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Nine weeks into the season, the list of top 10 overall fantasy players looks quite a bit different than the top 10 that I - and almost everyone else - predicted at the beginning of the season. If you were drafting a fantasy team today in a 10-team league, this is probably what your first round would look like:
1. Peyton Manning, QB,DEN: Without question, the top fantasy player through the first half of the season. True, he has not been scoring at will the last two weeks, but 29 passing TDs through the first eight weeks is hard to beat.
2. Jamaal Charles, RB, KC: Leads RBs in receiving yards with 383, and along with 635 yards and eight total TDs, he's clearly tops at the position most fantasy owners focus on in Round 1. If he keeps it up, he could win the overall No. 1 ranking next year.
3. Drew Brees, QB, NO: Having his typical TD-laden season, with 19 so far. The biggest difference with him is only five INTs. Not as insane as Manning, but just as consistent.
4. Matthew Stafford, QB, DET: More than 2,600 yards passing and 18 total TDs. He is returning to the form of his 5,000 yard, 41-TD season of a few years ago. With Tom Brady having a bad year and Aaron Rodgers merely so-so from a fantasy perspective, he's the new No. 3 QB.
5. Knowshon Moreno, RB, DEN: A shocking development, as he was nowhere near the top 10 to start the season, and in fact faced a timeshare in the backfield. But, in the prolific DEN offense, he has scored nine TDs overall as defenses have scrambled to cover Manning's receivers.
6. LeSean McCoy, RB, PHI: An uneven season in some ways for a sputtering offense, but the game plan is centered around him, which is why he leads all rushers with 733 yards.
7. Matt Forte, RB, BEARS: Another surprise, and while it's true that three of his six TDs came in one game, the Marc Trestman offense is keeping him busy, both running and catching.
8. Jimmy Graham, TE, NO: A few weeks ago, he was doing so well I would have had him No. 2 overall. He's been slowed by injury, but his 630 receiving yards are the most of any TE, and his eight TDs are tied for second among all receivers.
9. Dez Bryant, WR, DAL: Started slow, but gets here by virtue of his eight TDs. He's the top end-zone target for a high-scoring offense, and has been the most consistent fantasy producer among WRs.
10. Calvin Johnson, WR, DET: Almost left him off this list because more than a third of his receiving yards came last week, but he now leads WRs in receiving yards and fantasy points, and is third in TDs.
* ESPN has free agent finds, including, if you dig deep enough, Josh McCown.
* The Big Lead targets Bengals' receiver Marvin Jones.
* Bleacher Report looks at what we learned from Week 8.
Dan O'Shea is our man in fantasyland. He welcomes your comments.
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Posted on Aug 16, 2017