2012 Fantasy Football: Week 8 Quarterback Rankings

Jeremy Alpert@@pyroman1acSenior Analyst IIOctober 28, 2012

Figuring out who the best fantasy football quarterbacks will be from week to week is a little easier than doing so for running backs and wide receivers, but by no means is it simple—especially in Week 8 with four teams on a bye and injuries galore throughout the league.

That's why those of us in the fantasy industry put together these lists for you—to give you a gauge of what to expect from your players on any given Sunday.

With that, here are the weekend's top quarterbacks, along with some detailed analysis on the 10 best plays for the week:

(BYE: Baltimore Ravens, Buffalo Bills, Cincinnati Bengals, Houston Texans)

28. Brady Quinn (vs. Oak)

27. Blaine Gabbert (@ GB)

26. John Skelton (vs. SF Monday night)

25. Ryan Tannehill (@ NYJ)

24. Alex Smith (@ Ari Monday night)

23. Russell Wilson (@ Det)

22. Mark Sanchez (vs. Mia)

21. Josh Freeman (@ Min Thursday night)19-for-36, 262 yards, 3 TDs, 0 INTs 

20. Cam Newton (@ Chi)

19. Sam Bradford (vs. NE)

18. Matthew Stafford (vs. Sea)

17. Jay Cutler (vs. Car)

16. Brandon Weeden (vs. SD)

15. Christian Ponder (vs. TB Thursday night)19-for-35, 251 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT 

14. Matt Hasselbeck (vs. Ind)

13. Carson Palmer (@ KC)

12. Michael Vick (vs. Atl)

11. Tony Romo (vs. NYG)

The Top 10 QB Plays for Week 8

10. Eli Manning (@ Dal)

 Eli has had a pretty lackluster last couple of weekends from a fantasy standpoint, though I’m betting that the game-winning bomb to Victor Cruz last Sunday woke this sleeping Giant up.

Although he put on a pretty lame performance against the Cowboys in the first game of the season, Manning knows he can throw against them as he averaged 373 yards and 2.5 TDs against them last season.

Granted, the ‘Boys didn’t have CBs Brandon Carr and rookie stud Morris Claiborne in 2011, but Dallas’ defense was just thrown for a bit of a loop with the news that potential All-Pro LB Sean Lee is now out for the season.

I expect Manning and Co. to take full advantage of the situation getting Cruz, Nicks and even some Martellus Bennett involved in exploiting the Cowboys' disarray in the middle of the field.

9. Philip Rivers (@ Cle)

The last game Philip Rivers played (the Monday night collapse against the Broncos) was probably one of the more forgettable ones of his career, yet Rivers has had to think about it for two weeks now with the Chargers being on a bye this past weekend.

On the bright side, Rivers has thrown for multiple touchdowns in four of his last five games and actually has the highest completion percentage of his career right now (66.5%).

On an even brighter note, his opponent this week, the Cleveland Browns, has allowed the fourth-most fantasy points per game to QBs this season with no quarterback scoring fewer than 15.9 in a game.

With Ryan Mathews back in full force and demanding attention, Rivers should be able to pick apart the Browns' secondary for some pretty nice numbers this weekend.

8. Matt Ryan (@ Phi)

 Matt Ryan started the year off like gangbusters but came back down to earth a bit during the last couple of games before his Week 7 bye.

If something seemed out of sync or if Ryan was getting a little too high on his horse, I guarantee the Falcons' coaching staff took care of it during their time off and got their QB back on track.

Having Roddy White, Julio Jones and Tony Gonzalez as your three main targets isn’t a luxury you can take for granted, something I’m sure Matty Ice was reminded of.

Philadelphia has one of the better pass defenses in the league, but the talent within that Atlanta offense should rise to the top here and give Ryan some nice QB1 numbers in the end.

7. Ben Roethlisberger (vs. Was)

Rashard Mendenhall is out, and whether Isaac Redman comes back to play or not doesn’t really matter as he’ll be at less than 100 percent if he does.

Jonathan Dwyer looked good last week, but do the Steelers really trust him to carry the load?

Either way, the Redskins' rush D is far better than what they trot out there against the pass, so I expect Roethlisberger to continue with his weekly aerial assault and come close to 40 passing attempts yet again.

In seven games this season, the Redskins have allowed six 300-yard passers; and do you know what the seventh guy did? It was Josh Freeman, and he threw for 299 yards.

Mike Wallace, Antonio Brown, Heath Miller and even Emmanuel Sanders should all have their way out there, which can only mean big numbers for Big Ben this Sunday.

6. Robert Griffin III (@ Pit)

I said it last week, and I’ll continue to say it again and again and again: In RGIII I trust.

From here on out, after the grit he showed coming back from that vicious, concussion-inducing hit back in Week 5, I will never again doubt Mr. Robert Griffin.

In the two weeks since then, Griffin has continued to run and run and run, accumulating the third-most rushing yards in the league (227) behind only Chris Johnson (286) and Adrian Peterson (232).

Black Jesus indeed, Mr. Fred Davis!

This week he goes into Pittsburgh to face a rough Steelers defense that can still dominate a game when necessary.

Like I said, though: In RGIII I trust… as should you.

5. Andrew Luck (@ Ten)

Andrew Luck hasn’t thrown a TD pass in two weeks now, but being the awesome athlete that he is, Luck was still able to put up top-10 fantasy points last week rushing for the Colts' only two TDs on the day.

The first few weeks of the season are always a huge rush for rookies, but now that he’s settled into the league a bit, the mistakes of youth are starting to show.

Luckily for Luck and thank goodness for fantasy owners, the Colts take on the lowly Tennessee Titans' defense this Sunday.

The Titans have allowed the most passing TDs, the fourth-most passing yards, the highest QB rating and the third-most fantasy points to opposing QBs this season.

They also have only five interceptions on the year, so Luck’s rookie miscues should be kept to a minimum.

The LEAST amount of QB fantasy points they’ve allowed to a team so far this year is 15.9, which is normally right around the edge of QB1 status.

Andrew should do better than that.

4. Tom Brady (@ StL)

I’ve been very impressed with the Rams' new-look defense this year, especially their pass D, but Aaron Rodgers showed last week that a good QB can still pick them apart when necessary.

Brady has been tossing the pill around like crazy this year, averaging over 40 passing attempts per game—an amount that would put him on pace for a new career high.

With the Rams' rush defense being much improved as well, I’m expecting another 40-plus attempts out of the Stetson Man, which should be quite enough to get him 300 yards and two to three TDs.

Oh, and for what it’s worth, Brady seems to really enjoy playing in domes as he’s averaged 319.0 yards and 3.0 TDs in eight indoor games since he last played in St. Louis back in 2004.

The game is being played in London and not in St. Louis, but Wembley Stadium actually has a retractable roof that closes most of the way, so I'm counting this as an indoor game.

3. Drew Brees (@ Den Sunday night)

Here is how the Saints' last three games break down from a fantasy standpoint for quarterbacks:

In Week 4, Brees and Aaron Rodgers combined to put up 765 passing yards and seven TDs.

In Week 5, Brees and Philip Rivers combined for 724 passing yards and six TDs.

Then, just when you thought it couldn’t get any crazier, Drew Brees and Josh Freeman combined for 797 passing yards and seven TDs last week, totaling 58.9 QB fantasy points in a Saints victory.

Anybody excited to see Brees go up against Peyton Manning and the Broncos this Sunday night?

If you were wondering, Denver’s pass defense is pretty good, but they DID allow Matt Schaub to throw for 290 yards and four TDs against them in Denver this year, so…

2. Peyton Manning (vs. NO Sunday night)

Wait a second here—Is Peyton Manning actually BETTER than he was before the neck surgery?

It’s sure starting to look like it as he’s now put up four straight 300-yard games with three TD passes in each of the last three.

The last time he had a streak like this was back in 2004 when he set the world on fire with 49 TDs.

Coincidentally, 2004 was also the only other time he averaged this many fantasy points per game as he currently ranks fifth in the league with 19.9 a contest.

I expect his average to go UP this week with the Broncos taking on a Saints defense that allows 22 fantasy points per game to opposing QBs—most in the NFL.

1. Aaron Rodgers (vs. Jax)

 Would you believe me if I told you that Rodgers had just one more TD pass at this point last season as he does right now? Well, it’s true.

After seven games in 2011, the league MVP had 20 touchdowns and three interceptions compared to 19 and four this year, so in case you were wondering if Aaron had lost his mojo...he hasn’t.

In fact, the 118.4 fantasy points he’s accumulated over the last four weeks is the second-best fantasy stretch he’s had in his entire career (Weeks 4-7 in 2011; 119.9 points).

The only way I can see Rodgers being stopped right now would be if a defense could penetrate the Packers' offensive line and put him on his ass around 10 times or so.

Unfortunately for the Jaguars, they have the fewest sacks in the league this season with only five in six games.

For rankings at all the positions, check out the: Pyro® Rankings

For advice on who to start, check out the: Pyro® Start 'Em Sit 'Em

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