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Fantasy football Week 8 rankings: Hottest play could be facing Panthers

Arizona Cardinals running back David Johnson (31) is averaging more than 100 yards from scrimmage per game this season.
Arizona Cardinals running back David Johnson (31) is averaging more than 100 yards from scrimmage per game this season. AP

Fantasy football position-by-position rankings for Week 8:

Quarterbacks

1. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay at Atlanta ... Atlanta allows the third-most fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks.

2. Tom Brady, New England at Buffalo ... Brady has been lethal at Buffalo. In his past five games there, Brady averages 368 passing yards and 3.2 passing touchdowns per game.

3. Andrew Luck, Indianapolis vs. Kansas City ... Keep Luck dialed up against a Chiefs defense that has allowed nine passing touchdowns over the past three games.

4. Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay vs. Oakland ... Winston gets a prime matchup this week, against a Raiders defense allowing 300-plus yards passing per game.

5. Matt Ryan, Atlanta vs. Green Bay ... Leading the NFL in passing, Ryan is a must-start averaging 335 yards per game, a pace for nearly 5,400 yards.

6. Cam Newton, Carolina vs. Arizona

7. Drew Brees, New Orleans vs. Seattle ... Brees is almost matchup proof (averaging 350 passing yards and on pace to finish with 45 TD passes). Seattle is a tough matchup, although the Seahawks do come off a grueling Sunday night game.

8. Russell Wilson, Seattle at New Orleans ... Wilson has been off of late, but gets a Saints defense this week allowing a league-worst 32.5 points per game.

9. Derek Carr, Oakland at Tampa Bay

10. Marcus Mariota, Tennessee vs. Jacksonville

11. Matthew Stafford, Detroit at Houston ... Stafford has been on fire but this could be an off game on the road against a Houston pass defense ranked second against the pass (184.7 yards per game).

12. Andy Dalton, Cincinnati vs. Washington

13. Kirk Cousins, Washington at Cincinnati

14. Alex Smith, Kansas City at Indianapolis

15. Carson Palmer, Arizona at Carolina ... The Panthers are coming off a bye week and could have made adjustments, but Carolina is allowing a league-worst 381 yards passing over their past three games.

16. Dak Prescott, Dallas vs. Philadelphia ... Philadelphia allows the second-fewest fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks.

17. Blake Bortles, Jacksonville at Tennessee

18. Trevor Siemian, Denver vs. San Diego

19. Tyrod Taylor, Buffalo vs. New England

20. Brock Osweiler, Houston vs. Detroit

Running backs

1. Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas vs. Philadelphia

2. David Johnson, Arizona at Carolina ... Johnson comes into Week 8 having topped 100 combined yards in every game this season.

3. DeMarco Murray, Tennessee vs. Jacksonville

4. Devonta Freeman, Atlanta vs. Green Bay ... Freeman will have an expanded role with Tevin Coleman (hamstring) presumed out. Green Bay is No. 1 against the run, but that doesn’t ding Freeman much given his pass-catching role. And with Atlanta’s explosive passing attack, the Packers can ill-afford to stack the line.

5. Spencer Ware, Kansas City at Indianapolis ... Through six games, Ware is on pace for a full season of 2,072 combined rushing and receiving yards.

6. Devontae Booker, Denver vs. San Diego ... Shoot Booker up the rankings as C.J. Anderson (knee) is expected to “miss a few weeks,” and San Diego allows the second-most fantasy pointsto opposing running backs.

7. Christine Michael, Seattle at New Orleans ... At 33.3 fantasy points per game, New Orleans allows the most fantasy points to opposing running backs.

8. Matt Forte, N.Y. Jets at Cleveland ... Forte comes off a big game and should keep it going this week against a Cleveland defense allowing 140 rushing yards per game, second-worst in the NFL.

9. Jacquizz Rodgers, Tampa Bay vs. Oakland

10. Lamar Miller, Houston vs. Detroit ... Miller (shoulder) will need to be monitored but he should be able to go, although he could have a lesser workload than normal as a result.

11. LeGarrette Blount, New England at Buffalo ... Look for another big game from Blount – Buffalo has been gashed for 491 yards rushing over the past three games.

12. Jeremy Hill, Cincinnati vs. Washington ... This should be a solid Jeremy Hill game, as Washington is allowing 5.0 yards per carry to opposing running backs, second-highest in the league.

13. Latavius Murray, Oakland at Tampa Bay

14. Melvin Gordon, San Diego at Denver

15. Frank Gore, Indianapolis vs. Kansas City

16. Mark Ingram, New Orleans vs. Seattle

17. Giovani Bernard, Cincinnati vs. Washington

18. Jonathan Stewart, Carolina vs. Arizona

19. Mike Gillislee, Buffalo vs. New England ... Look for Gillislee to get the start with LeSean McCoy likely out (as he should have been last week).

20. James White, New England at Buffalo

21. Isaiah Crowell, Cleveland vs. N.Y. Jets ... Crowell faces a Jets defense ranked second in the NFL at just 74.1 yards rushing per game.

22. Ryan Mathews, Philadelphia at Dallas

23. Matt Asiata, Minnesota at Chicago

24. Chris Thompson, Washington at Cincinnati

25. Darren Sproles, Philadelphia at Dallas

26. Duke Johnson Jr., Cleveland vs. N.Y. Jets

27. Jerick McKinnon, Minnesota at Chicago ... Chicago has been stingy against the run, No. 1 over the past three weeks in terms of fantasy points allowed to opposing running backs. And McKinnon was in and out last week with an ankle injury.

28. Jordan Howard, Chicago vs. Minnesota

29. Chris Ivory, Jacksonville at Tennessee ... Not that you are itching to start Chris Ivory anyway but Tennessee is ranked No. 1 against the run (57.3 yards per game) over the past three games.

30. T.J. Yeldon, Jacksonville at Tennessee

Wide receivers

1. Mike Evans, Tampa Bay vs. Oakland ... Evans should again tee off this week – Oakland is the only team allowing over 300 yards passing per game.

2. Julio Jones, Atlanta vs. Green Bay ... Atlanta promised to take more deep shots to Jones this year and they have. After averaging 15.0 yards per catch over his career, he is averaging a blistering 20.8 this year.

3. T.Y. Hilton, Indianapolis vs. Kansas City ... Kansas City allows the second-most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers.

4. A.J. Green, Cincinnati vs. Washington

5. DeAndre Hopkins, Houston vs. Detroit ... Hopkins is way overdue for a score, and this week gets a Detroit defense allowing a league-worst 2.6 passing TDs per game.

6. Ty Montgomery, Green Bay at Atlanta ... Montgomery seems like a must-start right now, with a decent number of guaranteed receptions.

7. Randall Cobb, Green Bay at Atlanta

8. Brandon Marshall, N.Y. Jets at Cleveland

9. Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona at Carolina ... There seems to be no slowing Larry Fitzgerald, who has moved into eighth all-time with 1,064 receptions. He is 39 receptions from passing Marvin Harrison for third all-time.

10. Jordy Nelson, Green Bay at Atlanta

11. Amari Cooper, Oakland at Tampa Bay

12. Michael Crabtree, Oakland at Tampa Bay

13. Davante Adams, Green Bay at Atlanta ... Adams moves up after a 13-catch, two-score game last week.

14. Allen Robinson, Jacksonville at Tennessee ... It’s hard to bench him, but he’s struggling. Robinson has been held under 60 yards for five games in a row and has just three receptions of 20-plus yards after leading the NFL in that stat in 2015.

15. Dez Bryant, Dallas vs. Philadelphia ... Bryant (knee) returns after a three-game absence, and he has been money against the Eagles, averaging nearly six receptions and 94 yards per game over his past seven against them.

16. Emmanuel Sanders, Denver vs. San Diego ... Sanders has topped 80 yards receiving in four of his past five games.

17. Doug Baldwin, Seattle at New Orleans

18. Demaryius Thomas, Denver vs. San Diego ... Thomas has been held to less than 50 yards receiving in three straight games.

19. Marvin Jones, Detroit at Houston ... Houston allows less than 185 yards passing per game

20. Kelvin Benjamin, Carolina vs. Arizona

21. Julian Edelman, New England at Buffalo ... Edelman makes the all-bust team so far, with not a single touchdown reception (on pace for a 85/724/0 season)

22. Golden Tate, Detroit at Houston

23. Brandin Cooks, New Orleans vs. Seattle

24. Jordan Matthews, Philadelphia at Dallas

25. Cole Beasley, Dallas vs. Philadelphia

26. Jeremy Maclin, Kansas City at Indianapolis

27. Chris Hogan, New England at Buffalo ... Hogan gets a boost as he faces Buffalo, where he played his first three NFL seasons.

28. Quincy Enunwa, N.Y. Jets at Cleveland

29. Terrelle Pryor, Cleveland vs. N.Y. Jets

30. Donte Moncrief, Indianapolis vs. Kansas City ... Moncrief is practicing and he is expected to return in Week 8.

31. Alshon Jeffery, Chicago vs. Minnesota ... It’s a tough matchup, but perhaps having Jay Cutler zero-in on Jeffery as he has done in the past will put some fantasy life into Jeffery down the stretch.

32. Anquan Boldin, Detroit at Houston

33. Michael Thomas, New Orleans vs. Seattle

34. Michael Floyd, Arizona at Carolina

35. Cordarrelle Patterson, Minnesota at Chicago ... Patterson is on the sleeper radar and goes against a Bears defense that allows the most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers.

36. Willie Snead, New Orleans vs. Seattle

37. Allen Hurns, Jacksonville at Tennessee

38. Will Fuller, Houston vs. Detroit ... Detroit has allowed a lot of big passing plays this season -- Fuller is due to connect on one and this is a good spot

39. Stefon Diggs, Minnesota at Chicago

40. Brandon LaFell, Cincinnati vs. Washington

Tight ends

1. Rob Gronkowski, New England at Buffalo ... In three games with Tom Brady at quarterback Gronkowski is averaging 22.8 yards per catch and 121.3 yards per game, a full-season pace of 1,941 yards.

2. Jimmy Graham, Seattle at New Orleans ... Look for Graham to be particularly fired up as he returns to New Orleans as a Seahawk after being traded before the 2015 season. Graham spent five seasons with the Saints and goes against an epic-bad Saints defense.

3. Greg Olsen, Carolina vs. Arizona ... You aren’t benching Olsen but heads up – no team allows fewer fantasy points to opposing tight ends per game than Arizona.

4. Kyle Rudolph, Minnesota at Chicago

5. Jack Doyle, Indianapolis vs. Kansas City

6. Travis Kelce, Kansas City at Indianapolis

7. C.J. Fiedorowicz, Houston vs. Detroit ... Fiedorowicz is a prime sleeper for Week 8 after catching 19 passes and scoring two touchdowns in his past four games. Detroit has allowed 7 touchdowns to tight ends in seven games.

8. Delanie Walker, Tennessee vs. Jacksonville

9. Martellus Bennett, New England at Buffalo

10. Jordan Reed, Washington at Cincinnati ... Reed (concussion) is expected to play in Washington’s game Sunday in London.

11. Coby Fleener, New Orleans vs. Seattle

12. Antonio Gates, San Diego at Denver

13. Gary Barnidge, Cleveland vs. N.Y. Jets

14. Cameron Brate, Tampa Bay vs. Oakland

15. Eric Ebron, Detroit at Houston ... Keep an eye on Ebron in Sunday reports, but he is practicing and expected to return this week.

16. Jason Witten, Dallas vs. Philadelphia

17. Charles Clay, Buffalo vs. New England

18. Zach Ertz, Philadelphia at Dallas

19. Tyler Eifert, Cincinnati vs. Washington ... Eifert returned last week in a limited role and showed no ill effects. Look for his role to increase this week.

20. Julius Thomas, Jacksonville at Tennessee

Kickers

1. Stephen Gostkowski, New England at Buffalo

2. Cairo Santos, Kansas City at Indianapolis

3. Matt Bryant, Atlanta vs. Green Bay

4. Mason Crosby, Green Bay at Atlanta

5. Mike Nugent, Cincinnati vs. Washington

6. Steven Hauschka, Seattle at New Orleans

7. Dan Bailey, Dallas vs. Philadelphia

8. Ryan Succop, Tennessee vs. Jacksonville

9. Sebastian Janikowski, Oakland at Tampa Bay

10. Adam Vinatieri, Indianapolis vs. Kansas City

11. Brandon McManus, Denver vs. San Diego

12. Blair Walsh, Minnesota at Chicago

13. Nick Folk, N.Y. Jets at Cleveland

14. Nick Novak, Houston vs. Detroit

15. Graham Gano, Carolina vs. Arizona

16. Josh Lambo, San Diego at Denver

17. Matt Prater, Detroit at Houston

18. Dustin Hopkins, Washington at Cincinnati

19. Will Lutz, New Orleans vs. Seattle

20. Jason Myers, Jacksonville at Tennessee

Defenses

1. Minnesota DT, Minnesota at Chicago

2. Denver DT, Denver vs. San Diego

3. New England DT, New England at Buffalo

4. Tennessee DT, Tennessee vs. Jacksonville

5. Arizona DT, Arizona at Carolina

6. Cincinnati DT, Cincinnati vs. Washington

7. Kansas City DT, Kansas City at Indianapolis

8. New York Jets DT, N.Y. Jets at Cleveland

9. Carolina DT, Carolina vs. Arizona

10. San Diego DT, San Diego at Denver

11. Detroit DT, Detroit at Houston

12. Seattle DT, Seattle at New Orleans

13. Cleveland DT, Cleveland vs. N.Y. Jets

14. Chicago DT, Chicago vs. Minnesota

15. Philadelphia DT, Philadelphia at Dallas

16. Houston DT, Houston vs. Detroit

17. Oakland DT, Oakland at Tampa Bay

18. Tampa Bay DT, Tampa Bay vs. Oakland

19. Dallas DT, Dallas vs. Philadelphia

20. Atlanta DT, Atlanta vs. Green Bay

Alan Satterlee is a co-owner and senior writer for DynastyFootballWarehouse.com, a comprehensive fantasy football strategy site.

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