Fantasy Football Week 8 Rankings: Updated Top 25 Quarterbacks
After six teams were on bye in Week 7, there are only four teams on bye this week.
For folks in 10- or 12-team leagues, it's unlikely that your starting quarterback is off this week. The four teams (and starting quarterbacks) on bye this week are Baltimore (Joe Flacco), Houston (Matt Schaub), Cincinnati (Andy Dalton) and Buffalo (Ryan Fitzpatrick).
Here are my top 25 quarterbacks for Week 8:
1. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers (vs. JAX)
In his past four games, Rodgers has thrown 16 touchdowns and only two interceptions. During that span, he has a minimum of three touchdowns in each game and has averaged 308.5 passing yards per game.
The Jags rank in the bottom 10 against the pass. It could be a lot more of the same for Rodgers.
2. Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints (at DEN)
Brees did virtually nothing in the second half (64 yards, one interception) last week, but he still led all signal-callers in fantasy points. When Brees and the Saints offense are clicking, they are unstoppable.
3. Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos (vs. NO)
The Manning brothers are tied for second in the NFL in passing yards per game (301.3), behind Brees (349.5). Since Peyton and Brees have had their byes, Eli currently leads the league in passing yards (2,109).
Since Week 3, Peyton has thrown 11 touchdowns and only one interception. Plus, he has three consecutive games with three touchdowns. The Saints rank 30th in the league in passing defense and allowed Josh Freeman to throw for a career-high 420 yards last week.
4. Robert Griffin III, Washington Redskins (at PIT)
The Steelers have allowed the second-fewest passing yards per game (184.8) this season. That said, they have allowed 10 passing touchdowns and have only three intercepted passes so far this season.
Although RG3 is a capable passer as a rookie, his fantasy dominance comes from his rushing stats. On the season, he has 64 carries for 468 yards, the franchise's single-season rushing record for quarterbacks, and six touchdowns.
5. Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons (at PHI)
Ryan is coming off a season-worst performance (249 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions) against the Raiders before the bye. Ryan, who grew up in the Philadelphia area, has three stud pass-catchers in Roddy White, Julio Jones and Tony Gonzalez, though, so I don't expect him to deliver back-to-back poor performances.
6. Tom Brady, New England Patriots (at STL)
Entering Week 8, the Rams are one of seven teams to allow fewer passing touchdowns than they have intercepted passes. While the matchup isn't great, Brady is one of four quarterbacks to average 300-plus yards this season.
One of Brady's top targets, tight end Aaron Hernandez, did not make the trip to London and therefore is out in Week 8.
7. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers (vs. WAS)
With the exception of Josh Freeman's 299 passing yards, the Redskins have given up 300-plus yards to all the quarterbacks they have faced this year. As you would imagine, the team ranks last in the NFL in passing yards allowed (328.4 per game) and passing touchdowns (16).
8. Eli Manning, New York Giants (at DAL)
In his first matchup against the new-look secondary in Dallas, Manning threw for only 213 yards and one touchdown. It's not only Manning that has had limited success against the Cowboys pass defense, which has yet to allow a 300-yard passer this season. In fact, only the Bears have thrown for more than 234 yards and one touchdown against the Cowboys.
9. Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts (at TEN)
Like Roethlisberger, Luck has a very favorable matchup this week, as both appear on the "start'em" side of my "start'em, sit'em" post for Week 8. The Titans have allowed quarterbacks to throw multiple touchdowns against them every week except for Week 6. That week, Big Ben threw only one touchdown, but he threw for 363 yards.
Only the Saints have allowed more fantasy points to quarterbacks than the Titans this season.
10. Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys (vs. NYG)
The Giants have allowed only one 300-yard passer this season: Romo in Week 1. In that game, Romo completed 22-of-29 pass attempts for 307 yards, three touchdowns and only one interception.
Since then, it's been downhill for Romo.
His only other 300-yard game was a 307-yard performance against the Bears, but he threw a season-high five interceptions in that game, as well.
11. Michael Vick, Philadelphia Eagles (vs. ATL)
Speaking of turnovers, that's the biggest problem for Vick and the Eagles offense. Through six games, Vick has thrown eight interceptions and has lost five of his eight fumbles.
The Falcons rank fourth in the NFL in takeaways (17) this season.
12. Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers (at CLE)
Rivers has thrown two touchdowns in each of his past three games, but he has thrown a total of six interceptions in those three games, including four against the Broncos before the bye. With nine interceptions through six games, Rivers is on pace to throw 24 interceptions (four more than last year, when he threw the second-most interceptions in the league).
13. Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers (at CHI)
In his past four games, he is averaging only 207.8 passing yards per game and has more interceptions (four) than passing touchdowns (three). On a positive note, his rushing stats have helped, as he has averaged 49.5 rushing yards per game and has rushed for two touchdowns during that span.
As one of the top five quarterbacks off the board before the season, Newton is unlikely to bounce back this week against the Bears.
No team has more interceptions (14) or has allowed fewer passing touchdowns (six) than the Bears this season.
14. Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions (vs. SEA)
Through the first six games of 2011, Stafford threw multiple touchdowns every week and had a total of 15 touchdown passes. This year, he has thrown a total of five TDs in six games and has yet to throw more than one in any game.
Like Newton, Stafford has a tough matchup this week as he tries to get back on track. The Seahawks have allowed only five passing touchdowns in seven games and have one of the biggest and best secondaries in the league.
15. Brandon Weeden, Cleveland Browns (vs. SD)
Weeden's professional career got off to a horrible start (four interceptions, a passer rating of 5.1 and getting caught under the flag in pregame ceremonies). Since that debut, however, he has nine touchdowns and only five interceptions. In fact, he has multiple touchdowns in four of his past six games.
The Chargers have allowed 12 passing touchdowns in their past four games and at least two touchdowns in each of those games.
16. Jay Cutler, Chicago Bears (vs. CAR)
The Bears are on a four-game winning streak thanks to great defense and their not turning the ball over. Cutler has a 5-to-2 touchdown-to-interception ratio and has averaged 225.0 passing yards per game during that span.
I expect another solid (but not prolific) performance from Cutler, as both Matt Forte and Michael Bush will run the ball well against the Panthers.
17. Carson Palmer, Oakland Raiders (at KC)
The good news is that Palmer currently ranks eighth in the NFL in passing yards per game (288.7).
The bad news is that 22 quarterbacks have thrown more passing touchdowns than he has (seven).
18. Sam Bradford, St. Louis Rams (vs. NE)
Only four teams in the league have allowed more fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks than the Patriots this season, which bodes well for Bradford and his receivers. In addition, no team has allowed more passing touchdowns than the Patriots (16).
19. Matt Hasselbeck, Tennessee Titans (vs. IND)
The Colts pass defense has allowed multiple passing touchdowns every week except for Week 3, against the Jaguars.
With three solid receivers (Kenny Britt, Nate Washington and Kendall Wright) and a good receiver out of the backfield in Chris Johnson, Hasselbeck should have a great opportunity for a multiple-touchdown performance.
20. Ryan Tannehill, Miami Dolphins (at NYJ)
The first time around against the Jets, Tannehill completed a season-low 44.4 percent of his pass attempts. Since then, however, he has completed two-thirds of his passes (64-of-96) and has averaged 279.6 yards per game.
21. Alex Smith, San Francisco 49ers (at ARI)
Smith has 340 passing yards, one touchdown and four interceptions in his past two games. He had five interceptions in all of 2011.
This week, the 49ers face the Cardinals, who have allowed the second-fewest fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season.
22. Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks (at DET)
Wilson has thrown for fewer than 200 yards in five of seven games this season, and he has averaged only 25 pass attempts per game. He's unlikely to get enough opportunities to finish much higher than this in fantasy points in Week 8.
23. Mark Sanchez, New York Jets (vs. MIA)
In their first matchup this season, Sanchez threw for more than 300 yards, but he completed fewer than half of his passes (21-of-45) and threw more interceptions (two) than touchdowns (one).
24. John Skelton, Arizona Cardinals (vs SF)
As tough as the Cardinals have been as a pass defense, the 49ers have been nearly as stingy. They have allowed the fourth-fewest fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks and have allowed fewer than 200 passing yards in five consecutive games.
25. Blaine Gabbert, Jacksonville Jaguars (at GB)
Despite his shoulder injury, Gabbert was a full participant at practice and is listed as probable for Sunday's game against the Packers. Since Week 1, however, Gabbert has thrown for 186 yards or fewer in five consecutive games.
Note: Since they played in the Thursday Night Football matchup, Minnesota's Christian Ponder and Tampa Bay's Josh Freeman have been excluded from this updated list.
All injury designations and practice participation referenced above are via NFL.com's injury page.
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