Here are my top 50 wide receivers for Week 8 (standard-scoring leagues).
This countdown simply identifies the weekend's best bets for catches, total yards, touchdowns and receiving targets—a stat that must always factor into lineup strategies with receivers, tight ends and running backs.
When it comes to crafting a weekly listing of elite wide receivers, simply follow the trail of quarterbacks primed for Week 8 glory or the wideouts with great track records against middling pass defenses.
On the injury front, Greg Jennings (groin) shall remain off the list for now.
NOTE: The Houston Texans, Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals and Buffalo Bills are all on byes.
Week 8: Top 50 Receivers
1. Demaryius Thomas vs. New Orleans
2. Jordy Nelson vs. Jacksonville (keeping tabs on his injured hammy)
3. Brandon Marshall vs. Carolina
4. Calvin Johnson vs. Seattle
5. Reggie Wayne @ Tennessee
6. Roddy White @ Philadelphia
7. Percy Harvin vs. Tampa Bay
8. Mike Wallace vs. Washington
9. Marques Colston @ Denver
10. Wes Welker vs. St. Louis (London)
11. Vincent Jackson @ Minnesota
12. Victor Cruz @ Dallas
13. Jeremy Maclin vs. Atlanta
14. Larry Fitzgerald vs. San Francisco
15. Miles Austin vs. N.Y. Giants
16. Julio Jones @ Philadelphia
17. Denarius Moore @ Kansas City
18. James Jones vs. Jacksonville
19. Malcom Floyd @ Cleveland
20. Eric Decker vs. New Orleans
21. Dez Bryant vs. N.Y. Giants
22. Dwayne Bowe vs. Oakland
23. Hakeem Nicks @ Dallas
24. Antonio Brown vs. Washington
25. DeSean Jackson vs. Atlanta
26. Steve Smith @ Chicago
27. Randall Cobb vs. Jacksonville
28. Lance Moore @ Denver
29. Josh Gordon vs. San Diego
30. Brandon Lloyd vs. St. Louis (London)
31. Kenny Britt vs. Indianapolis
32. Andre Roberts vs. San Francisco
33. Jeremy Kerley vs. Miami
34. Michael Crabtree @ Arizona
35. Mike Williams @ Minnesota
36. Brandon Gibson vs. New England (London)
37. Nate Washington vs. Indianapolis
38. Brian Hartline @ N.Y. Jets
39. Sidney Rice @ Detroit
40. Darrius Heyward-Bey @ Kansas City
41. Cecil Shorts @ Green Bay
42. Titus Young vs. Seattle
43. Kendall Wright vs. Indianapolis
44. Donnie Avery @ Tennessee
45. Chris Givens vs. New England (London)
46. Davone Bess @ N.Y. Jets
47. Santana Moss @ Pittsburgh
48. Stephen Hill vs. Miami
49. Leonard Hankerson @ Pittsburgh
50. Brandon Stokley vs. New Orleans
50a. Kevin Ogletree vs. N.Y. Giants
1. Only two things can stop the Denver Broncos' Demaryius Thomas from putting up 110 yards and/or two touchdowns on the wretched-against-the-pass Saints on Sunday: An injury to either him or QB Peyton Manning (knock on wood), or fellow Bronco Eric Decker rolls for something like 12 catches, 151 yards and one score.
2. In recent weeks, Jordy Nelson has ascended to the elite strata of receivers without a bonanza of targets. For the season, Nelson (17 catches, 243 yards, four touchdowns for Weeks 6 and 7) has only collected nine-plus targets four times.
3. For what it's worth, Brandon Marshall has faced the Carolina Panthers only once in his seven-year career, pulling in five catches for a pedestrian 48 yards four years ago (December 2008). And that middling performance was curiously sandwiched between outings of double-digit receptions when Marshall was with Denver (and Jay Cutler).
4. How's this for consistency: In three career games against the Dallas Cowboys, receiver Victor Cruz has caught six balls each time. And in that span, he averaged 10 targets, 103 yards and 0.33 touchdowns.
5. Arizona's Andre Roberts, the 12th-ranked receiver in standard-scoring leagues, still isn't getting the weekly respect he deserves. Through seven games, Roberts (29 catches, 389 yards, five touchdowns) has tallied six or more targets six times, and the one "clunker" game of one target (Week 2) entailed a touchdown.
6. Has it really been seven weeks since Kevin Ogletree momentarily turned the fantasy world on its ear, catching eight balls for 114 yards and two touchdowns against the Giants? Well, since that Frisman Jackson-esque evening of surprise fantasy goodness, Ogletree has deflating per-game averages of 2.6 catches, 26.8 yards and zero touchdowns. Ugh!
Jay Clemons can be reached on Twitter, day or night, at @ATL_JayClemons.
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