Frigga's Fantasy Football Fridays: Week 13

Is Patterson finally emerging as a go-to weapon for Christian Ponder? - Jonathan Daniel

Take a look at our Minnesota Vikings prospects in fantasy football for Week 13 against the Chicago Bears, and check out my Overachiever and Underachiever picks for the week.

Welcome to another edition of Frigga's Fantasy Football Fridays where you can read up about our Minnesota's Vikings chances in fantasy football every week. As always, using Norse Goddess Frigga's inspiration and guidance, I will 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 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.

I hope you all had an excellent Thanksgiving Dinner. I know I did. We had a traditional dinner, complete with a 15-pound turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie and all the stereotypical dinner items. I'm still full, and now we have a metric ton of leftover turkey...mmm...tryptophan. So, who or what are you thankful for on your fantasy team? Of my 6 fantasy leagues, only 3 of them have a real shot at the playoffs (although a 4th hasn't technically been mathematically eliminated yet). On those three teams, I'm pretty thankful for the following guys for being fairly reliable fantasy producers: Drew Brees, Jamaal Charles, Matt Forte, AJ Green, Cam Newton and Vontaze Burfict. If it weren't for these guys, my fantasy teams would be in shambles. Because the three teams that are down in the dumps put their hopes and dreams on guys like Trent Richardson, CJ Spiller, Maurice Jones-Drew, Roddy White and Danny Amendola, I really have nothing to be thankful for with those teams.

This week our Vikings finally get to come back home to the Metrodome and take on a beat-up Chicago Bears team that will be without Jay Cutler and Lance Briggs. We have our own injuries to worry about, but this Chicago defense is almost as bad as ours. In terms of fantasy, about the only thing they have going for them is that they are top 10 against fantasy QBs. As you may have heard, Audie Cole is getting the start over Erin Henderson this week at middle linebacker after a mostly good performance against Green Bay last week. All eyes will be focused on the new man-in-middle on defense. The Cole-Train will be taking some Giant Steps forward this Sunday (I love this joke!). So, let's take a look at what the prognosticators are saying about our Vikings chances in fantasy this week, spoiler alert: there are some surprises in store.

Christian Ponder

Passing Yards

TDs

INTs

Rush Yards

Rush TDs

Fantasy Points

ESPN

198

1

2

15

0

8

Yahoo!

207

1

1.2

19.9

0.2

13.51

CBS

210

1

0.3

17.7

0

13

Fleaflicker

225

1

1

5

0

14

Average

210

1

1.125

14.4

0.05

12.1275

Last week Ponder hit his projection right on the money. And I have no reason to believe he won't do it again this week. The Bears have been pretty stingy against QBs in fantasy; although it could be more due to the fact that their run defense is so bad that teams just aren't throwing it as much against them (teams are averaging only 30 pass attempts per game against Chicago). ESPN is a little down on Ponder this week due to their projection of 2 picks, but he's only thrown 2 interceptions in the Metrodome this year (3 games), and 7 picks elsewhere (5 games). Home-Ponder is better than Away-Ponder. So, I like his cumulative projection this week.

Frigga Says: With no teams on a BYE this week, Ponder shouldn't even sniff your starting lineup, but he shouldn't be awful.

Adrian Peterson

Rushing Yards

Rushing TDs

Receiving Yards

Receiving TDs

Fantasy Points

ESPN

95

2

13

0

22

Yahoo!

110

1.1

16.2

0

19.07

CBS

107.3

1.7

19.3

0

21.2

Fleaflicker

146

1

15

0

21

Average

114.575

1.45

15.875

0

20.8175

Peterson was right on projection last week, if not even a little better. This week he has as juicy as a matchup as they come, and all the projections are on board for a big game. Why? Well, the Bears run defense is ranked 29th in the league, allowing an average of 20.5 fantasy points per game. They are really bad. We're looking at an almost guaranteed 100 yard day and at least 1 TD.

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

Cordarrelle Patterson

Receiving Yards

Receiving TDs

Rushing Yards

Rushing TDs

Fantasy Points

ESPN

48

1

0

0

10

Yahoo!

50.2

0.2

1.6

0

7.16

CBS

45.3

0.3

2

0

5.2

Fleaflicker

75

1

0

0

14

Average

54.625

0.625

0.9

0

9.09

That's right; I'm only putting one wide receiver on the list this week: Cordarrelle Patterson. None of the other Minnesota wide receivers are projected for more than 4 points. Jennings dropped a couple of balls last week and doesn't seem to have the trust or eyes of Christian Ponder, and Jerome Simpson is still in the doghouse (only played about half of the offensive snaps last week). And after getting a lot of projected love after a 2 touchdown game, Jarius Wright faded away into the background once again. It's worth mentioning that Ponder has (so far) spread the ball around to a variety of receivers so much, that almost no one is due for a big game. However, Patterson has gotten 20 combined targets the past two games. And he saw roughly the same number of snaps last week as the week before (although technically it was his first decline in the total number). His 43 snaps were about half of the offense's total snaps, but even with that number he still garnered the most targets of any wide receiver by a long shot (11 targets) and caught 8 passes for 54 yards. He was targeted in the endzone and had the pass not been tipped his fantasy day might have been even better. The Vikings are clearly trying to manufacture ways to get the ball into his hands with some short screens and dump offs, but also hitting him on slants and deep shots. These projections for Week 13 are expecting mostly similar production, although Fleaflicker is evidently really high on Patterson this week. His ceiling is through the roof right now, and he is always a threat to take one to the house on a kickoff return. The Bears are merely average against wide outs in fantasy, ranked 15th and allowing an average of 20 fantasy points per game.

Frigga Says: If you're looking for a high risk/high reward flex play, Cordarrelle Patterson is your guy. Expect either 5 points or 15, but not much in between.

John Carlson

Receiving Yards

Receiving TDs

Rushing Yards

Rushing TDs

Fantasy Points

ESPN

35

0

0

0

3

Yahoo!

35.4

0.2

0

0

4.67

CBS

31

0.7

0

0

7.2

Fleaflicker

51

0

0

0

5

Average

38.1

0.225

0

0

4.9675

Carlson had a somewhat disappointing day from a fantasy perspective last week, although if you followed Frigga's advice, you didn't start him unless you absolutely had to. Carlson will have a decent floor as long as Kyle Rudolph remains out, as the tight end position is a major part of the Vikings offense. Carlson is averaging about 6 targets per game, good enough to average 5 catches for 68 yards per game thus far in 3 games. He's only scored 1 touchdown in those games, but the Bears are pretty bad against the tight end in fantasy, ranked 24th and allowing an average of 8.5 points to tight ends.

Frigga Says: I think Carlson will easily net 5-8 points this week, which may or may not be good enough for a start. It depends on what your options are.

Fantasy Points

Vikings Defense/Special Teams

Blair Walsh

ESPN

-3

12

Yahoo!

2.21

5.26

CBS

4.7

8.7

Fleaflicker

16

5

Average

4.9775

7.74

I don't normally like talking about D/ST or kickers, but check out the wildly different projections for the Vikings D/ST this week. Yes, the scoring conventions are a little different from source to source, but a -3 projection versus a 16 points projection is really kind of bizarre. I don't know why they project such different results. Chicago does have a good offense, but again Cutler is still out and Forte is banged up. And OMG Audie Cole will be starting! Blair Walsh has looked good recently, so who knows?

Frigga Says: You can certainly find better options to start at D/ST, but take note about the projections. Blair Walsh has had three really great games in a row, perhaps he can keep it going?

Fantasy Over Achiever/Under Achiever

Like always, 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.

Last week I hit on one and missed on the other. Jordan Cameron was my underachiever pick and he had a pretty terrible day while he watched Josh Gordon go off all over the field. Cameron still had 10 targets go his way, but he only managed to come down with 3 of them for 32 yards. His 3.2 fantasy points fell way short of his 9.9 average. The upside is that Brandon Weedon will be back as the starter this week, so perhaps Cameron will be able to turn it around. He clearly had zero chemistry with Jason Campbell. But how about that Chris Ogbonnaya? He was my overachiever pick and came out as the starter rattling off 26 yards on 4 carries, but then promptly fumbled the ball for the 2nd straight game and sat on the bench the rest of the game. I'd like to think that if it hadn't been for the fumble and subsequent benching, he might have gone off. Something called a Fozzy Whitacker took over from there and stunk up the joint to the tune of 6 carries for 15 yards. Even Willis McGahee saw his token 4 carries for not much yards. I do still like Ogbonnaya going forward, but if he can't get the fumbling problem fixed, then his opportunity will likely end. Either way, big whiff there on my part. The Browns were behind the entire game and threw the ball over 50 times, so there wouldn't have been much opportunity even if Ogbonnaya had gotten a chance to go back in. Ah well, you can't win them all.

Overachiever: WR Rueben Randle, New York Giants

This pick is as much about matchup as it is about opportunity. First off, Randle gets to face the Washington Redskins, who may have an even worse defense than we do. They are ranked 27th against fantasy wide receivers, allowing an average of 27.5 fantasy points to wide outs. Someone in this Giants passing offense is going to have a big game. Hakeem Nicks is dealing with an abdomen injury and likely won't be 100% if he even plays. That could mean that Victor Cruz is slated for a big game, but I also like Randle's chances. He is averaging 7.9 fantasy points this year, but I think he'll find the end zone and put up some great yardage.

Underachiever: RB Pierre Thomas, New Orleans Saints

This one pains me to pick as he's on several of my fantasy teams, but I just have a gut feeling here. There are many reasons to be down on Pierre Thomas this week. He has been lighting it up recently and has been a surprisingly serviceable #2 RB in standard leagues, averaging 10.1 fantasy points per game. But this week he faces an elite run stuffing defense in the Seattle Seahawks, ranked 6th against fantasy running backs who allow an average of only 14.8 points to opposing runners. When you also consider that Mark Ingram is still around to steal a few offensive series and Darren Sproles may finally be healthy enough to play and that means Thomas' opportunities may also be limited. I do still like his chances in a PPR league as he continues to catch a lot of passes out of the backfield, but I think he will fall back down to earth in standard leagues this week and fall short of his yearly average.

Last Week: 1-1, Season So Far: 4-4

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