Frigga's Fantasy Football Fridays: Week 16

Chase Ford will likely get the 2nd start of his career in Cincinatti. - Hannah Foslien

Take a look at our Minnesota Vikings prospects in fantasy football for Week 16 against the Cincinnati Bengals, 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 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.

Did you make it to your league's Super Bowl? Somehow, in my dynasty league I managed to eke out a win against the Daily Norseman's own MarkSP18 to advance to the playoffs (sorry Mark...not!). But my other five teams have all been eliminated. Week 16 is generally regarded as the last useable week in fantasy football, because next week is when we run the risk of having some of the best teams (with players we all rely on for fantasy points) rest starters to gear up for their own playoff runs. The Seahawks have already sort of started resting players as Russell Wilson came out in the 4th quarter when they went up big early against the Giants last week. Only the most diehard of leagues continue on to Week 17, the fantasy wasteland week. So this will be the last collection of fantasy projections I will provide for the 2013 season. It's a sad state of affairs I know, but have no fear; there will be one more Frigga article next week that will wrap up the fantasy season where we can all look back on the season that was.

Last week the Vikings surprised pretty much everyone (even themselves I'd have to guess) by completely demolishing the Eagles. We shouldn't have been surprised to see the Vikings offense do well, even with all those backups in there, because the Eagles defense is just that bad. The Eagles week 17 matchup with the Cowboys has the potential to be the highest scoring game in the history of the NFL as two of the more potent offenses square off against two of the worst defenses...but I'm getting ahead of myself. That game has no bearing on anything this week, because we go back on the road to face off against the Cincinatti Bengals on Sunday. The Bengals have a top 10 defense in a variety of metrics, despite the fact that they lost some of their best playmakers to injury (like Geno Atkins and Leon Hall). Even so, they should be able to frustrate the Vikings offense, and we all know how bad the Vikings defense is...so once again, this one doesn't look very good for our purple and gold. In any case, let's take a look at those projections!

Matt Cassel

Passing Yards

TDs

INTs

Rush Yards

Rush TDs

Fantasy Points

ESPN

206

1

1

2

0

10

Yahoo!

245

1.3

1.2

9

0

14.26

CBS

249.3

1.3

1.3

9.7

0

14.2

Fleaflicker

253

1

1

0

0

15

Average

238.325

1.15

1.125

5.175

0

13.365

With the way Matt Cassel played last week, you'd think that he had the best fantasy day of his career, and while it was excellent, it was only his second best performance. He put up 469 yards and 4 TDs against Denver back in 2010 when he was a starter for the Chiefs, and last week Cassel only managed 382 yards, 2 TDs and an INT, along with 19 yards rushing and a rushing TD. But still, his 28 standard fantasy points last week was awesome. He has a nearly identical average projection this week as last week, despite facing off against a much stronger opponent. The Bengals are the 8th best against quarterbacks in fantasy, allowing an average of only 14 points per game. I suspect Cassel will fall back down to earth a little bit this week. He could over-produce again, but I don't see him going much higher than his average of 16 fantasy points per game as a starter, and the projections don't have him beating the Bengals average points allowed.

Frigga Says: Don't read too much into last week, it was just a really bad defense. Keep Cassel on your bench.

Adrian Peterson

Rushing Yards

Rushing TDs

Receiving Yards

Receiving TDs

Fantasy Points

ESPN

81

1

4

0

14

Yahoo!

106

0.8

18.8

0.1

17.01

CBS

89

1

17.7

0

15

Fleaflicker

93

1

10

0

16

Average

92.25

0.95

12.625

0.025

15.5025

It's really too bad that Peterson didn't get a chance to play last week. If Matt Asiata managed 51 yards and 3 TDs on 30 carries, just imagine what Peterson could have done with that same workload. On the plus side, since LeSean McCoy only got 8 carries last week, the rushing title is still up for grabs, and I'm sure Peterson has it in his sights.

Frigga Says: Start Peterson despite the fact that he's not 100%. Don't expect elite numbers against a tough defense, but he'll be worth a start regardless.

Greg Jennings

Receiving Yards

Receiving TDs

Rushing Yards

Rushing TDs

Fantasy Points

ESPN

65

1

0

0

12

Yahoo!

63.7

0.3

0

0

8.32

CBS

71.7

0.7

0

0

11.2

Fleaflicker

89

1

0

0

15

Average

72.35

0.75

0

0

11.63

Did anyone actually start Jennings last week? I didn't have room for him on my one playoff bound team, but I sure wish I had! Jennings went off, setting a career record for receptions. I don't think he'll have quite as good of a game this week against a much better opponent, but he should remain the focal point of the passing attack. The Bengals have the 11th best defense against WR, allowing an average of 20.9 points to fantasy wide outs. However, they've gotten torched the past two weeks, allowing a combined 65.7 points to wide receivers. So they are definitely beatable through the air.

Frigga Says: Greg Jennings makes for a good flex play once again this week, but you've probably got better options for your fantasy playoffs.

Cordarrelle Patterson

Receiving Yards

Receiving TDs

Rushing Yards

Rushing TDs

Fantasy Points

ESPN

40

0

15

0

5

Yahoo!

41.2

0.2

5.9

0

6.82

CBS

51.3

0.7

9.3

0

9.2

Fleaflicker

71

0

12

0

8

Average

50.875

0.225

10.55

0

7.255

If you gambled on Patterson last week, it paid off once again. Jennings got more than double the number of targets, but Patterson was still able to turn his 6 targets into 5 catches for 35 yards and a TD. He also tacked on 15 more rushing yards for a little extra bonus. Without the touchdown, Patterson's day would have been pretty disappointing, but he continues to find ways to be effective in fantasy football this season. There are no other wide receivers worth "Wright-ing" about, because no one else is projected for more than 3 standard fantasy points against the Bengals, even Jarius Wright who managed 95 yards last week.

Frigga Says: If you gambled on Patterson last week, you were rewarded once again. Feel free to gamble one last time in your flex spot.

Chase Ford

Receiving Yards

Receiving TDs

Rushing Yards

Rushing TDs

Fantasy Points

ESPN

18

0

0

0

1

Yahoo!

7.2

0

0

0

0.92

CBS

19.7

0

0

0

1

Fleaflicker

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

Average

14.96666667

0

0

0

0.973333

So I was right about Chase Ford last week, as Rhett Ellison didn't even record a single target or catch with John Carlson out. Ellison was relegated to blocking duties only. Ford took over as the pass catching tight end, and looked very good in his first ever start in the NFL. He hauled in both of his targets for 55 yards. He wasn't heavily involved in the offensive game-plan, but when his number was called he delivered. It was just revealed yesterday that John Carlson had a set-back after practicing Wednesday, and has re-entered the concussion protocol. He will more than likely miss the game Sunday, putting us back in the same position as last week at TE. The projections above have not been updated with this information, so Chase Ford will more than likely not only get the start, but out-perform these projections too.

Frigga Says: Chase Ford is still not worth a start, as he needs to prove he can be a reliable option in the passing game on more than a couple targets per game.

Fantasy Points

Vikings Defense/Special Teams

Blair Walsh

ESPN

2

11

Yahoo!

6.52

7.62

CBS

4

8

Fleaflicker

6

5

Average

4.63

7.905

The Vikings D/ST scored a bit fat 0 in standard scoring last week. While they got an interception and 4 sacks, they also allowed 30 points, which completely negated their scoring. Blair Walsh has really turned it on late in the year after getting over his hamstring injury and is slowly creeping his way near the Top 10 as his position.

Frigga Says: Feel free to roll the dice with Blair Walsh, but keep the Vikings D/ST on your bench again this week.

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 both picks with a slam dunk. Jennings nearly quadrupled his average point total, and Eli Manning actually scored in the NEGATIVE against Seattle when he threw for 156 yards, 0 TDs and 5 INTs. It was a truly dreadful game for Manning...even worse than I expected. That means the worst I can finish this season is an even .500 on my picks, but I'm hoping to do even better with these last two.

Overachiever: TE Delanie Walker, Tennessee Titans

Walker is having a great 2nd half of the year with Ryan Fitzpatrick under center. His targets have picked up immensely, and since Week 10 (when Fitzpatrick became the starter after Locker when on IR), Walker's average fantasy points per game has gone up nearly 3 full points per week. Fitzpatrick is a "Captain Checkdown" type of quarterback, and one of his two targets of choice is Delanie Walker. And this week he gets another great matchup against the Jacksonville Jaguars, the 2nd worst fantasy defense against the TE, allowing an average of 10.7 points per game. Walker's average on the year is only 6.2, but because of the increased chemistry with Fitzpatrick lately and the great matchup, I think he'll beat that average score this week.

Underachiever: QB Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts

Believe it or not, but Andrew Luck is the 4th best quarterback in fantasy football this season, and has been averaging 18.7 fantasy points per game. He's been very consistent, especially earlier in the year when he had Reggie Wayne as his security blanket. But lately, he's been much less consistent, scoring 16 or less fantasy points in 3 of the last 4 games. This week he also has to go on the road face the Kansas City Chiefs defense in Arrowhead. The Chiefs have been banged up a bit lately, but they are still the 12th ranked fantasy defense against quarterbacks and only allow an average of 15.7 points to opposing quarterbacks. This should be a great matchup to watch, but I expect Luck to underachieve this week.

Last Week 2-0, Season So Far: 8-6

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