Week 8 is almost here, and it’s time to start setting lineups and making sure you’re ready to win your fantasy matchup.
Every week, FanSided will bring you rankings compiled by our duo of fantasy experts. This week, the list was derived from averaging rankings from myself and Zachary Thompson.
Let’s take a look at the quarterbacks and how they rank for Week 8. (Unless otherwise noted, statistics obtained from ESPN Fantasy Football.)
1. Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos
The Washington Redskins allowed a healthy amount of fantasy production from quarterbacks during Weeks 1-3, and then caught a bit of a break when it comes to scheduling.
That break is over, now that they’re forced to travel to Denver to take on Peyton Manning and the Broncos. Peyton has a 400 yard lead on the passing yards title for the season, and will face a defense that has given up the third-most points per game this year.
As usual, this is an easy pick.
2. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
Giving Aaron Rodgers the second spot this week is almost as easy thanks to his comfortable matchup with the Minnesota Vikings. Minnesota allows the seventh most points per game to quarterbacks, and Aaron Rodgers proved in Week 7 that he can post solid numbers without a fully healthy corps of receivers.
So even if James Jones remains out, the Packers stand a very good chance of racking up passing yards thanks to Rodgers immense talent. Start him and enjoy the big day he’s going to have.
3. Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints
Brees rounds out the top three quarterbacks, and as is the case every week, you probably didn’t need Zachary and I to tell you how good these three guys are.
For this week, Brees comes in third thanks to a tougher matchup against a decent Buffalo defense which is much closer to “average” than “actively awful” like the Vikings and Redskins defenses are.
4. Robert Griffin III, Washington Redskins
The Redskins defense might be awful, but the offense is getting its groove back lately as Robert Griffin III finds his rhythm. And he’ll have the added benefit of playing the defense which allows the most points to quarterbacks in fantasy football so far this season in the Denver Broncos.
It’s possible that RGIII could struggle, as he’s still not the same flawless gunslinger we saw in 2012. But the stars have aligned for RGIII to resume normal RGIII business this weekend, and that should encourage the plethora of fantasy football owners who have been waiting for him to regain his 2012 form.
5. Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons
The Arizona Cardinals have allowed 15 points or more to every quarterback they’ve face this season, with the exceptions of rookie Mike Glennon and the bad version of Cam Newton.
That’s good news for Ryan, who proved in Week 7 that he (like Aaron Rodgers) can perform with a depleted set of receivers. What Ryan did against the Buccaneers with Roddy White and Julio Jones sidelined should not be ignored, as it shows a lot about the pure ability Ryan has as a passer.
6. Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions
For the first five quarterbacks, Zachary and I were on the same wavelength. But once we get to number six, things get a bit strange.
Zach sees Stafford as a top-five quarterback this week. I think he’s just outside the top 10. It’s not that Stafford isn’t a good play this week, but I feel as though there are better options.
That said, the Cowboys started off the season with plenty of awful displays while attempting to stop quarterbacks. If you believe that will continue, then go with Zach and include him in your top five.
7. Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks
Russell Wilson is the exact opposite of Stafford, as he’s a guy I see as a top-five play this week, and someone Zachary sees as being outside the top 10.
The Rams are as average of a defense as there can be in the NFL, and that’s considering the numbers they’ve allowed to some pretty mediocre quarterbacks. They rank 14th in points per game allowed to quarterbacks, yet they’ve faced Houston, Jacksonville, and Arizona already this year. That ranking should be better considering the weak opposition they’ve faced.
I believe that Wilson is the safest play outside of the top four players on this list, as he’s guaranteed to score at least three touchdowns in an easy win.
8. Michael Vick, Philadelphia Eagles
8. Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco 49ers
8. Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys
8. Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers
I told you it was weird.
There was a four-way tie for eighth place in this week’s rankings. And considering I had no logical way to break the tie, I figured it was only fair to present the entire list and allow you to consider the facts for yourself, and weigh the pros and cons of each player. Let’s start with Michael Vick.
Vick Pros: The Giants have allowed 2 or more passing touchdowns to every QB they have faced that isn’t named Josh Freeman. He’s also anxious to prove he’s way better than Nick Foles.
Vick Cons: He might not be fully healthy.
Kaepernick Pros: He’s playing the Jaguars, who aren’t very good at defending the pass.
Kaepernick Cons: He’s playing the Jaguars, who are so bad that Kaepernick may not throw the ball that often.
Romo Pros: The Lions just allowed a big day to Andy Dalton in Week 7, and Romo still does not have a running game to rely on. So he’ll be throwing all day against a defense which may be on the decline.
Romo Cons: He’s still been inconsistent this season, including an awful performance against a bad Washington defense.
Newton Pros: He has a good track record against the Buccaneers in his career, as they’re one of only seven teams he has recorded a passer rating of 100 or better against.
Newton Cons: He’s playing on Thursday Night Football, which is always bad for fantasy players. Plus, there’s a very good chance the Panthers win their game by 30 points and he stops throwing in the second quarter.
If you want my picks, I would say Newton, Kaepernick, and Romo are the three best of the group, in that order. I would skip on Vick for injury concern purposes, but if Vick is on your roster and you don’t have anyone else listed above, I still recommend him this week.
Honorable Mention: Tom Brady, New England Patriots
Topics: Aaron Rodgers, Atlanta Falcons, Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers, Colin Kaepernick, Dallas Cowboys, Denver Broncos, Detroit Lions, Drew Brees, Green Bay Packers, Matt Ryan, Matthew Stafford, Michael Vick, New Orleans Saints, Peyton Manning, Philadelphia Eagles, Robert Griffin III, Russell Wilson, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, Tony Romo, Washington Redskins