Week 8 Fantasy WR Rankings: Must-starts, sleepers, potential busts at wide receiver

Week 8 was by far the toughest week yet to put together our fantasy WR rankings. The byes aren’t terrible (Washington, Jaguars, Cardinals, Texans), though they still take away some some legit studs (DeAndre Hopkins, Terry McClaurin) and solid depth options (DJ Chark, Will Fuller, Christian Kirk, Keelan Cole, Brandin Cooks), but the injuries are starting to mount again (Michael Thomas, Odell Beckham Jr., Jamison Crowder, Emmanuel Sanders, Deebo Samuel, Diontae Johnson). Just as bad, the matchups are terrible for a lot of big-name and mid-tier wide receivers, which will cause all sorts headaches when making start ’em, sit ’em decisions. 

Some receivers are matchup-proof, so we’re not too worried about Calvin Ridley and Julio Jones against the Panthers, Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson against the Packers, or Stefon Diggs against the Patriots, but they’re still a little lower than where they usually are. DeVante Parker (vs. Rams) is also moving down, and it’s fair to wonder if he should be started at all given the matchup against Jalen Ramsey, the groin injury he suffered before Miami’s bye, and the fact he’ll be playing with a new quarterback. We still have him in our starter’s tier, but he’s far from a sure thing. The same is true for Darius Slayton (vs. Buccaneers), who’s now dealing with increased competition for targets from Sterling Shepard. 

Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | Tight end | D/ST | Kicker

The Steelers talented trio of Diontae Johnson, JuJu Smith-Schuster, and Chase Claypool are in tough spots against the Ravens, especially since you never know who’s going to get the majority of targets, but Johnson is certainly worth starting if he’s healthy and Claypool always has boom-or-bust appeal in standard leagues. Smith-Schuster is the toughest one to evaluate and might be left on some benches this week, but his 14 targets last week are obviously a good sign. Whoever starts for the Saints this week, be it Thomas, Sanders, Tre’Quan Smith, or Marquez Callaway, will also be tough to trust against the Bears.  

Quarterback | Running back | Tight end | D/ST | Kicker

Of course, when some players move down, others move up. The Panthers duo of Robby Anderson and D.J. Moore are must-starts against the Falcons, while fringe-starters like Travis Fulgham (vs. Cowboys), Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk (@ Seahawks), Tee Higgins (vs. Titans), T.Y. Hilton (@ Lions), Jarvis Landry (vs. Raiders), and Nelson Agholor (@ Browns) look good in their respective matchups. 

Going a little deeper, guys like Marquez Valdes-Scantling (vs. Vikings), Zach Pascal (@ Lions), Henry Ruggs III and Hunter Renfrow (@ Browns), Curtis Samuel (vs. Falcons), Greg Ward Jr. (vs. Cowboys), Rashard Higgins (vs. Raiders), A.J. Green (vs. Titans), and Darnell Mooney (vs. Saints) are all in play as boom-or-bust sleepers. 

Ultimately, there are a lot of interesting options at WR this week. Many owners will feel obligated to use their “normal starters” even if they’re in tough matchups. That’s fine for the top receivers, but don’t be nervous about looking elsewhere and playing the matchups with your WR3.

Note: Check back all week leading up to kickoff, as we’ll continue to update our WR rankings based on the latest news and injuries. 

Week 8 Fantasy WR Rankings (Standard)

These rankings are for non-PPR leagues.

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