Fantasy Football Player Rankings After Week 8
By Guest Writer John Belaska:
We are coming up on week nine. November is upon us and the playoff race is really starting to heat up. The important thing to realize this week is a lot of stud players are going to be on bye. This means is it extremely important to be doing research and looking for good sleeper candidates. The waiver wire may be key this week, but remember this is not the last week before the playoff. There is still plenty of time left to make a final stand. Here are the top ranked players going forward.
5. Andy Dalton (Cincinnati Bengals) – Before Thursday Night Football
It seems like just yesterday the Bengals were ready to send quarterback Andy Dalton to the bench. They will definitely be rethinking that after the past couple week he has had. Dalton has thrown for over ten touchdowns in the past three games. He threw five of those last week against the Jets. Dalton may not seem like the most popular option for the top five, the potential going forward is unlimited. The Bengals offense is firing on all cylinders. They have two good running backs that can take the pressure off Dalton. Green-Ellis is a good blocker and short yardage player, whereas Bernard is much more explosive and has the ability to open up the passing game. Wide receiver Marvin Jones had a break out game last week and will continue to be a huge factor. Then there is A.J. Green. Green is one of the most talented wide outs in the league. With all the weapons at Dalton’s disposal, there is no reason why he cannot be a top five quarterback in the final stretch of the season.
4. Aaron Rodgers (Green Bay Packers)
Aaron Rodgers just is not putting up the numbers he was last year. There are two major reasons for this. The first is the injuries at the wide receiver position. The only member of the big three on the team is Jordy Nelson. Secondly, the Green Bay Packers have finally shown the ability to run the football. Eddie Lacy has been a tremendous addition to the team. However, fantasy owners who spent a first round draft pick on their quarterback could care less about this. Rodger is still one of the top dogs in fantasy football, but it is getting hard to make an argument that he is a top three quarterback. He is still very consistent, which is definitely a plus, but he just is not putting up the huge passing stats this year. He should be able to have an above average game against the Bear this week who have struggled against the pass.
3. Matthew Stafford (Detroit Lions)
Matthew Stafford has definitely been performing well lately. Everyone knows he has the ability to throw for massive amounts of yards, but he still was not getting a lot of respect in the preseason. That is because last year he was not throwing a lot of touchdowns and threw a good deal of interceptions. It looks like that will not be the case this year. Stafford has already thrown 16 touchdowns this year, as opposed to last year’s 20. Stafford is also second behind Peyton Manning in passing yards. With Calvin Johnson back to performing at the very highest level, there is absolutely no reason Matthew Stafford will not have a very strong end to the 2013 season. Next week Stafford is on a bye week, but this might not be a problem since you probably drafted him as a back-up.
2. Drew Brees (New Orleans Saints)
Quick Question: who has been the top fantasy quarterback for a week more times than anyone else? The answer is not Peyton. It is in fact Drew Brees. Any other year, Brees would be the absolute consensus number one quarterback. In week eight, Brees threw for 332 yards and five touchdowns. This week the Saints are playing the Jets who are coming off a huge loss to Andy Dalton and the Bengals. If the Jets think they had a rough game last week against the Bengals’ offense, they have not seen anything yet.
1. Peyton Manning (Denver Broncos)
Peyton Manning still has not returned to earth. He is playing some of the best football of his career. In fact, he might just be playing the best football of anybody’s career. Manning is pushing 3000 yards already and we have just crossed the half way mark in the season. He also has 29 touchdowns, which is considered to be a good total through the entire season. Last week he turned the ball over four times, but still came away with a good fantasy day due to his 354 passing yards and four touchdowns. Next week is the only week in the entire season Manning will not be in a starting line-up because his team has a bye week.
5. Matt Forte (Chicago Bears)
If you will recall, before the Bear went on bye in week eight, Matt Forte scored three rushing touchdowns in a single game. Forte is such a dominant player and get so many touches in both the running and passing games. With Jay Cutler out of the Bears line-up with an injury, the team will be force to once again rely very heavily on their star tail back. The Bears travel Wisconsin this week to play the Packers. The Pack has the fourth best run defense in the league. Still, the Bears will be forced to run the ball. Forte will also be used a good deal in the passing game because they will be needing to hit a lot of high percentage passes to move the chains.
4. LeSean McCoy (Philadelphia Eagles)
LeSean McCoy is coming off a pretty poor week. In week eight he only ran for 44 yards and caught four passes for an additional 17 yards. He is still the leading rusher in the league, but he has not scored since week five and has yet to score multiple touchdowns in a game. If this streak continues, soon the high yardage totals will not be enough to keep him in the top five. In the playoffs, fantasy owners need their players to get in the endzone and McCoy just has not been able to do that this season. Week nine will not be a walk in the park against the Oakland Raiders and their sixth ranked rushing defense.
3. Marshawn Lynch (Seattle Seahawks)
Even after a horrible week Marshawn Lynch is still one of the most dangerous names in fantasy football. He was named the bust player of the week in week eight, but this will most likely not happen again. Lynch just struggles with consistency, but he has the potential to put up huge numbers any week. If he is paired with a more consistent running back such as Frank Gore, he can make a very strong fantasy backfield. Next week the Seahawks take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Lynch should be able to have a good game against them, but no one can say for sure since last week he should have had his best game of the season against the St. Louis Rams.
2. Knowshon Moreno (Denver Broncos)
Knowshon Moreno is the steal of the 2013 fantasy draft. He is one of two running backs to be putting up big numbers on a consistent basis. Moreno leads all backs in touchdowns and has run for 457 yards. More than likely, he was either drafted as a deep back up or could have been picked up off the waiver wire early in the season. If you have him on your team your back field is probably the best in your fantasy league. The Broncos have this week off.
1. Jamaal Charles (Kansas City Chiefs)
Jamaal Charles has been the most valuable player in fantasy football this season. Strong options at the running back position are very limited. Charles has been consistent and has put up great stats every week. Week eight was his worst performance of the 2013 season, posting only 74 rushing yards and 46 receiving yards. Hey, that is still 12 fantasy points! Not too shabby for a down week. This weekend the Chiefs are going to Buffalo and Jamaal Charles will have a big day against the NFL’s 25 ranked run defense.
5. Jordy Nelson (Green Bay Packers)
Jordy Nelson is Aaron Rodgers best option right now. Since Cobb and Jones are banged up, the Packers have to rely of Nelson to carry the load. He has stepped up big for the team and been posting good stats since the two have left. Last week Nelson caught seven passes for 123 yards and two scores. This brings his season statistics to 649 receiving yards and five touchdowns. Nelson will continue to do great things down the stretch and will be a major factor in the Packers’ passing game this weekend against Chicago.
4. Demaryius Thomas (Denver Broncos)
Demaryius Thomas is starting to put up consistent numbers once again. After a short period of putting up below average number he has scored in each of his past two games. It is also very encouraging to see him catching seven passes in a game again. Thomas is still the most talented receiver on the Broncos and has the potential to jump back up into the top three best wide receivers by the end of the season. He will not be making this jump by the next set of rankings since the Broncos are off this weekend.
3. Dez Bryant (Dallas Cowboys)
Maybe Dez Bryant should yell at Tony Romo more often. His last couple week were unimpressive, but in a week eight matchup against the Detroit Lions Dez Bryant showed once again he can be a very dominate number one fantasy wide receiver. Bryant had 72 receiving yards and caught two touchdown passes in the game. It is still difficult to put him this high due to his lack of consistency, but he has so much potential going forward to make a valid argument for the position. Look for him to have a huge game this weekend against a very poor Minnesota Vikings secondary.
2. Wes Welker (Denver Broncos)
Wes Welker has been the most consistent player in fantasy football. It seems every week he posts around 70 to 90 yards and scores a touchdown. Perfect. This is exactly what fantasy owners want to see out of a wide receiver. In a year where wide outs have lacked consistency it is very nice to have a guy who you can count on to always put up competitive numbers. The Broncos have a bye this week, but this will not affect his position going forward since he has shown time and time again he is able to perform at a high level.
1. Calvin Johnson (Detroit Lions)
Calvin Johnson is coming off the game of a lifetime. That game of a lifetime was preceded by a huge game. Who knows how Calvin will follow up his 329 receiving yard performance when he comes back from the Lions’ bye week? One thing is for sure, he is going to be the top wide receiver of the second half the season. That is a very welcome thing for Johnson owners who are trying to make a playoff run.