Fantasy Football Flashback, Week 8: QBs take rare backseat to RBs on most reliable list

Welcome to the latest edition of the Fantasy Football Flashback, where we celebrate the accomplishments of the week's most reliable players. Week 8 was a unique one in the fantasy landscape, as it was a rare scoring period where the majority of top scorers do not play quarterback. Let’s take a look at those who led their squads to victory.

No. 1: Alvin Kamara, RB, New Orleans Saints, 38.30 points

Kamara entered this week as arguably the top fantasy performer who was still without a touchdown, before finding the end zone three times in a lopsided win over the Raiders. The multi-dimensional back is definitely trending in the right direction of late, after opening the season at less than full strength. And the Saints decision to stick with Andy Dalton over Jameis Winston is a big win for Kamara, as Dalton has shown a greater willingness to use Kamara heavily in the passing game. The fantasy buy-low window to trade for Kamara has slammed shut, and he should be a top-10 RB the rest of the way.

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No. 2: A.J. Brown, WR, Philadelphia Eagles, 36.60

Brown dominated early and often on Sunday, scoring three first-half touchdowns in an easy win over the lowly Steelers. The 25-year-old has been consistent this season, but he also entered Week 8 with just one 100-yard game and two touchdowns. Still, the Eagles are among the best teams in football and have a soft schedule, which should keep Brown as a WR1 the rest of the way.

No. 3: Christian McCaffrey, RB, San Francisco 49ers, 36.26

McCaffrey needed less than two full weeks as a member of the 49ers to become the focal point of their offense. The Stanford alum tallied 18 of the team’s 22 RB rushes and also led the club with eight catches. Along the way, he found the end zone twice and surprisingly had a TD pass, making him the first player in 17 years to record a passing, rushing and receiving touchdown in a single game. McCaffrey received a value uptick two weeks ago by joining a team with a competent offense, and he should finish the season as the top fantasy RB (he currently ranks second).

No. 4: Derrick Henry, RB, Tennessee Titans, 35.30

No Ryan Tannehill? No problem. The Titans turned the clock back several decades on Sunday, handing the ball off 40 times and throwing just 10 passes in a 17-10 win over an unimpressive Texans squad. Henry handled 32 of those carries, and despite the Texans knowing what was coming, they were unable to stop it. Henry finished the game with 219 rushing yards and two touchdowns. Don’t worry about his lack of involvement in the passing game, as he has previously proven that he can be an elite fantasy performer on his rushing acumen alone.

No. 5: Tony Pollard, RB, Dallas Cowboys, 33.20

This was the game that Pollard managers have been waiting for, as the 25-year-old took advantage of the absence of Ezekiel Elliott to rush for 131 yards and three touchdowns. Impressively, Pollard did his damage on just 14 carries. Pollard has averaged 6.2 yards per carry this season in comparison to 4.1 yards for Zeke, which should help Pollard to get a heavier workload in coming weeks. Those who were patient with the former Memphis star could have a fantasy difference-maker by playoff time.

No. 6: D’Onta Foreman, RB, Carolina Panthers, 31.80

The Christian McCaffrey trade appears to have been a win for both teams, as Foreman has rushed for over 100 yards in two consecutive games since taking over the lead role. And he showed a nose for the end zone on Sunday, often dragging defenders across the goal line on his two-point conversion and three rushing touchdowns. The Panthers may not have one of the most explosive offenses in the league, but they have shown a spark of late. Foreman is a lineup lock on most rosters for Week 9 — even with Chuba Hubbard likely to return from an ankle injury and part of the backfield mix — and could end up being among the best waiver adds of the season.

No. 7: Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Miami Dolphins, 29.18

Finally, a quarterback. The top signal-caller ranked no lower than second overall in each of the previous seven weeks, which makes it very surprising that in a week with plenty of scoring, no quarterback put up an eye-popping stat line. Tagovailoa looked great while bringing Miami back from an early deficit, and he finished the contest with 382 yards passing and three scores. The Dolphins have arguably the top WR duo in football with Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle, and some other useful weapons such as Mike Gesicki. Given the current state of fantasy QB options, Tagovailoa is knocking on the door to join the second tier.

Tua Tagovailoa was fantasy's top-scoring QB in Week 8, but we're used to signal-callers being much higher on the Top-10 list. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
Tua Tagovailoa was fantasy's top-scoring QB in Week 8, but we're used to signal-callers being much higher on the Top-10 list. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

No. 8: Jalen Hurts, QB, Philadelphia Eagles, 28.40

Hurts took an unusual route to the Top-10 list this week, posting his lowest rushing total (10 yards) of the season but throwing four touchdowns of more than 25 yards each. He targeted A.J. Brown often in this game, but he has also shown an affinity for DeVonta Smith in some previous weeks. Based on the 2022 results to date, Hurts is part of the top tier of fantasy QBs, along with Lamar Jackson, Josh Allen, Patrick Mahomes and Joe Burrow.

No. 9: DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Arizona Cardinals, 27.90

Hopkins has shown no signs of rust since returning from suspension. The target monster caught 10 passes in his Week 7 return before hauling in 12 balls for 159 yards and a touchdown on Sunday. The Cardinals offense wasn’t the same without Hopkins at the outset of the season, but Kyler Murray is clearly overjoyed to be reunited with his favorite weapon. Those who stashed Hopkins are set to enjoy a WR1 for the remainder of 2022.

No. 10: Kyler Murray, QB, Arizona Cardinals, 26.64

Murray logged his second-best fantasy game of the campaign in an 8-point loss to the Vikings, passing for 326 yards and three touchdowns while adding 36 yards on the ground. The fleet-footed quarterback also threw two interceptions, but his fantasy managers will be happy to see season-high totals in passing yards and scores. The return of Hopkins should continue to greatly help Murray, who also needs better pass protection after being sacked 12 times in his past three games. Murray ranks just outside the top tier of fantasy QBs, and he is instead part of a second tier that also includes Justin Herbert.