Fantasy Football Instant Reactions: Week 8
Week 8 brought two huge upsets as the Broncos held the Chiefs without a touchdown en route to a 24-9 home upset of Kansas City, while Joe Burrow looked fully healthy in a 31-17 rout of San Francisco. That loss was the third straight for the 49ers.
Each Sunday night, I will provide my five instant fantasy football reactions from the slate of games. What were the key performances, surprises and disappointments from across the NFL?
Let’s get into Week 8!
Reaction No. 1: Carolina Gets Their First Victory
The Panthers became the last team to win a game this season, earning a last-second 15-13 victory over Houston. Despite a running game that averaged a putrid 1.8 yards per carry, rookie Bryce Young leaned on wide receiver Adam Thielen and Jonathan Mingo for 12 receptions and a 134 receiving yards on 15 total targets.
The Panthers defense, which entered the game ranked 30th overall, held Houston quarterback C.J. Stroud without a passing touchdown for the first time since Week 1. There is legitimate cause for concern for this Texans rushing attack, which only averaged 3.7 yards per carry against the worst rushing defense in the NFL per DVOA. Texans running back Dameon Pierce has been a huge disappointment, with just 373 rushing yards through seven games.
On a positive note, rookie Texans wideout Tank Dell played for the first time since October 8th after suffering a concussion. Dell is a critical part of this Houston offense.
Reaction No. 2: Kirk Cousins Done For The Season
It is feared that Minnesota quarterback Kirk Cousins suffered a torn Achilles’ tendon in the Vikings 24-10 win at Green Bay, ending his season. The only other healthy quarterback on the roster is fifth-round BYU rookie Jaren Hall. The Vikings are on a three-game winning streak, with four winnable games before a Week 13 bye week. At 4-4 overall, Minnesota is right in the midst of a playoff spot. Could they look for a trade? Will they look to sign a veteran free agent such as Carson Wentz? There are a lot of questions for a Vikings team that just started to play their best football of the season.
Reaction No. 3: Will Levis Becomes Tennessee’s QB1
Tennessee rookie Will Levis became only the second quarterback in NFL history to throw four touchdown passes in his NFL debut. Levis threw three touchdowns to wideout DeAndre Hopkins as Tennessee upset Atlanta 28-23 for their third win of the season. The Titans failed to find a suitable trade partner for running back Derrick Henry, and now may focus on a playoff run this season. Levis completed 19 of 29 passes and did not turn the ball over.
Tennessee embarks on three straight road games, starting Thursday Night at Pittsburgh. Could veteran Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill now be heading to Minnesota?
Reaction No. 4: Philadelphia Begins a Brutal Part Of Their Schedule
The Eagles begin the toughest six-game stretch of opponents I’ve seen for any NFL team this season. Philadelphia will host Dallas, then play at Kansas City after their bye week, followed by two home games against the Bills and 49ers, a road visit to Dallas, and then a game at Seattle. A.J. Brown continues one of the most incredible runs I’ve ever seen from a wide receiver.
Brown now has six straight games of 127 or more receiving yards. DeVonta Smith also produced, finding the end zone for the first time since Week 2, and only his second game of 99 receiving yards or more.
Reaction No. 5: Seattle Leads the NFC West
Seattle is now 5-1 over their past six games, earning a superb come-from-behind victory, 24-20 over Cleveland. The Seahawks now lead San Francisco by a ½ game in the NFC West, with two games left with the 49ers. Kenneth Walker continues to be one of the most underrated three-down backs in the NFL.