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Frigga's Fantasy Football Fridays: Week 14

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The Daily Norseman takes a look at the fantasy football prospects of our Minnesota Vikings as they host the New York Jets at TCF Bank Stadium in the great outdoors.

Adam Thielen helped the Vikings D/ST become the highest scoring fantasy player last week with 25 points!
Adam Thielen helped the Vikings D/ST become the highest scoring fantasy player last week with 25 points!
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

So, did you make it?  Did your fantasy team make it to the playoffs?  Well, if you're in a league like most standard leagues then your playoffs start this week.  Those of you in custom leagues may not have the playoffs start until next week, which is cool too.  But if your fantasy team is one of the lucky few, congratulations!  Hopefully if you're a Vikings homer and your team was stacked with Vikings players you were able to take advantage of those few weeks when our guys scored big.  But more likely, you got into the playoffs despite guys like Cordarrelle Patterson and Adrian Peterson, both of whom should have been dropped weeks ago!  If you've been reading this column regularly then you know that I'm playing in 8 different fantasy leagues this year.  I have made (or will make) the playoffs in 5 out of those 8 leagues.  I currently have a winning record with two other teams, but will miss the playoffs (those teams finished in 5th place with a 4 team playoff in both...ouch).  Yes that means, I currently only have 1 fantasy team with a losing record so far this season.  I have to call my 2014 fantasy season somewhat of a success.  I'll be happy if I can pull down at least one league championship out of those 5 playoff-bound teams, but it is never easy.  My advice for those of you in the playoffs is simply this: stick with the guys that got you there.  The fantasy playoffs are not the time to out-think yourself or "get cute."  If you're in the playoffs, then your team is solid, so leave it that way.  You'll have a much better chance of winning your playoff matchup with a  guy that has performed well all year than you will with a 1-hit wonder "pickup of the week."  Besides, if you lose you'd feel much better about losing with the guys who got you to the playoffs, then getting cute and starting some waiver wire gem and having it backfire while the guy who got you to the playoffs sits on your bench and scores 30 points.

This week the Vikings take on the New York Jets, and they will once again have a tasty matchup for fantasy purposes.  We got usable games out of several Vikings players last week, and I expect more of the same this week.  The Jets have the 2nd worst fantasy defense against tight ends where they allow an average of 11 points per game.  In fact, they've allowed multiple touchdowns to tight ends in 5 different games this season, and at least 1 touchdown in 7 out of 12 games this year.  They have the 30th ranked fantasy defense against quarterbacks where they allow an average of 19.5 points per game.  With the exception of last week against Ryan Tannehill on Monday Night, they've allowed a passing touchdown in every game, and multiple passing touchdowns in all but 2 games this year.  They are ranked 17th best against wide receivers allowing an average of 23.4 points per game.  All that said they have a fantastic run defense both in real life and for fantasy purposes.  The Jets are ranked 7th best and only allow an average of 15.1 fantasy points per game to running backs.  With Muhammad Wilkerson ruled out though, there could be some more daylight for our running backs this week.  What follows are the Fantasypros consensus projections for Week 14, 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 14

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

11.9

0.1

n/a

n/a

n/a

205.9

1.6

0.8

14.2

11.1

RB Matt Asiata

9.0

31.3

0.2

2.1

13.3

0.0

n/a

n/a

n/a

5.2

11.2

WR Charles Johnson

0.0

0.0

0.0

3.5

56.4

0.3

n/a

n/a

n/a

7.3

8.3

WR Greg Jennings

0.0

0.0

0.0

3.9

42.7

0.6

n/a

n/a

n/a

7.6

6.1

WR Jarius Wright

0.1

0.6

0.0

1.9

24.0

0.0

n/a

n/a

n/a

2.8

2.8

TE Kyle Rudolph

n/a

n/a

n/a

3.1

32.4

0.4

n/a

n/a

n/a

6.6

5.0

Bridgewater continues to improve and progress as he had his second multiple passing touchdown game in a row.  He wasn't asked to throw the ball much due to the two Special Teams touchdowns (only 21 attempts), but he was efficient and didn't turn the ball over and it led to 14 fantasy points, once again out-performing his projection.  At this point in the season, he's still not a fantasy starter, but he's doing well in home games against poor defenses and should continue to do well against another poor defense at home.

Jerick Mckinnon's back injury must be pretty serious.  He did not suit up last week, and has not practiced Wednesday or Thursday this week either.  He probably wouldn't have been worth a start against the Jets 7th ranked run defense anyway, but his health is worth monitoring.  Matt Asiata got the start last week and does what he does best: 3.7 yards per carry en route to a middling amount of fantasy points.  Unfortunately he didn't score a touchdown, as that seems to be the only way for him to be fantasy relevant.  The Jets have only allowed 6 rushing touchdowns all year (although 5 of them have come in the last 6 games).  Ben Tate saw a few more carries last week with Mckinnon out, and that scenario could happen again.  I doubt Tate will see the majority of the carries, but anything could happen as he continues to learn the playbook and get acquainted with his new team.  Still, no Vikings running back should be anywhere near a starting lineup in the fantasy playoffs, especially against the Jets.

After Charles Johnson had two great games, he followed it up with somewhat of a disappointment, at least from a fantasy football perspective.  Greg Jennings got the most receiving targets last week (6) and capitalized with 5 catches for 41 yards and a touchdown.  Johnson was targeted only 4 times and caught 2 passes for 41 yards.  The low production was, again, due to game circumstance as Teddy only attempted 21 passes.  But Jennings continues to be the highest scoring wide receiver for the Vikings with over 500 receiving yards and four touchdowns.  I mentioned this stat last week, but it continues to hold true: in the last 5 games where Jennings has been healthy (which excludes the Chicago game where he injured his ribs) Jennings has managed either 70 yards or a touchdown and is averaging 8.4 fantasy points per game.  It's probably no coincidence that fantasy production also correlates mostly to Teddy Bridgewater coming in healthy as the starting quarterback.  There are certainly better flex plays out there than Jennings, but if you're desperate roll the dice once again.

Kyle Rudolph "the Red Zone Reindeer" is back ladies and gentlemen!  He played 46 out of 50 snaps last week and 61 out of 69 snaps the week before.  Also, the past 2 weeks he has been targeted a combined 8 times and caught 5 passes for 57 yards and a touchdown.  I love his matchup this week, and he continues to get healthier and healthier.  If there was ever a week for Rudolph to bust out this season, it is this week.  I don't quite have him as a starter in 10-team standard leagues, but if you're desperate in a 12-team or larger league or looking for a sneaky (albeit risky play), then start him up!

Blair Walsh has been a middling option as a fantasy kicker, but he should have plenty of opportunities against a Jets defense that allows 8.8 points per game to fantasy kickers.  He may have "boy band good looks", but he's still only the 15th best kicker in fantasy football.  The Vikings D/ST however did not disappoint last week racking up a massive 25 standard fantasy points.  They have another great matchup against a Jets offense that kindly gifts opposing fantasy D/ST units an average of 9.7 points per game.  With Geno Smith back under center, fire them up once again!

I mentioned above that I made the playoffs in 5 out of 8 leagues this year and after thirteen weeks my eight teams are a combined 61-43 overall.  As always here are the updated standings for the 6-team DN Writers League.  Everyone made the playoffs in this league, although I just missed out on a BYE week after extending my winning streak to 4 games.  Still, I surged into 3rd place and improved my playoff seed so luckily I get to face Arif's team in the first round of the playoffs instead of Kyle.  If I win, I'll face Eric Thompson in the Semi-finals.

Team Owner

Wins

Losses

Total Points For

1.       MarkSP18

12

1

2,023.39

2.       Eric Thompson

8

5

1,675.58

3.       CCNorseman

7

6

1,759.51

4.       Christopher Gates

6

7

1,869.73

5.       Kyle Segall

5

8

1,636.41

6.       Arif Hasan

1

12

1,332.07

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.