Fantasy football is predictably unpredictable. But some trends are too hard to ignore.
The New England Patriots' defense, for example, has swallowed up every opposing quarterback it has faced this season, and the numbers suggest Baker Mayfield won't have any better luck when his Cleveland Browns come to town Sunday.
So, who should you roll out instead of Mayfield? We've got the positives and negatives covered in our top fantasy football starts and sits for Week 8 of the NFL slate.
Matthew Stafford, QB, Detroit Lions: Is Stafford maddeningly inconsistent? Yes. Can you count on him Sunday against the New York Giants? Also yes. With lead running back Kerryon Johnson out, Stafford should see plenty of volume against a weak Giants secondary.
Austin Ekeler, RB, Los Angeles Chargers: Ekeler averaged 8.3 yards per touch last Sunday, while Melvin Gordon fumbled the game away at the goal line. Gordon is still the RB1, but these two clearly can coexist. You can confidently roll out Ekeler versus a Chicago Bears defense that just allowed 20-plus fantasy points to Latavius Murray.
Ty Johnson, RB, Detroit Lions: Even if Stafford chucks the ball all over the field, there's room for Johnson to put up some points. The top backup to Kerryon Johnson is a strong bet to find the end zone after Chase Edmonds did so three times against the Giants last Sunday.
John Brown, WR, Buffalo Bills: No team has allowed more fantasy points to opposing wideouts this season than the Philadelphia Eagles. Brown is the Bills' primary deep threat, and big plays will be there for the taking Sunday.
DK Metcalf, WR, Seattle Seahawks: Metcalf has been quiet over the last two weeks, but he still saw nine targets in Week 7 and has a great matchup against the Atlanta Falcons' porous secondary. He's a WR2/3 this week.
Baker Mayfield, QB, Cleveland Brown: Stop what you're doing and read Phil Perry's Patriots-Browns fantasy preview. Then do yourself a favor and plant Mayfield firmly on your bench against this historic New England defense.
Matt Breida, RB, San Francisco 49ers: It's troubling enough that Breida exited San Francisco's Week 7 game with a concussion. But he's also splitting time with Tevin Coleman, who's been the better runner of late. If you're starting anyone here, go with Coleman.
Joe Mixon, RB, Cincinnati Bengals: Give it up, Mixon owners. The running back's two rushing yards on 10 carries was final proof that this simply isn't his year, and the Los Angeles Rams' front should swallow him up.
Curtis Samuel, WR, Carolina Panthers: Don't be tantalized by Samuel's strong Week 6. He only caught four passes in that game and still takes a back seat to D.J. Moore. Fantasy points will be hard to come by against a stingy Niners secondary.
Sammy Watkins, WR, Kansas City Chiefs: Watkins has been cleared to play Sunday, but Patrick Mahomes has not. As long as the reigning NFL MVP is sidelined, Watkins is nothing but a boom-or-bust (read: bust) play.
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