When everything is said and done, Week 8 might end up as the highest-scoring week in the history of fantasy football. We saw truly elite performances at every position—two quarterbacks with at least five touchdowns, four 400-yard passing performances, 15 players with at least 100 yards receiving, and eight running backs with over 20 fantasy points.
And we still have one game to go.
As of right now, though, here are the five most interesting stats from Week 8.
Editor’s Note: Rotoworld’s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-week $3 Million Fantasy Football league for Week 9’s games. It’s only $25 to join and first prize is $500,000. Starts Sunday, Nov. 2 at 1 p.m. ET. Here’s the link.
1.19: Fantasy points per dropback for Kyle Orton in Week 8
Despite completing only 10 of his 17 passes in Week 8, Bills quarterback Kyle Orton was able to compile 238 yards and four touchdowns. He was the week’s best fantasy quarterback on a per-dropback basis, which is amazing for two reasons. The first is that he didn’t receive good protection on Sunday, getting sacked five times (and those sacks contributed to his dropback count). The other is that two quarterbacks threw at least five touchdowns, including 522 yards and six scores from Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.
1: Number of quarterbacks with multiple 500-yard passing games
It’s pretty nuts that Ben Roethlisberger went 40-for-49 for 522 yards and six touchdowns, yet was ranked third in Week 8 in fantasy points per dropback (behind Orton and Tom Brady). Nonetheless, Big Ben became the first quarterback in NFL history to record two 500-yard games.
This contest was representative of the fact that Roethlisberger has always had an underrated ceiling. He hasn’t been equipped with the best weapons throughout his career, but the speed on the outside in Pittsburgh has added to Roethlisberger’s variance. That makes him an interesting starter when you feel like you’re in a position to embrace volatility.
1.18: Fantasy points per route for Sammy Watkins
With 1.18 PPR points per route on Sunday, Watkins was the second most-efficient receiver in Week 8, behind fellow rookie Martavis Bryant. That’s pretty incredible because, in addition to playing only 22 pass snaps due to game flow, Watkins was also a point of emphasis for the Jets’ D.
The rookie saw only five targets, so it’s a great sign that he was able to produce at a high level even without a huge workload. Watkins has such versatility—capable of taking either a slant or deep pass to the house (and we saw both in Week 8)—that he’s turning into a very safe fantasy option whose production is semi-independent of his matchup.
5: Ahmad Bradshaw’s PPR rank through Week 8
There are only five running backs in the NFL with over 120 points in PPR formats. Those are the usual suspects of Matt Forte, Arian Foster, DeMarco Murray, Le’Veon Bell and … Ahmad Bradshaw. The Colts running back has 141.5 fantasy points this season, due in large part to his usage in the passing game. Bradshaw is fourth in receptions among running backs.
So can he keep it up? Although I think Bradshaw is certainly a valuable commodity in PPR leagues, he probably won’t remain a top-five back all season. One reason is that, with six receiving touchdowns, Bradshaw has more than twice as many touchdown catches as any other running back. That’s helped him post 0.63 fantasy points per touch—the most for any back with over 65 touches and a number Bradshaw probably won’t be able to sustain.
1: Number of wide receivers with more fantasy points per route than tight end Rob Gronkowski
With his breakout Week 8 performance of nine catches for 149 yards and three touchdowns, Gronkowski is back atop the tight end fantasy ranks. Despite his slow start to the season, Gronkowski now has seven touchdowns and has caught over 71 percent of his targets.
Gronk has been so efficient that only one wide receiver in the NFL—Stevie Johnson—has totaled more fantasy points per route than the tight end in 2014. He’s recorded a ridiculous 2.40 fantasy points every time he’s seen a target.
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