2011 NFL Fantasy Football Week 8: Wide Receivers (WR) Rankings / Projections

Sean E. DouglasSenior Writer IIIOctober 25, 2011

CINCINNATI, OH - OCTOBER 02:  Stevie Johnson #13 of the Buffalo Bills runs with the ball during the NFL game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium on October 2, 2011 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Stevie Johnson vs Redskins

The Bills passing game started out hot the first three weeks of the season but has cooled off heading into their Week 7 bye. While Stevie Johnson has been practicing in full over recent weeks, since a groin injury gave him problems in September, he hasn’t been the same receiver we saw a year ago.

Look for that to change soon as he appears to be running more deep routes. While quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick doesn’t have the strongest arm, we saw these two hook up on long touchdowns a year ago. Last week the Redskins secondary was torched by Steve Smith for 143 yards, so look for the Bills to get Johnson on the right track this week.

Antonio Brown vs Patriots

With Hines Ward suffering an ankle sprain against the Cardinals, Antonio Brown stepped up for seven receptions on nine targets for over 100 yards. While the Steelers will wait and see how Ward’s ankle feels before deciding whether he will play this week, expect Brown to be a sneaky WR-2 play against a Patriot secondary that is ranked dead last in the league against the pass.

Brown is an explosive talent as we watched him break loose for two long touchdown receptions in a preseason game against the Falcons this summer. The main reasons for Brown’s lack of production before this week had to do with the Steelers' early season pass protection and Ward staying in the lineup.

Even if Ward suits up this week, don’t be surprised if he’s limited on the field, and I expect Brown to have a solid game in this contest. Consider him the future No. 2 receiver on this team and he makes for a terrific hold in dynasty leagues.

Demaryius Thomas vs Lions

The Broncos traded away Brandon Lloyd last week to make room for Demaryius Thomas as he returned from his Achilles injury suffered back in January. While Tim Tebow struggled to get much done in the passing game, he did find Thomas for a touchdown late in the game. While Thomas likely isn’t ready to make a fantasy splash this year, he can be an option to use during the bye weeks, as he has a respectable matchup against the Lions this week.

More Wk 8 Rankings – QB | RB | WR | TE | Flex | K/D | Waivers | Start/Sit |

1 Calvin Johnson @ Broncos
2 Wes Welker @ Steelers
3 Mike Wallace Patriots
4 Steve Smith (Carolina) Vikings
5 Dwayne Bowe Chargers
6 Marques Colston @ Rams
7 Hakeem Nicks Dolphins
8 Dez Bryant Eagles
9 Vincent Jackson (I) @ Chiefs
10 A.J. Green @ Seahawks
11 Jeremy Maclin @ Cowboys
12 Anquan Boldin Cardinals
13 DeSean Jackson @ Cowboys
14 Stevie Johnson Redskins
15 Larry Fitzgerald @ Ravens
16 Miles Austin Eagles
17 Antonio Brown Patriots
18 Michael Crabtree Browns
19 Torrey Smith Cardinals
20 Percy Harvin (I) @ Panthers
21 Brandon Lloyd Saints
22 Brandon Marshall @ Giants
23 Eric Decker Lions
24 Reggie Wayne @ Titans
25 Steve Breaston Chargers
26 Mario Manningham Dolphins
27 David Nelson Redskins
28 Greg Little @ 49ers
29 Sidney Rice Bengals
30 Deion Branch @ Steelers
31 Pierre Garcon @ Titans
32 Emmanuel Sanders Patriots
33 Early Doucet @ Ravens
34 Demaryius Thomas Lions
35 Victor Cruz Dolphins
36 Nate Washington Colts
37 Kevin Walter Jaguars
38 Hines Ward Patriots
39 Mike Thomas @ Texans
40 Davone Bess @ Giants
41 Titus Young @ Broncos