Fantasy Football Week 8: Start or Sit Newton, Stafford, or Watson?

Fantasy Football Week 8: Start or Sit Cam Newton, Matthew Stafford, or Deshaun Watson?

It feels like the fantasy football season just started, but this is the last week where we can consider ourselves in the midgame. After this week, you’re entering the last third of your fantasy football regular season, and you have to start thinking of things on a week-to-week basis. Thankfully, we always think of you when considering our week-to-week propositions. Our goal is to help you make the hard start or sit decisions every week. We consider six players at all positions, helping you decide if you should start or sit them. Without further ado, in the second half of our start or sit quarterbacks piece, we help you decide if you should start or sit Cam Newton, Matthew Stafford, or Deshaun Watson?

Start or Sit Cam Newton versus Baltimore

Cam Newton has played exceptionally well this season. I think that’s quite the understatement for the #3 quarterback on the season. While his smile is beautiful, he gets his first matchup of the season that reminds you of his pre- and post-game suits (U G L Y). The Ravens have taken a buzzsaw to opposing quarterbacks, as nobody is better at stifling them this season. They gave up six touchdowns to Andy Dalton and Drew Brees combined, but outside of those two games, QBs throw for fewer than 200 yards per game against them, with two touchdowns and three interceptions in their five contests. While Cam Newton is going to be closer to Brees and Dalton, there are several streaming options who could have better weeks than him. If you have a choice to start or sit Cam Newton, I would probably sit him this week. It’s completely understandable if you can’t get away from him, but it’s unlikely you’ll be super excited with the result.

Start or Sit Matthew Stafford versus Seattle

Somehow, even without Earl Thomas, Richard Sherman, Kam Chancellor (etc. etc.), the Seahawks are the best team in the league at stopping opposing quarterbacks over the last three weeks. In case you think I’m cherry-picking that stat, they were also #1 in the last five weeks, but they still had Earl Thomas for most of that. Call it dramatic flair instead of arbitrary endpoints. The Seahawks are chewing up and spitting out opposing quarterbacks, with four games of 2+ picks on the year, which matches the multi-touchdown games they’ve allowed. In fact, they have more interceptions than passing touchdowns allowed in the last four weeks. Jim Bob Cooter is presumably not a moron, which means that the Lions will keep running the ball as they did to great success the last couple of games; after throwing at least thirty passes in each of their first four games, Stafford has just 26 and 22 pass attempts in their last couple of contests. His numbers haven’t been bad at the end of the day, but they aren’t eye-popping. Matthew Stafford isn’t good enough to overcome this matchup, so don’t overthink your decision to start or sit him; sit him all the way.

Start or Sit Deshaun Watson versus Miami

The unfortunate souls who followed the siren song of small sample size personified are finding themselves in hot water this season. The inexplicable consensus #2 overall QB in fantasy football drafts this year has predictably been struggling mightily. It turns out that leaning on a sophomore with five starts under his belt with a bad offensive line isn’t a huge +EV move. He’s had some tremendous highs already this season, but his style and Houston’s deficiencies have gotten Watson thrown around like a rag doll. The injuries are starting to mount for Watson, and he has just 18.14 fantasy points in the last two contests. Granted, he had two very difficult matchups to go against in the Jacksonville and Buffalo passing games. Unfortunately, he gets another difficult contest this week, going toe-to-toe with a Miami Dolphins defense that allows the ninth-fewest fantasy points per games to quarterbacks on the year. In games that didn’t go for nearly an entire overtime, only Tom Brady has hung more than two touchdowns on them. Through the first seven games, QBs are averaging a fairly decent 279 passing yards per game, but the Miami defense has held opposing QBs to eleven touchdowns… with eleven interceptions.  Watson’s injuries seem to be mounting, and he faces his third-straight tough opponent. While you shouldn’t cut Watson outright, considering whether you should start or sit him is more than fair. This week, I would sit Watson. There’s too much going against him.


All three of these guys are not the best starts this week, but it’s possible you need to decide who to start or sit among the three. For my money, I would start them in this order:

  1. Cam Newton (with a bullet)
  2. Deshaun Watson
  3. Matthew Stafford

If you need more help deciding who you should start or sit this week, check out these pieces below:
Start or Sit Mitchell Trubisky, Jameis Winston, or Andy Dalton?
Start or Sit Stefon Diggs, Tyler Boyd, or Chris Godwin?
Start or Sit Tyler Lockett, Devin Funchess, or Marvin Jones Jr.?
Start or Sit Start or Sit Raheem Mostert, Marlon Mack, or Ronald Jones?
Start or Sit Isaiah Crowell, T.J. Yeldon, or Doug Martin?
Start or Sit C.J. Uzomah, David Njoku, or O.J. Howard?
Start or Sit Kyle Rudolph, Eric Ebron, or Jordan Reed?

Also, we have Hot Takes from Crazy People: Eric Reid vs Malcolm Jenkins Edition

Want more hard-hitting advice from fantasy experts who understand deeper leagues? Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

About Jeff Krisko

You can follow me on twitter, @jeffkrisko for the same lukewarm takes you read here.

View all posts by Jeff Krisko →