Bring in the Backups: Bench Players You Can Start in Week 8 Fantasy Football

Dan Israeli
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Two teams are on bye in Week 8, the Baltimore Ravens and Dallas Cowboys, meaning a number of high profile fantasy football options won't be available.

For those in a pinch, here are three bench options to consider as fantasy starters for the week ahead.

1. Teddy Bridgewater, QB, New Orleans Saints (Started in 32 Percent of Yahoo! Leagues)

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The New Orleans Saints could not have asked for anything better from backup quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, who has led the team to a 5-0 record since Drew Brees went down with a thumb injury in Week 2. Bridgewater gets labeled as a game manager, but he's thrown nine TDs to two INTs in his five starts. He's also averaging 278.3 passing yards per game over the last three weeks, and draws a very friendly matchup in Week 8 against an Arizona Cardinals team that's allowing the fourth-most fantasy points per game to opposing QBs. Brees is reportedly going to be a game-time decision, but if he's sidelined, Bridgewater has a chance at posting another solid fantasy outing.

2. Latavius Murray, RB, New Orleans Saints (Started in 40 Percent of Yahoo! Leagues)

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Sticking with New Orleans, Latavius Murray is another player who can benefit from the team being cautious with its upcoming bye. Murray got the start last week with Alvin Kamara out, and responded with 150 yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns on the road against the Chicago Bears. Kamara is questionable for Week 8, and New Orleans could opt to give him a limited role or keep him sidelined, as the Saints are 10.5-point home favorites. If Murray sees another increased workload, he'd be a great player to start in Week 8.

3. A.J. Brown, WR, Tennessee Titans (Started in 9 Percent of Yahoo! Leagues)

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A.J. Brown has been a frustrating player to own, mainly because he was probably on most owners' benches during his three best performances this season. Last week marked his first game with Ryan Tannehill as starter, and the rookie performed admirably with a season-high six catches on eight targets. Brown now gets arguably his best matchup of the season, as he's facing a Tampa Bay Buccaneers team that's giving up the second-most fantasy points to opposing WRs.

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