BITTER BIRDS
NFL Week 8 Fantasy Football Rankings
Below are my positional standard scoring rankings for week 8. These rankings do not include players from Thursday night’s game. Quarterbacks: 1. Tom Brady, New England 2. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay 3. Matt Ryan, Atlanta 4. Andrew Luck, Indianapolis 5. Cam Newton 6. Russell Wilson, Seattle 7. Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay 8. Drew Brees, New Orleans 9. Derek Carr, Oakland 10. Carson Palmer, Arizona 11. Matthew Stafford, Detroit 12. Andy Dalton, Cincinnati 13. Philip Rivers, San Diego 14. Ryan Fitzpatrick, New York Jets 15. Alex Smith, Kansas City 16. Kirk Cousins, Washington 17. Trevor Siemian, Denver 18. Dak Prescott, Dallas 19. Tyrod Taylor, Buffalo 20. Sam Bradford, Minnesota 21. Carson Wentz, Philadelphia 22. Brock Osweiler, Houston 23. Josh McCown, Cleveland 24. Jay Cutler, Minnesota 25. Kevin Hogan, Cleveland The top five quarterbacks should come as no surprise this week. Brady has been in dominant form since returning from suspension, Rodgers is starting to pick things up and gets a great matchup with Atlanta, Matt Ryan is in the MVP discussion, Luck is playing his best football yet, and Cam Newton is a dual-threat QB who is the reigning MVP. Start all 5 with confidence. Jameis Winston is quickly turning into the player experts thought he would when he came out of college. He gets a great matchup against Oakland, who have given up a lot of points this season. He has developed great chemistry with Mike Evans, and his ceiling is as high as any young quarterback. I fully expect Carson Palmer to have a big week, despite his recent struggles. There is just too much talent on the Cardinals offense, and facing a struggling Panthers defense will help him right the ship. For those looking for a bye-week fill-in, Ryan Fitzpatrick would be my first choice (unless someone ranked higher is available which I doubt). He was likely dropped in many leagues given the promotion of Geno Smith, however when Smith was injured, Fitzpatrick filled in admirably. He has a chip on his shoulder and the support of Brandon Marshall and others in the locker room. Given the Jets matchup with the Browns, it will be tough for Fitzpatrick to have a bad game. Running Backs 1. David Johnson, Arizona 2. Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas 3. Spencer Ware, Kansas City 4. Lamar Miller, Houston 5. Devonta Freeman, Atlanta 6. Christine Michael, Seattle 7. Melvin Gordon, San Diego 8. Devontae Booker, Denver 9. Matt Forte, New York Jets 10. Jacquizz Rodgers, Tampa Bay 11. LeGarrette Blount, New England 12. Mark Ingram, New Orleans 13. Frank Gore, Indianapolis 14. Jeremy Hill, Cincinnati 15. Latavius Murray, Oakland 16. Jonathan Stewart, Carolina 17. Mike Gillislee, Buffalo 18. Ty Montgomery, Green Bay 19. Giovani Bernard, Cincinnati 20. James White, New England 21. Ryan Mathews, Philadelphia 22. Matt Jones, Washington 23. Isaiah Crowell, Cleveland 24. Matt Asiata, Minnesota 25. Theo Riddick, Detroit 26. Ka’Deem Carey, Chicago 27. Jerrick McKinnon, Minnesota 28. Jordan Howard, Chicago 29. Chris Thompson, Washington 30. Jamaal Charles, Kansas City 31. Zach Zenner, Detroit 32. Bilal Powell, New York Jets 33. Darren Sproles, Philadelphia 34. Duke Johnson Jr., Cleveland 35. Robert Kelley, Washington 36. Reggie Bush, Chicago 37. Alfred Blue, Houston 38. Knile Davis, Green Bay 39. Dwayne Washington, Detroit 40. Justin Forsett, Detroit 41. DeAndre Washington, Oakland 42. Alfred Morris, Dallas 43. Jalen Richard, Oakland 44. C,J. Prosise, Seattle 45. Wendell Smallwood, Philadelphia 46. Travaris Cadet, New Orleans 47. Kapri Bibbs, Denver 48. Don Jackson, Green Bay 49. Fozzy Whittaker, Carolina 50. Jeremy Langford, Chicago With Le’Veon Bell on a bye, David Johnson tops this week’s running back rankings. A close second is rookie phenom Ezekiel Elliot. Johnson gets the nod simply because I expect the Cardinals to win and the Cowboys to lose. Both are matchup proof, must-starts on a weekly basis. I really like Devontae Booker against the Chargers on Sunday. He has looked just as good, if not better than C.J. Anderson. Anderson’s price tag likely kept him on the field during his struggles, and even when he started running better, Booker was getting a lot of reps. Many were high on him as a rookie, and with Anderson now hurt, Booker is a top 10 play in Gary Kubiak’s run-heavy system. Sneaky plays this week are Green Bay’s Ty Montgomery and Philadelphia’s Ryan Mathews. I think Green Bay will score a lot against the Falcons, and Montgomery is their starting running back. He looked good last week, and should produce. Mathews has struggled with fumbles, but if the Eagles are going to beat Dallas, they must run the ball effectively. I think they win in a close game, and Mathews scores two touchdowns in his best game of the season. Monitor Matt Jones’s status going into Sunday, but even if he is active, I would look for alternatives. Wide Receivers 1. Julio Jones, Atlanta 2. Mike Evans, Tampa Bay 3. AJ Green, Cincinnati 4. Brandon Marshall, New York Jets 5. Amari Cooper, Oakland 6. T.Y. Hilton, Indianapolis 7. Jordy Nelson, Green Bay 8. Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona 9. Doug Baldwin, Seattle 10. DeAndre Hopkins, Houston 11. Brandin Cooks, New Orleans 12. Randall Cobb, Green Bay 13. Michael Crabtree, Oakland 14. Marvin Jones, Detroit 15. Demaryius Thomas, Denver 16. Dez Bryant, Dallas 17. Emmanuel Sanders, Denver 18. Terrell Pryor, Cleveland 19. Kelvin Benjamin, Carolina 20. Stefon Diggs, Minnesota 21. Julian Edelman, New England 22. Ty Montgomery, Green Bay 23. Golden Tate, Detroit 24. Alshon Jeffrey, Chicago 25. Jeremy Maclin, Kansas City 26. Jordan Matthews, Philadelphia 27. John Brown, Arizona 28. Davante Adams, Green Bay 29. Will Fuller V, Houston 30. Willie Snead, New Orleans 31. Michael Thomas, New Orleans 32. Quincy Enunwa, New York Jets 33. Donte Moncrief, Indianapolis 34. Tyrell Williams, San Diego 35. Cole Beasley, Dallas 36. DeSean Jackson, Washington 37. Travis Benjamin, San Diego 38. Brandon LaFell, Cincinnati 39. Mohamed Sanu, Atlanta 40. Anquan Boldin, Detroit 41. Jamison Crowder, Washington 42. Michael Floyd, Arizona 43. Robert Woods, Buffalo 44. Chris Hogan, New England 45. Tyler Lockett, Seattle 46. Cameron Meredith, Chicago 47. Terrance Williams, Dallas 48. Adam Humphries, Tampa Bay 49. Pierre Garcon, Washington 50. J.J. Nelson, Arizona Mike Evans has been unbelievable in 2016, and is pushing Julio Jones and Odell Beckham Jr (and Antonio Brown when Big Ben returns) for the number one spot. He is a touchdown scoring machine, and has been toning other aspects to his game such as route running and getting separation at the line of scrimmage. He is really Jameis Winston’s only option at wide receiver, and is a must-start every week. Doug Baldwin should produce Sunday given Seattle’s matchup with New Orleans. The Saints defense is very fantasy friendly, and Baldwin and Graham should be targeted heavily. I am also starting Dez Bryant as a WR1 despite his WR2 ranking. I only ranked him low as there are still questions about his health. He has rested for a while and with Malcom Jenkins playing the nickel corner a lot, he will be matched up with Nolan Carroll and Jalen Mills. Bryant should come back with a bang Sunday night. I am avoiding all Chargers receivers given they’re facing Denver, and am also wary about the Saints receivers. Cooks is a must-start given his talent level and draft position, but I am looking for alternatives for Snead and Thomas given Seattle’s stout pass defense. Tight Ends 1. Rob Gronkowski, New England 2. Greg Olsen, Carolina 3. Jimmy Graham, Seattle 4. Jordan Reed, Washington 5. Travis Kelce, Kansas City 6. Kyle Rudolph, Minnesota 7. Martellus Bennett, New England 8. Tyler Eifert, Cincinnati 9. Zach Ertz, Philadelphia 10. Gary Barnidge, Cleveland 11. Coby Fleener, New Orleans 12. Zach Miller, Chicago 13. Jack Doyle, Indianapolis 14. Antonio Gates, San Diego 15. Cameron Brate, Tampa Bay 16. Hunter Henry, San Diego 17. Eric Ebron, Detroit 18. C.J. Fiedorowicz, Houston 19. Jason Witten, Dallas 20. Charles Clay, Buffalo 21. Dwayne Allen, Indianapolis 22. Jacob Tamme, Atlanta 23. Clive Walford, Oakland 24. Vernon Davis, Washington 25. Richard Rodgers, Green Bay The top three at this position are obvious: Gronk and Olsen are elite options, while Jimmy Graham gets the New Orleans matchup us fantasy players dream of. Given his talent, and growing chemistry with Russell Wilson, I expect Graham to put up numbers. If Jordan Reed plays, he is also an elite option. I also expect Tyler Eifert to be at 100% finally. His owners have been waiting for him to get healthy, and I believe this is the week. Lastly, although Zach Ertz has disappointed, it is only a matter of time before he breaks out. There is too much talent there for him not to. Those looking for a bye-week replacement should consider Jack Doyle or Cameron Brate. DSTs 1. Minnesota 2. Denver 3. New England 4. Arizona 5. New York Jets 6. Seattle 7. Cincinnati 8. Philadelphia 9. Kansas City 10. Carolina 11. Houston 12. Oakland 13. Chicago 14. Dallas 15. Detroit 16. San Diego 17. Cleveland 18. Buffalo 19. Washington 20. Green Bay Minnesota and Denver are must-starts every week. Minnesota is on a historic pace in regards to fantasy points from a DST, and while I don’t expect them to keep it up, there is no reason not to expect DST1 numbers weekly. I like the Jets this week as they have been playing better defensively and get the coveted Browns matchup. The rest of the rankings after Kansas City are tough to project. I personally like Chicago as a bye-week replacement facing a weak Vikings offense and Detroit facing Houston for the same reasons. Kickers 1. Adam Vinatieri, Indianapolis 2. Stephen Gostkowski, New England 3. Matt Bryant, Atlanta 4. Stephen Hauschka, Seattle 5. Mason Crosby, Green Bay 6. Matt Prater, Detroit 7. Brandon McManus, Denver 8. Cairo Santos, Kansas City 9. Dustin Hopkins, Washington 10. Dan Bailey, Dallas 11. Graham Gano, Carolina 12. Josh Lambo, San Diego 13. Blair Walsh Minnesota 14. Chandler Catanzaro, Arizona 15. Mike Nugent, Cincinnati 16. Caleb Sturgis, Philadelphia 17. Sebastian Janikowski, Oakland 18. Dan Carpenter, Buffalo 19. Will Lutz, New Orleans 20. Nick Novak, Houston That wraps up my week 8 fantasy football positional rankings. Good luck!