Week 8 Consensus Rankings Analysis
Robert Griffin III finally looked like the RGIII of old last week. For one, his stats weren’t in garbage time like other games, as he led his team to a shootout win. Griffin passed for nearly 300 yards and multiple touchdowns, but more importantly, ran 11 times for 84 yards and only took one sack. The read-option also seems to be making its way back as RGIII dusts off the rust. Griffin is squarely back in the solid QB1 radar with the upside we all loved from last year to put in a top four quarterback game at any point. Playing against Denver, who gives up the most fantasy points to QBs, I agree with the consensus No. 5 ranking, though I might actually have him at No. 4 ahead of Matt Stafford.
At first glance, Colin Kaepernick’s ranking might seem odd to some people. Consensus No. 11? Playing the Jaguars? Well, there’s a reason for that folks. Amongst starters, Kaepernick is the 21st best QB amongst starters on a per-week basis, averaging 16.5 points per game. That’s behind the likes of Mike Glennon, Alex Smith, Terrelle Pryor, Andy Dalton and more. Secondly, the Jaguars aren’t the complete pushover that everyone makes them out to be. They allow the 10th most fantasy points to QBs, but that was propped up by Russell Wilson’s monster game against them. Kaepernick has also been pretty atrocious on the road. In three games played, he’s averaged 164 yards through the air with two passing touchdowns and three interceptions. The garbage time factor may also come into play against the Jaguars if the Niners start to blow them out. He’s startable, but temper expectations.
Interestingly, we’re finally starting to see some rankings adjustments that reflect what’s gone on in the season. This is the first time Jamaal Charles has popped up as the across-the-board consensus No. 1 (with the exception of two staffers). Adrian Peterson also hasn’t been this ‘low’ all season, clocking in at No. 4. The quarterback situation in Minnesota is definitely in the weeds right now, and Peterson’s hamstring injury combined with stacked boxes isn’t doing fantasy owners any favors. Stick with him, but it may be tough sledding for a bit.
Eddie Lacy is a strong play this week, firmly entrenched in RB1 territory. He’s in the top 10 for all staffers, and with good reason. Minnesota has given up the most fantasy points to running backs. For PPR owners, you should be salivating at the mouth. The Vikings have given up 47 catches, 440 yards and two touchdowns to opposing running backs. Those numbers are by far the worst for any defense. The Packers should be firing on all cylinders this week in a divisional matchup against a weak opponent, giving Lacy the potential for 25+ touches. Don’t bench him.
Want a really, really deep flex play if you’re desperate? How about Kendall Hunter? The Jaguars give up the second most fantasy points to running backs, and the game has the potential to be a blowout. Hunter is much more suited for touchdown-heavy leagues, as his numbers tend to be reliant on goal-line carries. However, we’ve seen the Niners use him with some volume in blowouts, such as his 11 carry game against the Rams. He’s also vultured touchdowns in a couple other games. This is a pretty huge gamble, to be sure, but if you’re racked with bye weeks and injuries, consider him.
If you’re a fan of beastly wide receivers, you should probably tune into the Lions/Cowboys game. Calvin Johnson and Dez Bryant are our respective No. 1 and No. 2 ranked receivers, and with good reason. No defensive back on either team is capable of matching up with either player, period. Triple coverage might happen, but if it doesn’t…
Hakeem Nicks, to this point, hasn’t been the player we once saw. He seems to be lacking explosion, likely attributable to his injury history. He hasn’t scored a touchdown this year, and is averaging 67 yards per game. However, a few weeks ago, we did point out that the Eagles have allowed the most fantasy points to wide receivers to date at the time. Fast forward to Week 8. That hasn’t changed. Nicks had his best game of the season against the Eagles in his last effort against them with 9 catches for 142 yards. In an away game, expectations shouldn’t be quite that high, but this may be the last decent game you’re able to salvage out of Nicks. Consensus No. 16 is frankly too high for my liking, but he’s a back-end WR2 or high-end flex to me this week.
It’s time to start considering Terrance Williams an every week WR3. He’s had three straight games with touchdowns, and with Miles Austin constantly gimpy, he’s become the third option in the passing game behind Dez Bryant and Jason Witten. Williams only has one drop this year, and if the Lions do in fact scheme for Dez Bryant, he could be in for a huge day. Consensus No. 26 is very fair given the circumstances and the Lions subpar secondary, and the upside here is much greater. Plug him on in if you’ve got room.
In his last four games, Brandon Gibson has been targeted 29 times, which is a pretty solid number. In all of those games, he’s surpassed 10 PPR points, with his respective totals being 10.9, 13.1, 11.4 and 21.0. Kyle Arrington and Logan Ryan have manned the slot at some point this season for the Patriots, and both grade out below -3.0 on the season in pass coverage. The point is that they’re beatable. Arrington was actually benched last game against the Jets for his performance for a brief period. If Aqib Talib shadows Mike Wallace, Tannehill will have to look somewhere else to throw. Gibson’s consensus ranking is No. 45, but he has a shot to provide you with WR3 numbers this week.