Top NFL players week 8

A week full of surprises presented itself over the past few days. The top quarter backs and running backs keep shifting, while Megatron stays atop the wide receiver list.

The Saints were blown out by the Rams, making back-to-back puzzling losses by the 2008 Super Bowl winners to the horrible NFC-West division.

The 49ers won again, making them 6-1 for the first time since the late 90s and are for-sure playoff bound. I was happy to attend the beating of the Browns on Sunday afternoon.

The Lions stop their slip of losses by winning over the poor Broncos. And, on to the next one: 

  1. Cam Newton & Matthew Stafford & Michael Vick – All 3 QBs tied for first this week, with 24 fantasy points for their lucky owners.
    Newton completed 22-of-35 passes for 290 yards and three touchdowns Sunday against the Vikings. He also added six carries for 53 yards.His stellar rookie season continues. Seven rushing touchdowns are good for second in the NFL and he’s fourth in the NFL in passing yards. He connected with eight different receivers Sunday, but gave his most targets to Steve Smith, who has been his favorite receiver all year. Cam is now the #1 overall QB since Aaron Rodgers took this week off; but watch out, the Packers are back and the Panthers rest this weekend.
    Stafford passed for 267 yards with three touchdowns in Sunday’s 45-10 blowout win at Denver. He did a good job spreading things around with six players catching at least two passes. He hooked up with rookie Titus Young on a bomb in the first quarter, and found Calvin Johnson on a beautiful 56-yard score in the third quarter, burning Broncos’ corner Champ Bailey. He didn’t appear to suffer any setbacks with his ankle injury, and now has the bye week to rest it. He did not practice today, but don’t fret – he’ll be back next week. Stafford is the 4th overall QB.
    Vick completed 21-of-28 passes for 279 yards and two touchdowns against Dallas on Sunday while running for 50 yards. He looked sharp as he took apart a baffled Dallas defense and it is possible that the Philadelphia offense is just finally hitting its stride. Also, while it may seem ridiculous to say this given that DeMarcus Ware had four sacks, Vick’s offensive line showed a lot more cohesion in pass protection than it did earlier this year, particularly in the previously problematic interior. Michael Vick is the 6th overall quarterback this year.
  2. Eli Manning – He completed 31-of-45 passes for 349 yards and two touchdowns with no interception. His day could have been a lot bigger but for some drops on perfectly thrown balls. He’ll have some tough matchups going forward, and Hakeem Nicks is banged up, but he’s one of the more reliable quarterbacks in the game right now. Eli gave his owners 21 fantasy points. Eli squeeks into the top-10, at 9th overall this season.
  3. Ben Roethlisberger – Big Ben completed 36-of-50 passes with two touchdowns and one interception in Pittsburgh’s 25-17 win over New England. Roethlisberger led the Steelers on a series of clock-chewing drives, effectively keeping Tom Brady and the NFL’s top-ranked offense off the field. He was once again roughed up, but remained in the game, as Pittsburgh held the ball for nearly 40 minutes to win its fourth straight. Next up is a rematch with the Week 1 opponent Baltimore Ravens, who held Roethlisberger to 280 yards on 22-of-41 passing with one touchdown, three interceptions and two fumbles. Expect a better game from him this time around. I dislike him, but Bi gBen is the 8th overall QB.

  1. LeSean McCoy – Shady gave his happy owners an amazing 31 fantasy points this weekend against the Dallas Cowboys. McCoy ran for 185 yards and two touchdowns on 30 carries on Sunday while catching two passes for 15 yards. A stunningly inept display by the Dallas defense Sunday probably made LeSean look a bit better than he actually is, but he still was highly impressive. McCoy is now the 2nd overall RB this season.
  2. Steven Jackson – Are the Rams back in action? Jackson carried the ball 25 times for 159 yards and scored a pair of touchdowns for 30 amazing fantasy football points in Sunday’s upset win over New Orleans. Jackson also had four receptions for 32 yards. Steven played a huge role in the surprise win, ripping off a couple of nice runs, including a 32-yard scamper on 4th-and-2 play in the third quarter. SJax makes a name for himself and moves up to 16th overall runningback.
  3. Adrian Peterson & Ray Rice – Both runners gave their owners a nice 27 points in fantasy football this past weekend. You’re just plain selfish if you own both of them.
    All-Day AP had 21 carries for 86 yards with a touchdown, and caught five passes for 76 yards with a receiving score in Sunday’s win at Carolina. The Panthers did a good job containing Peterson as a rusher, but he was a major factor in the passing game. The ankle injury he’s been dealing with is minor, and obviously was not an issue Sunday. Adrian remains the #1 overall RB this season.
    Rice had 99 total yards during Sunday’s win over the Cardinals, racking up three touchdowns in the process. Outside of the Ravens’ disaster Week 7 against the Jaguars, Rice has been sharp this year. The Steelers are on deck, a tough matchup for anyone, but Rice is too consistent to take out of most lineups. Ray is the 4th top rusher this year.
  4. Fred Jackson & Frank Gore – This pair gave their owners 19 points each.
    Jackson added 194 yards from scrimmage in Sunday’s win over the Redskins, giving him a whopping 1,074 yards from scrimmage through just seven games. This is becoming a weekly thing for Jackson, and while Adrian Peterson may provide more fantasy value, Jackson may be the best fantasy RB when it comes to value vs. draft slot. Ryan Fitzpatrick just received a huge contract extension last week, and while Jackson is 30 years old, there’s a lot of talk about him and Steve Johnson being next in line with the Bills’ accounting office. Fred moved back and is the 3rd top RB of the year.
    Gore ran for 134 yards and a touchdown on 31 carries during the 49ers’ win over the Browns on Sunday. Frank left briefly with an ankle injury but returned after getting it tapped. He’s now rushed for at least 125 yards and a touchdown in each of his past four games. The Inconvenient Truth is 9th overall for runners.

  1. Calvin Johnson – Megatron does it again. This guy is a beast! Your top-dog wide receiver for 2011 had yet another big game in Sunday’s win at Denver, catching six passes for 125 yards, including a 56-yard touchdown, giving owners 18 fantasy points. Johnson’s long touchdown was a thing of beauty, as he froze Champ Bailey on a fake, and then ran away from him down the sidelines. He almost had another touchdown, but was ruled down at the one-yard line on a close play in the second quarter. Johnson joins Randy Moss as the only two receivers since the 1970 merger to have 11 touchdowns through the first eight games. I’m glad the 49ers were able to stop him, though. =)
  2. Steve Smith – Cam newton’s favorite target added 17 points to his owners’ totals. Smith had seven catches for 100 yards and a touchdowns Sunday against the Vikings. He also added one carry for 12 yards. Sunday was the fifth time this season that Steve hit the 100-yard mark and he remains an elite fantasy wideout. He is 3rd overall for receivers.
  3. Laurent Robinson – This no-name finished with 103 yards and a touchdown on five catches in Sunday’s game against the Eagles. A big percentage of Robinson’s production came on his 70-yard touchdown where he streaked down the sidelines uncovered, and his increased role in the offense (eight targets) may have been a result of the great coverage Philadelphia’s talented corners were playing on Dez Bryant and Miles Austin. Robinson did line up on the outside several times in three-receiver sets though, with Austin in the slot, so he may get more opportunities to make big plays downfield moving forward. He is currently 55th overall for receiving, and gave his owners (likely the waiver wire) 16 points.
  4. Victor Cruz & Nate Washington – Both receivers gave owners looking for bye-week fillers 15 fantasy points.
    Eli’s receiver comes back, with a game-high seven passes for 99 yards and a touchdown in Sunday’s win over Miami. Victor Cruz scored from 25 yards out with six minutes left to provide the game-winning score for the Giants, who trailed for most of the day. Mario Manningham also scored a touchdown, but wasn’t quite as effective as Cruz, finishing with six catches for 63 yards. Both players were heavily involved in general, however, receiving nine targets apiece. Hakeem Nicks left the game in the fourth quarter with a hamstring injury, which could mean more looks for Cruz if Nicks’ injury turns out to be something more than minor. Victor is 11th overall.
    This is what having no Kenny Britt will do for you – Nate had four catches, which included a touchdown on Sunday, but also had a rare rushing touchdown on a 3-yard rush in the second quarter against the Colts. Washington had his first multiple-touchdown game of the season. He is on pace to have his best reception and yardage totals of his career, but has not been producing as consistently as he did at the start of the year. Still, he seems relatively unchallenged as Tennessee’s top receiver. Nate is the 20th top receiver this year, again due to the fact Kenny isn’t around.

Special shout-outs to tight ends  Scott Chandler (10th overall) and Brent Celek (24th overall) for giving owners 15 fantasy points each. I like to include these blocking receivers when they earn as much as the top 5 receivers do week in and week out.

Come back next week!

Author: Jason Zajdel

Learning as I go along. It’s an awesome ride. =-)