As we near the half-way point in Week 8 of the NFL there have been many surprises and disappointments for fantasy owners that have changed their teams since the draft room wreckage from 16 rounds. I’ll go through this briefly by division and rank the NFL teams by associating a grade with how well they have produced for fantasy owners. I will check back in with this before at Week 13, which should be the last week of regular season in most standard leagues for playoff matchups.
Patriots | B
B as in Brady. Belicheck spreads the love around too much via the ground game and Welker has been the only constant lately with Gronk a close second.
Dolphins | C-
The Fins have been better than expected but Bush and Hartline are only ones worth playing plus spot playing the Defense.
Jets | F
They have been god awful until Shonn Greene finally showed up in Week 7. Tebow is a no show and Sanchez has been dirty.
Bills | C+
For a last place team that has been brutal at times they have some steady performers in CJ Spiller and Steve Johnson. Fitzpatrick and Jackson have been too inconsistent.
Broncos | B
The Broncos are finally beginning to gel and Peyton has built some great chemistry with Decker and McGahee is showing his wheels. Tight ends have been inconsistent.
Chargers | D
There’s no denying that San Diego has to be one of most disappointing teams. Rivers and Gates underperform from week to week and Mathews is just getting healthy finally. Also the wide receivers are a rag-tag group and unreliable.
Raiders | D
The Raiders haven’t lived up to the high upside that ended last season on the up. Palmer is looking old, Run DMC is at least healthy but underperforming. Denarius Moore is only real reason they are not an F.
Chiefs | F
Is it too early to call Dwayne Bowe the biggest WR bust yet? Jamaal Charles is still healthy, which is more than I can say for Peyton Hillis or Matt Cassel.
Ravens | B+
The Ravens have woken up on offense due to the no-huddle and Flacco has been much improved this season. Ray Rice and Torrey Smith have been tremendous but the Defense that once sat atop the rankings has taken a fall from grace.
Steelers | C+
Mike Wallace and the emergence of Big Ben to Heath Miller are keeping them at above average. Otherwise the loss of Mendenhall and steady decline from the defense have really shown this season.
Bengals | B+
Cincinnati has probably the best WR in fantasy in AJ Green and a QB in Andy Dalton that has slowly crept up the charts and Hawkins who has turned in some fine games. The running game is preventing them from earning an A.
Browns | C-
The Browns are improving as rookie QB and RB take flight. I think there is potential to earn up to a B+ by season’s end with some more help by Gordon and Little at WR.
Texans | A
I cannot give them anything less. Foster is beast, Matt Schaub has been better than average, the defense has been spectacular and Owen Daniels is turning in a solid season. If Andre Johnson can catch fire they’ll be head of the class by season’s end.
Colts | B-
Reggie Wayne has rejuvenated his career and Andrew Luck is playing well. Fleener has disappointed thus far and Donald Brown and the running game is mediocre.
Titans | C-
Chris Johnson’s slow start, Jake Locker and Kenny Britt’s injuries, zero defense and you have your grade. Kendall Wright and Nate Washington have been up and down too.
Jaguars | F
There’s nothing good to talk about here. Not even MJD, he’s injured now.
Giants | A
Eli has been elite, Bradshaw a beast, Bennett a nice surprise and Cruz has been in top form. Now once Nicks gets his health back it should be all As.
Eagles | D
Vick has been a disappointment, so has Maclin, DJax and especially Lesean McCoy. There is still plenty of time to right the ship and expect that to happen soon.
Cowboys | D
Romo has been underperforming all season, Murray injured, Dez Bryant has all but disappeared and Witten is finally looking better from his early season injury. If it wasn’t for Miles Austin they would earn an F.
Redskins | A-
I cannot give this team anything below an A-. RGIII and Alfred Morris are the biggest surprises this season to date and top 3 at their positions. If it wasn’t for the poor Defense and Pierre Garcon injury they would get the plus.
49ers | B
Considering the 49ers have been pretty void of big time fantasy players outside of Gore in previous seasons, a B is good. They have an awesome Defense and beast at TE.
Cardinals | D
Week in and week out this team is too inconsistent. With so many RBs in and out of the lineup and quarterback changes the only constant is Fitzgerald and he even has bad games.
Seahawks | C
The Seahawks Defense has been amazing but nobody outside of Marshawn Lynch deserves fantasy notes here. Even Sydney Rice has been a better bench player.
Rams | D
No reason to get excited about Stephen Jackson or Bradford here, the Rams had a solid C until Holy Moly Amendola went down, but word is that he’s on the fast track back.
Bears | B+
Brandon Marshall’s resurgence and this Defense headline the team. A lack of consistency at TE and secondary WR along with Forte’s injury concerns leave room for improvement.
Vikings | B+
Peterson leads the cause and if Ponder can continue the success with Percy Harvin and get TE Rudolph more involved an A is not out of sight in the second half.
Packers | B+
Aaron Rodgers is back on track but Greg Jennings and Cedric Benson’s health have hurt this juggernaut. Expect a better second half.
Lions | D-
This team has been plagued by poor QB play and the only thing keeping it fantasy relevant is LeShoure and Calvin Johnson’s superhuman qualities.
Falcons | A+
The Falcons have been on point and deserving of an A+. Matt Ryan and Tony Gonzalez have been tops at their positions and even Turner is faring better than expected while Roddy White and Julio Jones are consistent contributors. The Defense isn’t half bad either.
Saints | C
For a team that started the season 0 – 5 they have resiliency to earn a B+. Brees has been dynamic but with Graham hampered and lack of ground game from Ingram and Pierre Thomas and an atrocious defense to boot there is definitely room to improve.
Buccaneers | B
Tampa started off slow but Doug Martin and Vincent Jackson plus Mike Williams have really righted the ship. They sit squarely fixed on a B. If Freeman can continue to progress an A is achievable sooner than later.
Panthers | F
Poor Carolina, they fired their GM and Cam Newton is about as good as a box of rocks. Enough said, things can only get better from here.
Fantasy Tip of the Week
Just the tip of the week will be quick this week. It revolves around the game in London with the Patriots and Rams. Don’t get cute this week with time zone changes and where the game is being played. So stop worrying about time zone and location garbage at this point in the season, just play your studs.