Thursday Night Football’s contest between the Washington Redskins and Minnesota Vikings consists of multiple intriguing storylines for our start sit. From players such as Kirk Cousins, Adrian Peterson, and Case Keenum all facing off against their former teams, to Minnesota being without their leading wide receiver Adam Thielen due to a hamstring injury.
The injury to Thielen means the team will likely lean on stud running back Dalvin Cook even more than they have already this season. However, while Cook is a locked-in fantasy start, ranking atop our Top-100 flex rankings for the week, this column is meant to help answer the more mind-puzzling fantasy questions for tonight’s game. So without further ado let’s take a look at the fantasy football start and sits for Week 8’s Thursday night showdown.
*If you’re in search for more fantasy start, sit advice check out our position start ’em, sit ’em columns below.
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Start of the Night: Kirk Cousins (MIN, QB)
Over the past three weeks, Cousins is second in fantasy points, regardless of position. Washington has allowed an average of 24.76 points to opposing quarterbacks in four of their seven games this season. They’ve also allowed a QB to toss three touchdown passes on four different occasions. Cousins has thrown four touchdowns in back-to-back weeks.
Stefon Diggs (MIN, WR)
No wideout has scored more fantasy points than Diggs over the past two weeks. Over that time span, he’s averaged 155 receiving yards and scored three touchdowns. He’s now eclipsed 100-yards in three of his past four games after averaging just 33.6 yards over the first three weeks of the season. The Redskins have allowed 10 receiving touchdowns to opposing wideouts this season. Diggs is a must-start with Thielen out of the lineup.
Terry McLaurin (WAS, WR)
McLaurin put up a stinker a week ago. The rookie wideout hauled in a single reception for a grand total of 11 yards. Don’t expect McLaurin’s fantasy star to stay down for too long. Minnesota is the seventh-worst secondary in terms of defending fantasy wide receivers. The Vikings have allowed 33.45 fantasy points to oppositions’ leading receivers over the past two weeks. That includes a four-touchdown performance by Marvin Jones in Week 7.
Sleeper: Bisi Johnson (WR, MIN)
Johnson has been thrust into fantasy relevance since Adam Thielen hurt his hamstring a week ago. Johnson saw a 43% snap count rate increase from Week 6 to Week 7 and is coming off a performance where he saw eight targets come his way. He outsnapped former first-round pick Laquon Tredwell by 42 snaps a week ago, and is the clear-cut WR2 in the Vikings offense on Thursday night.
Sit of the Night: Paul Richardson Jr. (WR, WAS)
Richardson Jr. seemed like a viable flex option early on in the season. However, since averaging 13.5 fantasy points over the first three weeks of the season, he’s seen that average drop to an abysmal 1.95 points over his last four games. He’s current riding back-to-back goose egg performances. While Minnesota has struggled at defending oppositions’ top targets at wideout, they’ve allowed teams’ second-option to average just 5.8 fantasy points since Week 3.
Adrian Peterson (RB, WAS)
Peterson has reemerged as a fantasy option thanks to a change in philosophy amidst Jay Gruden’s firing. He’s averaged 21.5 carries since Bill Callahan has taken over as head coach. However, he’s still yet to find the endzone since Week 1 and is also dealing with a high-ankle sprain. His volume will be there, but the chance of him getting out of single-digit scoring is low.
Buyers Beware: Irv Smith Jr. (MIN, TE)
I actually like our buyers beware pick way more than our sleeper choice over the long haul of this season. However, for just one game Smith Jr. scares me. He’s still clearly the second tight end in the Vikings offense. Kyle Rudolph is coming off his best game of 2019. Plus, Minnesota may not need to dig into fourth and fifth options in the passing game, as Washington is horrendous at defending the run. They allow the sixth-most yards on a per-game basis this season.