Russell Wilson, QB, Seattle – The Seahawks quarterback passed for a career-high 452 yards and four touchdowns, with one interception, and added 30 rushing yards against Houston.
Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Dallas – In what was apparently his last game before his six-game suspension was reinstated, the Cowboys running back racked up 154 yards and two touchdowns on 34 touches at Washington.
DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Houston – In a week that saw him leave the team’s facility after comments from owner Bob McNair, Hopkins caught eight passes for 224 yards and a touchdown at Seattle. The 224 yards was the second-best yardage total of his career.
JuJu Smith-Schuster has pulled ahead of Martavis Bryant on the Steelers’ depth chart.
JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR, Pittsburgh – The Steelers rookie, a second-round pick out of USC, had a bust-out game at Detroit, putting up seven catches for 193 yards and a touchdown on 10 targets.
Dak Prescott, QB, Dallas – The Cowboys didn’t need to throw a lot at Washington, and Prescott finished with 143 passing yards and no touchdown passes for the first time this season.
Jay Ajayi, RB, Philadelphia – In his final game for the Miami Dolphins, Ajayi managed just 41 yards on 17 touches in a 40-0 loss at Baltimore.
Brandin Cooks, WR, New England – With the Patriots throwing a bunch to running backs James White and Rex Burkhead, Cooks finished with five catches for a season-low 26 yards against the Chargers.
Stefon Diggs, WR, Minnesota – In his return to the Vikings lineup, Minnesota’s top receiver was a secondary option. He had four catches for 27 yards against Cleveland in London.
1. Texans QB Deshaun Watson continued his sensational rookie season. In a 41-38 loss at Seattle, Watson accumulated 402 yards passing with four touchdowns and three interceptions, adding 67 yards rushing at Seattle. He’s thrown for 16 touchdowns in his past four games.
2. Watson’s emergence has really shaken up the quarterback rankings, as he and Wilson are now 1-2 after Sunday’s match-up, but there are a few other surprises in there too. Among the top 10 at the position on a per-game basis? Alex Smith is a shocker and Carson Wentz might be a little early in his arrival.
QUARTERBACKS, STANDARD FANTASY RANKINGS
PLAYER TEAM GP PYDS TD RYDS FPTS AVG
Deshaun Watson Houston 7 1699 19 269 168.9 24.1
Russell Wilson Seattle 7 2008 15 194 157.7 22.5
Alex Smith Kansas City 8 2181 16 154 170.6 21.3
Carson Wentz Philadelphia 8 2063 19 203 168.8 21.1
Dak Prescott Dallas 7 1569 14 168 145.6 20.8
Tom Brady New England 8 2541 16 28 162.4 20.3
Kirk Cousins Washington 7 1900 13 121 132.1 18.9
Drew Brees New Orleans 7 1951 11 14 120.1 17.2
Cam Newton Carolina 8 1841 10 255 133.1 16.6
Matthew Stafford Detroit 7 1851 12 68 114.8 16.4
3. There remains value to be had in bell-cow running backs.
Bills RB LeSean McCoy put up 173 yards and a touchdown on 33 touches against Oakland, his sixth-highest yardage total in 124 career games.
Chargers RB Melvin Gordon gained 139 yards and a touchdown on 15 touches at New England, the third time in four games that he has gone for more than 100 yards.
Saints RB Mark Ingram piled up 99 yards and a touchdown on 24 touches against Chicago. His production has gone up, to nearly 120 yards per game, over the past three weeks.
Bears RB Jordan Howard finished with 121 yards on 26 touches at Green Bay. He has run the ball 80 times, for 334 yards, in the past three weeks.
Colts veteran RB Frank Gore put up 101 yards on 20 touches at Cincinnati, his first 100-yard game of the season.
4. Among the running backs, though, there are a bunch of players that could be emerging into bigger roles.
Ravens RB Alex Collins gained a career-high 143 yards on 20 touches in Thursday’s 40-0 rout of Miami.
Bengals rookie RB Joe Mixon only had 18 yards on 11 carries, but with big plays in the passing game, finished with 109 yards on 14 touches.
Vikings RB Jerick McKinnon continues to play a big role. He had 122 yards and a touchdown on 20 touches against Cleveland.
Browns RB Isaiah Crowell had a season-high 118 yards and a touchdown on 15 touches vs. Minnesota.
Falcons backup RB Tevin Coleman is very productive in his role. He gained 104 yards on 15 touches at the Jets and is averaging 70 yards per game this season.
Getting a chance to play more with Marshawn Lynch suspended, Raiders RB DeAndre Washington put up 88 yards and a touchdown on 14 touches at Buffalo.
5. The passing games are bringing a whole bunch of different players into focus. This week, in particular, had a lot of big games from players that don’t typically go big.
Seahawks WR Paul Richardson caught six passes, on seven targets, for 105 yards and two touchdowns against Houston. The 25-year-old has a career-high 374 yards and five touchdowns this season.
Texans WR Will Fuller V caught five passes for 125 yards and two touchdowns, on eight targets at Seattle. Seven of his 13 catches this season have gone for touchdowns.
Lions WR Marvin Jones Jr. caught six passes for 128 yards on 11 targets, the second-best yardage total of his career.
Washington WR Jamison Crowder caught nine passes, on 13 targets, for a career-high 123 yards vs. Dallas.
Seahawks WR Tyler Lockett had six catches, on eight targets, for 121 yards against Houston, the second-best total of his career.
Jets WR Robby Anderson had six catches for a career-high 104 yards and a touchdown against Atlanta.
6. With all these lesser-knowns having big weeks, it’s interesting to see what the Top 10 wide receivers looks like.
WIDE RECEIVERS, STANDARD FANTASY RANKINGS
PLAYER TEAM GP REC YDS TD FPTS AVG
DeAndre Hopkins Houston 7 45 606 7 147.6 21.1
Antonio Brown Pittsburgh 8 57 835 3 158.5 19.8
A.J. Green Cincinnati 7 38 572 4 117.2 16.7
Mike Evans Tampa Bay 7 39 519 4 114.9 16.4
Larry Fitzgerald Arizona 7 45 494 3 110.4 15.8
Jarvis Landry Miami 7 50 398 3 107.1 15.3
Tyreek Hill Kansas City 8 38 553 3 117.5 14.7
Michael Thomas New Orleans 7 42 480 2 102.0 14.6
Adam Thielen Minnesota 8 48 628 1 113.8 14.2
Golden Tate Detroit 7 43 449 2 98.8 14.1
7. At tight end, it’s easy enough to go with someone like Chiefs TE Travis Kelce, who had seven catches for 133 yards and a touchdown on 10 targets against Denver. But there is value to be found in someone like Colts TE Jack Doyle, who had a career-best 12 catches for 121 yards and a touchdown on 14 targets at Cincinnati.
8. It’s no surprise that Kelce is one of the league’s top tight ends, though it’s interesting to see any tight ends ahead of Rob Gronkowski, and Doyle is one of the lesser-known options at the position who has become relevant for fantasy purposes.
TIGHT END, STANDARD FANTASY RANKINGS
PLAYER TEAM GP REC YDS TD FPTS AVG
Zach Ertz Philadelphia 8 43 528 6 129.8 16.2
Travis Kelce Kansas City 8 44 556 4 124.3 15.5
Rob Gronkowski New England 7 34 509 5 114.9 14.4
Cameron Brate Tampa Bay 7 31 405 4 95.5 13.6
Evan Engram N.Y. Giants 7 30 342 3 82.2 11.7
Jason Witten Dallas 7 34 314 3 81.4 11.6
Jimmy Graham Seattle 7 28 269 4 78.9 11.3
Jack Doyle Indianapolis 7 42 378 2 87.8 11.0
Delanie Walker Tennessee 7 32 324 0 68.2 9.7
Kyle Rudolph Minnesota 8 32 271 3 77.1 9.6
9. Miami trading Jay Ajayi to Philadelphia for a fourth-round pick seems like selling for pennies on the dollar. Ajayi’s fantasy value may take a hit because he’s going to share touches with LeGarrette Blount. In Miami, Kenyan Drake may have a bit of an edge on Damien Williams to be the Dolphins’ starting running back.
10. The most notable Week Eight injuries:
Ravens QB Joe Flacco was clobbered against Miami on Thursday and suffered a concussion. If he’s not ready to play this week, Ryan Mallett will be up next for Baltimore.
Patriots WR Chris Hogan left the game against the Chargers with his arm in a sling. If Hogan is limited or can’t play, that could add more looks for Brandin Cooks.
Washington TE Jordan Reed suffered a hamstring injury against Dallas. Vernon Davis would benefit if Reed isn’t ready to play in Week Nine.
Bears TE Zach Miller suffered a dislocated knee making a touchdown catch at New Orleans and is done for the season. Dion Sims figures to see more action in Miller’s absence.