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Fantasy football QB rankings, Week 8: Quarterbacks dropping like flies

Week 7 saw two more fantasy quarterbacks get knocked out of action for awhile. Can their replacements do an adequate job of filling in? That's one of the things we look at this week, along with our Week 8 quarterback rankings.

Jay Cutler is just one of many quarterbacks who have gone down to injury this season.
Jay Cutler is just one of many quarterbacks who have gone down to injury this season.
Patrick Smith

The injury bug has hit the NFL and it has hit hard. This past week saw two more starting quarterbacks get knocked out of action. Jay Cutler is out for at least four weeks with a torn groin muscle and Sam Bradford was lost for the rest of the season with a torn ACL. Those two quarterbacks are added to a list that already included Michael Vick, Nick Foles, Matt Schaub, EJ Manuel, Brian Hoyer and Blaine Gabbert. Let's look at a few of the situations that have fantasy implications.

Michael Vick has missed the last two games with a hamstring injury but looks like he'll be forced back into action this week whether he's ready or not. Nick Foles sustained a concussion in the Eagles last game against Dallas. Matt Barkley came in and looked completely out of his element. For the greatest chance of winning, Philadelphia needs to turn back to Vick. I'm sure his hamstring injury will affect his scrambling ability and limit the amount of yards he'll finish with on the ground. Foles will need to pass the NFL's concussion protocol to have any chance of participating. I don't see that happening, so Barkley will back up Vick this weekend. The Giants pass rush has been quite tame and that leads me to believe that Vick will be able to put up decent numbers.

Jay Cutler will miss at least the next four weeks with his groin injury. Josh McCown came in and finished the game against Washington in Week 7. The Bears offense will now become very ground dependent, and McCown will be used as a game manager. Throughout his career he has struggled with ball security, throwing more interceptions than touchdowns. Chicago has their bye week and then faces Green Bay, Detroit and Baltimore. Hopefully your quarterback situation is not so desperate that you have to turn to McCown for a spot start.

Kellen Clemens has a beast of a test in his first start of the season. The Rams host the Seahawks on Monday night. Like Chicago, I believe the offense will rely more on the run now. The Rams receivers will all take a hit. Clemens has never passed for 300 yards in any of his starts. The remaining schedule for St. Louis is very challenging with no particularly good matchups remaining. I think this situation is going to be a major train wreck.

Quickly looking at two of the other quarterback situations. Case Keenum played very well in his first NFL start. I'm not sure he did enough though to keep the starting job after Houston's bye week. Keenum is one to keep an eye on in dynasty and keeper leagues. Thaddeus Lewis did not play as well in his second start of the season. The Bills schedule is very difficult for the remaining games that Lewis will start.

My sleeper of the week is Carson Palmer. He faces an Atlanta pass defense that has struggled all season. The Falcons are allowing the fifth most points to fantasy quarterbacks this season. I think Palmer will have his highest scoring week of the season thus far. If your starter is injured or on a bye week, take a long look at Palmer as your Week 8 spot starter.

Listed below are the top five quarterbacks for passing touchdowns:

1. Peyton Manning - 25
2. Tony Romo - 15
3. Philip Rivers - 15
4. Matthew Stafford - 15
5. Drew Brees - 14

And the top five quarterbacks for passing yards:

1. Peyton Manning - 2,565
2. Philip Rivers - 2,132
3. Matthew Stafford - 2,129
4. Tony Romo - 2,010
5. Drew Brees - 1,958

Quick Notes: St. Louis signed Brady Quinn and Austin Davis to back up Kellen Clemens......Josh Freeman will start on Sunday night against Green Bay despite the struggles he had against the Giants.....Jeff Fisher has committed to Sam Bradford as his starting quarterback for 2014.....Chicago signed Jordan Palmer to back up Josh McCown while Jay Cutler is out.

1 Peyton Manning
2 Drew Brees
3 Aaron Rodgers
4 Matthew Stafford
5 Robert Griffin III
6 Tony Romo
7 Matt Ryan
8 Russell Wilson
9 Cam Newton
10 Colin Kaepernick
11 Tom Brady
12 Michael Vick
13 Eli Manning
14 Terrelle Pryor
15 Ben Roethlisberger
16 Alex Smith
17 Andy Dalton
18 Carson Palmer
19 Ryan Tannehill
20 Geno Smith
21 Thaddeus Lewis
22 Josh Freeman
23 Chad Henne
24 Mike Glennon
25 Kellen Clemens
26 Brandon Weeden
27 Nick Foles
28 Jason Campbell
29 Christian Ponder
30 Matt Barkley
31 Brady Quinn
32 Matt Cassel
33 Jeff Tuel

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