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Fantasy Football: Five Things to Watch in NFL Week 8

If you're looking for help deciding which players to start and sit this week, look at my Week 8 Fantasy Football position rankings here. Here's a look at five things you should pay attention to heading into Week 8.

1. Joe Burrow has been on fire, but will he be OK without Ja'Marr Chase?

The news about Chase came like a punch to the gut. He'll be gone for at least a month, if not longer, and it's next to impossible that it doesn't affect Burrow negatively. Let's look on the bright side, though. Tee Higgins would quite possibly be a No. 1 WR on a good amount of teams in the league. He's got great size and is just tough to cover. Tyler Boyd is making a career of stepping up when given the opportunity. Two solid WRs is more than a lot of teams in the league have. Add to that Joe Mixon, who is an excellent receiver for a running back, and Burrow still has a decent amount of weapons. Will he go off like he has with Chase in the lineup? Probably not, but we'll know more after this week's game against the Browns.

2. Can Aaron Rodgers be productive against the Bills?

Finding out the answer to this question could help you figure out whether or not he should be relegated to your fantasy bench. Rodgers will probably have to chuck the ball a lot in order for the Packers to at least attempt to keep up with the Bills' offense. Rodgers started the season in horrific fashion, then had four straight games with two TD passes. That's merely OK and the Bills are obviously a really tough matchup. If you do sit him, monitor his performance as it's possible you'll want to keep him on the bench even after Sunday.

3. Is it Michael Carter’s show now in New York, or will James Robinson cut into the workload?

You have to believe Robinson wasn't acquired just as a backup to Carter. The Jets will hope for a full recovery of the electric Breece Hall for the future, but having Robinson on the team complicates things for Carter, who's a second-year player that can definitely be productive. The work split this weekend can show us how the Jets will approach the backfield going forward. As of now I see Carter as a low-end RB2 while Robinson is in flex territory. We'll see if that holds beyond the game against the Patriots.

4. Saquon Barkley vs. Kenneth Walker.

Of course, two exciting offensive players never face each other on the field, but it'll be interesting to see which running back has the best day in the Giants-Seahawks matchup, a game between two unexpectedly quality teams. While Barkley is in the top 3 in fantasy scoring at the position, Walker is in low-end RB2 territory through the first seven weeks of the season. But that's because Walker didn't make his presence felt until Week 5 when he broke out for 88 yards and a touchdown. He's improved every week and is looking to Wally Pipp Rashaad Penny, who went down in Week 5. I'm having a tough time deciding who will have the better week.

5. How much will Brandon Aiyuk and George Kittle benefit in fantasy scoring without Deebo Samuel in the lineup?

It's an interesting question because with the recent acquisition of Christian McCaffrey, possibly the best receiving running back in the league, I wouldn't be surprised if Jimmy Garoppolo leaned on the short dump off passes. Kittle is coming off of two quality games after struggling early in the season, but if he scores against the Rams, it'll be the first time they have allowed a TD to the position this season. As for Aiyuk, it should be safe to say most of the work Samuel got as a wideout will go to Aiyuk. He is also on a two-game hot streak and I can see him benefitting from Samuel's absence more than getting hurt by McCaffrey's presence.

Sam Bissett contributed to this article.


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