Fantasy football Start 'Em, Sit 'Em: How to set your lineups for NFL Week 8
The quarterback position emerges relatively unscathed from the Week 8 byepocalypse. The six signal callers taking a seat this week are Ben Roethlisberger, Eli Manning, Joe Flacco, Case Keenum, Ryan Tannehill and Colin Kaepernick. Only two of those players, Roethlisberger and Manning, are regular starters in one-quarterback formats, and Manning’s owner has likely found a second quarterback to, at the very least, compete with Manning for starts. Flacco, Tannehill and Kaepernick are streamers and mid-tier to low-end QB2s in superflex leagues. Keenum isn’t on anyone’s radar. In all likelihood, the overall quarterback position will be in worse shape two weeks from now when only four teams are on bye, including Detroit (Matthew Stafford), Indianapolis (Andrew Luck) and Oakland (Derek Carr).
That’s what makes Jameis Winston even more intriguing this week. He’s my No. 5 quarterback, four spots higher than his consensus ranking on FantasyPros, and it has nothing to do with bye weeks. Winston earns that spot on merit, with a slight boost from his matchup.
Through Week 7, Winston ranks 13th in total points in standard-scoring leagues, and ninth in points per game. Among quarterbacks who have had their byes, the only ones with more points than Winston are Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers. Winston has scored more points per game than Philip Rivers, Andy Dalton, Marcus Mariota, Carr and Kirk Cousins.
Winston has three games this season with at least 21.66 standard-league points. In his other three games, he has scored 13.36 points or fewer. We can give him a bit of a pass for two of those games. Winston struggled in matchups with the Broncos and Cardinals, defenses that have allowed the second- and seventh-fewest points per game to quarterbacks. In fact, Winston put up more points against the Broncos than the average quarterback this season, out-scoring Luck, Dalton and Rivers in their respective matchups with the Broncos, while coming up just shy of Matt Ryan.