If you follow me on Twitter, you’ve probably noticed a series of tweets I share on a weekly basis regarding player and team defensive performances, all from a fantasy lens. I’m going to be sharing some of that same information with you here.
I use this each week as I am making my own lineup and waiver wire decisions and thought you might find this valuable as well.
Note: The scoring system used for this data is always PPR with four points for passing touchdowns.
All year-to-date fantasy ranks are based on total points.
Week Eight QB1s (top 12 scorers)
Week Eight was highlighted by some huge offensive performances across all fantasy positions. That included Tua Tagovailoa teeing off against one of the league’s worst defenses, the Lions. While Tagovailoa’s stats don’t match up to his amazing Week Two performance, this is the first time in his career the Dolphins quarterback has been the overall QB1 for a week.
Justin Fields continued to increase his rushing usage and, in turn, his fantasy numbers increased. Fields set a new career-high mark with nearly 30 fantasy points against the typically-stingy Cowboys defense. Fields’ upcoming schedule looks juicy so expect him to extend his current streak of four consecutive QB1 performances.
Year to Date QB1s
The season-long QB1 group has somewhat solidified as we are essentially halfway through the 2022 season. Week Eight again brought little movement, with bye week signal callers Patrick Mahomes (QB2 to QB5) and Justin Herbert (QB8 to QB13) dropping, while the red-hot Fields jumped onto the list for the first time this year in the QB11 spot.
QB1 Games this Season
Most QB1 Games Allowed
There are now a quartet of teams who have allowed six QB1 games through the first eight weeks of the season. The Chiefs, Raiders and Falcons have allowed the most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks, each giving up over 25 fantasy points per game. In Week Nine, the Falcons host the Chargers, coming off a bye and hoping Justin Herbert can overcome the absence of Mike Williams and, potentially, Keenan Allen as well. Even with his star receivers banged up, Herbert is an obvious start against Atlanta. The Chiefs are also coming off a bye and hosting the Titans on Sunday night. It is unclear as of now who will be under center for Tennessee, but Malik Willis showed us last week that he can’t be trusted in fantasy lineups, even in this positive matchup.
The Raiders are struggling and will look to turn that around as they travel cross country to face Trevor Lawrence and the Jaguars. Lawrence has been inconsistent this season, sandwiching QB1 performances in between absolute no-shows. With this matchup, I’m relying on Lawrence to bounce back once again. The Steelers are the final team in this group and get a break after Jalen Hurts lit them up in Week Eight.
The Broncos have played a somewhat unimposing group of quarterbacks this season but they have shut them all down, not allowing any opponent to finish higher than QB24 since Week One. This defense, which just traded away Bradley Chubb, gets a break this week before we see what the new-look Broncos have to offer in Week Ten. The Eagles are the other team yet to allow a QB1 finish on the season. I am doubtful that Davis Mills, who will be missing Nico Collins and potentially Brandin Cooks, does anything to change that.
Week Eight RB1s (top 12 scorers)
Saints running back Alvin Kamara was having a pretty solid season this year, but he just couldn’t find the end zone. That changed in Week Eight as Kamara scored a rushing touchdown and two more as a receiver to finish as the RB1 in a wild week of backfield production. Christian McCaffrey pulled off the rare feat, accounting for touchdowns as a passer, runner, and receiver. Oh, and Derrick Henry rushed for 200 yards against the Texans… again. That’s his fourth career 200-yard game against Houston. All other active NFL running backs have four 200-yard rushing games combined.
There were so many other compelling stories to come from this group of backs in Week Eight. Tony Pollard stepped in for an injured Ezekiel Elliott and did something Zeke has never managed to do, rush for three touchdowns in a game. Despite that performance, the Cowboys seem set on Elliott returning to the starting lineup once healthy. This is crazy to say but the Panthers’ backfield hasn’t missed a beat since the trade sending McCaffrey out west. Veteran D’Onta Foreman suddenly looks like a weekly fantasy starter, just as he did a year ago when replacing Henry in Tennessee. The Travis Etienne breakout continued across the pond with his best game as a pro while Jamaal Williams and Rhamondre Stevenson stayed hot as well.
Year to Date RB1s
Thanks to his triple touchdown game, McCaffrey climbed up to the RB2 spot on the season-long list. Henry vaulted himself into the top five while Kamara moved into the top 12 group for the year. Josh Jacobs and Leonard Fournette slipped down the list while injured rookie Breece Hall barely held on to his spot. That will sadly change next week.
RB1 Games this Season
Most RB1 Games Allowed
Five teams have now surrendered a handful of RB1 games through two months of the season. The Texans and Chargers are the teams allowing the most fantasy points, both giving up more than 29 fantasy points per contest to opposing backfields. This week, the Texans try to stave off Miles Sanders and the Eagles. Sanders has been a pleasant surprise this year after suggesting fantasy managers not draft him. Lock him into your lineups before Thursday night’s kickoff. The Chargers face the Falcons, who have leaned heavily on their running game to earn a surprising NFC South division lead. With Cordarrelle Patterson expected back, Atlanta should continue to run the ball early and often. While the Steelers are on bye, the Bears (vs. Raheem Mostert/Jeff Wilson Jr) and Seahawks (vs. James Conner/Eno Benjamin) are other matchups to exploit this week.
Four teams have allowed only a single RB1 game. Those four, the Cowboys, Patriots, Buccaneers and Titans, are also among the six teams who have allowed less than 20 fantasy points per game. Dallas is on bye this week while the other three teams face opponents with tons of lingering backfield questions. New England hosts the Colts, who just dealt Nyheim Hines and could be without Jonathan Taylor once again. This could be a spot we see more of backup Deon Jackson. Tampa Bay hosts the Rams, who can’t seem to get any traction in the running game. Sean McVay has tried multiple backs this season but none have even posted a single top-15 weekly performance. Stay away from this backfield. Finally, the Titans face off with the Chiefs and their three-man backfield. Good luck predicting if this will be a Clyde Edwards-Helaire week, an Isiah Pacheco week, a Jerick McKinnon week or maybe none of the above.
Week Eight WR1s (top 12 scorers)
The Week Nine WR1 list is littered with superstars who simply got it done, including a hat trick of touchdowns for AJ Brown and DeAndre Hopkins following up his season-debut performance with one that was even better. DJ Moore caught what looked like a game-winning touchdown before he was flagged for a penalty that ultimately cost his team a win and Cooper Kupp posted yet another WR1 game, his fifth of the season, before suffering an ankle injury that could keep him out of action this week.
Year to Date WR1s
The season-long WR1 list was completely jumbled over the past week as every player changed spots. Tyreek Hill ascended to the top overall position while Jaylen Waddle and Amari Cooper also saw sizable jumps. Injured Ja’Marr Chase will miss multiple games and eventually fall off this list, but for now he’s down to WR6 on the year. Davante Adams was held to just three yards and he dropped three spots. New receivers to the WR1 group are Brown, CeeDee Lamb, Mike Evans, and Tyler Lockett. They replace the injured trio of Marquise Brown, Mike Williams, and Deebo Samuel, along with Christian Kirk.
WR1 Games this Season
Most WR1 Games Allowed
The Falcons, Lions and Steelers remain the teams to target when looking for nice wide receiver matchups. The Steelers get a break this week but Atlanta and Detroit should come through for fantasy managers. The Falcons may luck out if they don’t have to face Keenan Allen or Mike Williams, but this turns Joshua Palmer and DeAndre Carter into trendy sleepers. Palmer would certainly be worth a starting spot this week. The Lions host their division rival Packers, who continue to struggle at the receiver position. We do not yet know the status of Allen Lazard, but he would be a solid option if he plays, while rookie Romeo Doubs would be starting lineup worthy as well.
The Raiders and Patriots have yet to allow a WR1 game all season. This week, the Raiders face the Jaguars as Kirk attempts to end that streak. The Patriots challenge the Colts and young star receiver Michael Pittman. Both of these players have flashed their upside this season but have also been very inconsistent.
Week Eight TE1s (top 12 scorers)
Travis Kelce was on bye. Mark Andrews left the game early. Darren Waller couldn’t get on the field at all. This was a week without most of the star tight ends though Kyle Pitts did enjoy his best game of the year and rookie Greg Dulcich posted his third straight TE1 performance in his three career games. In what would prove to be his final game as a Detroit Lion, TJ Hockenson went out with a TE1 game. Expect many more of those to come with the Vikings.
Year to Date TE1s
Tyler Conklin scored a pair of touchdowns and finished as the TE1 for the week. That was enough to push him all the way up to TE6 on the season. David Njoku missed the Browns game and dropped down the TE8 on the season. Evan Engram and George Kittle joined the TE1 group with Gerald Everett, Tyler Higbee and Robert Tonyan falling out of the group.
TE1 Games this Season
Most TE1 Games Allowed
The Seahawks continue to look like the best matchup in the league for opposing tight ends and this week that means good things for Zach Ertz of the Cardinals. The Falcons have allowed six TE1 games through eight weeks and now face Everett and the Chargers coming off a bye week. Other matchups to target are the Cardinals (vs. Will Dissly/Noah Fant), Ravens (vs. Juwan Johnson) and Chiefs (vs. Austin Hooper).
The Saints have still not allowed a TE1 game and have given up just 6.4 fantasy points to opposing tight ends, the lowest in the league. This week, the rookie Isaiah Likely could try to change that if Andrews is out again.
Finally, here is the chart summarizing how teams have fared against each position. I’ve also included the schedule for this week for reference.
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