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Phinsider Week 8 Fantasy Football Rankings

It’s time for another run of Justin Hier’s weekly fantasy football rankings!

NFL: New York Jets at Miami Dolphins Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Last week, regular fantasy stalwarts such as Le’Veon Bell and Ezekiel Elliott continued their run of statistical dominance, while others with unfulfilled potential like Jay Ajayi and and T.Y. Hilton are struggling to find consistency. Now, as we approach the halfway point of the NFL season, it’s time to evaluate who we can trust moving forward as we begin the second-half stretch and the fantasy football playoffs inch closer.

Each week, I’ll be giving an updated look at where the top players at each fantasy position stand, with matchups and injury concerns taken into account. For the sake of continuity, I’ll only be using standard scoring when constructing the rankings, so be sure to consider that when setting your lineups.

Quarterback

  1. Tom Brady - vs LAC
  2. Carson Wentz - vs SF
  3. Philip Rivers - @ NE
  4. Drew Brees - vs Chi
  5. Kirk Cousins - vs Dal
  6. Dak Prescott - @ Was
  7. Matt Ryan - @ NYJ
  8. Alex Smith - vs Den
  9. Jameis Winston - vs Car
  10. Derek Carr - @ Buf
  11. Deshaun Watson - @ Sea
  12. Cam Newton - @ TB
  13. Matthew Stafford - vs Pit
  14. Russell Wilson - vs Hou
  15. Ben Roethlisberger - @ Det
  16. Andy Dalton - vs Ind
  17. Trevor Siemian - @ KC
  18. Josh McCown - vs Atl
  19. Case Keenum - @ Cle
  20. Matt Moore - @ Bal

Another week, another major injury for a top flight fantasy quarterback. Despite the up-and-down nature of the Cardinals’ offense, Carson Palmer had been a steady arm for many at fantasy football’s highest scoring position. Unfortunately, last week, Palmer suffered a broken arm and will be out for the foreseeable future, meaning Drew Stanton (who’s not a viable fantasy option by any measure) will be taking over. On the waiver wire, look to Andy Dalton or Josh McCown as potential replacements.

Running Back

  1. Le’Veon Bell - @ Det
  2. Ezekiel Elliott - @ Was
  3. Melvin Gordon - @ NE
  4. Kareem Hunt - vs Den
  5. LeSean McCoy - vs Oak
  6. Devonta Freeman - @ NYJ
  7. Jordan Howard - @ NO
  8. Mark Ingram - vs Chi
  9. Carlos Hyde - @ Phi
  10. Jay Ajayi - @ Bal
  11. Doug Martin - vs Car
  12. Chris Thompson - vs Dal
  13. Christian McCaffrey - @ TB
  14. Alvin Kamara - vs Chi
  15. James White - vs LAC
  16. Latavius Murray - @ Cle
  17. Duke Johnson - vs Min
  18. Jerick McKinnon - @ Cle
  19. Joe Mixon - vs Ind
  20. C.J. Anderson - @ KC

The running back position continues to be dominated by the same players week in and week out. The top eight players on this list are must starts each and every week, while Carlos Hyde, Jay Ajayi, and Doug Martin are candidates with plenty of potential that simply need to find some more consistency going forward. Behind them are a slew of PPR monsters (although PPR stats are not considered in these rankings) who are regular contributors in their teams’ offenses.

Keep an eye on the time share between Latavius Murray and Jerick McKinnon. It’s been uneven of the past two weeks and could become more solidified in this week’s matchup against the Browns.

Wide Receiver

  1. Antonio Brown - @ Det
  2. A.J Green - vs Ind
  3. Julio Jones - @ NYJ
  4. Mike Evans - vs Car
  5. DeAndre Hopkins - @ Sea
  6. Michael Thomas - vs Chi
  7. Amari Cooper - @ Buf
  8. Keenan Allen - @ NE
  9. Brandin Cooks - vs LAC
  10. Stefon Diggs - @ Cle
  11. Tyreek Hill - vs Den
  12. Michael Crabtree - @ Buf
  13. Jarvis Landry - @ Bal
  14. T.Y. Hilton - @ Cin
  15. Kelvin Benjamin - @ TB
  16. Adam Thielen - @ Cle
  17. Demaryius Thomas - @ KC
  18. Doug Baldwin - vs Hou
  19. Dez Bryant - @ Was
  20. Chris Hogan - vs LAC

Antonio Brown has been far and away the best receiver in fantasy football thus far, but others may soon catch up. A.J. Green has been just about the only consistent performer on Cincinnati’s struggling offense and has a beautiful matchup with the defenseless Colts this week. Fire up Green confidently as your WR1. Stefon Diggs will need to be monitored closely this week. The Vikings playmaker has a nice matchup with the Browns, but can only exploit it if his groin injury has healed. Make sure to have a replacement at the ready if Diggs is in your starting lineup.

Tight End

  1. Zach Ertz - vs SF
  2. Travis Kelce - vs Den
  3. Rob Gronkowski - vs LAC
  4. Cameron Brate - vs Car
  5. Jordan Reed - vs Dal
  6. Hunter Henry - @ NE
  7. Jason Witten - @ Was
  8. Kyle Rudolph - @ Cle
  9. Jimmy Graham - vs Hou
  10. Austin Seferian-Jenkins - vs Atl
  11. Tyler Kroft - vs Ind
  12. Jared Cook - @ Buf
  13. Jack Doyle - @ Cin
  14. Ben Watson - vs Mia
  15. Vernon Davis - vs Dal
  16. Zach Miller - @ NO
  17. Ed Dickson - @ TB
  18. A.J. Derby - @ KC
  19. Austin Hooper - @ NYJ
  20. David Njoku - vs Min

Jordan Reed finally broke out for his fantasy owners that invested in him way back during drafts over the summer. Reed’s health was always a concern, and it’s nice to see that he might finally be overcoming his various injuries (toe, chest, etc.) that hampered his production. That said, even with his emergence, fellow Washington tight end Vernon Davis will still have some streaming appeal against a weak Dallas defense this week. A.J. Derby is another name to watch out for with the Broncos needing some extra weapons in the passing game.

Defense/Special Teams

  1. Minnesota - @ Cle
  2. Houston - @ Seattle
  3. Pittsburgh - @ Det
  4. Seattle - vs Hou
  5. Baltimore - vs Mia
  6. Philadelphia - vs SF
  7. Detroit - vs Pit
  8. Kansas City - vs Den
  9. Carolina - @ TB
  10. Denver - @ KC
  11. Cincinnati - vs Ind
  12. Miami - @ Bal
  13. New Orleans - vs Chi
  14. Buffalo - vs Oak
  15. Chicago - @ NO
  16. Los Angeles (Chargers) - @ NE
  17. New England - vs LAC
  18. Washington - vs Dal
  19. Indianapolis - @ Cin
  20. Cleveland - vs Min

Minnesota’s defense is certainly looking like a Super Bowl caliber unit, and their matchup against Cleveland this week makes them the easy pick for the number one play this week. The Patriots and Chargers are teams who are improving their respective defenses as the season goes on, so if they’ve been dropped in your league, it might be time to pick them up and ride with them into the second half of the season.

Kicker

  1. Jake Elliot - vs SF
  2. Stephen Gostkowski - vs LAC
  3. Kai Forbath - @ Cle
  4. Will Lutz - vs Chi
  5. Harrison Butker - vs Den
  6. Chris Boswell - @ Det
  7. Mike Nugent - @ Was
  8. Justin Tucker - vs Mia
  9. Robbie Gould - @ Phi
  10. Matt Bryant - @ NYJ
  11. Stephen Hauschka - vs Oak
  12. Graham Gano - @ TB
  13. Matt Prater - vs Pit
  14. Adam Vinatieri - @ Cin
  15. Cody Parkey - @ Bal
  16. Chandler Catanzaro - vs Atl
  17. Giorgio Tavecchio - @ Buf
  18. Ka’imi Fairbairn - @ Sea
  19. Brandon McManus - @ KC
  20. Randy Bullock - vs Ind

Two of the top scoring kickers in fantasy (Greg Zuerlein and Ryan Succop) are on bye this week, while another is injured (Dan Bailey), meaning there will be plenty of teams looking for streamers on the waiver wire. Dallas has signed Mike Nugent to replace their star kicker, and the Cowboys’ high scoring offense makes him an immediate starting play. He should be available in just about every league.