Week 8 fantasy wrap: Deshaun Watson continues historic start

Deshaun Watson’s huge performance and a look around the league in Week 8 (AP Photo/Stephen Brashear).

Texans vs. Seahawks: This might go down as game of the year, with four fourth quarter lead changes in a 41-38 thriller. The Seahawks won, but Deshaun Watson was the story, as he became the first player in NFL history to throw for 400 yards, run for more than 50 yards and throw four touchdowns in a game. And he did it in Seattle as a rookie making just his sixth career start. He also became the first rookie with three or more TD passes in four straight games. Seattle remains the toughest venue to play as a visitor in football, and the Seahawks entered allowing an NFL-low 5.6 YPA with a 69.9 Passer Rating. They had allowed one TD pass at home all season. I was dumb enough to rank Watson outside my top-10 QBs this week, a mistake I won’t be making again, as he’s proven to be clearly matchup-proof. Watson is still prone to mistakes (he threw three interceptions Sunday), but we are witnessing something special. Even in our “wait on QBs” era, given his rushing ability, Watson is going to go extremely early in fantasy drafts next year. Given his ADP, he’s certainly this year’s fantasy MVP so far.

Russell Wilson was quite good as well, throwing for 452 yards (11.0 YPA) and four touchdowns while leading Seattle with 30 rushing yards and orchestrating this late game-winning drive…Houston’s struggles against secondary receivers continued, as Paul Richardson and Tyler Lockett combined for 226 yards and two scores…DeAndre Hopkins torched Seattle’s secondary, going off for 224 yards and a score, highlighted by this screen he took 72 yards to the houseWill Fuller is now up to seven touchdowns on 13 catches, which is remarkable. It appears he possesses speed that is above average…Watson, Hopkins and Fuller are all 25 years old or younger.

Vikings vs. Browns: Isaiah Crowell’s 64 rushing yards were a season-high, and his touchdown was his first of the year…The Vikings had 34 rushing attempts and none went for more than 10 yards, although Jerick McKinnon remained plenty productive thanks to 10 targets…Adam Thielen recorded his first score of the year, while Stefon Diggs didn’t quite look back to 100 percent.

Bears vs. Saints: Mark Ingram secured all six of his targets, scored and totaled 99 yards but lost two fumbles. That marks three in the last three weeks, so this is something to at least monitor. He’s been terrific otherwise, as Ingram and Alvin Kamara are threatening to unseat Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman as the league’s best RB duo…Jordan Howard ran well and remains one of the league’s few true workhorses, but he was vultured a goal-line TD by Tarik Cohen and dropped yet another easy pass that likely would’ve been a touchdown…Poor Zach Miller, who suffered a dislocated knee on a touchdown catch that was mysteriously overturned…After opening the season 0-2, the Saints have won five straight.

Falcons vs. Jets: Robby Anderson hauled in all six of his targets for 104 yards and a score and has quietly averaged nearly eight looks over his past three games. He’s the clear No. 1 WR on a team with a quarterback who’s totaled 10 touchdowns over the last four games…This game was ugly, featuring two missed field goals, a bad muffed punt by Jeremy Kerley late, two botched snaps leading to fumbles lost by Matt Ryan and a horrible drop in the end zone by Austin Hooper (although the TE did score a TD earlier in the game)…I also locked in the Jets +4.5 in the Supercontest, only to see the line move late to +6 elsewhere. Of course New York lost by five.

Panthers vs. Buccaneers: Cam Newton managed just 4.8 YPA against an already vulnerable Bucs secondary ravaged by injuries, as what looked like a possible shootout on paper ended 17-3. Newton did lead Carolina with 44 ground yards, while Jonathan Stewart recorded the team’s first rushing TD by a RB this season…The Panthers entered allowing a 100+ Passer Rating, yet Mike Evans and DeSean Jackson totaled just 97 yards on 18 targets.

49ers vs. Eagles: The weather wasn’t ideal (a Week 8 theme throughout the league), but it was still surprising to see Carson Wentz get just 6.6 YPA and take three sacks at home against a bad 49ers defense missing a bunch of players. Of course, Philly still won 33-10, as C.J. Beathard’s NFL career is off to an inauspicious start…This play by Alshon Jeffrey was nice, as was the TD celebration afterward…I admit I didn’t expect Corey Clement to get 10X the amount of carries as Wendell Smallwood.

Raiders vs. Bills: After breaking out last week, Amari Cooper saw 10 targets but few were downfield, as Derek Carr spent the majority of Sunday checking underneath…Buffalo’s defense has recorded 11 interceptions this season. The Raiders have none…The Bills have four straight games forcing at least three turnovers, including this one Sunday taken to paydirtLeSean McCoy averaged 129.2 yards from scrimmage with 11 touchdowns over seven games at home last season. This year when not facing the Broncos, he’s averaged 151.3 YFS with three touchdowns over three games in Buffalo. McCoy plays at home Weeks 13-15, so he’s going to be a huge difference maker down the stretch.

Colts vs. Bengals: The Bengals barely won as 10.5-point home favorites against a bad Colts team, with a late pick-six being the difference. A.J. Green scored but managed just 27 yards on eight targets against an Indy secondary that entered allowing an NFL-high 8.9 YPA. Joe Mixon got just 1.6 YPC, lost a fumble and was caught from behind on a 67-yard catch that sure looked like he was going to score. Cincinnati now gets three straight road games, with two of them in Jacksonville and Denver…If I’m in a keeper league looking toward next year, I’d be targeting Marlon Mack, who looks like a real play maker and should be the lead back next year in an Andrew Luck led offense (assuming Luck’s shoulder ever fully recovers)…Jack Doyle’s 121 yards tied for the third most receiving yards in Week 8.

Chargers vs. Patriots: After allowing 32.0 ppg over their first four contests, the Patriots have yielded 12.8 over their last four. They did give up one big play though, as Melvin Gordon took this carry 87 yards for a spike…It’s baffling San Diego targeted Hunter Henry just twice…Tom Brady completed 14 of his passes to running backs…Tyrell Williams had a nice 40-yard TD catch, but he stepped out of bounds while running the route on the sideline, resulting in a penalty…This Travis Benjamin punt return is one of the worst you’ll ever seeJoey Bosa has the most sacks (19) through 20 games in NFL history.

Cowboys vs. Washington: Ezekiel Elliott ran for 150 yards on a career-high 33 carries and scored for the fifth time over the last two weeks. Excluding the game in Denver (it’s fair to pick and choose when it comes to the Broncos run D, I’ve unilaterally decided apparently), Elliott has totaled 888 yards and eight touchdowns in six games. That’s a season’s pace of 2,368 YFS with 21 scores. The upcoming decision on whether or not he’ll be suspended is going to decide a lot of fantasy titles…Jordan Reed saw one target, which led to him limping off the field and never returning. It was fun while it lasted. Go pick up Vernon Davis this week and be aggressive if you need TE help…Josh Doctson and Terrelle Pryor combined for one catch for one yard on four targets (at least the one reception was a TD), as the team’s “X” position remains a total wasteland…Maybe Jamison Crowder, on the other hand, can salvage his season after all…Dak Prescott threw for just 143 yards with zero TDs, yet Dallas scored 33 points anyway…Dez Bryant has gone 14 straight games with fewer than 100 yards…I had Washington +8.5 in a teaser, so that late pick-six by Dallas was fun (it was also the Cowboys’ first interception in 191 pass attempts).

Steelers vs. Lions: The Steelers entered allowing just 5.6 YPA (second lowest in the NFL), so naturally Matthew Stafford throws for 423 yards and gets 9.4 YPA (his previous season high was 7.1 back in Week 1)…Welcome to JuJu Smith-Schuster’s coming out party, as the youngest player in the league turned 10 targets into seven catches for 193 yards, including this 97-yard touchdown…I wonder what Martavis Bryant thinks about him now…The Lions went 0-for-5 inside the red zone (as far as TDs), including getting stopped on two fourth downs inside the 10. Detroit totaled the third-most yards (482) by a team that didn’t score a touchdown in NFL history.

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