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How to handle Adrian Peterson, Wendell Smallwood in Week 8 fantasy football [UPDATE]

Washington running back Adrian Peterson is officially questionable for Week 8 vs. the Vikings. We break down the fantasy implications for AP and Wendell Smallwood on Thursday Night Football.

Washington running back Adrian Peterson carries the ball against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium. Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Adrian Peterson injury status update, 8:46 a.m.

Washington running back Adrian Peterson is expected to play in Thursday’s game against the Minnesota Vikings barring any pre-game setback, according to ESPN’s Josina Anderson. Peterson is not a great start, but a decent volume play if you are shorthanded. Wendell Smallwood has no fantasy value this week with Peterson playing.

Washington faces yet another stiff challenge in Week 8 as they travel to play the Minnesota Vikings on Thursday Night Football. Washington will be without running back Chris Thompson and tight end Vernon Davis, but the bigger question heading into game day is the status of running back Adrian Peterson.

AP suffered an ankle sprain in Week 7, and he described it to media as a pair of sprains — one a grade 1 high ankle sprain and one a grade 2 low ankle sprain. He sat out practice on Monday and Tuesday, but got in a limited session on Wednesday. He told media he’s good, and given his physical ability and the team’s limited depth chart, he is likely to play on Thursday.

Thompson did not play last week due to a turf toe injury, so Wendell Smallwood got snaps in his place. Smallwood had five carries for 23 yards and added a reception for 18 yards.

Fantasy football analysis, RBs Adrian Peterson, Wendell Smallwood

This is a tough matchup for the Washington running backs. It’s a tough matchup across the board, but the ground game faces a Vikings defense that has given up the fifth fewest fantasy points to running backs this season.

If AP is active, he’s not a good start, but he’s of value if you’re shorthanded. He’ll get volume and even if the game script turns ugly, he should see a lot of touches. If AP is not active, Smallwood would likely be the starter. He offers limited value, but there is still the volume aspect. He’d be a better PPR start than standard start if you were shorthanded.

All that being said, I expect Peterson to start on Thursday.