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Frigga's Fantasy Football Fridays: Week 11

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The Daily Norseman takes a look at the fantasy football prospects of our Minnesota Vikings as they go on the road to face the Chicago Bears.

Matt Asiata stretching for one of his three TDs against the Redskins, en route to the most fantasy points by a Viking in Week 9
Matt Asiata stretching for one of his three TDs against the Redskins, en route to the most fantasy points by a Viking in Week 9
Hannah Foslien

How are your fantasy teams doing so far this year?  We are officially in "crunch time" for fantasy football.  The next three to four weeks (depending on your league's schedule) will determine who makes the playoffs and who has to battle it out in your league's version of the sacko bowl.  I've got a few teams that are doing great, a few that need some help and a couple that are pretty much helpless.  Looking back on things, it's obvious that most fantasy leagues are won and lost in the draft.  What follows are two "what-if" fantasy drafts, constructed using FantasyPros "Average Draft Position" for players to determine the appropriate rounds in which they could have been drafted, and assuming a standard 10-team league.  You try to guess which one would make the playoffs and which one would end up in the sacko bowl, it shouldn't be too tough.

Team A Fantasy Draft
Round 1: Adrian Peterson
Round 2: Brandon Marshall
Round 3: Zac Stacy
Round 4: Keenan Allen
Round 5: Vernon Davis
Round 6: Cam Newton
Round 7: Wes Welker
Round 8: Maurice Jones-Drew
Round 9: Kendall Wright
Round 10: Fred Jackson
Total Team Points Through Week 10: 484

Team B Fantasy Draft
Round 1: DeMaryius Thomas
Round 2: DeMarco Murray
Round 3: Andre Ellington
Round 4: Andrew Luck
Round 5: Frank Gore
Round 6: DeSean Jackson
Round 7: Greg Olsen
Round 8: Jeremy Maclin
Round 9: Terrance Williams
Round 10: Darren Sproles
Total Team Points Through Week 10: 1,182

Clearly, Team A bombed their draft and Team B knocked it out of the park.  Most of us probably landed somewhere in the middle of these two extremes.  But if Team A was a competent waiver wire hound they might have been able to secure some players who were all graded as "undrafted free agents" by ADP in a standard 10-team league, and therefore most if not all of them should have been available on the waiver wire at various points throughout the year.  So while the fantasy draft can certainly make or break a fantasy year, staying on top of the waiver wire is equally important.  All of the following guys are either currently scoring in the top 20 by position or averaging Top 20 points since becoming a starter, and could have been claimed off of waivers:

QB: Ryan Tannehill, Kyle Orton
RB: Justin Forsett, Chris Ivory, Denard Robinson
WR: Mohamed Sanu, Brandon LaFell, Jordan Mathews, Allen Hurns
TE: Delanie Walker, Travis Kelce, Larry Donnell

So, let us know in the comments section how your fantasy teams are doing, and if you've had to overcome a terrible draft with key waiver wire adds, or if you've been riding the easy life of a fantastic draft.

This week the Vikings travel to Chicago to take on a Bears defense that has allowed over 50 actual points to each of their opposing offenses the past two weeks.  Granted, they were offenses helmed by two of the NFL's most elite quarterbacks in Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers, but still.  The Bears fantasy defense is in shambles right now.  They have the worst fantasy defense against quarterbacks allowing an average of 20.8 fantasy points to opposing signal callers.  The matchup delights are equally good against tight ends (allowing 12.6 fantasy points per game) and kickers.  The Bears are ranked 23rd against wide receivers (allowing 22.7 points), but tighten up a little against fantasy running backs: ranked 15th and allowing an average of only 16.3 points.  Still, this Sunday's game represents a positive fantasy matchup for almost all of our Vikings players.  What follows are the Fantasypros consensus projections for Week 11, 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 11

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

3.4

15.5

0.1

n/a

n/a

n/a

236.9

1.3

0.8

14.4

12.05

RB Jerick Mckinnon

15.3

70

0.3

2.3

16.4

0.0

n/a

n/a

n/a

10.7

8.33

WR Cordarrelle Patterson

0.7

7.6

0.0

3.5

44.9

0.5

n/a

n/a

n/a

8.4

5.98

WR Greg Jennings

0.0

0.0

0.0

4.6

57.5

0.3

n/a

n/a

n/a

7.2

6.43

WR Jarius Wright

0.1

0.4

0.0

2.8

33.6

0.1

n/a

n/a

n/a

3.8

3.68

TE Kyle Rudolph

n/a

n/a

n/a

2.9

29.1

0.3

n/a

n/a

n/a

4.5

5.2

This week everybody gets a projection that is higher than their season average (with the exception of Kyle Rudolph), which makes sense given the matchup.  In week 9, Teddy Bridgewater beat his projection by 4 fantasy points and was the 13th best fantasy quarterback of the week.  His 16 standard fantasy points were the 2nd highest total of his young career, and the prognosticators like his chances to get into double digits once again this Sunday.  Depending on the weather and how Bridgewater handles the cold (for the record, I'm not worried), I think he'll meet his projection easily.  With two back-to-back decent outings in fantasy football, it's time to get Bridgewater on your waiver wire radar for backup status.  And he should have been drafted in dynasty leagues a long time ago.

So, apparently Matt Asiata still has some fantasy relevance after all.  After scoring another three touchdowns last week he is now once again the top scoring running back for the Vikings in fantasy football.  Still, he's entirely reliant on touchdowns at this point since he is averaging only 5.5 carries the past four games.  Jerick Mckinnon is still going to be the primary ballcarrier against the Bears.  Mckinnon still doesn't have a touchdown yet this year, but maybe that changes this week.  In deeper leagues, or TD-dependent leagues, Matt Asiata is worth a start actually.  Asiata has been given every goal line carry the Vikings have had so far this year, and if the Vikings get in close that doesn't figure to change anytime soon.  As for my thoughts on Adrian Peterson...a speculative pickup is probably worth it if he's still sitting out there in your league (and chances are he's not by now).  With a hearing on his status coming on Monday, we'll know sooner or later just what is happening with him.  If he is reinstated, odds are very high that he plays for the Vikings again at some point this year, maybe even in time for the Packers with a best-case scenario.  But, a suspension could also be coming and with only 6 games remaining after Sunday, he may not even come back at all.  I honestly think it's a 50/50 call at this point on whether or not Peterson plays this year.

I've been talking up Greg Jennings since Training Camp, and have mentioned him as the receiver to own repeatedly this year, and so far I haven't been proven wrong.  The passing targets are being split between Jennings and Patterson, and while some weeks Patterson has been targeted more than Jennings, in the end Jennings has a slight target lead over Patterson.  But the more important stats are these: Jennings has 35 receptions to Patterson's 26.  He also has 459 receiving yards to Patterson's 308 and 2 receiving touchdowns to Patterson's 1.   Jennings has been the more efficient receiver by far this season.  Patterson does have 110 rushing yards and 1 rushing TD which helps close the gap in fantasy points, but as a pure receiver there's really no comparison.  Jennings is simply a more polished receiver that runs better routes, catches the ball more reliably, and gets open more often.   It looked that way to me in training camp during WR drills especially, and it has continued to look that way on the field on Sundays.  I'm beginning to wonder if Patterson will end up having a career that mimics the arc of Devin Hester: a dynamic athlete that is electric with the ball in his hands, but really only thrives in the open field as a returner, with manufactured touches or on the occasional deep ball.  He certainly has limitations as a route runner that he may or may not be able to overcome.  It's still early in Patterson's career, so maybe he can figure it out.  But this season has been a bit of a disappointment so far.

Well, it looks like we'll have Kyle Rudolph back on Sunday.  But honestly, with the way Chase Ford has played the last two games (11 catches for 127 yards and a score) Rudolph could be eased into the game plan.  I mentioned Ford specifically before our week 9 game in the Matchup Index as a good candidate for a breakout game and he certainly delivered with his first career receiving touchdown.  Unfortunately, I didn't trust my own advice and recommended sitting him in my Frigga article.  I think either Ford or Rudolph is due for another good game against fantasy football's worst defense against the tight end.  But, I have no idea which one it will be.  So, until we're certain Rudolph is 100% I would go with another option at tight end to play it safe.

Blair Walsh had a down week, attempting no field goals and only netting three extra points.  He's currently the 18th ranked kicker in fantasy football.  With a cold outdoor game in Solider Field, you can probably find a safer option.  But if you must, at least the matchup is fantastic on paper.  I really like the D/ST this week as I think they'll get at least 1 interception and a handful of sacks.  They might allow 20 points and 300+ yards of offense, but they should be start-able once again.  They are a top 10 fantasy defense so far this year, ranked 8th overall in standard ESPN leagues.

So, after 10 weeks I am now 43-37 overall in my 8 fantasy leagues.  As always here are the updated standings for the 6-team DN Writers League.  My bad luck continues as I am still in 3rd place in overall Points For, but sit mired in 5th place overall.  Arif Hasan actually managed a win against Kyle last week, despite having not made any lineup changes since week 1.  Way to go Arif!  With RGIII healthy again, and if Peterson is reinstated and begins playing again, then Arif's team could actually make some noise in our league.  I fail to understand how Eric's team is in 2nd place, despite being 5th overall in total Points For.  That is some wicked fantasy juju he is working.  Anyway, there's still a few weeks left and I'm only 2 games back out of second place.   It seems pretty clear that Mark will run away with this one but after that it's a 4-way tie as far as I'm concerned.

Team Owner

Wins

Losses

Total Points For

1.       MarkSP18

9

1

1,599.10

2.       Eric Thompson

6

4

1,212.69

3.       Christopher Gates

5

5

1,431.57

4.       Kyle Segall

5

5

1,298.54

5.       CCNorseman

4

6

1,369.51

6.       Arif Hasan

1

9

1,077.73

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.