Fantasy Football Week 8 Cheat Sheet: Waiver, Rankings, Projections and More

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistOctober 21, 2014

ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 19:  DeMarco Murray #29 of the Dallas Cowboys carries against the New York Giants in the first half at AT&T Stadium on October 19, 2014 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Even halfway into the fantasy football season, players continue to surprise in both good and bad ways to make sure you stay on your toes.

Week 7 of the NFL season featured plenty of familiar names near the top of scoring charts like Peyton Manning, Matt Forte and Demaryius Thomas. However, Ryan Tannehill, Ronnie Hillman and Sammy Watkins had big weeks as well.

Anyone could predict the first group, but the key to succeeding in fantasy football is figuring out which of these secondary players will have big weeks before they do.

This guide will help you out with everything you need to know for Week 8 in fantasy football. 

Skill Position Rankings

Week 8 Rankings
1Peyton ManningDeMarco MurrayDemaryius ThomasJulius Thomas
2Andrew LuckMatt ForteJordy NelsonRob Gronkowski
3Aaron RodgersMarshawn LynchDez BryantGreg Olsen
4Philip RiversLe'Veon BellAntonio BrownAntonio Gates
5Drew BreesArian FosterJulio JonesJimmy Graham
6Tony RomoJamaal CharlesJeremy MaclinDwayne Allen
7Tom BradyGiovani BernardRandall CobbDelanie Walker
8Cam NewtonShane VereenBrandon MarshallMartellus Bennett
9Matthew StaffordLeSean McCoyGolden TateJordan Reed
10Carson PalmerAndre EllingtonSteve SmithJason Witten

The tops of each position are pretty well-defined at this point, mostly due to the consistency of the leaders. ESPN Stats & Information provided a note about DeMarco Murray and Le'Veon Bell this season:

Murray has been the dominant player this season, but Bell is also someone you can put in every week. He hasn't been scoring many touchdowns but is still one of the best in the league at his position.

Meanwhile, Bell's teammate Antonio Brown is also as consistent as they come:

Andrew Luck and Peyton Manning have also proven themselves to be the top starters regardless of matchups.

Players who will get a boost in the Week 8 rankings based on matchups include Carson Palmer, who is getting healthier and should be able to create some big plays against an inconsistent Philadelphia Eagles secondary.

Shane Vereen and Golden Tate have shown recently they can take over as go-to options after others were injured, with Tate topping 100 receiving yards in three of the last four games. As long as these roles remain the same, each of them are among the top fantasy options in the league.

Sleeper Projections

Week 8 Sleepers
QBAustin DavisSTLKC243 Pass Yds, 2 TD, 0 INT
RBJoique BellDETATL84 Rush Yds, 1 TD, 36 Rec. Yds
WRMike WallaceMIAJAX132 Rec. Yds, 1 TD
TEJordan ReedWASDAL83 Rec. Yds, 1 TD
D/STBuffalo BillsBUFNYJ3 Sacks, 2 Turnovers

Although it was understandable to overlook Austin Davis when he first got the starting job with the St. Louis Rams, he has looked good in recent weeks. Against an elite Seattle Seahawks defense, he was as efficient as possible, as ESPN's Adam Schefter notes:

It was the third time in four games Davis threw multiple touchdown passes, and he has averaged 18 fantasy points per game in standard leagues over that stretch. The Kansas City Chiefs have a decent defense, but you can do worse than starting Davis in your fantasy league.

Joique Bell figured to see a reduced amount of touches with Reggie Bush returning in Week 7, but another injury kept the starter out for much of the game. This should mean more playing time for Bell, which could be huge against an Atlanta Falcons defense allowing the most fantasy points per game to opposing running backs.

The team also gives him plenty of opportunities to score, as noted by Bleacher Report's Brandon Alisoglu:

Mike Wallace might not be a true sleeper after consistently getting into the end zone throughout the first half of the season, but this is a chance for him to truly break out against the Jacksonville Jaguars, a defense that has allowed the most passing yards in the NFL this season.

At tight end, Jordan Reed continues to show he is a major part of the offense with 13 catches in the last two games. This will only increase with Colt McCoy ready to start, as the third-stringer struggles to throw the ball down the field. He will be forced to rely on his tight end in short-yardage play, leading to a big day for Reed.

Waiver-Wire Targets

Waiver-Wire Targets for Week 8
Pos.PlayerTeamESPN Ownership*
QBRyan TannehillMIA12.7 percent
QBCarson PalmerARI9.6 percent
RBRonnie HillmanDEN11.9 percent
RBDenard RobinsonJAX0.5 percent
RBTre MasonSTL2.3 percent
RBJerick McKinnonMIN11.7 percent
RBBryce BrownBUF1.3 percent
WRDoug BaldwinSEA19.4 percent
WROdell Beckham Jr.NYG20.2 percent
TEOwen DanielsBAL22.1 percent
TEJermaine GreshamCIN1.2 percent
D/STMiami DolphinsMIA12.6 percent
D/STCleveland BrownsCLE27.1 percent

In a year that has been tough for fantasy running backs, this is a good week to search the waiver wire for top options.

Ronnie Hillman and Jerick McKinnon earned starting jobs in Week 6 and proved Sunday that their first games were not a fluke. If they are still available in your leagues, they should be added immediately because they have big opportunities in front of them with favorable matchups.

Tre Mason has also seemingly taken over the starting job for the St. Louis Rams, moving ahead of Zac Stacy and Benny Cunningham. Ian Rapoport of gave the simple reason:

Denard Robinson also had a big game for the Jaguars and is clearly their best option out of the backfield. The only downside is that he is still in a struggling offense that will have a hard time getting near the end zone.

For those in deeper leagues looking to take a risk, Bryce Brown should be available and ready to compete for a major role with the Buffalo Bills after both Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller went down with significant injuries in Week 7.

Anthony Dixon has been ahead of Brown on the depth chart, but Jackson seems to know who the starter should be:

If you are looking for a quarterback, Ryan Tannehill has averaged 20 fantasy points per game over his last three weeks and is finally starting to use his legs to make plays on the ground. The rushing yards make him an even better fantasy option than before, and he could play his way into QB1 conversations if he keeps it up.

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