Frigga's Fantasy Football: Week 14

Jennings vs Jennings...and it looks like Jennings takes this one. - David Banks

Take a look at our Minnesota Vikings prospects in fantasy football for Week 14 against the Baltimore Ravens, 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.

Michael Fabiano interviewed Greg Jennings this week on NFL Network, and the two of them spoke about fantasy football, among many other things. Here is what they had to say:

Michael Fabiano: Do you know of any other teammates that play fantasy football...or are into fantasy like Blair [Walsh] is?

Greg Jennings: Well I have played [too], but I know Toby Gerhart definitely plays. See, the kickers have all this time on their hands, so...Jeff Locke, he plays. They practice for like the first 20 minutes, and then they have the rest of the day off...[Blair] is probably winning in all his fantasy leagues.

Like Blair Walsh, I'm sure many of you are either in the thick of the playoffs, or are fighting to get into the playoffs this week. Unfortunately, there aren't going to be many Vikings players outside of Adrian Peterson that you can count on for the fantasy playoffs, but we'll take a look at them anyway. This week the Vikings travel to Baltimore to take on the Ravens. While the Vikings playoff hopes are all but dashed (we need Detroit to drop 4 in a row!), the Ravens are still very much alive in the AFC North. Their defense started off the year with some growing pains as they had a lot of young, inexperienced starters. But over the past few games the defense has really stepped up for the Ravens, and Joe Flacco has been playing pretty well too. While Ray Rice has been having a bit of a down year, and their running game in general has been a disappointment, they still pose quite a challenge for the Vikings and like most teams, play better at home. So, let's take a look at see how our Vikings will fare against what has traditionally been a very tough defense.

Matt Cassel

Passing Yards

TDs

INTs

Rush Yards

Rush TDs

Fantasy Points

ESPN

200

1

1

2

0

10

Yahoo!

242

1.2

1.3

9.1

0

13.61

CBS

210

0.3

1.3

4.3

0

7.2

Fleaflicker

294

1

2

0

0

15

Average

236.5

0.875

1.4

3.85

0

11.4525

So we're back to Matt Cassel huh? I can't say I'm super excited about it from a fantasy perspective (although in real life I'm Team Cassel all the way...all he does is win games :P), and neither are many of the prognosticators. He put up 17 and 9 fantasy points in two starts earlier in the year and posted 11 during the second half of the Chicago game. He's certainly capable of putting up more than his cumulative projected average, but he will have a tough go of it against a Baltimore defense ranked 12th against the QB, allowing an average of only 14.9 points to opposing QBs.

Frigga Says: Cassel is not worth an add this week. Once Ponder is healthy he will almost surely re-capture the starting role. Even if Cassel lights it up and leads the Vikings to a win, you can bet that Frazier will keep starting Ponder with every opportunity as he's done most of the year.

Adrian Peterson

Rushing Yards

Rushing TDs

Receiving Yards

Receiving TDs

Fantasy Points

ESPN

97

1

14

0

16

Yahoo!

101

0.6

19

0

15.71

CBS

91.7

1

19.7

0

16

Fleaflicker

124

1

15

0

20

Average

103.425

0.9

16.925

0

16.9275

Peterson hit his projection almost right on the money last week once again, even if it wasn't the way most thought. He didn't score a TD, but those 211 yards helped out lots of fantasy owners. Baltimore has a much tougher run defense than Chicago though, so we should expect a bit of a letdown. The Ravens are ranked 4th against the run allowing an average of only 11.7 to fantasy running backs. It will be tough sledding, but Adrian Peterson is not only a Cyborg, he's also matchup proof.

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

Greg Jennings

Receiving Yards

Receiving TDs

Rushing Yards

Rushing TDs

Fantasy Points

ESPN

42

1

0

0

10

Yahoo!

47.9

0.3

0

0

6.32

CBS

55

0

0

0

5

Fleaflicker

62

1

0

0

12

Average

51.725

0.575

0

0

8.33

Well, Cordarrelle Patterson delivered last week, thanks to a fluky rushing TD that saved his fantasy day. But when Cassel came in, he just wasn't looking for Patterson at all. Patterson caught all of 1 pass for 4 yards outside of the 30 yard scamper. And with Cassel starting this week, that could finally be good news for anyone that may have held onto Greg Jennings. Jennings has had his best games with Cassel at the helm, and the two of them have clearly been in synch all year (reports are that they've connected since off-season workouts). If you didn't notice, Jennings caught 7 passes for 78 yards and a touchdown last week against Chicago, and almost all of it happened with Matt Cassel. There aren't too many other WR worth mentioning this week as Simpson and Patterson are projected for 5 and 4 points respectively and Jarius Wright doesn't even enter the equation. The Ravens are ranked 14th against fantasy wide receivers and are allowing an average of 21 points to wide outs, so this is definitely a good matchup for Jennings.

Frigga Says: Jennings is worth a speculative flex play this week or an injury fill-in, but if you're in the playoffs or striving for them, you've likely got better options anyway.

John Carlson

Receiving Yards

Receiving TDs

Rushing Yards

Rushing TDs

Fantasy Points

ESPN

28

0

0

0

2

Yahoo!

39.3

0.2

0

0

5.23

CBS

47

0

0

0

4

Fleaflicker

65

0

0

0

7

Average

44.825

0.05

0

0

4.5575

John Carlson continues to produce reliable if unspectacular fantasy results in relief of Rudolph. We may only get 1 or 2 more weeks of John Carlson as the primary tight end, because Kyle Rudolph is getting ever closer to a return to action. But Carlson was pretty close to his projection last week catching 4 passes for 61 yards. Cassel doesn't seem to utilize the tight end nearly as much as Ponder, hence he has a bit of a downgrade this week, but the Ravens are just average against the tight end. They are ranked 17th, allowing an average of 7.3 fantasy points, so he shouldn't be too bad for fantasy.

Frigga Says: Keep Carlson on the bench as there are likely much better options out there this week.

Fantasy Points

Vikings Defense/Special Teams

Blair Walsh

ESPN

3

8

Yahoo!

6.32

7.62

CBS

3.9

7.3

Fleaflicker

6

5

Average

4.805

6.98

The Vikings defense definitely fell short of Fleaflicker's ridiculous 16 point projection last week. In fact, they've been pretty dreadful the past 4 weeks for fantasy purposes. And things don't look much better this week even with a new look linebacker corp. That said, Baltimore's offense allows an average of 8.4 fantasy points to opposing D/ST so there is some hope. The Ravens have allowed at least 2 sacks in all but 1 game this year, and Joe Flacco has thrown 14 interceptions this year (including 6 in the last 5 games). Still, there are likely to be much better options out there. Blair Walsh has been money the last 3 weeks.

Frigga Says: Keep the Vikings D/ST on your bench, but feel free to give Blair Walsh a start.

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 once again, I hit on one and missed on the other. Rueben Randle was my overachiever pick, but unfortunately Eli Manning only threw the ball 28 times as their offense just couldn't get much going against a poor Redskins team. Randle caught 3 of his 4 targets for 20 yards and all of 2 fantasy points. Hakeem Nicks ended up playing after all and got a couple targets, while Victor Cruz hauled in 6 of his 7 targets for 80 yards, as expected. But it was Brandon Myers who really surprised catching 5 passes for 61 yards and a TD. Ah well. My underachiever pick went almost exactly as I expected as Pierre Thomas was completely shut down. Mark Ingram got the bulk of the carries, and Thomas only managed 2.1 fantasy points on 8 touches. We'll see if I can do better than 50-50 with my picks this week.

Overachiever: WR James Jones, Green Bay Packers

I feel a little dirty with this pick, but James Jones has looked pretty good the last couple weeks despite a 6 fantasy points per game average. Granted, his average is skewed a bit due to injury, but he's only bested this average in 2 of the last 5 games. He was doing a lot better when he was healthy and had Aaron Rodgers throwing him the ball, so there is a bit of a risk with this pick. However, he's put up 80 and 79 yards the past two weeks, and gets a Falcon's defense that allowed a TD to wide receivers in 9 of their first 10 games. They are allowing an average of 23.9 fantasy points to wide receivers this year. I'm not super confident in this pick because of the Packers quarterback situation, but I have a gut feeling Jones finds the endzone.

Underachiever: QB Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco 49ers

This might be a shocking pick, but it shouldn't be. Kaepernick "gets" to face the Seattle defense this week, and they just shut down one of the league's best passers in Drew Brees last week. Kaepernick has gotten back on track recently and is averaging 15.5 fantasy points per game including 15+ in 5 of the last 7 games. But that is about to end. The Seahawks are 2nd best in fantasy against opposing QBs allowing an average of only 10.7 points. Even though he's now got Crabtree back, and he's at home, don't underestimate the best defense in the NFL. On yeah, and Kaepernick only put up 5.8 points the last time he faced Seattle in week 2.

Last Week: 1-1, Season So Far: 5-5

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