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Fantasy Football Preview, Week 8: Rankings and Sleepers

Fantasy Football Preview, Week 8: Rankings and Sleepers

Week 8 is here. This week’s action kicks off tonight with a key divisional matchup between the Denver Broncos and the San Diego Chargers. But first, a recap of last week’s top performers.

Week 7 featured a pair of record-breaking performances from quarterbacks young and old.

Russell Wilson led all fantasy scorers and made history last week, throwing for 313 yards and two touchdowns while rushing for another 106 yards and a score. Wilson became the first ever NFL player to throw for 300 yards and rush for 100 yards in the same game. And the Seahawks still lost.

Peyton Manning threw for 318 yards and four touchdowns to bring his career TD total to 510, beating Brett Favre’s 508 for most touchdown passes in NFL history. Demaryius Thomas caught two of those passes and added an insane 171 yards on 8 catches. Manning and Thomas finished two and three in overall scoring, respectively, in most leagues last week.

In this week’s injury news, New Orleans running back Pierre Thomas is likely out 2-3 weeks with a shoulder injury. Mark Ingram looks to resume his earlier role in Thomas’s absence, which could hurt Khiry Robinson‘s fantasy value. Travaris Cadet should gain the most in Thomas’ absence.

Buffalo Bills running backs got bit particularly hard by the injury bug in Week 7. C.J. Spiller is lost for the season after breaking his collarbone, and Fred Jackson sustained a groin injury that will sideline him for at least four weeks. I wouldn’t rush to pick up backups Anthony Dixon or Bryce Brown until the Bills offense proves they can run the ball consistently. The Lions’ Reggie Bush and the Colts’ Reggie Wayne sat out practice on Thursday, and are both questionable for Sunday’s game.

In this week’s weird news, the Titans are planning to start rookie quarterback Zach Mettenberger against the Texans this Sunday. According to NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport, this move means that Jake Locker‘s time in Tennessee could be over, and the Titans don’t have much faith in Charlie Whitehurst. To anyone starting a Tennessee wide receiver this week: you have been warned.

Here are this week’s top-ten players at each offensive position (except kicker), and some extra sleepers to give you the points you need for the win.

Player Rankings, Week 8

QB

1. Aaron Rodgers, GB (@NO)

2. Peyton Manning, DEN (vs. SD)

3. Andrew Luck, IND (@PIT)

4. Russell Wilson, SEA (@CAR)

5. Drew Brees, NO (vs. GB)

6. Tony Romo, DAL (vs. WASH)

7. Philip Rivers, SD (@DEN)

8. Tom Brady, NE (vs. CHI)

9. Cam Newton, CAR (vs. SEA)

10. Jay Cutler, CHI (@NE)


RB

1. DeMarco Murray, DAL (vs. WAS)

2. Matt Forte, CHI (@NE)

3. Arian Foster, HOU (@TEN)

4. Marshawn Lynch, SEA (@CAR)

5. LeSean McCoy, PHI (@ARI)

6. Jamaal Charles, KC (vs. STL)

7. Andre Ellington, ARI (vs. PHI)

8. Le’Veon Bell, PIT (vs. IND)

9. Ben Tate, CLE (vs. OAK)

10. Lamar Miller, MIA (@JAX)


WR

1. Demaryius Thomas, DEN (vs. SD)

2. Jordy Nelson, GB (@NO)

3. Dez Bryant, DAL (vs. WAS)

4. Julio Jones, ATL (vs. DET)

5. Antonio Brown, PIT (vs. IND)

6. Alshon Jeffery, CHI (@NE)

7. Randall Cobb, GB (@NO)

8. T.Y. Hilton, IND (@PIT)

9. Michael Floyd, ARI (vs. PHI)

10. Jeremy Maclin, PHI (@ARI)


TE

1. Julius Thomas, DEN (vs. SD)

2. Rob Gronkowski, NE (vs. CHI)

3. Greg Olsen, CAR (vs. SEA)

4. Jordan Cameron, CLE (vs. OAK)

5. Dwayne Allen, IND (@PIT)

6. Antonio Gates, SD (@DEN)

7. Jordan Reed, WAS (@DAL)

8. Delanie Walker, TEN (vs. HOU)

9. Zach Ertz, PHI (@ARI)

10. Owen Daniels, BAL (@CIN)

Breakouts, Week 8

1. Denard Robinson, RB, JAX (vs. MIA) – Toby Gerhart’s done nothing in Jacksonville, and Robinson looks to have comfortably stepped into his starting job following his 127-yard, 1 touchdown performance against Cleveland last week. The Jaguars could limit his touches, but he should still see about 20 per game. Shoelace doesn’t have the easiest matchup against a surging Miami defense, but he looks like the best runner on the team. Get him if you can.

2. Doug Baldwin, WR, SEA (@CAR) – With Percy Harvin shipped off to the Jets, Baldwin is the clear number-one receiver on Seattle going forward. Baldwin posted his best game of the season last week with a 123-yard, 1 TD performance, and he should see plenty of targets going forward. Keep an eye out.

3. Tre Mason, RB, STL (@KC) – Mason outsnapped fellow Rams running backs Benny Cunningham and Zac Stacy last week, playing on 27 snaps to Cunningham’s 19 and Stacy’s one. He finished with 85 yards and a score on 18 carries. Mason looks to be the most talented runner on the team, but his role remains somewhat unclear. Jeff Fisher recently said the running back situation in St. Louis is a “week-to-week” thing, but if Mason can stay hot, the job is his to lose.

**4. Josh Gordon, WR, CLE (vs. OAK) – If your team has been winning, and you can afford to sit on a player for a little while, go check your waiver wire and make sure Gordon’s not there. He won’t be back until Week 12, but when he returns, he should get right back to WR1 status.

For any last-minute lineup questions, contact me on Twitter @NussBB

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