Eagles vs. Commanders: Fantasy start, sit options for Week 8 of the NFL season

As Philly looks to stay atop the NFC, here's who to start and sit in Fantasy football for the Week 8 Eagles vs. Commanders showdown.

Jalen Hurts, Philadelphia Eagles
Jalen Hurts, Philadelphia Eagles / Mitchell Leff/GettyImages

The Philadelphia Eagles enter Week 8 on a high after a bounce-back 31-17 victory over the Miami Dolphins. Up next is a battle against a familiar foe in the Washington Commanders. Fantasy managers will have their eyes set on this one as producers like wide receiver A.J. Brown and tight end Logan Thomas take the field.

Those same managers are the ones tasked with making crucial decisions on who to put in their lineup and who to keep on the bench. Let's dive into some start/sit options for this amusing NFC East clash.

Start: Jalen Hurts, QB (Philadelphia Eagles)

Sitting the second-highest scoring Fantasy quarterback should not enter anyone's mind this week. Jalen Hurts is dealing with a knee injury, but the brace he wore in the second half against Miami did little to stop him from standing strong in the pocket and calmly leading the offense to the end zone.

Hurts has not been listed on the injury report through Thursday's practice and faces a team he has already beat up once this season. The 25-year-old racked up a season-high 319 passing yards to go along with two touchdowns and 34 rushing yards in a Week 4 overtime win against the Commanders.

Washington allows the most Fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks in the NFL and also ranks dead last in terms of yards per completion (12.0). This is a defense that has been getting decimated through the air, so do not hesitate to slide Hurts into a starting slot and let him do what he does best.

Start: Terry McLaurin, WR (Washington Commanders)

Curtis Samuel was going to be the recommendation here as a sneaky FLEX option, but he is working through a foot injury. That makes the Fantasy ceiling of Washington's No. 1 wide receiver even higher, instead. Terry McLaurin has scored double-digit PPR Fantasy points in five of the last six weeks.

That includes when he regularly created separation against Philadelphia in Week 4, resulting in 86 yards on eight receptions (10 targets). Overall, the Eagles have given up the most Fantasy points to opposing wide receivers and remain tied for the most touchdowns allowed to the position (nine).

It's worth noting there's not much the game script can do to hurt McLaurin. The Commanders will have to rely on the pass whether they are in the lead or playing from behind given how daunting Philly's rush defense is. McLaurin has top-12 upside this week and is a great target in DFS contests.

Sit: Kenneth Gainwell, RB (Philadelphia Eagles)

The fourth-quarter touchdown scored by running back Kenneth Gainwell put him back on the radar in deeper Fantasy leagues. However, it doesn't make his value rise any higher than a valuable handcuff to starter D'Andre Swift. The Memphis product isn't seeing enough work to be a reliable FLEX option.

Gainwell was on the field for 32% of the offensive snaps in Week 7, which was his lowest output of the season. He only totaled 21 yards on six touches against Washington in Week 4 and has logged one touchdown across 13 career games against NFC East foes. These are not encouraging trends.

Seeing the Eagles jump out to a big lead may provide Gainwell with more work than usual as the team aims to drain the clock. It's just not an outcome Fantasy managers should be expecting. Gainwell's floor is low and those stuck in a bind at the running back position should be looking for safer options.

Sit: Brian Robinson Jr., RB (Washington Commanders)

Brian Robinson Jr. has exceeded expectations so far this season as he checks in as the 12th-highest scoring running back in PPR formats. That makes him a player worth sitting in only the toughest of matchups. Well, the Eagles have allowed the fewest Fantasy points to opposing ball-carriers in 2023.

The defensive tackle group of Jalen Carter, Fletcher Cox and Jordan Davis has helped Philadelphia give up a minuscule 62.9 rushing yards per game (best in NFL). The Eagles rank among the top five squads when it comes to yards per rush attempt and opponent rushing first down percentage, too.

Robinson was held to 3.2 yards per carry against Philly in Week 4 and has not averaged over 3.1 yards per carry in any of his three games played since then, either. If it's not clear by now, Robinson Jr. certainly has his work cut out for him at FedEx Field and is worth avoiding at all costs on Sunday.

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