Fantasy Football 2012: Position Rankings for Week 8

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistOctober 24, 2012

October 07, 2012; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles (25) runs the ball in the second half of the game against the Baltimore Ravens at Arrowhead Stadium. The Ravens won 9-6. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-US PRESSWIRE

On my list of favorite things to do, ranking things is close to the top. But most lists aren't practical.

I like arguing about which television show is the funniest (note: it isn't Modern Family), but it doesn't accomplish much. I enjoy debating who the sexiest character from Saved by the Bell was (note: Kelly Kapowski), but I don't get much out of the endeavor.

But when it comes to ranking fantasy football players each week, well, that has real benefit. We all debate endlessly who to start at the flex. We can't decide if we should roll with the established quarterback who has a rough matchup or whomever is playing the Jacksonville Jaguars.

And let's be honest—nobody knows what the hell to expect from Chris Johnson. 

But I'm here to help you sort through the uncertainty with my personal rankings for the week. Below, you'll find my top 15 quarterbacks, top 25 wide receivers and running backs and top 12 tight ends and defenses. I hope it helps and, as always, good luck this week!


1. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers (Jacksonville Jaguars)

2. Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos (New Orleans Saints)

3. Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints (Denver Broncos)

4. Tom Brady, New England Patriots (St. Louis Rams)

5. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers (Washington Redskins)

6. Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts (Tennessee Titans)

7. Robert Griffin III, Washington Redskins (Pittsburgh Steelers)

8. Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons (Philadelphia Eagles)

9. Carson Palmer, Oakland Raiders (Kansas City Chiefs)

Yes, I like Palmer this week. A lot.

While the Raiders as a team can't be trusted, Palmer has been solid if not spectacular from a fantasy perspective this year. In standard-scoring leagues, he has four games of 17 points or more. This week, he gets to face a Kansas City who is allowing 19.1 fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks per week (26th in NFL).

The Raiders really need a win and the Chiefs are a team they should beat. Look for Palmer, Darren McFadden and the Oakland offense to have a big day.

10. Eli Manning, New York Giants (Dallas Cowboys)

11. Josh Freeman, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Minnesota Vikings)

12. Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys (New York Giants)

13. Michael Vick, Philadelphia Eagles (Atlanta Falcons)

14. Christian Ponder, Minnesota Vikings (Tampa Bay Buccaneers)

15. Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers (Cleveland Browns)

Running Backs

1. Jamaal Charles, Kansas City Chiefs (Oakland Raiders)

2. Darren McFadden, Oakland Raiders (Kansas City Chiefs)

3. LeSean McCoy, Philadelphia Eagles (Atlanta Falcons)

Remember when McCoy scored 20 touchdowns last year? Gosh, those were some swell times, weren't they?

Those times haven't quite carried over into this year. McCoy has just three touchdowns, but his yardage totals have kept him in double-digit fantasy points in every week but one. Still, for a player who was a top-five pick for owners this year, his output has been disappointing.

But coming off a bye and facing a Falcons defense 20.7 fantasy points to opposing running backs per week (22nd in NFL), he's in line for a big game. Bring back the good ol' days (from last year), LeSean.

4. Matt Forte, Chicago Bears (Carolina Panthers)

5. Reggie Bush, Miami Dolphins (New York Jets)

6. Chris Johnson, Tennessee Titans (Indianapolis Colts)

7. Ahmad Bradshaw, New York Giants (Dallas Cowboys)

8. Willis McGahee, Denver Broncos (New Orleans Saints)

9. Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings (Tampa Bay Buccaneers)

10. Doug Martin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Minnesota Vikings)

11. Ryan Mathews, San Diego Chargers (Cleveland Browns)

12. Marshawn Lynch, Seattle Seahawks (Detroit Lions)

13. Darren Sproles, New Orleans Saints (Denver Broncos)

14. Frank Gore, San Francisco 49ers (Arizona Cardinals)*

15. Stevan Ridley, New England Patriots (St. Louis Rams)

16. Alfred Morris, Washington Redskins (Pittsburgh Steelers)

17. Felix Jones, Dallas Cowboys (New York Giants)

18. Shonn Greene, New York Jets (Miami Dolphins)

19. Trent Richardson, Cleveland Browns (San Diego Chargers)*

20. Michael Turner, Atlanta Falcons (Philadelphia Eagles)

21. Rashad Jennings, Jacksonville Jaguars (Green Bay Packers)

22. Alex Green, Green Bay Packers (Jacksonville Jaguars)

23. Steven Jackson, St. Louis Rams (New England Patriots)

24. Donald Brown, Indianapolis Colts (Tennessee Titans)

25. Mikel Leshoure, Detroit Lions (Seattle Seahawks)

Wide Receivers

1. Percy Harvin, Minnesota Vikings (Tampa Bay Buccaneers)

2. Demaryius Thomas, Denver Broncos (New Orleans Saints)

3. Jordy Nelson, Green Bay Packers (Jacksonville Jaguars)

4. Marques Colston, New Orleans Saints (Denver Broncos)

5. Victor Cruz, New York Giants (Dallas Cowboys)

6. Miles Austin, Dallas Cowboys (New York Giants)

7. Mike Wallace, Pittsburgh Steelers (Washington Redskins)

8. Reggie Wayne, Indianapolis Colts (Tennessee Titans)

9. Malcolm Floyd, San Diego Chargers (Cleveland Browns)

10. Brandon Marshall, Matt Forte, Chicago Bears (Carolina Panthers)

11. Vincent Jackson, Josh Freeman, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Minnesota Vikings)

12. Wes Welker, New England Patriots (St. Louis Rams)

13. Dwayne Bowe, Kansas City Chiefs (Oakland Raiders)

14. Roddy White, Atlanta Falcons (Philadelphia Eagles)

15. Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh Steelers (Washington Redskins)

16. Calvin Johnson, Detroit Lions (Seattle Seahawks)

The man they call Megatron is been reduced to Bumblebee status for fantasy owners this year.

Johnson has double-digit fantasy points in three of the Lions' six games and has just one touchdown reception, only a season removed from reaching the endzone 16 times. What gives?

For one, defenses simply are focusing in on Johnson and keeping safeties deep to ensure he doesn't beat them over the top. Unfortunately, the rest of the team hasn't been able to take advantage of the added attention paid to Johnson. Oh, and Matt Stafford has taken a step back this year.

Johnson has a tough matchup against the Seahawks, but I still get the feeling he'll rise above the matchup in this one and make a few plays. He may not be the stud for fantasy owners he was a year ago, but he's always just one play away from scoring a lot of points for his owners.

17. James Jones, Green Bay Packers (Jacksonville Jaguars)

18. Denarius Moore, Oakland Raiders (Kansas City Chiefs)

19. Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals (San Francisco 49ers)

20. Eric Decker, Denver Broncos (New Orleans Saints)

21. Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons (Philadelphia Eagles)

22. DeSean Jackson, Philadelphia Eagles (Atlanta Falcons)

23. Josh Gordon, Cleveland Browns (San Diego Chargers)

24. Brian Hartline, Miami Dolphins (New York Jets)

25. Lance Moore, New Orleans Saints (Denver Broncos)

Tight Ends

1. Heath Miller, Pittsburgh Steelers (Washington Redskins)

2. Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots (St. Louis Rams)

3. Tony Gonzalez, Atlanta Falcons (Philadelphia Eagles)

4. Jimmy Graham, New Orleans Saints (Denver Broncos)*

5. Martellus Bennett, New York Giants (Dallas Cowboys)

6. Vernon Davis, San Francisco 49ers (Arizona Cardinals)

7. Aaron Hernandez, New England Patriots (St. Louis Rams)

Hernandez finished third in fantasy points a season ago and expectations were high he could repeat that performance. But an injury and a surprising emphasis on the running game in New England has led to modest numbers when Hernandez has played this season.

At some point, his talent is going to win out and he'll have a huge week for his owners. Don't be shocked if it happens against the Rams, who have solid cornerback play but will probably end up with spinning heads trying to account for Hernandez, Rob Gronkowski, Wes Welker and Brandon Lloyd.

8. Kyle Rudolph, Minnesota Vikings (Tampa Bay Buccaneers)

9. Antonio Gates, San Diego Chargers (Cleveland Browns)

10. Jason Witten, Dallas Cowboys (New York Giants)

11. Jermichael Finley, Green Bay Packers (Jacksonville Jaguars)

12. Brandon Pettigrew, Detroit Lions (Seattle Seahawks)

Defense / Special Teams

1. San Francisco 49ers (Arizona Cardinals)

2. Green Bay Packers (Jacksonville Jaguars)

Maurice Jones-Drew is out and the Jaguars don't run the ball all that well, anyway. Either Blaine Gabbert or Chad Henne will be playing quarterback. The Jaguars will probably be down early on this game, meaning they'll have to start throwing the ball around to keep up.

Are you thinking what I'm thinking?

Because I'm thinking the Packers could end this game with a slew of turnovers and sacks without giving up many points. I'm thinking a pick-six. I'm thinking Clay Matthews throws down his Thor hammer for 60 minutes. I'm thinking the Packers are a very good defense to start this week.

3. Chicago Bears (Carolina Panthers)

4. Seattle Seahawks (Detroit Lions)

5. New England Patriots (St. Louis Rams)

6. New York Giants (Dallas Cowboys)

7. Minnesota Vikings (Tampa Bay Buccaneers)

8. Atlanta Falcons (Philadelphia Eagles)

9. New York Jets (Miami Dolphins)

10. San Diego Chargers (Cleveland Browns)

11. Cleveland Browns (San Diego Chargers)

12. Detroit Lions (Seattle Seahawks)

*Asterisk denotes a player who poses an injury concern.

Hit me up on Twitter—my tweets have more bite than the Florida Gators.

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