better for the 36-year-old on Sunday, when he faces an Eagles defense that is allowing only 89.4 rushing yards per game, which ranks sixth in the NFL.

Philadelphia may be struggling overall, losing two straight games to fall to 3-4, but Buffalo will have to go through the air to earn the win.

And Gore likely won't be involved in the passing game. He hasn't had more than two receptions in a game this season, and he has seven catches for 48 yards in six games.


Wide Receiver

Start 'Em: Seattle Seahawks WR DK Metcalf at Atlanta Falcons

Elaine Thompson/Associated Press

DK Metcalf, a rookie receiver out of Ole Miss, hasn't had his breakout NFL game yet, but he's starting to get more involved in Seattle's offense.

The 21-year-old had a season-high nine targets against the Ravens this past Sunday, although he had only four receptions for 53 yards and lost a fumble.

But this weekend is a prime opportunity for Metcalf to break through for the biggest game of his career so far against the Falcons, who are 1-6 and allowing 274 passing yards per game, fifth-worst in the NFL.

Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson should torch the Falcons' defense, and it's quite likely Metcalf will be a difficult target for Atlanta to stop. There's a good chance he could have his first game with more than four receptions and potentially post his first 100-yard game as well.


Sit 'Em: Cincinnati Bengals WR Tyler Boyd at Los Angeles Rams

Tyler Boyd has been struggling, and now he'll likely draw a matchup that does not have him set up well for a bounce-back effort.

It's likely cornerback Jalen Ramsey, who the Rams acquired from the Jaguars last week, will be covering the 24-year-old for most of the day on Sunday.

Through the Bengals' first seven games, all of which have been losses, Boyd has only one touchdown, which came in Week 5 against the Cardinals. That was also one of his two 100-yard games this season. However, over the past two weeks, he has eight receptions for 65 yards in games against the Ravens and Jaguars.

Ramsey is one of the top cornerbacks in the NFL for a reason, and without many other top weapons on the Bengals' offense, it seems likely he'll shut down Boyd and make it a tough day for Cincinnati's No. 1 receiver.


Tight End

Start 'Em: Pittsburgh Steelers TE Vance McDonald vs. Miami Dolphins

Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press

It hasn't been a great season for Vance McDonald. He's been dealing with a shoulder injury and has only five receptions for 49 yards over the Steelers' last four games. But this is a matchup that should favor him after a bye week.

The Dolphins are allowing 13.1 yards per catch to tight ends. Of course, their defense has also struggled overall, allowing 417.3 yards per game (third-worst in the NFL) during its 0-6 start.

McDonald, 29, flashed his potential as a red-zone target in Week 2, when he scored a pair of touchdowns against the Seahawks. He should get more involved in the offense and have his best showing since then on Monday night against the Dolphins.


Sit 'Em: Indianapolis Colts TE Eric Ebron vs. Denver Broncos

Eric Ebron is coming off his best game of the season, where he had four receptions for 70 yards and a touchdown in the Colts' win over the Texans this past Sunday. However, he may have trouble going for a repeat performance.

Although the Broncos are 2-5, they're allowing the 10th-fewest fantasy points to tight ends, and they've had some strong games defensively. Plus, the 26-year-old will be competing with Jack Doyle for targets in the Colts' offense, so there may not even be many opportunities for him.

There will be better options to start at tight end than Ebron this week, so be sure to go with one of those.


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