“Shore Thing Sleepers” isn’t your ordinary fantasy football Week 8 start/sit article. Instead, our analyst duo of Seth Woolcock and Nate Polvogt highlight lower-valued players that can provide starting-caliber production for a specific week. These are usually players near the end of your bench or even on the waiver wire/free agency. You can catch an additional sleeper pick live at the end of our weekly in-season Friday podcast episode.
Rostership percentages are based on ESPN Points Per Reception (PPR) redraft fantasy football leagues.
Week 8 Start/Sit Consideration: Shore Thing Sleepers
Robert Tonyan (TE, Green Bay Packers) | 50.3 Percent
Over Buffalo’s last two games opposing quarterbacks have attempted an average of 46 passing attempts. Aaron Rodgers, currently averaging 34.9 passing attempts per game, will likely have to air it on “Sunday Night Football” too if the Packers want to avoid a 3-5 start.
With Allen Lazard saying he’ll likely be out this week, lead-receiving duties could fall to tight end, Robert Tonyan. The University of Iowa product is two weeks removed from setting a franchise record for the most receptions by a Packers tight end in a single game (10). He’s getting open, averaging 2.3 yards of separation per target (seventh best amongst tight ends). He’s also excelling in almost every other efficiency metric. Rodgers’ trust is evident as Tonyan averages 11.6 PPR points per game when seeing over 50 percent of snaps.
Buffalo’s defense has been lenient to TEs in their last two games, allowing 20 total receptions for 188 yards. Sure, one of those outings was against Travis Kelce. However, the other was against the Steelers, with Zach Gentry leading the way. With limited options here in Week 8, Rodgers has no choice but to try to expose the Bilss’ recent weakness, feeding Tonyan. – Woolcock
Mike Gesicki (TE, Miami Dolphins) | 69.6 Percent
Miami tight end Mike Gesicki has seen somewhat of a resurgence in the last two weeks. After only seeing 12 targets through the first five weeks, Gesicki has drawn 14 in the Dolphins’ previous two contests.
His best performance came in Week 6 against Minnesota, where he hauled six of his seven targets for 69 yards and two touchdowns with Teddy Bridgewater behind center. There were questions as to whether the increased volume would continue with the return of quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. Last week against the Steelers, Gesicki again saw seven targets. Though he only managed three receptions for 27 yards, it was against the sixth-best defense against tight ends.
This week, Miami rolls into Detroit against the fifth-worst defense against tight ends. In addition, the Dolphins are the fifth pass-heavyiest offense in the league, throwing the ball on 63.92 percent of snaps. While receivers Jaylen waddle and Tyreek Hill will still be Tagovailoa’s No. 1 and 2 options on passing downs, this is the perfect storm for Gesicki to repeat his Week 5 performance. – Polvogt