Week 8 Rankings (2017): Top 25 Quarterbacks: Which Struggling QB Is Worth The “Gamble”?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

This is going to be an extremely tricky week for fantasy owners, especially when managing their quarterback spot.  Having six teams on bye is already going to limit your options, and you have multiple players who have struggled mightily over the past few weeks.  That doesn’t mean that they all should be written off, as there are some promising matchups, but that’s offset by some who could easily disappoint.  Who are the quarterbacks to trust?  Who should we be skeptical about?  Let’s take a look:

  1. Tom Brady – New England Patriots – vs. Los Angeles Chargers
  2. Russell Wilson – Seattle Seahawks – vs. Houston
  3. Carson Wentz – Philadelphia Eagles – vs. San Francisco
  4. Dak Prescott – Dallas Cowboys – at Washington
  5. Kirk Cousins – Washington Redskins – vs. Dallas
  6. Philip Rivers – Los Angeles Chargers – at New England
  7. Cam Newton – Carolina Panthers – at Tampa Bay
  8. Jameis Winston – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – vs. Carolina
  9. Drew Brees – New Orleans Saints – vs. Chicago
  10. Alex Smith – Kansas City Chiefs – vs. Denver
  11. Matt Ryan – Atlanta Falcons – at New York Jets
  12. Andy Dalton – Cincinnati Bengals – vs. Indianapolis
  13. Deshaun Watson – Houston Texans – at Seattle
  14. Derek Carr – Oakland Raiders – at Buffalo
  15. Tyrod Taylor – Buffalo Bills – vs. Oakland
  16. Josh McCown – New York Jets – vs. Atlanta
  17. Trevor Siemian – Denver Broncos – at Kansas City
  18. Ben Roethlisberger – Pittsburgh Steelers – at Detroit
  19. Matthew Stafford – Detroit Lions – vs. Pittsburgh
  20. Case Keenum – Minnesota Vikings – at Cleveland
  21. Jacoby Brissett – Indianapolis Colts – at Cincinnati
  22. Joe Flacco – Baltimore Ravens – vs. Miami
  23. C.J. Beathard – San Francisco 49ers – at Philadelphia
  24. Matt Moore – Miami Dolphins – at Baltimore
  25. Mitchell Trubisky – Chicago Bears – at New Orleans


  • It’s been a rough stretch for Cam Newton, with 450 yards, 1 TD and 5 INT over his past two games.  Of course he’s saved his value with his legs, rushing for 121 yards and 1 TD, and has a get right matchup against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (third most points per week to opposing quarterbacks, including 11 TD vs. 4 INT).  If he was playing well he’d be a candidate for the #1 ranking, but he’s definitely not someone to write off due to his recent struggles.
  • Sure the Patriots defense contained Matt Ryan and company in Week 7, but does anyone truly believe that they are capable of maintaining that?  They entered the week as the worst defense against opposing quarterbacks, by far, and while the gap closed a little they remain at the top of the leaderboard.  Rivers has had his issues this season, though that mostly is in yardage as he has 8 TD vs. 1 INT over the past four games.  Couple that with the matchup and it’s easy to put him towards the top of the rankings this week.
  • Obviously no one is going to sit down Drew Brees, though he’s now thrown 4 INT over his past two games, draws a Chicago team that is going to try and limit his touches and control the clock and offers nothing with his legs.  The game being played in New Orleans is going to be seen as a plus, but temper those expectations.
  • The matchup with Indianapolis makes Andy Dalton an ideal play this week…  At least you would think, but Dalton continues to struggle and now has 4 INT in his past two games.  While the Colts have allowed a lot of yardage, they have 7 INT and just 10 TD allowed.  It’s possible that he pops off a big day, and that makes him an intriguing streaming option, but we wouldn’t be so quick to dub him a must start QB1.
  • Jameis Winston is coming off a big day against the Buffalo Bills (384 yards, 3 TD, 1 INT) and draws a Carolina defense that has allowed 10 TD with just 1 INT on the season.  With things coming together for Tampa Bay offensively, this looks like a good follow-up and there’s a good chance he keeps the good times rolling.
  • Things have been going extremely well for Deshaun Watson of late, but drawing the Seahawks (in Seattle) isn’t going to be ideal.  They aren’t the same defense that they once were, but they are still yielding the fourth fewest points to opposing QB including not allowing a rushing TD.  With the road start in what should be an extremely difficult matchup, Watson is going to be tough to trust in single quarterback formats despite the impressive numbers he’s posted thus far.

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Make sure to check out all of our Week 8 rankings:

Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Week 8 Rankings (2017): Top 20 Tight Ends: Intriguing Options Fill The Middle Tier
Week 7 Rankings (2017): Top 15 Kickers


  1. Andy says:

    Sorry for asking WRs
    Should I Drop Davante Adam to pick up Sterling Shepard or T Ginn Jr ROS ?
    I have Doug Balwin, Keenan Allen, Golden Tate

  2. David says:


    I’m leading my division at 5-2 which is currently 2nd place in a 16 team PPR league.

    Current Roster:
    QB’s – Palmer and Brees
    RB’s – Ingram, West, Collins, Abdullah
    WR’s – Fitzgerald, Cooks, Ginn, Golladay
    TE’s – Ertz, Kroft
    K – Lutz, Catanzaro

    We can use TE’s as WR’s, We can start either 3 RB’s and 2 WR’s or 2 RB’s and 3 WR’s.

    So far we’ve done OK with the 2 RB 3 WR system. I feel I need another good RB to make the playoff and hopefully win it all.

    So I lost Palmer this past weekend if I drop him which would you pickup: Matt Moore might only play 2 games or Teddy Bridgewater that could be worked back in as early as week 10.

    I’m thinking I might need a little help at WR this week. Would you try to pickup Kenny Stills this week for help or go with the QB and take a chance on Cooks, Ertz and ??? Ginn, Golladay or Kroft.


    • I can see using Golladay, but id prefer to grab Stills for this week

    • MikeinMacon says:

      David, I might add that you don’t really need a 2nd QB with Brees and his bye is gone by. Thus, pick up Stills for this week. Are there any decent waiver RBs? Likely not, but maybe propose a deal for Golladay to the Stafford owner and add in West for an upgrade at RB, someone like Carlos Hyde, Tevin Coleman, Aaron Jones, etc. Since you use a TE as a receiver, maybe target Evan Engram somehow. Consider a similar proposal for Cooks to the Brady owner who might overpay to get him. Fitz has little value now with Palmer’s injury. And you don’t need two Ks so find a decent one whose bye has already passed and drop the other. This will give you one more roster spot. Good luck!

      • David says:

        Week 17 our League has what they call a Bailout Bowl. We start all our players and can play two QB’s and two kickers. That’s why we keep two of each.

        I think I’ll give your trade suggestions. Thanks

  3. Mike says:

    Hi Eric, I need some help at wideout and worried about
    Palmer being out. Should I propose larry fitz for sterling
    Sheppard? Thanks!

  4. Andy says:

    What QB will you keep ROS PPR, can you rank ?
    Drew Brees, Kirk Cousin , Jameis Winston .

  5. Tre says:

    Hey, I need to keep 4 WR and drop 2….which of these four would u keep? Jordy, Fitz, Diggs, Baldwin, Marvin Jones and Shepard

  6. House of Pain says:

    Hello Professor

    Full point PPR;

    Need a Flex option out of this group: Mixon, Coleman, Ted Guinn, and Emmanuel Sanders, if healthy…


  7. House of Pain says:

    also, for another league that’s full point. PPR as well. Can you recommend to fill one WR’s position and a Flex:
    Alshon Jeffery, Kenny Stills, Paul Richardson and Gore.

    Though Jeffery represents a higher upside than any of the other players . He has been one of the biggest bust for my team this year. I’ve no problems sitting him this week …


    • I know Jeffrey has been frustrating, but he’s got to continue to be utilized given those other options. I also don’t love Gore, but he’s “safe” for the FLEX.

      Stills/Richardson are similarly risky, but I’d gamble on Stills as a TD dependent option

  8. Tim says:

    Hi Prof,

    Need help with this team I’m only 3-4. So I must be doing something wrong. PPR League. Although the schedule marker was not kind to me- but always get 2nd highest Pts. and of course go up vs highest guy. So I’m blaming the schedule

    QB-Cam @ TB, Watson @ Seattle or Taylor vs Oakland
    RB- No brainers- Zeke and Bell play. Other RB is Ajayi @ Balt.
    WR- KB @ TB, Hill vs Denver, Fuller @ Seattle or Agholor vs SF

    Start 1 QB, 2 RB, 2 WR and flex.

    Cam, Zeke, Bell, KB, Hill and Ajayi (I cant bench him so he is my flex) have been my starters.

    Thank you for your help.

  9. Gail says:

    Would you play Rivers over Brees this week?

  10. Krysta says:

    14 team 1/2 PPR Wentz or Wilson?

  11. Joe says:

    Standard scoring. QB Watson or Taylor? Watson At Seattle scares me. Taylor much better match up. But Watson ( all home games) last 3 games is in fire.

    Who would you play?

  12. Brian says:

    Winston playmakers vs. Car Def or Tyrod Taylor running vs Oak def but his lack of weapons?
    Who has a big 25-30 pt. game?

  13. Brian says:

    Hey Prof

    Winston today or Smith tomorrow night?

  14. Ben Hartman says:

    Hey professor. Andy Dalton or rivers today… Also need a te to cover engram bye choices are Zach Miller,jack Doyle, oj Howard would have to drop Mariota McFadden Rishard Matthews or devante Adams..thanks

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