Fantasy Football Week 8: Initial Quarterback Rankings

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Fantasy Football Week 8: Initial Quarterback Rankings
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The only thing that can stop Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers these days is the bye week.

In fact, Rodgers is the first player in NFL history with a passer rating of 110-plus in each of his first seven games of a season. Only four quarterbacks have a passer rating of 100-plus up to this point in the season and Rodgers (125.7) has a commanding lead in the category.

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, who is having a great season is in his own right, is second (104.8).

In those seven games, Rodgers has thrown for 300-plus yards six times. The one game in which he did not, Rodgers threw for 297 yards. He has thrown for multiple touchdowns in every game this season and has three or more (passing) touchdowns in five games.

Although Brady and Saints quarterback Drew Brees are on pace to throw for more than Rodgers (5,422-yard pace), no quarterback has a higher completion rate (71.5 percent) or more passing touchdowns (20) than Rodgers.

Nearly as impressive, Rodgers has thrown only three interceptions.

Other than Rodgers, no elite fantasy quarterback has a bye this week.

The following teams have their bye in Week 8: Atlanta (Matt Ryan), Chicago (Jay Cutler), NY Jets (Mark Sanchez), Oakland (Carson Palmer) and Tampa Bay (Josh Freeman).

Here are some quarterback notes for Week 8:

- Panthers quarterback Cam Newton has played in seven games. He now has seven rushing touchdowns. The only player with more rushing touchdowns than Newton is Minnesota running back Adrian Peterson (eight). No other quarterback has more than two rushing touchdowns this season.

- After six consecutive games with multiple touchdown passes, Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford was held to only one touchdown pass and a season-low 183 passing yards. More importantly, however, Stafford is dealing with an ankle injury and his status is uncertain for Week 8 against the Broncos, who have allowed the most fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks this season.

- For 57 minutes, Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow played horribly in his first start as the team trailed 15-0. In the final three minutes, Tebow rallied the Broncos to score 18 unanswered points and an overtime victory. Although Tebow has only 17 completions (45.9 percent completions) in a game and a half, he has 36 fantasy points during that span.

- Kevin Kolb barely completed half of his passes, but he threw for 272 yards and two touchdowns against the Steelers, who lead the NFL in pass defense (171.9 yards allowed per game). Before last week, no quarterback threw for more than 262 yards against the Steelers.

This week, the Cardinals face the Ravens, who have held half of their opponents' quarterbacks to five or fewer fantasy points.

- Last week, Titans quarterback Matt Hasselbeck had his worst game of the season: 104 passing yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. Before last week's four-point performance, Hasselbeck had 12-18 fantasy points in all five of his other games.

This week, Hasselbeck faces the Colts, who have allowed 10 passing touchdowns in their past three games.

- Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco has alternated between good and bad performances all season long. He has scored the following fantasy points from Weeks 1-7: 20, 7, 27, 2, (bye), 14, 7.

As badly as he and the Ravens played against the Jaguars, Flacco gets a favorable match-up against Arizona in Week 8 to bounce back. Only three teams have allowed more fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks than the Cardinals.

- In his past four games, Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers has thrown three touchdowns and five interceptions. That four-game span started with the Chiefs, who are also this week's opponent. In that first matchup, Rivers threw for 266 yards, no touchdowns and two interceptions.

- Like Rodgers, Brees has thrown for 300-plus yards in six-of-seven games played this season and has a five-game streak of 325 yards or more. This week, the Saints face the Rams, who have allowed the sixth-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks.

Here are our initial top 25 fantasy quarterbacks for Week 8:

1. Drew Brees, Saints (at STL)
2. Cam Newton, Panthers (vs. MIN)
3. Michael Vick, Eagles (vs. DAL)
4. Tom Brady, Patriots (at PIT)
5. Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers (vs. NE)
6. Matthew Stafford, Lions (at DEN)
7. Eli Manning, Giants (vs. MIA)
8. Tony Romo, Cowboys (at PHI)
9. Philip Rivers, Chargers (at KC)
10. Tim Tebow, Broncos (vs. DET)
11. Matt Schaub, Texans (vs. JAC)
12. Ryan Fitzpatrick, Bills (vs. WAS)
13. Joe Flacco, Ravens (vs. ARI)
14. Colt McCoy, Browns (at SF)
15. Matt Cassel, Chiefs (vs. SD)
16. Andy Dalton, Bengals (at SEA)
17. Matt Hasselbeck, Titans (vs. IND)
18. Curtis Painter, Colts (at TEN)
19. Kevin Kolb, Cardinals (at BAL)
20. John Beck, Redskins (at BUF)
21. Sam Bradford, Rams (vs. NO)
22. Christian Ponder, Vikings (at CAR)
23. Matt Moore, Dolphins (at NYG)
24. Tarvaris Jackson, Seahawks (vs. CIN)
25. Shaun Hill, Lions (at DEN)

Throughout the week, we will update our rankings, as necessary.

In addition, all of our rankings for other positions will be available at TheTipDrill.com, our fantasy section, by Wednesday.

To keep track of our fantasy updates throughout the week, you can (1) follow us on Twitter @EDSFootball or (2) "like" us on Facebook or both.

Good luck in Week 8!

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