The weather played a bigger factor than usual in Week 8, as only six of 12 games had 50 points or more scored; in Week 7, eight of 14 did. That might explain the lower-than usual Fantasy scores in your leagues as the likes of Carson Wentz, Ezekiel Elliott, Josh Allen, Kareem Hunt, Tyler Lockett and Adam Thielen disappointed.
Some of that was just a blip on the radar, but some could be a sign of things to come. I went through every game in Week 8 Sunday to identify the biggest winner and loser, plus some storylines or key plays you might have missed if you weren't paying close attention.
Here's what you need to know from Week 8:
The Colts running backs dominated in this one, except Jonathan Taylor only had 31 yards. That's not good news for him, and there wasn't much good news in this one for the Lions offense as a whole.
- Injuries: Kenny Golladay (hip) — Unable to return from the same injury that forced him to leave during Week 3 … T.Y. Hilton (groin) — Left in the third quarter and did not return.
- Winner: Jordan Wilkins — Frank Reich told reporters after the game he wasn't planning on getting Jordan Wilkins so many carries Sunday, but with Taylor struggling to make much of an impact, he opted to play the hot hand, and that was Wilkins in Week 8. He rushed for 89 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries, while Taylor had just 11 carries and Nyheim Hines added five. Wilkins will be a highly valued target on waivers in Week 9, though whether this truly signaled a changing of the guard remains to be seen — and a Week 9 engagement with the Ravens could make it tough for anyone to stand out next week.
- Loser: Rookie RB — Taylor is an obvious loser from this one, and he now has just 389 rushing yards on his 100 carries so far. But he wasn't alone. D'Andre Swift rushed for a single yard — yes, 1 yard — on six carries, and added 22yards on three catches and four targets. The passing game work remains helpful, but Kerryon Johnson came in Sunday and scored a receiving touchdown, which hurts. Swift has 15 carries for 28 yards in two games since his 116-yard performance in Week 6, which all of a sudden looks more like a blip than a breakout. Both Swift and Taylor still have value, but neither has taken control of their respective backfield the way we hoped for through the first half of their rookie seasons.
- What you might have missed: Taylor had an opportunity to salvage his day, coming into the game at the 1-yard line the second half after Wilkins started the drive. He got the carry and ran into a wall, gaining nothing. Wilkins came in on the next play and had a huge hole into the end zone. It was that kind of day.
The margin for error for the Patriots offense is incredibly small, while the Bills never really seemed to feel any pressure. It was much easier than the final score indicated until the very end.
- Winner: Zack Moss — Moss split carries and targets evenly with Devin Singletary 14 to 14 and one to one, but he had a much more valuable role in this one. Moss scored two touchdowns from inside the 10-yard line, the first rushing touchdowns of his career. Moss has played at least 45% of the snaps in four of his five games so far, so this really does look like a pretty even timeshare, but if Moss is going to be the goal-line back, he could be the better Fantasy option.
- Loser: Cam Newton — Newton isn't entirely blameless here; he has missed throws and had a back-breaking fumble with the Patriots trying to set up a late field goal to tie the game. However, you simply can't ask much more from him than he's doing right now, given the situation. That's part of the problem. The Patriots might not have had a single active skill player Sunday who would have played a significant role on the Bills, especially with N'Keal Harry (concussion) and Julian Edelman (knee) out. The bigger problem might be that those guys wouldn't make much of a difference even if they were healthy. You can probably start Newton in Week 9 against the Jets, but he's just a streaming option after that.
- What you might have missed: It's not just Moss' presence that hurts Singletary, and we saw evidence of that Sunday, especially on one third-quarter drive. Singletary started the drive with the Bills taking over in Patriots territory, and he helped get them down into the red zone with 31 yards on three carries. Once inside the red zone, however, he ceded to Moss, who saw carries from the 19, 17, 5 and 4-yard lines. Of course, it wasn't Moss who scored on that drive; it was Josh Allen, who remains a significant presence near the goal line — one who lowers the ceiling of both backs.
- Injuries: Darrell Henderson (thigh) — Was unable to return after leaving in the third quarter.
- Winner: Myles Gaskin — Tagovailoa didn't look great, and the Dolphins receivers didn't exactly help him, but you have to like what Gaskin did even in a bad overall game for the offense. Gaskin was Tagovailoa's most-targeted player, bringing in three of six passes thrown his way for 16 yards. He added a modest 47 yards on his 18 carries, but scored a goal-line touchdown as he continues to dominate the high-value touches for this Dolphins backfield.
- Loser: Jared Goff — Goff just hasn't played well this season. The Rams scheme has helped cover up for it a bit, but you can't build a modern NFL offense entirely around short throws, and Goff hasn't been good enough when needed to push the ball down field. Of Goff's 61 passes, just 15 of them were thrown 10 or more yards down the field; he completed just six of those. For the season, Goff has completed just 45.8% of his passes thrown 10 or more yards down the field, compared to 51.8% last season. He needs to be better.
- What you might have missed: It was hard to get a real sense for how Tagovailoa played, because the Dolphins didn't really need him to do much. He attempted just three passes 10 yards or more down the field and the Dolphins dropped three of his 22 passes. Two of those came from Preston Williams, who certainly didn't take advantage of his opportunity with DeVante Parker a bit limited.
Steelers 28, Ravens 24
In a game with no margin for error, Lamar Jackson made a few too many mistakes in the passing game.
- Injuries: Diontae Johnson (hamstring) — Left the game in the first quarter, but was able to return … Gus Edwards (knee) — Left in the second quarter to get checked out, but ultimately didn't end up missing any time.
- Winner: J.K. Dobbins/Gus Edwards — You could just as easily call Mark Ingram the biggest loser from a game he didn't even play. Dobbins and Edwards have run the ball better than Ingram pretty much all season, and they were both terrific against this very tough matchup. Dobbins ran the ball 15 times for a whopping 113 yards, while Edwards had 87 yards on his 16 carries. If Ingram is out again in Week 9 against the Colts, both would be viable starting options, with Dobbins perhaps the higher upside play, but Edwards more likely to find the end zone.
- Loser: Diontae Johnson — Johnson's frustrating season continued, as he left yet another game with an injury. This time, it was a hamstring injury that forced him to the sidelines. Though Johnson was able to return this time without missing too many snaps, he failed to make any kind of impact, catching just one of three targets for 6 yards. The most frustrating thing about Johnson is that it's been a different injury every time — an ankle last week, his back the week before — but he just has not been able to get through a game. When he does play, he's been Ben Roethlisberger's favorite target, but it's just tough to rely on him at this point. If Johnson does ever stay healthy, he looks like a No. 2 Fantasy WR, but actually getting him in your lineup is easier said than done.
- What you might have missed: JuJu Smith-Schuster nearly put together his second strong Fantasy showing in a row, but he was dragged down inside the 1 on a third-quarter play; James Conner scored on the next play. JuJu was down at the 8 on another later play, and wound up with seven catches for 67 yards on eight targets despite no targets in the first half.
The Titans missed a few plays, and that was enough to cost them in a shocking loss.
- Injuries: Adam Humphries (concussion) — Humphries took a hard shot while making a long catch and did not return to the game.
- Winner: Corey Davis — Davis is playing the best football of his career so far. After his eight-catch, 128-yard showing Sunday, Davis has 369 yards through five games, with a 93-catch, 1,181-yard, 10-touchdown pace over 16 games. A.J. Brown is still the top target in this passing game, but Davis sure seems to be benefiting from the defensive attention Brown is drawing, and with at least 11.9 PPR points in every game, it's hard not to view him as at least a No. 3 Fantasy WR even with a tough matchup against the Bears on the way.
- Loser: A.J. Green — Just when we were starting to buy back in, Green was relegated to the No. 4 option in the passing game, as Auden Tate saw a season-high seven targets Sunday. Things aren't quite as bad as all that — Green still led Bengals receivers in snaps and was second in routes run — but given that Green has still been by far the least efficient receiver on the team, the emergence of another receiver would certainly make it tougher for him.
- What you might have missed: Davis capped off his game with a touchdown on the Titans' final full drive, but he almost never got the chance — Ryan Tannehill was intercepted in the end zone on the previous play, but it was called back due to a defensive offsides penalty. It's also worth noting that the Titans had a new backup running back get some work Sunday: Former Texan D'Onta Foreman, who ran the ball five times for 37 yards in his first game action since 2018. Foreman played just six snaps and ran behind Jeremy McNichols, but it's possible he could be the handcuff for Derrick Henry, given his more physical style of play.
The Browns and Raiders combined for 66 rush attempts compared to just 49 passes, and the Fantasy production reflected that.
- Winner: Josh Jacobs — It's been a bit of a disappointing season for Jacobs, though mostly just because he has only scored in two of seven games to date. However, he still has one of the most secure workloads in the league, and he proved that with 31 carries in Week 8, making up for his disappointing 10-carry showing last week. He'll find the end zone again soon enough.
- Loser: Baker Mayfield — Just in case you thought Mayfield would benefit from not having Odell Beckham around for some reason, he completed 12 of 25 passes for 122 yards and no touchdowns coming off his career-best performance in Week 7. Mayfield simply doesn't throw the ball enough and isn't a good enough passer to be much more than a low-end Fantasy option.
- What you might have missed: Every week, our Fantasy football team puts together a collaborative document where we put all of our notes from watching the games in one place, including stuff like playing time and injuries, as well as noteworthy plays. And there were a few almost noteworthy plays in this otherwise boring game. Derek Carr nearly had a touchdown to Henry Ruggs on the corner of the end zone, but Ruggs just barely failed to get his feet down in bounds. On the other side, Jarvis Landry had a diving catch in the end zone overturned by replay after being initially ruled a touchdown, and had another would-be touchdown knocked out of his hands later in the game. Additionally, Jacobs failed to cash in on three straight goal-line opportunities, a frustrating sight given his touchdown struggles.
Chiefs 35, Jets 9
I wasn't sure there was a line you could make that would have kept me from picking the Chiefs in this one, and the 19.5-point line certainly wasn't enough. This one was never in doubt.
- Winner: Patrick Mahomes — Of course Mahomes lit the Jets up. What was nice to see was the aggressive, pass-first mentality the Chiefs adopted, as he threw the ball 42 times despite hitting the bench in the fourth quarter. Mahomes threw the ball just 49 times in his previous two games, so hopefully they'll continue to air it out.
- Loser: Clyde Edwards-Helaire — We viewed both Edwards-Helaire and Le'Veon Bell as starting Fantasy options, so of course they combined for just 12.9 Fantasy points. They split touches exactly evenly — six carries, three targets for each — and Edwards-Helaire has just 18 touches in two games since Bell was signed. Both games have been blowouts, so that's not necessarily a definitive sign of how things will work moving forward, but it's certainly not a promising start.
- What you might have missed: After it looked like Lamical Perine was overtaking Frank Gore as the primary back over the past few weeks, Gore got 10 carries to just eight for Perine. Perine is still playing more snaps and running more routes, but the Jets just aren't turning the keys over to the young guy the way they should.
- Winner: Dalvin Cook — Well, Cook sure looked healthy. He ran for 163 yards on 30 carries while adding 63 on two catches, with four touchdowns combined — he accounted for 69.8% of the team's yards from scrimmage. Cook has scored in every game he has played, with 11 total through six games. If we re-drafted the 2020 Fantasy season after Week 8, deciding between him and Alvin Kamara for the No. 1 pick would be an awfully tough call.
- Loser: Marquez Valdes-Scantling — Allen Lazard made his return to practice and will be back from injured reserve within the next two weeks, barring a setback. Valdes-Scantling, who was competing with Lazard early on to be the No. 2 receiver in the offense, had just one catch on one target for 19 yards, and has just nine catches in his past five games. If Lazard is healthy, I don't think there's any question he'll be the No. 2 behind Adams, and Lazard had 254 yards and two touchdowns on 13 catches through the first three games of the season. Go add him on waivers if he's out there.
- What you might have missed: The Packers had a key drive stall out in the third quarter with four straight drops on Rodgers passes — two by Tyler Ervin and two by Equanimeous St. Brown. It could have been an even better day for Rodgers, who still finished with three touchdowns and 28.5 Fantasy points.
The Broncos mounted a desperate late comeback, as Justin Herbert made a few rookie mistakes in the passing game.
- Injuries: Troymaine Pope (head) — Took a shot to the head in the fourth quarter and had to leave the game.
- Winner: Jerry Jeudy — We're still waiting for a truly huge game from Jeudy, but this was a promising game. He had four catches for 73 yards, including a long 43-yard catch and run, and most importantly, was targeted 10 times. Jeudy had been between four and five targets over the previous three games while playing right around 70% of the team's snaps; he played a career-high 89% of the snaps and ran routes on all but one of Drew Lock's drop backs Sunday. This was the first time Jeudy was used like a No. 1 receiver, and hopefully this is the start of a second-half breakout.
- Loser: Joshua Kelley — Also a loser: The idea of the Chargers backfield being predictable in any way. Kelley was the lead back in Week 7, playing more snaps and earning more touches that Justin Jackson. But on Sunday, Kelley was third among running backs in carries (seven for 32 yards), targets (one for -7 yards), and snaps (21), behind Jackson and recent practice squad promotion Troymaine Pope. And Kelley didn't exactly look like he deserved to usurp either. That may not hold in Week 9 — we thought Jackson was the lead back going into Week 8! — but this isn't what you wanted to see from Kelley.
- What you might have missed: Mike Williams had a good game that could have been a great one. He was just an inch or two away from a first-half touchdown, but couldn't stretch the ball to the pylon; he was ruled out at the 2-yard line, with Justin Herbert finding Gabe Nabers for the score on the next play.
Saints 26, Bears 23
The Bears continue to, rather inexplicably, compete against good teams, but the shorthanded Saints were still able to put this one away in overtime. Nick Foles just isn't good enough.
- Winner: Darnell Mooney — Mooney has been playing a solid role for the Bears for a while now, out-snapping Anthony Miller nearly every week, and it finally turned into production Sunday. He hauled in five of six passes thrown his way for 69 yards and a touchdown, the best game of his career. The Bears have been raving about Mooney all season, and he's someone Fantasy players with a roster spot to play with — especially in keeper or Dynasty leagues — might want to stash him in the event of a possible second-half breakout.
- Loser: Latavius Murray — Murray figures to lose a bit of his Fantasy appeal when Michael Thomas (hamstring) eventually makes his return, and that could come in Week 9 — he returned to practice this week, already. If that's what happens, this was a pretty sad performance. Ultimately, it's been a pretty disappointing run for Murray, who has averaged right around 12 touches per game over the last five but has just one game with double digits in Fantasy scoring. If you need a roster spot, go ahead and drop Murray (86% rostered) ahead of a tough matchup against the Bucs next Sunday.
- What you might have missed: Taysom Hill got involved in this one, scoring a receiving touchdown among his two catches for 30 yards and adding 35 rushing yards on five carries. Of course, he still only played 14 snaps out of 74, so this remains a high-profile gimmick. Unless he started to see more opportunities, that's all it's ever going to be.
The 49ers lost three more key offensive players in this one, and at some point they'd like to just come away from a game without the training staff having extra work to do.
- Injuries: Jimmy Garoppolo (ankle) — Left the game in the second half, the third time this injury has forced him from a game, and now it looks like he's going to miss at least a few weeks, with IR a possibility … Tevin Coleman (knee) — Finished with just three carries in his first game off IR. The issue is with the same knee … George Kittle (foot) — X-Rays came back negative immediately after the game, but further testing Monday revealed a fracture in his foot that will require an extended absence. According to NFL Networks' Ian Rapoport, it is unclear if Kittle will be able to return this season.
- Winner: DeeJay Dallas — It's not clear if Dallas is going to have another chance to be the starter for the Seahawks next week — Carlos Hyde and Chris Carson could be back from their injuries in Week 9 against the Bills — but if Dallas gets that opportunity, he showed he'll be worth trusting for Fantasy. This is just a valuable role, as he got some goal-line work as a runner and was targeted five times, bringing in each one for 17 yards and a score. He won't score two touchdowns every time he gets a chance to start, but Seahawks backs now have 11 touchdowns between them. This is a valuable role no matter who is in it.
- Loser: Jerick McKinnon — McKinnon played 37 of 69 snaps, by far his most since Week 4. Unfortunately, he was still scarcely used, running the ball three times for -1 yards and earning four targets for four catches and 40-yards — a goal-line touchdown is all that salvaged his Fantasy day. JaMycal Hasty led the team in rushing and carries, and you have to assume that will be the case moving forward, with McKinnon being used more like a passing game specialist.
- What you might have missed: Dallas could have had an even better game, as he had a 6-yard touchdown overturned on replay, as his foot was just out of bounds before he hit the pylon. Dallas got a chance to score on the next play but got stuffed, and DK Metcalf scored on the following one.
A competition of whose offense wanted it least. Carson Wentz's four turnovers give him 16 through eight games.
- Winner: Travis Fulgham — I'm trying to think of a good comp for Fulgham, the sixth-round journeyman who has 29 catches for 435 yards and four touchdowns in his first five games with the Eagles. Maybe 2009 Miles Austin, who saw eight targets in Week 4 and racked up 25 catches for 550 yards and six touchdowns in his next five. Fulgham may end up a flash in the pan, but Austin averaged nearly 90 receiving yards per game the rest of the season and put together a 1,000-yard season to follow it up. With Jalen Reagor returning (and scoring a touchdown), the Eagles might be set at wide receiver for the first time all season — assuming they can stay healthy …
- Loser: Ezekiel Elliott — Really, the entire Cowboys offense. Sure, Ben DiNucci was bad, but I'm not sure Andy Dalton is fixing this offense. The Cowboys are allowing a ton of pressure, which doesn't give anyone time to get open. Elliot was targeted just two times in this game, giving him three games with two or fewer in the four since Dak Prescott's injury, including the game he left. If Elliott isn't going to be fed targets as he was earlier this season and the Cowboys aren't going to give him scoring opportunities, you can't view him as anything more than an RB2 — perhaps one in the — *gulp* — David Montgomery range? At least until the offensive line is healthy.
- What you might have missed: The Eagles DST got a fumble recovery returned for a touchdown, but it could have easily been blown dead well before Rodney McLeod scooped it for the long return. Of course, the Eagles still had another turnover and sacked DiNucci four times, so it would have been a solid game for them either way. And now the Steelers get to face the Cowboys in Week 9. Yikes.
Buccaneers 25, Giants 23
Daniel Jones made a few brilliant plays and a few more awful ones, and the Giants came up just short again.
- Winner: Sterling Shepard — There wasn't much excitement for Shepard when he came off IR last week, but he's immediately emerged as the top target in the passing game for Jones. He had 17.9 PPR points in Week 7 and followed that up with 15.4 Monday, catching eight balls on 10 targets for 74 yards — all of which were team highs. This isn't a great offense, but it's been a bit better since Shepard returned, and if he's going to keep seeing this many targets, he's going to be a solid Fantasy option moving forward, one who is rostered in just 45% of CBS Fantasy leagues.
- Loser: Ronald Jones — Jones got the first six carries for the Buccaneers before he fumbled on a short catch in Tampa territory that led to a Giants touchdown in the first quarter. From that point on, Leonard Fournette had 15 carries and Jones had just one. As has been the case since last season, Bruce Arians simply gives Jones no margin for error. However, Arians has also consistently gone back to Jones even after these benchings, so why would this situation be different? Fournette didn't exactly dominate, rushing for 52 yards on 15 carries with three catches for 19 yards on six targets, while Jones rushed for 23 on seven carries with four catches for 23 yards. There has been a tendency in the Fantasy community to overreact to the most recent week's playing time split between Jones and Fournette, but things have tended to return to the same equilibrium every time — Jones is the lead back, Fournette relieves him and gets a bigger share of the passing work. I'll just assume that's going to remain the case until Arians says otherwise, which means I'm going to continue to treat both backs like questionable low-end No. 3 Fantasy RB.
- What you might have missed: There are moments when this Giants offense looks like it might be turning the corner, and then Jones usually overthrows that moment. He had several opportunities to hit Darius Slayton on long balls early in this one, but the duo simply didn't seem to be on the same page, with Jones overthrowing at least three balls where Slayton had a step on the defender. He also got bailed out on the final drive before throwing (an admittedly brilliant) touchdown pass to Golden Tate, when Jamel Dean failed to hold on to a diving interception. Jones was also too late and too far behind Dion Lewis on what should have been an easy game-tying two-point conversion. There are sparks there for Jones, who clearly isn't afraid to try to make a play, to his credit. But he has 13 turnovers in seven games, including nine interceptions, and the most concerning thing is he isn't showing any signs of improvement. He's holding the offense back right now.