Fantasy Football Week 8: Top Plays at Every Position

Eric Mack@@EricMackFantasyFantasy Football Lead WriterOctober 25, 2013

Fantasy Football Week 8: Top Plays at Every Position

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    If the Saints' Jimmy Graham is active, you have to play him, but it doesn't look good for Week 8.
    If the Saints' Jimmy Graham is active, you have to play him, but it doesn't look good for Week 8.

    If you thought setting your fantasy lineup was tough thus far this season, you are in for a rude awakening the next few weeks. Half of the NFL is going on bye Week 8 through Week 10, and we are already coming off a devastating week of injuries.

    This makes Bleacher Report's Top Plays at Every Position as important as ever in navigating the fantasy minefield this week.

    Get all of the news, matchup analysis and rankings by position in this six-part slideshow.

Quarterbacks: We Should Still Be Sticking to Our Big Guns

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    Andrew Luck and Philip Rivers are the elite options on bye, while Jay Cutler (groin) and Matt Schaub (ankle) were going to be out of play because of injury anyway. No one will truly miss Joe Flacco or Jake Locker, although they have had their moments in two-quarterback formats.

     

    Vick Returning Before He's Ready?

    A division game against the suspect Giants is enough to have the Eagles try to work Michael Vick (hamstring) back before he's ready. The Giants, despite a solid performance Monday night, are the sixth-worst team in fantasy against quarterbacks, according to FFToday.com, and Jordan Raanan of NJ.com reports Vick took almost all of the first-team snaps in practice this week. Assuming Vick starts, the matchup is enough to make him a play in fantasy leagues.

    "This is not an issue or situation to play around with," Vick told NJ.com. "I'm not up here playing games or blowing smoke. I'm just trying to figure out what's the best situation."

     

    Pryor Performance Not Enough

    Though the Oakland Raiders' Terrelle Pryor has had his moments, you should not like him against the Steelers defense this week. Pittsburgh has been the No. 1 team in fantasy against quarterbacks. The Steelers are No. 2 against the pass and have allowed a league-low five touchdown passes.

     

    Like Him More

    We should continue to be bullish with the likes of star quarterbacks Matt Ryan and Tom Brady. Despite the issues with their targets, they are still what makes their teams go. Ryan proved it last week for fantasy owners with his three-touchdown performance. Brady has Rob Gronkowski back and might be getting Danny Amendola (concussion) back, too.

    Ryan and Brady are among the quarterbacks we like more than the consensus this week:

    1. Cam Newton (already starred Thursday night)
    2. Matt Ryan
    3. Tom Brady
    4. Colin Kaepernick
    5. Ben Roethlisberger

     

    Like Him Less

    You should love Robert Griffin III's matchup against the Broncos, who have been the second-worst team in fantasy against quarterbacks. Also, you should love the fact RG3 has found a budding star in tight end Jordan Reed. Still, though, we see good, not great, numbers for the disappointing quarterback here. The Redskins are not as high-volume of a passing team as some of the opponents that have made the Broncos look vulnerable.

    RG3 is among the quarterbacks we like less than the masses below:

    1. Robert Griffin III
    2. Tony Romo
    3. Michael Vick (hamstring)
    4. Mike Glennon (already played Thursday night)
    5. Chad Henne

     

    Week 8 Quarterbacks Rankings - Eric Mack
    RankQuarterbacksTeamOpponentECRvs. ECR
    1Peyton ManningDenvs. Was10
    2Aaron RodgersGBat Min3+1
    3Drew BreesNOvs. Buf2-1
    4Cam NewtonCarat TB7+3
    5Matthew StaffordDetvs. Dal4-1
    6Matt RyanAtlat Ari11+5
    7Tom BradyNEvs. Mia12+5
    8Colin KaepernickSFat Jac10+2
    9Robert GriffinWasat Den5-4
    10Russell WilsonSeaat StL9-1
    11Tony RomoDalat Det6-5
    12Michael VickPhivs. NYG8-4
    13Ben RoethlisbergerPitat Oak16+3
    14Eli ManningNYGat Phi13-1
    15Andy DaltonCinvs. NYJ14-1
    16Terrelle PryorOakvs. Pit15-1
    17Carson PalmerArivs. Atl170
    18Alex SmithKCvs. Cle180
    19Ryan TannehillMiaat NE190
    20Geno SmithNYJat Cin200
    21Thaddeus LewisBufat NO210
    22Christian PonderMinvs. GB24+2
    23Mike GlennonTBvs. Car22-1
    24Jason CampbellCleat KC27+3
    25Chad HenneJacvs. SF23-2
    26Kellen ClemensStLvs. Sea29+3
    Expert Consensus Rankings (ECR) from over 100 experts provided by FantasyPros

Running Backs: While We Search for Answers, the Packers Have One in Eddie Lacy

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    The Packers finally have a worthy running back to turn their ground game over to: rookie Eddie Lacy.
    The Packers finally have a worthy running back to turn their ground game over to: rookie Eddie Lacy.

    The six bye teams have sapped up of the likes of Matt Forte, Ray Rice, Arian Foster, Trent Richardson, Chris Johnson and Ryan Mathews. And, injury has taken away the likes of Doug Martin, David Wilson, Ahmad Bradshaw and perhaps C.J. Spiller (ankle).

    Outside of getting Steven Jackson (hamstring) and DeMarco Murray (knee) back at practice this week and in play for fantasy owners, it is time to dip into the depths of the running-back position. We help you do so below.

     

    Packers Pounding the Ball Now

    It has taken years, but Green Bay is finally getting back to its roots of pounding the ball on the ground. A healthy, steady rookie in Eddie Lacy certainly helps. Lacy not only leads the NFL with 301 yards rushing the past three weeks, but the Packers also had James Starks and Johnathan Franklin each rush for 100 yards before Lacy returned from his concussion.

    This spells bad news for the Vikings, who are the worst team in fantasy against running backs, even allowing Peyton Hillis to prove fantasy viable off the street Monday night. The Packers are without Randall Cobb (knee) and Jermichael Finley (neck), and James Jones (knee) continues to be unable to practice. The Packers have turned to the running game, which should eventually help Aaron Rodgers in the play-action pass.

    "You've got to run them out of a two-shell, and that's what we've done," running backs coach Alex Van Pelt told ESPN's Rob Demovsky. "We're there right now. It's coming around."

     

    Campbell's Soup Won't Taste So Good

    The Browns are turning to Jason Campbell as their quarterback this week, but it figures to be a tough situation against the Chiefs defense in Kansas City. Campbell is a game manager who needs a running game, but don't count on the Browns mustering much with shaky veteran Willis McGahee against the third-best team in fantasy against running backs.

    We even rate Chris Ogbonnaya as the better play among Browns backs because his potential in the short passing game is what the limited Campbell needs.

     

    Like Him More

    We are going to assume the Cowboys' Murray is playing this week, so you should get him active in such a tough week for viable running-back options. Owner Jerry Jones told The Dallas Morning News' David Moore he likes what he has seen of Murray in practice, too.

    Murray leads the backs we like considerably more than the consensus below:

    1. DeMarco Murray (knee)
    2. Kendall Hunter
    3. Jason Snelling
    4. Chris Ogbonnaya
    5. Robert Turbin

     

    Like Him Less

    While you can like the emergence of Zac Stacy as the Rams' feature back, you have to hate the fact he will have Kellen Clemens as his starting quarterback now that Sam Bradford (knee) is out for the year. Stacy is a bad-to-terrible play against the Seahawks run defense, which is No. 5 in the NFL.

    Stacy is going to see a lot of eight-man boxes, which is why he leads the backs we like less than the masses this week:

    1. Zac Stacy
    2. Mike James (already struggled Thursday night)
    3. Joseph Randle
    4. Mike Tolbert (whoopsy!)
    5. Brian Leonard (already struggled Thursday night)
    6. Khiry Robinson

     

    Week 8 Running Backs Rankings - Eric Mack
    RankRunning BacksTeamOpponentECRvs. ECR
    1Adrian PetersonMinvs. GB4+3
    2LeSean McCoyPhivs. NYG3+1
    3Jamaal CharlesKCvs. Cle1-2
    4Frank GoreSFat Jac5+1
    5Marshawn LynchSeaat StL2-3
    6Knowshon MorenoDenvs. Was60
    7Reggie BushDetvs. Dal70
    8Alfred MorrisWasat Den9+1
    9Eddie LacyGBat Min8-1
    10Stevan RidleyNEvs. Mia12+2
    11Darren SprolesNOvs. Buf14+3
    12Le'Veon BellPitat Oak10-2
    13Steven JacksonAtlat Ari18+5
    14DeMarco MurrayDalat Det28+14
    15Fred JacksonBufat NO11-4
    16Darren McFaddenOakvs. Pit13-3
    17Lamar MillerMiaat NE23+6
    18Pierre ThomasNOvs. Buf21+3
    19Rashard MendenhallArivs. Atl25+6
    20Chris IvoryNYJat Cin22+2
    21Giovani BernardCinvs. NYJ15-6
    22C.J. SpillerBufat NO26+4
    23Maurice Jones-DrewJacvs. SF19-4
    24DeAngelo WilliamsCarat TB16-8
    25Peyton HillisNYGat Phi32+7
    26Jacquizz RodgersAtlat Ari30+4
    27Zac StacyStLvs. Sea17-10
    28Roy HeluWasat Den29+1
    29Joique BellDetvs. Dal33+4
    30Kendall HunterSFat Jac40+10
    31Andre EllingtonArivs. Atl24-7
    32Mike JamesTBvs. Car20-12
    33Chris OgbonnayaCleat KC42+9
    34BenJarvus Green-EllisCinvs. NYJ31-3
    35Bilal PowellNYJat Cin37+2
    36Willis McGaheeCleat KC35-1
    37Robert TurbinSeaat StL47+10
    38Bryce BrownPhivs. NYG50+12
    39Brandon BoldenNEvs. Mia36-3
    40Ronnie HillmanDenvs. Was41+1
    41Michael CoxNYGat Phi48+7
    42Jason SnellingAtlat Ari43+1
    43Brandon JacobsNYGat Phi34-9
    44Joseph RandleDalat Det27-17
    45Lance DunbarDalat Det450
    46Daniel ThomasMiaat NE38-8
    47James StarksGBat Min60+13
    48Johnathan FranklinGBat Min52+4
    49Montee BallDenvs. Was51+2
    50Mike TolbertCarat TB39-11
    51LeGarrette BlountNEvs. Mia56+5
    52Daryl RichardsonStLvs. Sea53+1
    53Felix JonesPitat Oak62+9
    54Anthony DixonSFat Jac65+11
    55Toby GerhartMinvs. GB58+3
    56Brian LeonardTBvs. Car44-12
    57Justin ForsettJacvs. SF63+6
    58Christine MichaelSeaat StL77+19
    59Fozzy WhittakerCleat KC61+2
    60LaMichael JamesSFat Jac71+11
    61Khiry RobinsonNOvs. Buf46-15
    62Mark IngramNOvs. Buf57-5
    63Phillip TannerDalat Det59-4
    64Knile DavisKCvs. Cle73+9
    Expert Consensus Rankings (ECR) from over 100 experts provided by FantasyPros

Wide Receivers: Depth of the Position Makes for Less Problems Here

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    There are so many viable wide receivers to go around in fantasy that even six bye teams cannot really put a damper on our lineups. Sure, we will miss the likes of Torrey Smith, Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery, Kendall Wright, T.Y. Hilton, Keenan Allen, Andre Johnson and DeAndre Hopkins, but the myriad options below soften the blow of injuries and absences at this position.

     

    Anticipate a Giant Rebound

    There have been a number of reasons Hakeem Nicks has been a bum for fantasy owners. First, Eli Manning has been an interception machine. Second, the offensive line hasn't given the Giants time to throw. Third, Rueben Randle has emerged to steal some targets, particularly in the red zone. And, finally, when everything goes right and Nicks does get thrown to, he has dropped it too often—like he did Monday night.

    The Eagles are next on the schedule, though, so all three of Manning's targets, Victor Cruz, Nicks and Randle, are viable starters. The Eagles have been the worst team in fantasy against wide receivers, allowing league-worst totals in receptions (122), yards (1,555) and touchdowns (14).

     

    Amendola Returning Too Soon?

    Danny Amendola (concussion) has been practicing on a limited basis this week, according to the NFL Injury Report, but don't expect the Patriots and Bill Belichick to be forthcoming with any information until the Sunday inactives come out.

    Amendola is about as "game-time decision" as it gets this week, and the fact the Dolphins are No. 3 in fantasy against wide receivers and haven't allowed a touchdown reception to the position all year might lead you to avoid him, despite our optimistic ranking below.

     

    Like Him More

    Josh Gordon is coming off his first bad week and has to contend with the Browns' quarterback change to Jason Campbell, as well as the Chiefs defense, but he is still too good to sit in any fantasy league, particularly amid this heavy bye week and the injuries of late.

    Gordon leads the wide receivers we like more than the masses below:

    1. Josh Gordon
    2. Danny Amendola
    3. Lance Moore
    4. Donnie Avery
    5. Ted Ginn (already starred Thursday night)
    6. Jason Avant

     

    Like Him Less

    The Jarrett Boykin phenomenon is legit, especially because James Jones (knee) still isn't practicing, according to the official NFL Injury Report. The matchup against the Vikings is also favorable. What we don't necessarily like is it could be a busy week for Eddie Lacy, James Starks and even Johnathan Franklin on the ground, and Jordy Nelson through the air.

    Boykin is a must-start in all leagues, but he still rates as one of the wideouts we like less than the consensus this week:

    1. Jarrett Boykin
    2. Steve Smith (already struggled Thursday night)
    3. Cecil Shorts
    4. Brian Hartline
    5. Dwayne Bowe
    6. Jeremy Kerley

     

    Week 8 Wide Receivers Rankings - Eric Mack
    RankWide ReceiversTeamOpponentECRvs. ECR
    1Calvin JohnsonDetvs. Dal10
    2Dez BryantDalat Det20
    3A.J. GreenCinvs. NYJ4+1
    4Jordy NelsonGBat Min3-1
    5Wes WelkerDenvs. Was6+1
    6Demaryius ThomasDenvs. Was5-1
    7Eric DeckerDenvs. Was12+5
    8Victor CruzNYGat Phi7-1
    9DeSean JacksonPhivs. NYG8-1
    10Larry FitzgeraldArivs. Atl13+3
    11Marques ColstonNOvs. Buf16+5
    12Antonio BrownPitat Oak10-2
    13Josh GordonCleat KC19+6
    14Vincent JacksonTBvs. Car9-5
    15Pierre GarconWasat Den11-4
    16Danny AmendolaNEvs. Mia38+22
    17Justin BlackmonJacvs. SF14-3
    18Hakeem NicksNYGat Phi20+2
    19Anquan BoldinSFat Jac17-2
    20Mike WallaceMiaat NE21+1
    21Harry DouglasAtlat Ari22+1
    22Jarrett BoykinGBat Min15-7
    23Terrance WilliamsDalat Det26+3
    24Steve SmithCarat TB18-6
    25Rueben RandleNYGat Phi24-1
    26Greg JenningsMinvs. GB31+5
    27Denarius MooreOakvs. Pit270
    28Lance MooreNOvs. Buf54+26
    29Michael FloydArivs. Atl25-4
    30Cecil ShortsJacvs. SF23-7
    31Golden TateSeaat StL32+1
    32Steve JohnsonBufat NO29-3
    33Julian EdelmanNEvs. Mia330
    34Kris DurhamDetvs. Dal36+2
    35Brian HartlineMiaat NE28-7
    36Kenbrell ThompkinsNEvs. Mia40+4
    37Emmanuel SandersPitat Oak35-2
    38Mike WilliamsTBvs. Car39+1
    39Donnie AveryKCvs. Cle53+14
    40Dwayne BoweKCvs. Cle34-6
    41Brandon LaFellCarat TB37-4
    42Roddy WhiteAtlat Ari41-1
    43James JonesGBat Min48+5
    44Ted GinnCarat TB57+13
    45Jeremy KerleyNYJat Cin30-15
    46Stephen HillNYJat Cin42-4
    47Brandon GibsonMiaat NE44-3
    48Sidney RiceSeaat StL46-2
    49Riley CooperPhivs. NYG490
    50Jason AvantPhivs. NYG56+6
    51Aaron DobsonNEvs. Mia47-4
    52Robert WoodsBufat NO43-9
    53Jerricho CotcheryPitat Oak65+12
    54Rod StreaterOakvs. Pit58+4
    55Doug BaldwinSeaat StL62+7
    56Jon BaldwinSFat Jac91+35
    57Santana MossWasat Den74+17
    58Miles AustinDalat Det67+9
    59Kenny StillsNOvs. Buf52-7
    60Chris GivensStLvs. Sea600
    61Austin PettisStLvs. Sea610
    62Jerome SimpsonMinvs. GB45-17
    63Leonard HankersonWasat Den55-8
    64David NelsonNYJat Cin72+8
    65Greg LittleCleat KC71+6
    66Andre RobertsArivs. Atl70+4
    67Davone BessCleat KC79+12
    68Mohamed SanuCinvs. NYJ66-2
    69Marvin JonesCinvs. NYJ50-19
    70Nick ToonNOvs. Buf96+26
    71Ryan BroylesDetvs. Dal76+5
    72Tavon AustinStLvs. Sea63-9
    73Brian QuickStLvs. Sea78+5
    74Dexter McClusterKCvs. Cle84+10
    75Cole BeasleyDalat Det59-16
    76Cordarrelle PattersonMinvs. GB73-3
    Expert Consensus Rankings (ECR) from over 100 experts provided by FantasyPros

Tight Ends: Saints, Fantasy Owners Likely Need a Stopgap for Jimmy Graham

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    The potential absence of Jimmy Graham might propel Rob Gronkowski to the top of the rankings.
    The potential absence of Jimmy Graham might propel Rob Gronkowski to the top of the rankings.

    We finally get Rob Gronkowski back into fantasy lineups and now we have to deal with another potential week without Jimmy Graham (foot). He missed practice again Thursday, according to the official NFL Injury Report, and Larry Holder of The Times-Picayune reports the Saints are readying Ben Watson to start.

    That is disappointing news for those hoping they wouldn't need anyone but Graham at the position from here on out. Despite our No. 1 ranking of him below, you have to expect him to be on the wrong side of Sunday's game-time decision. Have a replacement handy.

     

    Gonzalez Headed for Big Week

    Atlanta's Tony Gonzalez wasn't himself last week against the Bucs, coming off two huge weeks before the bye, which is particularly surprising with the Falcons having injuries to Julio Jones (foot) and Roddy White (ankle/hamstring). Expect Gonzalez to be a one-man wrecking crew against a Cardinals defense that has been the worst in fantasy against tight ends to date.

     

    You Have the Wrong Jordan Now?

    Jordan Cameron might be giving way to Jordan Reed as the breakthrough tight end of the year. The Browns' Cameron hasn't slowed enough to sit in fantasy, but Reed was a monster last week and the Browns have some things to be worried about if you are a Cameron owner this week: 1) Jason Campbell is taking over for Brandon Weeden. 2) The Chiefs are the No. 1 team in fantasy against tight ends. Keep Cameron active, but be wary of what the quarterback change and matchup might do to his numbers.

     

    Like Him More

    Kyle Rudolph had his best performance in Week 6 before putting up that stinker with Josh Freeman (concussion) Monday night. The likely move back to Christian Ponder could be a good thing for Rudolph owners. After all, it was Ponder who made Rudolph such a potent weapon in the red zone a year ago and a top-10 pick at the position this preseason.

    Rudolph leads the tight ends we like more than most this week:

    1. Kyle Rudolph
    2. Anthony Fasano
    3. Brandon Myers
    4. Lance Kendricks
    5. Marcedes Lewis

     

    Like Him Less

    Before we go anointing the Redskins' Reed a fantasy star, we should proceed with caution. Not so much caution that we sit him, but don't expect consistent numbers week to week. The Broncos are better than they have played in the secondary.

    Reed is among the tight ends we like a bit less than the consensus:

    1. Vernon Davis
    2. Jordan Reed
    3. Tyler Eifert
    4. Jeff Cumberland
    5. Scott Chandler

     

    Week 8 Tight Ends Rankings - Eric Mack
    RankTight EndsTeamOpponentECRvs. ECR
    1Jimmy GrahamNOvs. Buf3+2
    2Rob GronkowskiNEvs. Mia1-1
    3Julius ThomasDenvs. Was4+1
    4Jason WittenDalat Det6+2
    5Tony GonzalezAtlat Ari50
    6Jordan CameronCleat KC8+2
    7Vernon DavisSFat Jac2-5
    8Kyle RudolphMinvs. GB12+4
    9Greg OlsenCarat TB10+1
    10Charles ClayMiaat NE11+1
    11Jordan ReedWasat Den7-4
    12Heath MillerPitat Oak9-3
    13Brandon PettigrewDetvs. Dal16+3
    14Jared CookStLvs. Sea17+3
    15Anthony FasanoKCvs. Cle24+9
    16Joseph FauriaDetvs. Dal14-2
    17Rob HouslerArivs. Atl18+1
    18Brandon MyersNYGat Phi25+7
    19Tyler EifertCinvs. NYJ15-4
    20Jeff CumberlandNYJat Cin13-7
    21Jermaine GreshamCinvs. NYJ210
    22Tim WrightTBvs. Car23+1
    23Zach MillerSeaat StL22-1
    24Lance KendricksStLvs. Sea29+5
    25Zach ErtzPhivs. NYG28+3
    26Scott ChandlerBufat NO19-7
    27Marcedes LewisJacvs. SF31+4
    28Brent CelekPhivs. NYG26-2
    29Sean McGrathKCvs. Cle32+3
    30Ben WatsonNOvs. Buf27-3
    31Mychal RiveraOakvs. Pit33+2
    32Levine ToiloloAtlat Ari35+3
    Expert Consensus Rankings (ECR) from over 100 experts provided by FantasyPros

Defense/Special Teams: We Have to Turn to Some Softer Units This Week

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    There is no shortage of streaming options as we rate some of the softer defenses as viable options this week, including Green Bay, New Orleans and Philadelphia. Even the resurgent units of the Steelers and Jets rank among the starters with the sliding Ravens, Texans and Bears on a bye.

     

    Giants Matchup Too Good to Ignore?

    Throw out the Monday-night performance against the Vikings. They stink. The Giants are still the second-worst team in fantasy against opposing defense/special teams. The Eagles embarrassed the Giants back in Week 5 on the road, finishing among the top eight fantasy units in standard-scoring leagues. You have to figure the circumstances will be better at home here in Week 8.

     

    Cowboy Down Instead of Up?

    The Cowboys have been one of the biggest surprises at this position, sitting No. 2 behind only the Chiefs in standard scoring to date. We still rate their unit outside of the top 12 options this week, though, because the Cowboys are facing the Lions, who have been the third-toughest opponent for opposing defensive units in fantasy to date. You might have no choice but to start them, but the matchup could be a deal breaker if you have one of those higher-ranking units below.

     

    Like Them More

    The Pats have had significant injuries to their defense, but their unit is still one of the trustworthy options at the position this week—especially since the Dolphins have been the seventh most favorable matchup for opposing defenses.

    The Pats are among the teams we like more than the consensus below:

    1. New England Patriots
    2. New York Jets
    3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
    4. Dallas Cowboys

     

    Like Them Less

    You might not have noticed in the Falcons' disappointing start to the season, but Atlanta has been the toughest matchup for opposing defenses. For that reason, we rank the Cardinals among the defenses we like less than the masses this week:

    1. Kansas City Chiefs
    2. Carolina Panthers (already played Thursday night)
    3. Arizona Cardinals
    4. Oakland Raiders

     

    Week 8 Defenses and Special Teams Rankings - Eric Mack
    RankDefenses and Special TeamsTeamOpponentECRvs. ECR
    1Seattle SeahawksSeaat StL2+1
    2San Francisco 49ersSFat Jac3+1
    3Kansas City ChiefsKCvs. Cle1-2
    4New England PatriotsNEvs. Mia6+2
    5Cincinnati BengalsCinvs. NYJ50
    6Carolina PanthersCarat TB4-2
    7Green Bay PackersGBat Min8+1
    8New Orleans SaintsNOvs. Buf7-1
    9Pittsburgh SteelersPitat Oak90
    10Philadelphia EaglesPhivs. NYG100
    11New York JetsNYJat Cin14+3
    12Tampa Bay BuccaneersTBvs. Car16+4
    13Dallas CowboysDalat Det17+4
    14Atlanta FalconsAtlat Ari13-1
    15Arizona CardinalsArivs. Atl12-3
    16Denver BroncosDenvs. Was15-1
    17Oakland RaidersOakvs. Pit11-6
    18Detroit LionsDetvs. Dal19+1
    19Cleveland BrownsCleat KC18-1
    20Miami DolphinsMiaat NE21+1
    Expert Consensus Rankings (ECR) from over 100 experts provided by FantasyPros

Kickers: Having Someone Through Their Bye Is Reason Enough to Like Him Here

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    Dan's Still Your Man: Dan Bailey has cooled after a hot start, but he still rates among our kicker starts.
    Dan's Still Your Man: Dan Bailey has cooled after a hot start, but he still rates among our kicker starts.

    The bye weeks have the tendency to create some waiver opportunities at the kicker position. The best of those likely cut this week include Justin Tucker—a preseason top-seven option—Adam Vinatieri and Nick Novak.

    You could pick up any of those three this weekend or next Tuesday night and be set for the season at the position.

    In the meantime…  

     

    Bailey Back in Fantasy's Good Graces

    The Cowboys' Dan Bailey has had some lean weeks after a torrid start, but he looks to rebound against a Lions team that has allowed the second most field goals in the NFL to date (18). Only the idle Ravens have allowed more (19). Bailey remains a start, barely, before he finally goes on a bye.

     

    Pack up Walsh for the Week

    The hamstring injury isn't enough to consider moving away from the Vikings' Blair Walsh, but their quarterback issues and the matchup against the Packers are reasons to. The Packers are tied with the Saints for allowing the fewest made field goals thus far this season. Walsh is far less of a sure thing in fantasy, especially coming off that stinker Monday night.

     

    Like Them More

    We have been jockeying Mason Crosby as one of the resurgent kicker stars in fantasy and continue to like him more than the consensus. The absence of some of the Packers' premium receivers and a renewed emphasis on the running game have helped Crosby, too.

    Here are the kickers we like more than others this week:

    1. Mason Crosby
    2. Ryan Succop
    3. Caleb Sturgis
    4. Shaun Suisham
    5. Josh Brown

     

    Like Them Less

    We cannot be sure the Giants have truly turned their defense around, but they cannot possibly be as bad as they had looked before Week 7, right? It is perhaps the only reason to be a bit more wary of Alex Henery as a must-start fantasy kicker.

    Here are those we like less than the consensus:

    1. Alex Henery
    2. Steven Hauschka
    3. Dan Bailey
    4. Kai Forbath
    5. David Aker

     

    Week 8 Kickers Rankings - Eric Mack
    RankKickersTeamOpponentECRvs. ECR
    1Stephen GostkowskiNEvs. Mia10
    2Matt PraterDenvs. Was20
    3Mason CrosbyGBat Min9+6
    4Garrett HartleyNOvs. Buf40
    5Alex HeneryPhivs. NYG3-2
    6Matt BryantAtlat Ari60
    7Ryan SuccopKCvs. Cle10+3
    8Phil DawsonSFat Jac80
    9Steven HauschkaSeaat StL5-4
    10Dan BaileyDalat Det7-3
    11Blair WalshMinvs. GB110
    12Caleb SturgisMiaat NE21+9
    13Shaun SuishamPitat Oak15+2
    14Kai ForbathWasat Den12-2
    15Mike NugentCinvs. NYJ14-1
    16David AkersDetvs. Dal13-3
    17Sebastian JanikowskiOakvs. Pit16-1
    18Jay FeelyArivs. Atl17-1
    19Josh BrownNYGat Phi23+4
    20Nick FolkNYJat Cin18-2
    Expert Consensus Rankings (ECR) from over 100 experts provided by FantasyPros