Week 8 Fantasy Football Rankings: Projecting Top Players at Every Position

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Week 8 Fantasy Football Rankings: Projecting Top Players at Every Position
(Photo by Kyle Rivas/Getty Images)

Every week in the NFL presents new challenges and new opportunities for fantasy football owners across the nation. 

Trying to predict which players will score the most points can be frustrating, however—especially if you have to choose between a couple of top players (you lucky son of a gun). 

Thankfully, the answers to your questions in Week 8 are forthcoming. These rankings will assuage your decision-making process and help you take a set-it-and-forget-it approach to your fantasy lineup.

 

Quarterbacks

Week 8 Fantasy Rankings: Quarterbacks
Rank Player Team Opponent Proj. Points
1 Peyton Manning Denver Broncos Washington Redskins 30
2 Aaron Rodgers Green Bay Packers Minnesota Vikings 26
3 Drew Brees New Orleans Saints Buffalo Bills 25
4 Cam Newton Carolina Panthers Tampa Bay Buccaneers 23
5 Matt Stafford Detroit Lions Dallas Cowboys 22
6 Colin Kaepernick San Francisco 49ers Jacksonville Jaguars 20
7 Robert Griffin III Washington Redskins Denver Broncos 19
8 Michael Vick Philadelphia Eagles New York Giants 18
9 Tony Romo Dallas Cowboys Detroit Lions 17
10 Russell Wilson Seattle Seahawks St. Louis Rams 15

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At this point, we might as well offer Peyton Manning permanent residence at the top spot of these rankings. He's been the top scorer of the season at any position, and he has another juicy matchup this weekend that will make fantasy owners happy. 

Washington is one of the league's worst fantasy defenses against opposing quarterbacks, allowing 18.3 points per game. Aaron Rodgers went off for 480 yards and four touchdowns earlier this season against this team, and Manning should similarly have a huge game at home this Sunday.

/Getty Images

Speaking of Rodgers, he's got a tasty matchup this weekend, too, against the pathetic Minnesota Vikings. The emergence of Jarrett Boykin and Eddie Lacy have greatly improved Green Bay's offense and have helped Rodgers continue to shine even without a few of his top weapons.

Colin Kaepernick is a sleeper breakout stud this Sunday in London against Jacksonville. He has been more inclined to take off and run of late, and he finally scored his first rushing touchdown of the season last weekend against Tennessee. 

 

Running Backs

Week 8 Fantasy Rankings: Running Backs
Rank Player Team Opponent Proj. Points
1 Jamaal Charles Kansas City Chiefs Cleveland Browns 24
2 LeSean McCoy Philadelphia Eagles New York Giants 23
3 Marshawn Lynch Seattle Seahawks St. Louis Rams 22
4 Adrian Peterson Minnesota Vikings Green Bay Packers 21
5 Reggie Bush Detroit Lions Dallas Cowboys 20
6 Alfred Morris Washington Redskins Denver Broncos 19
7 Knowshon Moreno Denver Broncos Washington Redskins 18
8 Eddie Lacy Green Bay Packers Minnesota Vikings 17
9 Frank Gore San Francisco 49ers Jacksonville Jaguars 15
10 Stevan Ridley New England Patriots Miami Dolphins 14

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/Getty Images

Fun fact of the day: Jamaal Charles is the only player in the entire league with 100-plus yards from scrimmage and a touchdown in each of his first seven games, as NFLN_Playbook noted:

The Cleveland Browns aren't horrible against the run, but Charles is just as dangerous as a passer, and he's highly featured in Kansas City's dink-and-dunk offense. 

/Getty Images

Look for LeSean McCoy to bounce back from a poor performance last weekend against the New York Giants. He struggled to find running lanes the first time these teams met up, but he'll touch the ball plenty, and volume equals production when it comes to McCoy and fantasy football. 

A big sleeper for this weekend is one of the other running backs in the Philly/New York game. Peyton Hillis has good hands for a big running back, and Eli Manning has already shown a willingness to get him the ball with regularity. He touched the ball 23 times last weekend.

 

Wide Receivers

Week 8 Fantasy Rankings: Wide Receiver
Rank Player Team Opponent Proj. Points
1 Calvin Johnson Detroit Lions Dallas Cowboys 24
2 Victor Cruz New York Giants Philadelphia Eagles 22
3 Jordy Nelson Green Bay Packers Minnesota Vikings 20
4 Dez Bryant Dallas Cowboys Detroit Lions 19
5 Demaryius Thomas Denver Broncos Washington Redskins 17
6 Harry Douglas Atlanta Falcons Arizona Cardinals 16
7 DeSean Jackson Philadelphia Eagles New York Giants 16
8 A.J. Green Cincinnati Bengals New York Jets 15
9 Wes Welker Denver Broncos Washington 14
10 Antonio Brown Pittsburgh Steelers Oakland Raiders 13

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First of all, any receiver wearing a Denver Broncos uniform this weekend has a good chance of scoring in the double digits against Washington. With that out of the way, there are a couple of other intriguing matchups that heavily favor a top receiver this weekend. 

Victor Cruz has been quiet for the past three weeks, but he has an ideal matchup this Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles, which features the worst fantasy defense in the league this year against opposing receivers. 

If Hillis can pound out some decent yardage on the ground for the Giants, then Cruz should break out with a huge game, thanks to the bit of extra time a competent running game gives to quarterbacks. 

Jordy Nelson also has a highly favorable matchup this weekend against the Minnesota Vikings. Minnesota's offense is a sinking ship right now, and its defense hasn't been good against the pass all year. Aaron Rodgers will find Nelson for a few big plays deep downfield as the Vikings' secondary breaks down.

 

Tight Ends

Week 8 Fantasy Rankings: Tight Ends
Rank Player Team Opponent Proj. Points
1 Rob Gronkowski New England Patriots Miami Dolphins 19
2 Tony Gonzalez Atlanta Falcons Arizona Cardinals 18
3 Julius Thomas Denver Broncos Washington Redskins 16
4 Vernon Davis San Francisco 49ers Jacksonville Jaguars 16
5 Jason Witten Dallas Cowboys Detroit Lions 14
6 Jordan Cameron Cleveland Browns Kansas City Chiefs 13
7 Jordan Reed Washington Redskins Denver Broncos 11
8 *Jimmy Graham* New Orleans Saints Buffalo Bills 11
9 Heath Miller Pittsburgh Steelers Oakland Raiders 10
10 Greg Olsen Carolina Panthers Tampa Bay Buccaneers 9

** denotes check injury report

Holy Gronkowski, what an entrance the previously injured tight end made last weekend against the New York Jets. He caught eight passes for 114 yards in his first action of the season, looking very much like the guy who torched the league for two-plus years before his broken forearm took him out.

He's got a killer matchup this weekend, too, as the Miami Dolphins have allowed opposing tight ends to feast this year to the tune of 12 points per game. 

Future Hall of Famer Tony Gonzalez should also have a monster game, going up against the league's worst fantasy defense against tight ends. The Arizona Cardinals allow 16.3 points per game to tight ends, and Gonzalez has become a focal point for Atlanta since Julio Jones was injured.

Be cautious about starting Jimmy Graham. He's questionable to play with his foot injury, as noted by CBS Fantasy Football, and was limited in practice on Friday:

 

Defenses

Week 8 Fantasy Rankings: Defenses
Rank Team Opponent Proj. Points
1 Kansas City Chiefs Cleveland Browns 19
2 San Francisco 49ers Jacksonville Jaguars 17
3 Seattle Seahawks St. Louis Rams 16
4 New England Patriots Miami Dolphins 15
5 Cincinnati Bengals New York Jets 13
6 Pittsburgh Steelers Oakland Raiders 12
7 Carolina Panthers Tampa Bay Buccaneers 11
8 Green Bay Packers Minnesota Vikings 10
9 New York Jets Cincinnati Bengals 10
10 Dallas Cowboys Detroit Lions 9

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As usual, Kansas City is a no-brainer against Cleveland. The Browns are rolling with veteran quarterback Jason Campbell this Sunday, but Cleveland's offense will still struggle to move the ball against the Chiefs, no matter who lines up behind center.

Another easy play is San Francisco in London against the Jacksonville Jaguars. 

No team in the league scores less than the Jags, and the 49ers have been ramping up efforts on defense the past few games, forcing turnovers and tallying sacks at a high level. 

 

Kickers

Week 8 Fantasy Rankings: Kickers
Rank Player Team Opponent Proj. Points
1 Matt Prater Denver Broncos Washington Redskins 16
2 Steven Hauschka Seattle Seahawks St. Louis Rams 15
3 Mason Crosby Green Bay Packers Minnesota Vikings 14
4 Garrett Hartley New Orleans Saints Buffalo Bills 15
5 Stephen Gostkowski New England Patriots Miami Dolphins 14
6 Shaun Suisham Pittsburgh Steelers Oakland Raiders 13
7 Alex Henery Philadelphia Eagles New York Giants 12
8 Dan Carpenter Buffalo Bills New Orleans Saints 11
9 Phil Dawson San Francisco 49ers Jacksonville Jaguars 10
10 Nick Folk New York Jets Cincinnati Bengals 10

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You can never go wrong with Matt Prater as your kicker. No team scores more often than Denver, and the trend isn't likely to change this weekend against Washington.

Mason Crosby should also get in a nice bit of work on Sunday for the Packers against Minnesota, which made New York's offense look sort of decent on Monday Night Football in Week 7. 

Super-deep sleeper alert: New York Jets kicker Nick Folk could have a big game against Cincinnati. The Jets are doing a better job on offense of late, which means more scoring opportunities for the kicker. 

 

Follow me on Twitter @JesseReed78 

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