Week 8 Rankings UpdateFriday, October 24, 2008
Rankings were updated Friday Evening. See everyone on the Fix Sunday.
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As all of New England understandably freaks out about Tom Brady's never-ending knee surgeries, there is one source of optimism: the remarkable recoveries of a trio of players who underwent ACL surgeries last season. Philip Rivers, Ronnie Brown, and Deuce McAllister are playing like their procedures never happened.
Rivers was practicing in August and is playing the best football of his career. He leads the NFL in touchdown passes, and his accuracy has not been compromised. His deep ball somehow looks better. Ronnie Brown is cutting up a storm on his surgically repaired knee and ranks in the top-ten fantasy backs. He was never a great speed threat, but he still makes the first tackler miss as well as any back in the league. McAllister's story is the most remarkable. He's returned to prominence at 29 years old after a second ACL surgery and microfracture surgery on his other knee. The flash is gone from his game, but he presses a hole quickly and is tough to take down. He'll be a useful RB2 option while Reggie Bush is out.
Brady's case, of course, is complicated by his subsequent problems with infection. I'm not smart enough to comment knowledgeably on the situation, but another potential reconstruction sure sounds devastating. What we know from Brown, Rivers, and McAllister is that one reconstructive knee surgery doesn't appear to be the automatic fantasy downer it once was. At least that's what Brady's keeper league owners can quietly mumble to themselves as memories of his 50 touchdowns recede further in the rearview mirror.
On to happier topics: Week 8 Rankings! … For Week 8 projections for every player ranked here, head to Season Pass
Week 8 Quarterbacks
|1||Donovan McNabb||vs. ATL|| - |
|2||Matt Schaub||vs. CIN|| - |
|3||Drew Brees||vs. SD||Watch out for weather, but don't assume a monsoon|
|4||Jason Campbell||at DET|| - |
|5||Brett Favre||vs. KC|| - |
|6||Trent Edwards||at MIA||Probable(concussion)|
|7||Philip Rivers||at NO|| - |
|8||J.T. O'Sullivan||vs. SEA|| Sneaky 100K pick?|
|9||Kurt Warner||at CAR||Great Panthers defense|
|10||Ben Roethlisberger||vs. NYG|| - |
|11||Peyton Manning||at TEN|| Brutal matchup|
|12||Matt Cassel||vs. STL|| - |
|13||Jake Delhomme||vs. ARZ|| - |
|14||Eli Manning||at PIT|| - |
|15||David Garrard||vs. CLE|| - |
|16||Jeff Garcia||at DAL|| - |
|17||Derek Anderson||at JAC|| - |
|18||Marc Bulger||at NE||Probable(finger)|
|19||Chad Pennington||vs. BUF|| - |
|20||Ryan Fitzpatrick||at HOU|| - |
|21||Seneca Wallace||at SF|| - |
|22||Kerry Collins||vs. IND|| - |
|23||Brad Johnson||vs. TB|| - |
|24||Matt Ryan||at PHI|| - |
|25||Dan Orlovsky||vs. WAS|| - |
|26||Joe Flacco||vs. OAK|| - |
|27||Tyler Thigpen||at NYJ|| - |
|28||JaMarcus Russell||at BAL|| - |
QB Notes: Weird week. A lot of top quarterbacks are facing the best pass defenses. Peyton Manning has the Titans, who have given up one touchdown pass all season. One! A few weeks ago, I was filled with an unhealthy amount of self-loathing after ranking Manning as a QB2 because of a tough matchup again Baltimore. He's not quite that low this time around, but he can be benched for players like Jason Campbell and Trent Edwards with better matchups. Fear for the Colts offensive line against Albert Haynesworth. We'll see if I'm hating myself again Monday Morning.
Other top quarterbacks with tough matchups: Kurt Warner faces a stingy Panther pass defense that shut down Drew Brees. Carolina is second in the league in yards-per-game allowed and yards-per-attempt allowed. With an improved pass rush to help out, Carolina's cornerback trio of Chris Gamble, Ken Lucas, and Richard Marshall matches up well with any group in the league. This will be a good test to see if the Cardinals can still be the Cardinals in the Eastern time zone. … Eli Manning and Ben Roethlisberger face of in Pittsburgh. Don't expect a repeat of the 33-30 game the two teams had in 2004. Ben is the better fantasy play because the Giants are more vulnerable through the air. The trick will be protecting him. For all the talk of Eli's development, his fantasy stats are remarkably similar to how they look every season, minus some interceptions. The Steelers lead the league in passing yards-per-game allowed, so he's a shaky play.
Another reason to believe Matt Schaub will remain a top-eight fantasy quarterback the rest of the season; Gary Kubiak loves throwing in the red zone. Schaub is first in the league in red zone pass attempts despite starting only five games. He's fourth in goal line attempts. Other quarterbacks who rank high on both lists: Kurt Warner, Jay Cutler, and Donovan McNabb. … J.T. O'Sullivan is the ultimate quarterback that can be better in fantasy than reality. He still ranks in the top ten in YPA and passing yards despite playing the Eagles and Giants the last two weeks. He lit up Seattle last time and their defense is in worse shape now. I'd play him with confidence.
I can't remember having this tough a week ranking people, probably because all the poor quarterbacks have good matchups. There is very little separation between spots #9-20. When push comes to shove, I still go with the better player over the better matchup if it's a toss up. The players from Delhomme to Bulger was especially hard to separate. Garrard is starting to play better, and I believe in him more than the others. The Cowboys are now a plus or neutral matchup, but I think their defense will be fired up to improve. I'm not fully buying the Jeff Garcia revival yet, although he's a decent QB2. It's hard to say if the Cardinals are a good or bad matchup, although their defense has not been the same on the road. Jake Delhomme is relatively steady, but unspectacular, against average defenses. The Panthers run a lot in the red zone. Delhomme is 26th in the NFL since Week 2 in red zone pass attempts. … Anderson could get benched if he struggles, so his "upside" probably isn't worth it. Bulger doesn't produce even when the Rams when. … The Colts are somehow first in the league at preventing fantasy points to quarterbacks, so stay away from Kerry Collins. … Matt Ryan grows more impressive by the week, but I don't like his chances on the road against a Jim Johnson defense. Expect a good "lesson" game by Ryan.