Fantasy football rankings: Pickens among 5 must-start WRs in Week 8

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver George Pickens (14) eludes a tackle while playing against the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, Calif. Photo by Jon SooHoo/UPI
1 of 5 | Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver George Pickens (14) eludes a tackle while playing against the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, Calif. Photo by Jon SooHoo/UPI | License Photo

MIAMI, Oct. 24 (UPI) -- George Pickens is among my five must-start wide receivers for Week 8 of the fantasy football season.

If you need more options for your roster, check out my top add/drops article. My Week 8 rankings for quarterbacks, running backs and tight ends are also available and will be updated throughout the week.


Tyreek Hill, Ja'Marr Chase, A.J. Brown, Keenan Allen and Cooper Kupp lead my Top 50 Week 8 wide receiver rankings, which are listed below. Davante Adams, D.J. Moore, Jaylen Waddle, Amon-Ra St. Brown and Terry McLaurin round out my Top 10.

All of my must-start options rank inside the Top 28 in my rankings, meaning they should all be started in leagues that include at least 14 teams.

No teams are on bye this week, but you should still check the status of your injured players before plugging them into starting lineups. Players from Thursday's Buffalo Bills-Tampa Bay Buccaneers game were removed from my rankings.

Wide receiver Terry McLaurin (L) and the Washington Commanders will host the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday in Landover, Md. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI

Terry McLaurin

McLaurin scored just once through seven games, but continues to draw a lot of looks within the Washington Commanders' pass-heavy offense.

The Commanders rank sixth in pass attempts and 30th in rush attempts this season. This week, they will meet a Philadelphia Eagles defense that allowed the most targets and tied for surrendering the most catches and touchdown receptions to opposing wide receivers.

The Eagles also allowed the third-most fantasy points and eighth-most receiving yards per game to wide receivers. They surrendered at least 86 yards and/or a touchdown catch to opposing No. 1 wide receivers in every game this season.

McLaurin hauled in six catches for a season-high 90 yards in Week 7. He totaled at least nine targets and six catches in three of his last four games. This game should feature a lot of passing attempts from Commanders quarterback Sam Howell, with McLaurin as his top target.

He is my No. 10 option and can be plugged in as a low-end WR1/high-end WR2.

Wide receiver George Pickens (L) and the Pittsburgh Steelers will host the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday in Pittsburgh. File Photo by Archie Carpenter/UPI

George Pickens


Pickens is my No. 15 option and can be used as a WR2 this week when the Pittsburgh Steelers host the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Pickens recorded more than 100 receiving yards in each of his last two games. He totaled 18 targets, 11 catches, 237 yards and a score during that stretch. He ranks 11th among active wide receivers in fantasy points per game over the last four weeks.

The Jaguars allowed the 10th-most fantasy points per game to wide receivers through seven weeks, including at least one touchdown catch to the position in all of those instances.

Look for Pickens' high usage to continue in this matchup.

Wide receiver Zay Flowers (R) and the Baltimore Ravens will play the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday in Glendale, Ariz. File Photo by David Tulis/UPI

Zay Flowers

Flowers totaled at least three catches in each of his first seven NFL starts. He logged more than four catches in four of those appearances. The Baltimore Ravens rookie is the No. 19 player in my rankings and can be slotted in as a WR2 in Week 8.

The Ravens will battle the Arizona Cardinals, who allowed the most receiving yards and sixth-most fantasy points per game to wide receivers so far this season. They also just allowed four receptions to three different Seattle Seahawks wide receivers in Week 7. Jake Bobo and Jaxon Smith-Njigba each totaled more than 60 yards and a score in that meeting.


Flowers is a near-lock for at least six catches in this game. I also expect him to eclipse 100 yards for the first time this season.

Wide receiver Kendrick Bourne (84) and the New England Patriots will battle the Miami Dolphins on Sunday in Miami Gardens, Fla. File Photo by Matthew Healey/UPI

Kendrick Bourne

Bourne is my No. 24 option as the New England Patriots hit the road to face the Miami Dolphins. The Dolphins tied for allowing the eighth-most fantasy points per game to wide receivers through seven weeks. They also just surrendered 14 catches for 186 yards and a score to Philadelphia Eagles wide receivers A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith in Week 7 and 11 catches for 115 yards and a score to Adam Thielen in Week 6.

Bourne totaled at least five targets in six of seven games this season. He logged 18 targets for 16 catches, 152 yards and a score over the last two weeks.

Look for the Dolphins to jump out to an early lead in this matchup, with Patriots quarterback Mac Jones heavily targeting Bourne when he is forced to throw.

Bourne is a solid streamer this week and should see at least 10 targets in this matchup. He is a better play in points-per-reception formats, but could work his way into the Top 14 if he reaches the end zone.

Wide receiver Josh Downs (C) and the Indianapolis Colts will host the New Orleans Saints on Sunday in Indianapolis. File Photo by Joe Marino/UPI

Josh Downs

Downs carries a bit more risk than my other recommended options, but I like his outlook for Week 8, when the Indianapolis Colts face the New Orleans Saints.

Downs totaled a season-high 125 yards and a score on five catches in Week 7. He also scored in Week 6 and logged 97 yards in Week 5.

Downs received at least six targets in five games so far. This week, he will battle a Saints secondary that has been somewhat stingy to pass catchers, but did surrendered at least 90 yards and/or a touchdown catch to at least one wide receiver in five of their last six games.

I expect Downs, my No. 25 option, to provide at last eight catches for 80 yards for his stock owners. Downs, who ranks among the league leaders in wide receivers targeted in the red zone, should also get several chances to score a touchdown.

Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver A.J. Brown reacts after catching a touchdown pass against the Miami Dolphins on Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia. Photo by Laurence Kesterson/UPI

Week 8 fantasy football wide receiver rankings

1. Tyreek Hill, Miami Dolphins vs. NE


2. Ja'Marr Chase, Cincinnati Bengals at SF

3. A.J. Brown, Philadelphia Eagles at WAS

4. Keenan Allen, Los Angeles Chargers vs. CHI

5. Cooper Kupp, Los Angeles Rams at DAL

6. Davante Adams, Las Vegas Raiders at DET

7. D.J. Moore, Chicago Bears at LAC

8. Jaylen Waddle, Miami Dolphins vs. NE

9. Amon-Ra St. Brown, Detroit Lions vs. LV

10. Terry McLaurin, Washington Commanders vs. PHI

11. Jakobi Meyers, Las Vegas Raiders at DET

12. Puka Nacua, Los Angeles Rams at DAL

13. Calvin Ridley, Jacksonville Jaguars at PIT

14. DeVonta Smith, Philadelphia Eagles at WAS

15. George Pickens, Pittsburgh Steelers vs. JAX

16. CeeDee Lamb, Dallas Cowboys vs. LAR

17. Adam Thielen, Carolina Panthers vs. HOU

18. Brandon Aiyuk, San Francisco 49ers vs. CIN

19. Zay Flowers, Baltimore Ravens at ARI

20. Garrett Wilson, New York Jets at NYG

21. Chris Olave, New Orleans Saints at IND

22. Jordan Addison, Minnesota Vikings at GB

23. Tee Higgins, Cincinnati Bengals at SF

24. Kendrick Bourne, New England Patriots at MIA

25. Josh Downs, Indianapolis Colts vs. NO

26. Amari Cooper, Cleveland Browns at SEA

27. Josh Palmer, Los Angeles Chargers vs. CHI

28. Christian Kirk, Jacksonville Jaguars at PIT


29. Nico Collins, Houston Texans at CAR

30. Drake London, Atlanta Falcons at TEN

31. Christian Watson, Green Bay Packers vs. MIN

32. Tyler Lockett, Seattle Seahawks vs. CLE

33. Jaxson Smith-Njigba, Seattle Seahawks vs. CLE

34. DeAndre Hopkins, Tennessee Titans vs. ATL

35. Rashee Rice, Kansas City Chiefs at DEN

36. Michael Pittman Jr., Indianapolis Colts vs. NO

37. Jerry Jeudy, Denver Broncos vs. KC

38. Courtland Sutton, Denver Broncos vs. KC

39. Romeo Doubs, Green Bay Packers vs. MIN

40. Tank Dell, Houston Texans at CAR

41. Rashid Shaheed, New Orleans Saints at IND

42. Brandin Cooks, Dallas Cowboys vs. LAR

43. Curtis Samuel, Washington Commanders vs. PHI

44. Michael Thomas, New Orleans Saints at IND

45. Marquise Brown, Arizona Cardinals vs. BAL

46. Diontae Johnson, Pittsburgh Steelers vs. JAX

47. Odell Beckham Jr., Baltimore Ravens at ARI

48. Tyler Boyd, Cincinnati Bengals at SF

49. Wan'Dale Robinson, New York Giants vs. NYJ

50. Josh Reynolds, Detroit Lions vs. LV

NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers rally to defeat Los Angeles Rams

Pittsburgh Steelers running back Jaylen Warren celebrates after scoring a fourth-quarter touchdown against the Rams at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, Calif., on October 22, 2023. The Steelers defeated the Rams 24-17. Photo by Jon SooHoo/UPI | License Photo

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