The Week 8 matchup between the Minnesota Vikings and the Chicago Bears features NFC North division rivals facing off in what could be a lopsided matchup. We've got the fantasy projections courtesy of numberFire.
The Vikings have looked absolutely dominant so far this season. Unfortunately, Week 7 saw the team exposed. Minnesota took its first defeat of the season at the hands of the Philadelphia Eagles by a score of 21-10. The Eagles’ strong play along the outside forced quarterback Sam Bradford to look to tight end Kyle Rudolph a season-high 11 times in the game. Rudolph caught five of those passes for 55 yards. He’s now failed to find the end zone in two straight games. As badly as the Bears have played this season, they rank near the top of the league at limiting the fantasy production of opposing tight ends. Rudolph may not find the end zone for the third week in a row. Still, considering the volume he’s been seeing this season, Rudolph will still flirt with his projected totals in PPR formats.
Running back Matt Asiata has a good shot at passing his at Soldier Field. Teammate Jerrick McKinnon is trying to play hurt but last week that didn’t work out so well. Asiata spelled him and rushed the ball 12 times for 55 yards. He also caught six passes for an additional 25 yards. 18 touches is a pretty healthy total and makes him valuable in leagues that reward receptions. The Bears are as good at defending opposing running backs as they are tight ends, but Asiata’s pass-catching ability might save his fantasy day in Week 8.
For the first time since suffering a thumb injury in Week 2, Jay Cutler will start at quarterback for the Bears in Week 8. Coach John Fox is reportedly “done” with Cutler, but since Brian Hoyer is out with a broken forearm, Cutler gets the starting job for now. Only two teams are better at defending opposing quarterbacks than the Vikings. Cutler is going to be knocked on his backside often in this one. He may increase the value of his favorite target Alshon Jeffery, who didn’t seem to have as much chemistry with Hoyer, but Cutler himself will likely perform well below his projected totals in his first game back.
Jeffery is probably the only player on the team who might surpass his projections this week. Then again, he is up against one of the best secondary units in all of football. The Vikings have successfully limited the fantasy production of some of the top names in the NFL this year including Aaron Rodgers, Odell Beckham, and Kelvin Benjamin, to name a few. Jeffery’s outlook the rest of the season gets an uptick with Cutler back, but Week 8 may see him ride the bench in shallower 10- or 12-team leagues.