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Fantasy Football 5 Up, 5 Down: Boston Scott, Rob Gronkowski Up; Najee Harris, Gerald Everett Down for Week 8

Rob Gronkowski, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Rob Gronkowski is set to return and should be a TE1 in Week 8

With only two teams on a bye in Week 8, fantasy managers should have a slightly easier time trying to decide who to start. Some players are still injured, which is going to make some start/sit decisions tough, but a lot of players are coming back from injury. 

Fantasy managers already know that some of the top-tier running backs are out (add Miles Sanders to the list this week) and hopefully they have grabbed handcuffs for their starters.

Week 8 Positional Rankings: QB I RB I WR I TE I DST I K I Flex

Please note 5 Up/5 Down is a guide on players that should exceed or fall below their rank this week. This is based on past performance, injury status, and matchup. This is not a start/sit column, but rather a guide.

Teams on bye: Baltimore, Las Vegas

Up

Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Denver Broncos vs. Denver Broncos

Bridgewater is banged up, but he has a great matchup, so he should finish higher than his No. 17 ranking. The Broncos face the Washington Football Team, who allow the most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks (and it’s not close). Bridgewater should get wide receiver Jerry Jeudy back for Week 8 as well, to add to his arsenal of options. If he can make it through the game, he’s a high QB2.

Boston Scott, RB, Philadelphia Eagles at Detroit Lions

With Miles Sanders out with an ankle injury, Scott is going to take on a bigger role. In Week 7 after Sanders left, he had seven carries for 24 yards and a touchdown. Kenneth Gainwell is going to handle some of the passing downs, but Scott should be the running back that gets the most carries and is used in the red zone. He’s ranked No. 34, but especially if he can score a touchdown, Scott will exceed that.

Emmanuel Sanders, WR, Buffalo Bills vs. Miami Dolphins

Coming off a bye, Sanders has been putting up solid WR3 numbers with some weeks as a WR2. He has four straight games with 54 or more receiving yards and also has four touchdown catches in that same span (two in Week 3, two in Week 5). Sanders is connecting with Josh Allen and the pair have a great matchup against the Dolphins this week. Sanders is ranked No. 34 but should exceed that in Week 8.

Marvin Jones Jr., WR, Jacksonville Jaguars at Seattle Seahawks

Jones has quietly had three touchdowns and four games with more than 50 receiving yards this season. He has two games with double-digit targets. The Jags are suffering a bit at quarterback, but Jones has been putting up fantasy-relevant numbers. Jacksonville gets Seattle in Week 8, and the Seahawks have already allowed 100-yard games to four different wide receivers. While Jones may not reach that mark, he should exceed his No. 32 ranking.

Rob Gronkowski, TE, Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Orleans Saints

All signs point to Gronkowski making his return from his ribs injury in Week 8. He’s been able to practice, which usually leads to a player being active on Sunday. It is tough to trust him, but if he is active, he will exceed his No. 20 ranking. Antonio Brown remains out, so more targets will be headed Gronk’s way. He has four touchdowns in three games this season, and Tom Brady still just loves to find him in the red zone.

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Down

Matt Ryan, QB, Atlanta Falcons vs. Carolina Panthers

Ryan has been okay for fantasy managers, but not exceptional. He’s ranked No. 12 this week, which puts him as a QB1 for many leagues. He doesn’t usually put up QB1 numbers, and even though he faces the Panthers in Week 8, it is hard to see him putting up a lot of points. The Panthers are a middle-of-the-road defense against quarterbacks, and Ryan has struggled at times. He has three games with 300 yards and at least two touchdown passes in every game except one (Week 1 vs. Philadelphia). He doesn’t usually turn the ball over, but he’s hardly a QB1.

Najee Harris, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers at Cleveland Browns

Harris is ranked No. 6 this week as a lot of the top running backs drafted are injured. Harris was on a bye last week and faces the Browns this week. The Browns allow the fifth-fewest fantasy points to running backs, so this isn’t an easy matchup. It seemed that Harris would be used in the passing game after Week 3, where they peppered him with 19 targets, but that hasn’t materialized. The Steelers activated Anthony McFarland from injured reserve, and he might cut into Harris’ workload as well. He's an RB1, but not a top-six option.

Alex Collins, RB, Seattle Seahawks vs. Jacksonville Jaguars

Collins is playing injured because the Seahawks don’t have a better option. In Week 7, he had 16 carries for 35 yards. The Seahawks are struggling on offense without Russell Wilson, which makes life harder for the running backs to start with. Collins has missed practice this week and is clearly not 100 percent. Rashaad Penny has returned and if Collins is struggling, expect Penny to see more work. Collins is ranked No. 29, but that seems too high.

Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Atlanta Falcons vs. Carolina Panthers

While Patterson can be used as either a running back or a wide receiver (depending on league settings), he’s WR10 for Week 8. Even though he’s taken over as the lead running back for the Falcons (sorry to those who drafted Mike Davis), he's not seeing a ton of work in that respect. He's had 14 carries in each of the past two games and had a touchdown in Week 7. He’s not always used as a receiver, and even though he’s getting enough points as a runner to make him a weekly viable fantasy option, he's not the No. 10 WR.

Gerald Everett, TE, Seattle Seahawks vs. New Orleans Saints

For some reason, Everett is ranked No. 10 at his position. He has Geno Smith as a quarterback and he's coming off a game in which he saw a whopping three targets. Everett hasn’t scored a touchdown since Week 1. He has had more than 50 yards once and 20 or fewer yards in three games. Even though Jacksonville is a great matchup for tight ends, Everett isn’t involved enough in a questionable passing game (because of the QB) to warrant being ranked as a TE1.

Full Disclosure From Week 7

Up (3/5 correct)

  • Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Miami Dolphins (Ranked: 14, Actual: 3)
  • J.D. McKissic, RB, Washington Football Team (Ranked: 28, Actual: 29)
  • Michael Pittman Jr., WR, Indianapolis Colts (Ranked: 28, Actual: 8)
  • Marquez Callaway, WR, New Orleans Saints (Ranked: 37, Actual: 48)
  • Zach Ertz, TE, Arizona Cardinals (Ranked: 13, Actual: 6)

Down (2/3 correct)

  • Daniel Jones, QB, New York Giants (Ranked: 17, Actual: 14)
  • Sony Michel, RB, Los Angeles Rams (Ranked: 37, Actual: 70)
  • Latavius Murray, RB, Baltimore Ravens (Ranked: 36, Actual: DNP)
  • DeVante Parker, WR, Miami Dolphins (Ranked: 46, Actual: DNP)
  • Jonnu Smith, TE, New England Patriots (Ranked: 16, Actual: 19) 

— Written by Sarah Lewis, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network and lives, eats, and breathes fantasy football. Have a fantasy football question? Send it to her on Twitter @Sarah_Lewis32.