The Best Fantasy Football Starts at Every Position for NFL Week 8
As we head into Week 8 of the fantasy football season, we've got a pretty good sense of which players are going to produce at a high level each week.
For example, we feel pretty confident that no matter who Cam Newton is playing, he likely won't produce at a high level. On the other hand, Aaron Rodgers is almost guaranteed to be one of the highest scorers each week, despite the defense he plays.
Today we'll take you through the best starts at each position for NFL Week 8.
Quarterback: Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
Like we said in the introduction slide, Aaron Rodgers has become a near guarantee to be a top-scoring quarterback in fantasy football each week.
This week, the Green Bay Packers go against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Considering that Jacksonville has one of the worst defenses in the league, this should be a cakewalk for Rodgers. He's coming off two incredible performances against two great defenses in which he threw for nine touchdowns and zero interceptions.
The only thing that could possibly hinder Rodgers this week is if the Packers get out to a huge lead in the first half and decide to put Rodgers on the bench. However, even if that happens, it'd be likely that Rodgers threw for a handful of touchdowns in the first half and still puts up major points.
Bonus Sleeper Pick: Matt Hasselbeck, Tennessee Titans
The Titans have an easy matchup this week with the Indianapolis Colts. That's the same Colts defense that gave up a quality fantasy game to Brandon Weeden last week.
Hasselbeck has been playing well the past two weeks while filling in for Jake Locker, but this has the potential to be Hasselbeck's best game.
Running Back: Jamaal Charles, Kansas City Chiefs
The Oakland Raiders are giving up over 100 rushing yards per game, and while that number isn't overly huge, Jamaal Charles has plenty of things going his way this week.
For starters, the Kansas City Chiefs will be starting Brady Quinn this week at quarterback. That means that they're likely to run the ball early and often against the Raiders. In fact, it might actually be wise for them if they never threw the ball.
On top of that, Charles is coming off a bye week and should be fully rested for this game. Look for him to get a ton of carries on his way to a monster game in Week 8.
Bonus Sleeper Pick: Vick Ballard, Indianapolis Colts
In his first game as a starter, Ballard had 103 yards on 21 touches. While he didn't find the end zone, the fact that he is getting that many touches is a huge plus for fantasy football.
Look for Ballard to be a major part of Indianapolis' offense this week.
Wide Receiver: Reggie Wayne, Indianapolis Colts
It seems that a younger quarterback has rejuvenated Reggie Wayne. He's playing at an extremely high level and has been a must-start each week of the season so far.
Through six games, Wayne is averaging nearly eight receptions and over 100 receiving yards per game. While he only has two touchdown receptions, as long as he continues to get as many targets as he's getting, his touchdown numbers should eventually increase.
This week the Indianapolis Colts have a matchup against the Tennessee Titans who are giving up the sixth-most passing yards per game. There is no doubt that quarterback Andrew Luck has the ability to torch the Titans defense, and if he does that, Wayne should be his top target.
Don't be surprised if Wayne surpasses the double-digit reception mark this week with plenty of yards and at least one touchdown to be the top scorer at wide receiver this week.
Bonus Sleeper Pick: Sidney Rice, Seattle Seahawks
Few secondaries have been as poor this season as the Detroit Lions' unit. They've especially struggled with bigger receivers like Rice.
As long as Russell Wilson can stay accurate and not turn the ball over, Rice has the potential of having his best week of the 2012 season.
Tight End: Tony Gonzalez, Atlanta Falcons
No tight end has been as surprising or potent as Tony Gonzalez has been. He's been one of the top scoring tight ends each week he's played of the season.
This week his matchup with the Philadelphia Eagles isn't the best matchup for a tight end, but Gonzalez is on a completely different level this year. He's been targeted more than 10 times in three different games this season and is averaging seven receptions and nearly 70 yards per game.
With the Eagles capable of putting points on the board, the Atlanta Falcons could find themselves in another shootout this week. If that happens, look for Gonzalez to put up some fantastic numbers this week.
Bonus Sleeper Pick: Greg Olsen, Carolina Panthers
This is going to be a grudge match for Olsen as he takes on his old team, the Chicago Bears. In his games last year against the Bears, Olsen had 50 receiving yards and a touchdown.
Olsen could be an interesting start this week if revenge is on the forefront of his mind.
Kicker: Mason Crosby, Green Bay Packers
There isn't going to be a more lopsided game this week than the game between the Jacksonville Jaguars and Green Bay Packers. In fact, it wouldn't surprise me if the Packers put up 35 points in the first half alone.
Mason Crosby should get plenty of opportunities to put points on the board as Green Bay completely destroys the Jaguars.
Bonus Sleeper Pick: Phil Dawson, Cleveland Browns
The Browns have been surprisingly good on offense the past few weeks, and that trend could continue against the San Diego Chargers this week.
Even if Cleveland fails to get into the end zone, Dawson should have a chance to make some field goals in Week 8.
Defense: San Francisco 49ers
After starting the season 4-0, the Arizona Cardinals have been absolutely horrid for the past three weeks. With a matchup against the San Francisco 49ers this week, things aren't likely to get any better.
While the 49ers defense hasn't been quite as elite as they were last year, there simply isn't a better matchup for a defense this week in fantasy football. They should have no trouble slowing down John Skelton, and considering the lack of the run game for Arizona, a complete shutdown of Arizona's offense is certainly a possibility.
Bonus Sleeper Pick: Seattle Seahawks
While the Detroit Lions certainly have the potential of being explosive on offense, they have simply failed to do much damage this season. Look for those struggles to continue this week against Seattle's vaunted secondary.
As long as the Seahawks can slow down Calvin Johnson, it could be a long day for Detroit and a huge day for Seattle's defense.