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Thursday Night Football Matchups Analysis - Week 8


The madden curse strikes again. Reigning MVP and superstar quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who happens to be the cover athlete for the latest edition of the popular Madden football video game, suffered a dislocated knee on a quarterback sneak in the Kansas City Chiefs 30-6 victory over the Denver Broncos last Thursday night.

Despite the injury, fantasy owners were happy with the production of pass-catchers Tyreek Hill (three receptions, 74 yards, one touchdown) and Travis Kelce (six receptions, 44 yards) given the situation. Denver failed to get much going on offense, but running back Royce Freeman managed to find the end zone and wideout Courtland Sutton hauled in six receptions for 87 yards.

The Minnesota Vikings carry a great deal of momentum coming into this Thursday, having won their last three games without putting up less than 28 points in each contest. Meanwhile, the Washington Redskins will look to get back on track after a horrific offensive performance against the San Francisco 49ers. Let's dive in to Thursday Night Football Matchups Analysis for Week 8!

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Washington Redskins @ Minnesota Vikings

Date and Start Time: October 24 at 8:20 PM ET

Notable Injuries and Status:

 

Offensive and Defensive Rankings in 2019:

Redskins Vikings
Passing Yards 31st 17th
Rushing Yards 24th 3rd
Pass Defense 12th 15th
Rush Defense 27th 7th

 

Must Starts

Top Performers That Have To Be In Your Lineups

Dalvin Cook (RB, MIN)

Fantasy owners have only had one game on the season where Cook has failed to eclipse 100 yards rushing or score a touchdown. Cook is about as reliable an RB1 option as you can find and draws a juicy matchup against Washington's bottom-five run defense.

Stefon Diggs (WR, MIN)

Although its hard to imagine Diggs needing any additional help to boost his statistics, as the Vikings wide receiver has scored 43.50 and 21.20 fantasy points in PPR formats over his last two games, the likely absence of slot receiver Adam Thielen leaves plenty of targets on the table. Plug and play Diggs with confidence.

 

Solid Options and Sleepers

Which Players Will Have Solid Games and Which Could Surprise?

Solid Option: Kirk Cousins (QB, MIN)

Despite Cousins likely being down one of his top targets, he will easily be capable of exploiting a Washington defense that has given up an average of two passing touchdowns per game. Since Week 4, Cousins has had more than 300 passing yards in each game and fantasy owners should continue to ride the wave.

Solid Option: Terry McLaurin (WR, WAS)

While the Vikings boast a scary defense on paper, their secondary has struggled to contain opposing wide receivers on the boundaries in recent weeks. Philadelphia's Alshon Jeffery caught 10 passes for 76 yards and a score in Week 6, while Detroit's Marvin Jones put up 93 yards and four touchdowns on 10 receptions in Week 7. Expect McLaurin to bounce back from his worst game of 2019.

Sleeper: Kyle Rudolph (TE, MIN)

Rudolph has been, for all intents and purposes, a fantasy bust in 2019. That said, we saw flashes of the scoring ability that he has last week when the Vikings tight end put up six receptions for 58 yards and a score against the Detroit Lions. With the team's preeminent red zone threat sidelined (Adam Thielen leads Minnesota with six red zone targets), Rudolph could find his number being called.

Sleeper: Wendell Smallwood (RB, WAS)

Washington's interim coach Bill Callahan has shown a dedication to running the football since filling Jay Gruden's shoes. The Redskins' top back, Adrian Peterson, has 43 rush attempts in his last two games, but appears to have suffered a high ankle sprain that could either keep him out of the game on a short week or have his snaps limited. Smallwood makes for an intriguing volume play with his upside capped by Minnesota's stout run defense.

 

Consider Sitting

Players To Avoid Putting In Your Lineup If Possible

Case Keenum (QB, WAS)

A smothering Vikings Defense combined with the possibility of a Dwayne Haskins appearance makes Keenum a QB3 option at best. The Redskins newly established devotion to running the ball also doesn't inspire much confidence.

Paul Richardson / Trey Quinn (WRs, WAS)

The duo of Richardson and Quinn has accounted for a cumulative total of seven receptions on 18 targets in the Redskins last three games. Neither offer any certainty in a tough matchup and fantasy owners can likely find better options to sub in.

Jeremy Sprinkle (TE, WAS)

Both Jordan Reed and Vernon Davis are likely going to be sidelined, opening the door for Sprinkle to continue to dominate snaps at tight end for Washington. That said, Minnesota ranks in the top-half of the league when it comes to fantasy points allowed to tight ends and Sprinkle hasn't had more than three targets in a game since Week 3.

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