With six teams on a bye and receiver injuries mounting, many fantasy owners are being forced to make tough lineup decisions heading into week 8. If you are looking for help getting your WR spot set for this week, you’ve come to the right place.
In this post, you can find the top 20 WR to start this week based on the composite rankings of myself and Leo Howell who also covers fantasy football here at Fansided. These are the players who should be in WR1 and WR2 slots this week if you’re in a standard ten-team league. If your players didn’t quite make the list or your in a deep league and want team-specific advice, shout out your question on twitter @ZT_Sports or drop it in the comments at the bottom of the page and I’ll answer as many as a I can.
Even with depleted options, here are the top 20 to start week 8:
t1. Calvin Johnson-Detroit Lions
t1. Dez Bryant-Dallas Cowboys
It just feels right that these two who have been going back and forth all week are tied atop our rankings this week. Obviously if you have either one, you’re putting them in your starting lineup this week as they face off in what should be a high-scoring battle in Detroit. For the record, I had Megatron at my #1 and Dez as #2 while Leo had them the opposite way. My reasoning was that the Lions have fewer other options while the Cowboys diversify a bit more on offense. It should be a fun one to watch this week.
3. Jordy Nelson-Green Bay Packers
Nelson didn’t have a great game last week catching five passes for 42 yards and a touchdown. Without Randall Cobb and possibly James Jones, expect plenty of targets to Nelson and Jarrett Boykin, but since Nelson is a lot more proven he rises all the way to #3 for this week’s game against Minnesota.
4. A.J. Green-Cincinnati Bengals
Green and the Bengals have been firing on all cylinders lately after a slow stretch. The last two weeks he has six catches in each games for 155 and 103 yards with a touchdown in each game as well. This week he takes on the Jets secondary who has been up-and-down this year. Green has been too good lately, though, to consider sitting him.
5. DeSean Jackson-Philadelphia Eagles
Jackson is pretty high on this list for a player who had just 21 yards last week against the Cowboys. This week the difference is that Michael Vick is expected back under center, so Jackson should be way more productive against the Giants who he has a history of shredding including a sever-catch, 132-yard performance with a TD earlier this season.
6. Victor Cruz-New York Giants
Cruz had just five catches for 50 yards last week and hasn’t broken 70 yards in the last three games. The first of those three games was against the Eagles when he was targeted 12 times but only caught five passes for 48 yards. I expect a high-scoring game, which should mean Cruz will get plenty of looks from Eli.
7. Wes Welker-Denver Broncos
8. Demaryius Thomas-Denver Broncos
The Broncos receivers have been great plays all year. Welker had his highest yardage total of the year last week but didn’t find the end zone for the first time this year. Thomas did score a touchdown for the first time in three weeks while catching four passes for 82 yards. Both are definitely WR1′s this week against Washington who allow the fifth-most points per game to opposing wide receivers.
9. Vincent Jackson-Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Seahawks are pretty good against opposing receivers, but when you get targeted 22 times like Jackson did last week you’ll most likely be a top-ten receiver. In the last two games that Mike Glennon has been QB and V-Jax healthy, Jackson has caught 19 passes for 252 yards and four touchdowns. He may not get two touchdowns like he has in each of his last two games, but he’s definitely still a WR1.
10. Pierre Garcon-Washington Redskins
The last of our WR1′s for the week makes his first appearance this high as Garcon reaches the top ten since Washington is bound for Denver this week for what should be a shootout with Peyton Manning and the Broncos. He had a bit of a down week last week, but with RG3 looking back in form, Garcon’s numbers as a top receiver won’t be far behind.
11. Antonio Brown-Pittsburgh Steelers
Brown and the Steelers are out West to face the Raiders. Last week, he only had 50 yards last week, but keeps getting targets from Big Ben and is a fringe WR1 especially in PPR formats this week since he’ll be targeted early and often over the middle this Sunday.
12. Eric Decker-Denver Broncos
Decker is the third WR on his own team, but should be a WR2 on fantasy teams since Manning continues to spread the fantasy points to all his receivers. He had eight catches last week for 150 yards and a touchdown actually outperforming both Thomas and Welker for the week. He’s gotten at least seven targets in every game this season, so start him with confidence against the questionable Redskins D.
13. Anqun Boldin-San Francisco 49ers
Boldin is still the only real WR option the Niners have as they go to London to take on the Jags this week. It’s a favorable enough matchup and the corps is thin enough that Boldin rises into the ranks of a midrange WR2. The only question is whether San Francisco will be forced to throw the ball against a weak Jags defense.
14. Larry Fitzgerald-Arizona Cardinals
It’s a good matchup for Fitz as the Cardinals host Atlanta who have given up the fourth-most fantasy points per game to opposing WR’s. As was expected, he struggled against the Seahawks but the extra rest after playing on Thursday and a much better matchup should provide a nice bounce back opportunity.
15. Steve Smith-Carolina Panthers
Smith is on a short week this week as he and the Panthers head south to take on their division rival Buccaneers. Tampa got beat up pretty badly by Harry Douglas last week and have allowed a WR touchdown for four straight games allowing seven in that span. Smith should be able to find space to operate even on a short week.
16. Marques Colston-New Orleans Saints
The Bills allow the second-most points in the league to opposing WR and are in the Big Easy for Sunday’s matchup with the Saints. With Jimmy Graham possibly out, Drew Brees will throw more passes Colston’s way and he could easily be a top ten receiver this week. He’s definitely a great WR2 play.
17. Justin Blackmon-Jacksonville Jaguars
Blackmon came back to earth last week catching just six passes for 58 yards against the Chargers. This week he’ll be in London where Chad Henne should continue to find him with passes. Henne has put up solid yardage totals but has struggled to find the endzone in his time under center for Jacksonville.
18. Josh Gordon-Cleveland Browns
Gordon struggled last week catching just two passes for 21 yards from Brandon Weeden. He’ll have another QB this week as Jason Campbell takes over but all that really does is introduce more uncertainty since the two haven’t played a lot together. This week against the Chiefs he’s in a tougher matchup, but the Browns need some plays from their receivers and Gordon has the most ability to make those plays. KC did give up some points last week to Case Keenum and the Texans, so Gordon could be ok this week. He’s a low-end WR2 as his number on this list indicates.
19. Danny Amendola-New England Patriots
Amendola did practice Wednesday, but will probably be a dreaded gametime decision for Sunday’s game against Miami. If he plays, he’ll be a WR2 as Tom Brady tries to get the offense headed back in the right direction.
20. Julian Edelman-New England Patriots
If Amendola doesn’t play, Edelman is a great option since he’ll get the looks in the slot. Gronk’s return knocks him to the bottom of this list, but he’s definitely still playable with so many receivers on byes this week.
Honorable mention: Harry Douglas-Atlanta Falcons, Golden Tate-Seattle Seahawks, Jarrett Boykin-Green Bay Packers, Michael Floyd-Arizona Cardinals, Denarius Moore-Oakland Raiders