The Rundown: Week 8 Stats to Know & Redskins vs Vikings
Week 7 has created a rare midseason waiver bonanza for desperate fantasy owners. Several running backs are looking at multiple week absences so players like Ty Johnson and Chase Edmonds will be highly sought after. Add in Kenny Stills, Mark Walton, Olabisi Johnson, and Matt Moore to the mix for a loaded player pool. These players, though, will have ripple effects on their NFL teams and will have varying levels of success going forward. That shouldn’t deter fantasy players from being ambitious and using any free agent dollars they have left.
Each week, I will provide a preview article with some key overall stats to watch for along with the Thursday game preview that includes start/sit ratings. Then, there will be subsequent previews later in the week with all the other games in time for the remaining fantasy decisions before kickoff. For much of this data, I will be using 4for4's Snaps, Touches, and Targets Apps as well as analyzing each team's pace and play-calling tendencies.
Ten Stats to Know for Week 8
- You like that: Kirk Cousins has three straight games throwing over 300 yards with 10 touchdown passes and is the QB2 during that time. He threw three total touchdown passes before this stretch. He has four touchdown passes two games in a row.
- Late starts: The top two running backs in Week 7 PPR scoring were Chase Edmonds and Latavius Murray. Both hadn’t started a game prior to last week.
- Voluminous: Michael Thomas and Cooper Kupp are both on pace to surpass 175 targets this season. No receiver has done it since 2015.
- High touch: Leonard Fournette became the first player with multiple 30-plus total touch games this season. Ezekiel Elliott led the NFL with three instances last year.
- Lockdown defense: The Patriots have not allowed a top 12 fantasy quarterback or tight end this year. No running back has broken the top 24 in PPR against the Patriots either.
- Running and gunning: Lamar Jackson had his third 100-yard rushing game of the year. It tied the NFL record for a single season.
- High volume quarterback: Kyler Murray (three) and Lamar Jackson (four) are threatening to break Bobby Douglass’ record (eight) for most games with double-digit rush attempts.
- Double double: Ezekiel Elliott (15) and Dalvin Cook (13) are the only two non-quarterbacks with a streak of 10 or more games over 10 PPR points.
- Magic 8-ball: Michael Thomas has six games with eight or more catches in his first seven weeks. The NFL record is 12 such games by Marvin Harrison.
- Low ceiling: The Bears are the only team that hasn’t reached 300 yards of total offense in a game. They do not have a game over 250 passing yards and just one game over 100 rushing yards.
Redskins @ Vikings
Spread: Vikings -15.5 | Total: 42
Two teams trending in very different directions highlight the early game of Week 8. The Redskins continue their season-long slide, having only managed 10 or more offensive points once in their last four games. They have also failed to reach 200 passing yards during that time with few signs of hope. On the other hand, the Vikings have scored 15 touchdowns in their last three games while averaging 480 yards of total offense. They have a reinvigorated passing game, but with Adam Thielen dinged up, it will need to find some additional options to maintain the momentum.
The team has rediscovered a running game with three straight contests over 100 team rushing yards. That will be the strategy they push even against the top 10 Vikings run defense. Case Keenum will need to do better here, especially if and when they trail in this game. The big question will be around sustaining drives, which could limit the number of plays run this week.
Team Trends That Matter
- Leads the NFL in drives ending in a punt (58.7%) over the past four weeks.
- 2.3 red zone rush attempts per game ranks 31st in the NFL this season.
- Their defense averages the longest time on the field per possession (3:12) in the league.
Fantasy Rating and a Stat to Know
- QB Case Keenum (0) - Has failed to score over four fantasy points in two of his last three games
- RB Adrian Peterson (1) - Two straight games with over 20 total touches, his first two of the season
- WR Terry McLaurin (3) - Week 7 was his first game with fewer than seven targets or eight PPR points
- TE Jeremy Sprinkle (0) - Has not surpassed 25 receiving yards in a game this year
On defense, they get an Adrian Peterson revenge game. On offense, they should be able to moonwalk to victory by doing whatever they want. Dalvin Cook will be the centerpiece and should see plenty of touches while the passing game will likely start hot and eventually take a backseat as they coast late in the game. There should be plenty of touchdowns to go around as well.
Team Trends That Matter
- The Vikings lead the league with a 70.8% red zone touchdown rate this season.
- They have seen as many offensive drives end in punts as touchdowns (24).
- Have allowed back-to-back 20-plus fantasy point efforts from opposing quarterbacks.
Fantasy Rating and a Stat to Know
- QB Kirk Cousins (4) - The Redskins have held back-to-back quarterbacks under 10 fantasy points
- RB Dalvin Cook (5) - 51 snaps in Week 7 represent his highest total this year
- WR Stefon Diggs (5) - Has only failed to catch six targets in the last five weeks. He failed to catch six targets in Week 2 against the Packers
- WR Olabisi Johnson (3) - Saw eight targets in Week 7 after just nine all season before that game
- TE Kyle Rudolph (0) - Scored over half his 2019 PPR points in Week 7 (16.8 of 33)
- TE Irv Smith Jr. (0) - 56.2% snap share in Week 7 was his season-high
Fantasy Rating Key
- (5) - Elite option. Must start.
- (4) - Strong option. Likely start.
- (3) - Good option. Low-end starter to high-end backup.
- (2) - Weak option. Possible flex or desperation play.
- (1) - Bad option. Bench in nearly all cases.
- (0) - Not an option. Injured, bench, or waivers.