Fantasy Football Week 8: Initial Wide Receiver Rankings

Kevin HansonAnalyst IIIOctober 26, 2011

NEW ORLEANS, LA - SEPTEMBER 25:   Andre Johnson #80 of the Houston Texans avoids a tackle by  Scott Shanle #58 of the New Orleans Saints at Louisiana Superdome on September 25, 2011 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Texans receiver Andre Johnson, who has not played since suffering a hamstring injury in Week 4, returned to the practice field Wednesday.

Whether or not he'll play this week has yet to be determined, but "there's obviously a chance" that he plays, according to Texans coach Gary Kubiak.

Before suffering the injury, Johnson was off to a strong start. He had seven receptions, 93-plus yards and double-digit fantasy points in all three of the games he finished before the injury.

Provided Johnson is active, he should be in your starting lineup. With or without Johnson back in the lineup, however, teammate Jacoby Jones should be on your bench.

In those three games that Johnson missed, Jones has finished with zero, 13 and two fantasy points, respectively.

While the knock on Jones has been—and will continue to be—his inconsistency, he was unable to take advantage of a team-high 11 targets in Week 4 when he finished with only one reception for nine yards and no fantasy points.

Here are some more wide receiver notes for Week 8:

- Panthers receiver Steve Smith has 140-plus receiving yards in four of his seven games this season. With Wes Welker (785 yards) and the Patriots on bye last week, Smith moved into the NFL lead in receiving yards (818). In twice as many games last season, Smith had only 554 receiving yards.

- Redskins receiver Santana Moss suffered a fractured hand, which will keep him out of the lineup for five to seven weeks. Meanwhile, teammate Jabar Gaffney extended his streak of games with 50-plus receiving yards by finishing with four receptions for 68 yards last week. Gaffney has between 50 and 70 receiving yards in all six games this season.

- Titans receiver Nate Washington had his worst performance of the season with only one reception for 10 yards. Before Week 7, Washington had 62-plus yards in all five of his games.

- Seahawks receiver Sidney Rice had only two receptions for a team-high 38 yards as quarterback Charlie Whitehurst finished 12-of-30 for 97 yards and an interception in Week 7. After three games with 80-plus receiving yards, Doug Baldwin was held to no receptions (on three targets) this week. Tarvaris Jackson may return in Week 8. Who thought they'd look forward to the return of Tarvaris Jackson?

- Calvin Johnson scored his 10th touchdown of the season and he finished with 100-plus yards for his third consecutive game. In fact, he has 100-plus yards in four of five games, and the exception was a 96-yard performance. Meanwhile, Nate Burleson and Titus Young combined for six targets, one reception and one yard.

- Tebow missed Eric Decker on a potentially big play when Decker was wide open in the middle of the field, so Decker finished with only two receptions on three targets last week. Meanwhile, Demaryius Thomas was targeted 10 times, by far the most of any Broncos receiver. Thomas finished with three receptions for 27 yards and a score.

- In Week 7, Dolphins receiver Davone Bess had a game-high 12 targets and seven receptions for 52 yards. It was the first time in three games that Bess had at least 50 receiving yards.

- Vikings receiver Percy Harvin left last week's game early after aggravating his rib injury, but Michael Jenkins caught three passes for 111 yards and a touchdown. Bernard Berrian, who was inactive again, will be inactive for the Vikings for the rest of the season as the team released him this week.

- Chiefs receiver Steve Breaston finished with five receptions for 64 yards. Breaston now has 50-plus yards in four consecutive games.

- Saints receiver Marques Colston has had back-to-back strong performances. In those two games, Colston has 14 receptions for 216 yards and three touchdowns. After Drew Brees, Colston and the Saints scored 62 points on the Colts, they get the winless Rams, who have allowed the second-most fantasy points per game to opposing wide receivers.

- In his Rams debut, receiver Brandon Lloyd led the team in receiving with six receptions and 74 yards.

- Both Mike Wallace and Antonio Brown finished with more than 100 receiving yards this week. Wallace caught three passes, including a 95-yard touchdown, while Brown finished with seven receptions for 102 yards. Wallace has at least 76 receiving yards in every game this season.

Here are our top 50 fantasy wide receivers for Week 8:

1. Calvin Johnson, Lions (at DEN)
2. Mike Wallace, Steelers (vs. NE)
3. Steve Smith, Panthers (vs. MIN)
4. Wes Welker, Patriots (at PIT)
5. Hakeem Nicks, Giants (vs. MIA)
6. Dwayne Bowe, Chiefs (vs. SD)
7. Andre Johnson, Texans (vs. JAX)
8. Marques Colston, Saints (at STL)
9. Larry Fitzgerald, Cardinals (at BAL)
10. A.J. Green, Bengals (at SEA)
11. Vincent Jackson, Chargers (at KC)
12. Brandon Lloyd, Rams (vs. NO)
13. Dez Bryant, Cowboys (at PHI)
14. Jeremy Maclin, Eagles (vs. DAL)
15. Brandon Marshall, Dolphins (at NYG)
16. Miles Austin, Cowboys (at PHI)
17. DeSean Jackson, Eagles (vs. DAL)
18. Stevie Johnson, Bills (vs. WAS)
19. Anquan Boldin, Ravens (vs. ARI)
20. Pierre Garcon, Colts (at TEN)
21. Greg Little, Browns (at SF)
22. Mario Manningham, Giants (vs. MIA)
23. Reggie Wayne, Colts (at TEN)
24. Nate Washington, Titans (vs. IND)
25. Sidney Rice, Seahawks (vs. CIN)
26. Steve Breaston, Chiefs (vs. SD)
27. Jabar Gaffney, Redskins (at BUF)
28. Deion Branch, Patriots (at PIT)
29. Victor Cruz, Giants (vs. MIA)
30. Demaryius Thomas, Broncos (vs. DET)
31. Percy Harvin, Vikings (at CAR)
32. Antonio Brown, Steelers (vs. NE)
33. Eric Decker, Broncos (vs. DET)
34. David Nelson, Bills (vs. WAS)
35. Lance Moore, Saints (at STL)
36. Jerome Simpson, Bengals (at SEA)
37. Mike Thomas, Jaguars (at HOU)
38. Doug Baldwin, Seahawks (vs. CIN)
39. Michael Crabtree, 49ers (vs. CLE)
40. Torrey Smith, Ravens (vs. ARI)
41. Malcom Floyd, Chargers (at KC)
42. Kevin Walter, Texans (vs. JAX)
43. Robert Meachem, Saints (at STL)
44. Michael Jenkins, Vikings (at CAR)
45. Nate Burleson, Lions (at DEN)
46. Davone Bess, Dolphins (at NYG)
47. Danario Alexander, Rams (vs. NO)
48. Early Doucet, Cardinals (at BAL)
49. Jason Hill, Jaguars (at HOU)
50. Jacoby Jones, Texans (vs. JAX)

More rankings: Quarterbacks | Running Backs

If interested, here is our free Week 8 fantasy football contest.

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!