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Frigga's Fantasy Football Fridays: Week 9 "Halloween Edition"

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The Daily Norseman takes a look at the fantasy football prospects of our Minnesota Vikings as the Washington Redskins come to town in an outdoor battle at TCF Bank Stadium.

Vikings Cheerleaders showing off their Halloween Costumes
Vikings Cheerleaders showing off their Halloween Costumes
MVC Captains twitter

Happy Halloween all you fantasy football freaks!  Halloween is without a doubt my favorite holiday of the year.  I don't know about you, but I've been watching scary TV and movies all month and last night we carved pumpkins set to my newly created "Halloween Songlist" (I'll share the songlist in the comments section).  So in honor of the most hallowed of holidays, this week is an extra special, super, scary, spooktacular edition of Frigga's Fantasy Football Fridays (did I manage to fit in enough alliteration for you?).  In celebration of Halloween, here is a list of the scariest fantasy stats I could find:

1.       The lowest scoring fantasy quarterback who has started all 8 games of the year is...Geno Smith (although he was benched in last week's game), averaging only 9.8 fantasy points per game.

2.       Blake Bortles, with only 6 starts has thrown the most interceptions of any quarterback so far in 2014.  Twelve picks through six games (average of 2 per game) is scary indeed.

3.       Jay Cutler doesn't have twelve interceptions like Bortles, but frighteningly has twelve turnovers with eight picks and four fumbles (Bortles only has 1 fumble).

4.       Speaking of fumbles, as freakishly good as DeMarco Murray has been in fantasy, he also has the most fumbles of any running back this year with five.

5.       As promising as Jerick Mckinnon has been in recent weeks in yards per carry, he has yet to find the end zone in 8 games on the field either on the ground or through the air.  EEK!

6.       There is a ghoulish trio of wide receivers that share the same scary misfortune: lots of targets, but little fantasy production: Andre Johnson, Vincent Jackson and Keenan Allen.  All three are top 16 or better in targets, but none of them rank higher than 32nd overall in total fantasy points among wide receivers.

7.       Speaking of lots of targets with no production, tight end Jared Cook could be added to that ghoulish group.  He ranks 7th in targets among tight ends, but only 21st in total fantasy points among tight ends.  With the exception of Keenan Allen, all the others have one other scary thing in common: bad quarterbacks (Ryan Fitzpatrick, Mike Glennon and Austin Davis)...spooky!

8.       The lowest scoring kicker who has started all 8 games this year is Jacksonville's Josh Scobee.  That team has an offense that would fill anyone with dread.

Thankfully I couldn't find too many stats from our Vikings to fill us with as much doom as those players on the shivering list above (aside from Mckinnon), but it's worth pointing out that several others just missed being mentioned.

This week the Washington Redskins travel to Minnesota, and it's kind of a mixed bag for fantasy purposes.  Despite having the 7th best passing defense in terms of yards allowed, they allow the 31st most fantasy points to opposing QBs since they also allow an average of just over two TD passes per game and 20.5 fantasy points per game.  That said the Redskins have been able to hold bad quarterbacks like Ryan Fitzpatrick, Chad Henne and Jake Locker to 13 points or less.  But good quarterbacks like Russell Wilson, Tony Romo, Carson Palmer, Eli Manning and Nick Foles have all torched them from a fantasy perspective for at least 18 fantasy points per game and as many as 34.  It remains to be seen where Teddy Bridgewater fits among those comps, but there is some potential for fantasy points.  In terms of running backs, the Redskins seem beatable with only a 17th ranked defense in rushing yards allowed.  But in fantasy football they have the 5th best fantasy defense against running backs, since they have only allowed one rushing TD on the year.  And it's worth mentioning again that Jerick Mckinnon has not scored a touchdown yet.  The Matchup Index also hinted at the possibility for our wide receivers to get open more easily, and in fantasy that will certainly be the case as the Redskins are ranked 21st against wide receivers allowing an average of 21.6 points to opposing wide receivers, and 18th against tight ends allowing 8.3 points per game.  Taking that mixed bag into account, what follows are the Fantasypros consensus projections for Week 8, which take into account 7 different sources including CBS, ESPN and Pro Football Focus among others.  It's worth pointing out that the "Season Average" stat is their average fantasy points per start (or game where they played the majority of the snaps).

Minnesota Vikings Fantasy Projections for Week 8

Vikings Player

Rush Att.

Rush Yds

Rush TDs

Rec.

Rec. Yds

Rec TDs

Pass Yds

Pass TDs

Pass INTs

Total Points

Season

Average

QB Teddy Bridgewater

3.1

16.0

0.1

n/a

n/a

n/a

215.8

1.1

1.0

12.6

10.2

RB Jerick Mckinnon

17.1

75.3

0.6

2.2

14.5

0.0

n/a

n/a

n/a

12.4

8.7

WR Cordarrelle Patterson

0.7

6.9

0.0

3.6

41.6

0.5

n/a

n/a

n/a

7.9

6.0

WR Greg Jennings

0.0

0.0

0.0

3.8

50

0.1

n/a

n/a

n/a

5.7

5.9

WR Jarius Wright

0.1

0.7

0.0

3.1

36.7

0.1

n/a

n/a

n/a

4.1

3.5

TE Chase Ford

n/a

n/a

n/a

2.7

29

0.1

n/a

n/a

n/a

3.3

2.6

If I had to guess, I would say that those of you that started Teddy Bridgewater last week are the same kinds of people that like to watch horror movies for the scares: you like the thrill!  Bridgewater did essentially what we expected: notching 13 fantasy points and falling just short of his projection...not that thrilling really.  He's projected for a little less than last week, but again in 10-team standard leagues there are much better options out there than Teddy Bridgewater.

Jerick Mckinnon continues to find running room, but for some reason the Vikings don't seem really committed to using him.  He has only averaged 15.3 carries the last three games, and I'd like to think that he could do a lot more with his 5.2 yards-per-carry average if he was ever given a chance.  I hope he finds the endzone soon...and so does everyone that has him on their fantasy rosters.  Norv Turner...we're waiting...shock us with a run heavy gameplan for once!  "Jet" Mckinnon makes for a great RB2 option in standard leagues.

Don't be frightened...but we might have had an elusive Cordarrelle Patterson sighting last week.  He was finally targeted a team high 12 times last week, double both Greg Jennings and Chase Ford.  The scary part is that he only caught half of those targets for 86 yards and busted off a 10 yard run too on the way to 9 fantasy points.  Things certainly could have been much better for him if he had been able to bring in a few more of those passes.  Greg Jennings made the most of his lowly 6 targets, catching three of them for 38 yards and a touchdown.  In the end, they tied in standard fantasy points and Patterson has 1 more fantasy point than Jennings on the year.  However, Jennings still leads all Vikings receivers in fantasy production since week 5.  We'll have to keep a close eye on how the targets are distributed over the next couple weeks to see if Patterson is finally going to be a focal point of the offense, or if last week was an aberration.  All of it may be a moot point though: nobody should be starting any Vikings receiver until they can provide a bit of consistency.  It's worth pointing out that Greg Jennings is the only Vikings player on the list above projected for less fantasy points than his season average, and that just doesn't seem right.

Chase Ford had his best game of the year against Tampa Bay catching all 6 of his targets for 61 yards.  With that kind of sure-handedness, he should earn the trust of Teddy Bridgewater.  But he shouldn't have earned the trust of any fantasy footballers yet.  He's simply too inconsistent to rely on.  Here's another obligatory Kyle Rudolph update: Mike Zimmer mentioned yesterday that it is possible that Rudolph returns in Week 11 after the Vikings BYE week, but it could also be the week after.  So plan accordingly.

Blair Walsh could have had another big game last week, but missed a 55-yard attempt.  Still, he's the highest scoring fantasy player on the team right now and is ranked 11th among fantasy kickers.  He's worth a start against a Redskins defense that allows 8.5 fantasy points to opposing kickers.   If you took my advice and started the Vikings D/ST last week you were rewarded with their best fantasy week of the year thanks to Anthony Barr's last minute fumble strip for a touchdown in overtime.  The Redskins allow an average of 7 fantasy points to opposing D/ST units (ranked 21st), so you might as well let the good times roll and keep starting this defense that seems to be catching its stride against mediocre competition.

So, after seven weeks I am now 38-26 overall in my 8 fantasy leagues.  As always here are the updated standings for the 6-team DN Writers League.  My comeback was short-lived and my team will need some help if I'm going to make any noise before this season is over.  Eric Thompson has ridden his good luck all the way to 3rd place, while Arif has officially given up on the league.  Ah well, it's a free punching bag week for the other five of us.

Team Owner

Wins

Losses

Total Points For

1.       MarkSP18

7

1

1,248.89

2.       Kyle Segall

5

3

1,143.56

3.       Eric Thompson

5

3

974.96

4.       Christopher Gates

4

4

1,105.62

5.       CCNorseman

3

5

1,111.67

6.       Arif Hasan

0

8

913.46

Lastly, if Fantasy advice is what you seek, look no further.  I've stopped keeping track of the accuracy of Frigga's advice, but just know I tend to be slightly better than a 50/50 shot in the dark...slightly.  In any case, post your questions below in the comments section and Frigga's inspiration and wisdom shall be yours.