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Fantasy football projections, Week 8: Cardinals-Panthers featuring David Johnson, Cam Newton, Greg Olsen, more

We break down the Week 8 matchup between the Arizona Cardinals and the Carolina Panthers.

Seattle Seahawks v Arizona Cardinals Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The Week 8 matchup between the Arizona Cardinals and the Carolina Panthers features two underachieving Super Bowl contenders trying to prove the second half of the season will be different. We've got the fantasy projections courtesy of numberFire.

Arizona Cardinals

Nobody would blame running back David Johnson for not putting up fantasy numbers in a Week 7 game against the Seattle Seahawks that finished in a 6-6 tie. Fortunately for fantasy owners, he still found a way to produce. Johnson carried the ball 33 times for 113 rushing yards, marking the third straight week that he’s crossed the 100-yard rushing plateau. He also caught eight passes for an additional 58 yards in the game. Do the math. Those numbers came on a whopping 41 touches. Carolina is pretty good against opposing running backs this season, but it’s clear Johnson can’t be stopped. He’s likely to go over 100 yards rushing again in Week 8 and should find his way back into the end zone.

Johnson and the Cardinals will rely on Larry Fitzgerald to catch passes down the middle of the field against the Panthers. Josh Norman’s departure and the young replacements he has left behind have given up big games to wide receivers throughout the season. Fitzgerald has at least five receptions in every single game this year. He was targeted a season-high 14 times against Seattle and turned those looks into nine catches for 70 yards. 100 yards and a touchdown is easily within reach against perhaps the most underachieving team in football.

Carolina Panthers

The bad news is the Panthers are riding a four-game losing streak coming out of their Week 7 bye to face the Cardinals. The good news is quarterback Cam Newton produced solid fantasy numbers against the New Orleans Saints in Week 6. The Panthers fell behind early and Newton finished the afternoon with 27 completions for 322 yards, two touchdowns, and an interception in the comeback attempt. He looked good overall, considering it was his first game back following a concussion. Both he and the rest of the Panthers have been disappointing this season. In Week 8 he’ll be up against a defense that is tough on opposing fantasy quarterbacks. Newton may not finish among the league’s elite this time around, even though the game is at home.

One thing Newton will accomplish is consistently connecting with his tight end Greg Olsen on a regular basis. Olsen has at least five catches in every single game this season and he’s got six catches in each of the last four games. Against the Saints in Week 6, he finished with six catches for 94 yards. The Cardinals have not allowed a touchdown to an opposing tight end this season, but they’ve given up more than 50 receiving yards at the position in two of the last three games. Olsen should do more than that given how heavily involved he’s been in the passing game this year. His Week 8 projections are low because he’s up against a good team, but Olsen will surpass expectations with ease on Sunday.