Frigga's Fantasy Football Fridays - Week 9

Frigga's Fantasy Football Fridays - Week 9

Frigga's Fantasy Football is back, now on Fridays!  We'll keep it primarily Vikings-centered, but I'll throw in a few additional thoughts and fantasy picks about other teams at the end of the article as well.  And for those readers that don't seem to like fantasy football, just pretend this is a weekly statistical prognostication.  Frigga will also be helping me provide feedback to all you fine readers out there, so we will also be checking back on this thread periodically to provide sit/start and trading or general roster advice in the comments section, should you wish to seek it.  And others should feel free to chime in and offer opinions as well!  Think of this as a weekly open thread dedicated to all things fantasy football.  As a general rule, the stats provided here assume a standard 10-team league, such as those found at Yahoo! Sports or ESPN.

This week we've got a tough matchup against an always competitive Dallas Cowboys squad.  Tony Romo and the entire offense is looking great, and our defense will have a tough time containing them, especially now that DeMarco Murray is expected back.  But their defense, recently converted to a 4-3 scheme this season, is very beatable.  We still have a question-mark at QB, and we're not really sure who is starting.  Jerome Simpson thinks it will be Ponder, but some national media types are reporting it will be Freeman.  So, we'll take Simpson at his word and project Ponder as the starter.

Christian Ponder

Passing

Passing

INTs

Rush Yards

Rush TDs

Fantasy Points

Yards

TDs

ESPN

276

1

2

14

0

12

Yahoo!

240

1.1

1.4

23.8

0

14.59

CBS

233

0.7

1.3

21.7

0

12.6

Fleaflicker

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

Average

249.666667

0.933333

1.566667

19.83333

0

13.06333

So, we're back to discussing Christian Ponder.  Here are some interesting stats for you: in four games this year Ponder is averaging 209 passing yards per game and has only thrown a total of 2 passing TDs against 5 INTs in those four games.  Somehow he's averaging 13.5 fantasy points per game, thanks in large part to his rushing ability.  As we know, Ponder is skittish in the pocket and likes to tuck it down and run, which is a good thing for fantasy purposes.  He's averaging 28.5 rushing yards per game and has scored 3 rushing TDs on the year in just 4 games.  With Greg Jennings not 100% percent, and this team in a complete funk, I'm really not sure what to expect at all.  Dallas has one of the worst fantasy defenses against QBs in the league, allowing an average of 17.3 points to the position.  They have been lit up by Philip Rivers, Peyton Manning and Matthew Stafford.  On the other hand, this defense has held Sam Bradford, Eli Manning and Nick Foles to an average of just 6 fantasy points per game.  So they are a little streaky depending on who they are facing.  I would lump Ponder with the latter group, obviously.

Frigga Says: With 6 teams on a BYE this week, and horrible QB situations in St. Louis and Tampa Bay, you might be tempted to grab Ponder off the waiver wire.  Don't.  I'd rather take my chances with a guy like Jake Locker, Alex Smith or Tyrelle Pryor who may also be on your waiver wire in a standard league.  Ponder will be lucky to hit his cumulative projected point total this week.

Adrian Peterson

Rushing Yards

Rushing TDs

Receiving Yards

Receiving TDs

Fantasy Points

ESPN

73

1

24

0

15

Yahoo!

82.1

1.1

22

0.1

16.69

CBS

82.3

1

16.3

0

15

Fleaflicker

81

1

15

0

16

Average

79.6

1.025

19.325

0.025

15.6725

Peterson is having a bit of a down year by his own standards, especially the last 3 weeks since the BYE (and the death of his son).  However, he's still ranked 5th in rushing attempts, 5th in rushing yards and tied for 3rd in rushing TDs.  It may just feel like he's not doing well, especially if you owned him last year.  But he's still producing, and is ranked 4th among all RB in average fantasy points per game.  Hopefully the gameplan this week features a steady dose of Adrian Peterson.  The major fantasy outlets seem to think so.  Dallas has a pretty bad fantasy defense against the run, allowing an average of 17.3 points to opposing running backs.

Frigga Says: If he plays, you always start him.

Greg Jennings

Receiving Yards

Receiving TDs

Rushing Yards

Rushing TDs

Fantasy Points

ESPN

65

0

0

0

6

Yahoo!

47.6

0.2

0

0

6.21

CBS

51.3

0

0

0

5

Fleaflicker

43

0

0

0

4

Average

51.725

0.05

0

0

5.3025

In a bit of a surprise, Greg Jennings is listed with a knee injury this week.  It sounds minor, but we'll see what the final designation is come Sunday, but he has been practicing.  Never-the-less, he's having a terribly disappointing season so far.  He's ranked 53rd among all wide receivers, and is only averaging 6.5 fantasy points per game.  He's fallen slightly behind Jerome Simpson in total targets with 46 total in 7 games, but because of his two TDs in the London game, he is outscoring all other Vikings receiving options so far this year in fantasy.  The opportunities just aren't really there on a consistent basis for Jennings in Minnesota.  That said Dallas has a pretty friendly fantasy defense against wide receivers, allowing an average of 23.8 points per game to wideouts.

Frigga Says: Keep Jennings on your bench.  He should perform pretty much right on projection, which is to say, not as a fantasy starter.

Jerome Simpson

Receiving Yards

Receiving TDs

Rushing Yards

Rushing TDs

Fantasy Points

ESPN

77

0

0

0

7

Yahoo!

48.8

0.2

0

0

5.69

CBS

47

0

0

0

4

Fleaflicker

45

0

0

0

5

Average

54.45

0.05

0

0

5.4225

Like Jennings, Simpson is being hamstrung by some pretty awful QB play.  On the bright side he is getting the most targets of any receiving option on the team and has the most receiving yards of any Viking on the team.  He's on pace for 964 receiving yards on the year which is miles ahead of last year when he was battling through a suspension and back injury.  But he still hasn't found the endzone, and if we had just a little bit better play from the QB position, he might be a legitimate deep threat in our offense.

Frigga Says: Keep Simpson on your bench unless, or until the Vikings QB situation improves.  He'll be lucky to perform at projection.

Cordarrelle Patterson

Receiving Yards

Receiving TDs

Rushing Yards

Rushing TDs

Fantasy Points

ESPN

23

0

0

0

2

Yahoo!

27.9

0.1

2.2

0

4.3

CBS

36.7

0

0

0

3

Fleaflicker

66

0

0

0

7

Average

38.4

0.025

0.55

0

4.075

If you play in a league with return yards, then Patterson should be in your lineup, no question.  He's been one of the best kick returners in the league, and also gets a few extra receiving yards too.  On the outside chance that Jennings is limited this week, then that could finally give Patterson the Green Light to see more than his average of 14 snaps per game.  This guy is electric with the ball in his hands, and even if he only knows a few routes, he should be on the field for more than 14 snaps!  The most snaps he's seen all year was against the Giants where he got 25 out of a possible 72 snaps.  Alas, "he's just a rookie."

Frigga Says: Keep Patterson on your bench, except in a league with return yards, or if Jennings is out.  He'll likely underperform his projection.

Kyle Rudolph

Receiving Yards

Receiving TDs

Rushing Yards

Rushing TDs

Fantasy Points

ESPN

49

1

0

0

10

Yahoo!

49.2

0.3

0

0

6.8

CBS

45.7

0.3

0

0

5.8

Fleaflicker

65

1

0

0

13

Average

52.225

0.65

0

0

8.9

For all the hype that Rudolph has as a redzone threat, he has caught only 2 TDs in 7 games.  He is averaging a pathetic 39 yards per game as he has failed to connect with whoever is under center.  Dallas is ranked 28th against the TE, but most of that is due to being beat horribly by Peyton Manning and Julius Thomas.  Over the last three weeks, the Dallas defense has allowed only 3 points to tight ends.

Frigga Says: Keep Kyle Rudolph on your bench, as the TD potential this season is overblown.  He will fall short of his projected total, unless he miraculously catches a TD.

Fantasy Points

Vikings Defense/Special Teams

Blair Walsh

ESPN

1

11

Yahoo!

3.11

8.24

CBS

3.4

7.7

Fleaflicker

8

5

Average

3.8775

7.985

The Vikings D/ST got off to a hot start collecting a ton of turnovers in the first four games.  However, in the three games since the BYE, they have 0 interceptions, and only 1 fumble recovery.  Their 2 TDs over the past 3 weeks is only thing saving this defense for fantasy purposes.  With a high flying offense to deal with this week, expectations are pretty low.  Blair Walsh is 10/12 on field goals on the year, but he remains near the bottom of the league in fantasy points.  The Vikings offense just isn't giving Walsh very many opportunities, and he's still dealing with a sore hamstring.

Frigga Says: Find better options on the waiver wire if you can, these projections make them barely startable.

It's been a disappointing season for Vikings players in fantasy football, and outside of Adrian Peterson, there just hasn't been much going on.  Kyle Rudolph and Greg Jennings have had the occasional outburst, but their level of production is so inconsistent that you can't rely on them as starters on a weekly basis.  If you did load up on Vikings players during your fantasy draft, hopefully you've found better options by now.

Fantasy Over/Under Achiever of the Week - Predictions

Each week I'm going to pick a non-obvious player that I think will significantly outscore and underscore their weekly average based on opportunity, matchup or both.  Don't think of this as sit/start advice necessarily, but rather to upgrade or lower your expectations.

Overachiever: WR Jeremy Kerley, New York Jets

This pick is primarily about opportunity.  Kerley is the second-most targeted receiver by Geno Smith (behind Stephen Hill), but Hill is banged up this week and may not be 100%.  Kerley is also not 100%, but he was a full participant in practice while Hill was limited.  Kerley is only averaging 5.8 fantasy points per week, but over the past 3 weeks Kerley has seen more total targets than Stephen Hill, averaging 7 per game.  They are playing the Saints this week, and while the Saints are above average against wideouts in fantasy, the Jets will likely fall behind and be forced to pass a ton.  Kerley could see increased usage this week and outscore his season average.

Underachiever: WR Vincent Jackson, Tampa Bay

This pick isn't so much about the QB situation in Tampa, because Mike Glennon is basically just chucking the ball to Vincent Jackson every other attempt.  Jackson production has maybe even improved a little with Glennon under center.  Instead, this is about the matchup.  Tampa Bay is on the road, at Seattle.  The Seahawks play nearly unstoppable defense at home, and I really don't like Jackson's chances.  He is averaging a very good 12.3 fantasy points per week, but the Seahawks are only allowing 16.4 (to the entire opposing team).  Even if Jackson gets almost all the targets, expect him to fall short of 12.3 this week.

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