Here are my top 25 quarterbacks for fantasy Week 8.
This countdown doesn't lean on a particular stat. It's merely an educated early guess of which signal-callers will have the best combination of total yards (passing/rushing) and total touchdowns for the NFL's eighth weekend.
Regardless of how these rankings shake out every week, it shouldn't supersede two important factors that go into regular lineup consideration:
1. Always play your healthy superstars.
2. Always ride your gut instinct over a certain guru's analysis.
NOTE: The Bills, Bengals, Ravens and Texans are all on byes.
Top 25 QBs For Week 8
1. Aaron Rodgers vs. Jacksonville
2. Peyton Manning vs. New Orleans
3. Drew Brees @ Denver
4. Robert Griffin III @ Pittsburgh
5. Tom Brady vs. St. Louis (London)
6. Matt Ryan @ Philadelphia
7. Eli Manning @ Dallas
8. Tony Romo vs. N.Y. Giants
9. Ben Roethlisberger vs. Washington
10. Michael Vick vs. Atlanta
11. Matthew Stafford vs. Seattle
12. Andrew Luck @ Tennessee
13. Cam Newton @ Chicago
14. Philip Rivers @ Cleveland
15. Christian Ponder vs. Tampa Bay
16. Brandon Weeden vs. San Diego
17. Josh Freeman @ Minnesota
18. Jay Cutler vs. Carolina
19. Carson Palmer @ Kansas City
20. Mark Sanchez vs. Miami
21. Matt Hasselbeck vs. Indianapolis
22. Sam Bradford vs. New England (London)
23. Alex Smith @ Arizona
24. Ryan Tannehill @ N.Y. Jets
25. Blaine Gabbert @ Green Bay
25a. Russell Wilson @ Detroit
25b. John Skelton vs. San Francisco
25c. Brady Quinn vs. Oakland
1. Through seven games, the Jaguars have allowed only one quarterback to throw for 300 yards (Andrew Luck). But let's not kid ourselves here: Barring injury or some kind of Nor'easter winter storm hitting Green Bay 20 minutes before kickoff, Aaron Rodgers (16 TD passes since Week 4) is a mortal lock for 300 on Sunday.
2. Peyton Manning (1,816 yards passing, 14 TD) gets two weeks to prepare for his prime-time clash with Drew Brees and the Saints, whose defense currently allows 460 total yards and 31 points per game. At this point, it wouldn't be a reach to predict 350 yards passing and/or four touchdowns for Manning.
3. In a six-game period from 2009-11, Eli Manning passed for 300 yards on the Cowboys five times. So, why am I having such difficulty attaching a top-five ranking in his latest go-round with Dallas? (And yes, I'm aware of the Cowboys' No. 3 ranking against the pass.)
4. I no longer have the time nor the energy to hatch theories on why Robert Griffin III (2,069 total yards, 13 TD) might not produce elite fantasy numbers in a given week. For a second straight season, a rookie quarterback has essentially cruised to 275 total yards and/or three touchdowns every Sunday, when healthy.
Speaking of which...
5. I may be one of Cam Newton's staunchest (and most stubborn) supporters among the fantasy-guru circuit, but I'm not an idiot, either. If Newton (1,660 total yards, eight TD) cannot post elite-level fantasy numbers against the Cowboys, Giants and Seahawks at home...then what chance does he stand against Chicago's top-ranked defense?
Unless you dredge up memories of Newton's stats against the Bears last year: 409 total yards (374 passing) and three total touchdowns.
Jay Clemons can be reached on Twitter, day or night, at @ATL_JayClemons.