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Frigga Fantasy Football Friday: Week 8 vs CHI

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The Daily Norseman breaks down the statistical production of the Vikings as they take on the Bears in week eight.

Shockingly, Blair Walsh scored more fantasy points than any other Vikings player last week.
Shockingly, Blair Walsh scored more fantasy points than any other Vikings player last week.
Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Editor's Note: FanDuel is hosting a FREE Week 8 fantasy football league where half the teams win cash on Sunday. New users only. Join now!

My favorite holiday of the year is of course, Halloween!  Since my wife is a killer seamstress I've also got a slew of incredibly accurate costumes: Obi-Wan Kenobi (prequel version), Malcolm Reynolds (from Firefly), and a historically accurate Viking costume (with tunic!) among others.  Our daughter is finally old enough to get excited about trick or treating, and is beginning to understand what Halloween is all about which makes it all the more fun.  So to get you in the mood for Halloween, here's one of my favorite tracks from my Halloween Playlist*

Tricks or Treats?

After seven weeks, we've hit the half-way point of the fantasy football regular season, which means it's time for some Mid-Season awards!  Hopefully you have more treats on your fantasy roster than tricks...

Treat of the Mid-Year: Devonta Freeman, Falcons

With an ADP of 110 overall, Devonta Freeman was drafted in about round 10 of most drafts.  At the beginning of the year, it looked like something of a 50/50 split in the Falcons backfield between Freeman and Tevin Coleman with Coleman having a bit more upside thanks to a dynamic Preseason.  And after the first week, it sure looked like Coleman was going to be the main guy getting 20 carries with Freeman as the 3rd down back getting only 10, but all of the receptions.  But then Coleman injured his ribs and Freeman got his chance.  And he's been incredibly hot ever since ending up as the #2 fantasy scorer overall through the first 7 weeks.  He's been phenomenal and if you took a chance on him in your drafts you were rewarded handsomely.

Trick of the Mid-Year: C.J. Anderson, Broncos

Thanks to a superb finish to his sophomore season in 2014, Anderson was hyped up for a big year in 2015.  Anderson averaged 20.7 fantasy points per game over the final 8 games of the season last year, and averaged 4.7 yards per carry in all of 2014.  In what was supposed to be a high-flying Denver offense lead by Peyton Manning and the arrival of Gary Kubiak as the offensive coordinator (known for his commitment to the run game), what wasn't to like?  The process of hyping up Anderson seemed to be right, but unfortunately the Broncos run game has never really gotten off the ground.  Instead of dominance like last year, Anderson has averaged only 2.7 yards per carry in 2015 en route to one of the biggest disappointments in fantasy football after being drafted as the 10th overall player.  He has averaged 4.7 fantasy points per game and has failed to top 43 rushing yards or find the end zone in six straight games this year.

Vikings Treat of the Mid-Year: WR Stefon Diggs

Stefon Diggs has been a revelation in his first three starts of the year amassing 324 receiving yards and a touchdown en route to an average of 13.1 fantasy points per game the past three weeks.  For a player that was literally 0% owned just 4 weeks ago this makes him the obvious choice for Vikings treat of the first half of the year.  If he is somehow still available in any of your fantasy leagues, pick him up immediately as he is the bona-fide #1 receiver for the Vikings now.

Vikings Trick of the Mid-Year: WR Charles Johnson

There are lots of possibilities for Vikings Trick of the Mid-Year (looking at you Kyle Rudolph and Mike Wallace), but unfortunately there is really only choice here.  Diggs rise to fantasy prominence has come at the cost of someone else: Charles Johnson.  Johnson was a player just like C.J. Anderson who had a fantastic finish to the 2014 season and got a lot of hype coming into this year.  Johnson became the de-facto starter last year after Cordarrelle Patterson was benched and after the BYE week he averaged 7.8 fantasy points per game, including a 100-yard game and two touchdowns during that span.  After glowing reports out of training camp this year, and a fantastic Preseason, the hype machine was in full effect for Johnson, and his ADP was 89th overall, making him a popular 8th round pick.  Perhaps we over-estimated his chances a bit; because he stumbled out of the gate averaging an embarrassingly low 1.5 fantasy points per game the first three games this year.  Then he injured his ribs and lost his job to Stefon Diggs.  He has seen less than 20% of the offensive snaps the past two weeks upon his return to the lineup as a result of Diggs taking off.

Which players have been your biggest tricks and treats in fantasy football this year?  Let us know in the comments section.

This week the Vikings travel to Solider Field to take on the Bears who are terrible, and represent an excellent matchup for fantasy football.  While the Bears are ranked a respectable 16th in fantasy points allowed to running backs, they are dead last in defensive line yards allowed according to Football Outsiders.  They are also ranked only 20th in adjusted sack rating, meaning this defensive line is essentially swiss cheese.  While their secondary has allowed the 6th fewest passing yards per game, they have also allowed a tied for 2nd most, 15 passing TDs so far this year.  I like the Vikings chances against Chicago.  As always this week's projections come to us from Fantasy Pros, which calculate a consensus from the following sources: CBS Sports, ESPN, NumberFire, Stats.com and FFToday.

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

Per Game

Average

QB Teddy Bridgewater

3.2

15.8

0.2

n/a

n/a

n/a

230.2

1.4

0.9

15.4

12.2

RB Adrian Peterson

20.2

93.2

0.7

2.3

16.5

0.0

n/a

n/a

n/a

15.2

13.2

WR Stefon Diggs

0.1

0.8

0.0

5.0

63.5

0.5

n/a

n/a

n/a

9.3

13.1

WR Mike Wallace

0.0

0.0

0.0

3.9

53.4

0.5

n/a

n/a

n/a

8.2

5.9

TE Kyle Rudolph

n/a

n/a

n/a

2.8

27.6

0.2

n/a

n/a

n/a

4.0

5.1


Teddy took advantage of another soft matchup against Detroit last week actually surpassing his Week 2 total for his best fantasy outing of the year so far.  It was his first "big boy" game of over 300 passing yards and multiple touchdowns.  Here's a neat stat for you.  In the first three games without Stefon Diggs in the lineup, Teddy averaged 168 passing yards and 0.33 touchdowns per game.  In the next three games with Diggs locked in as the starter, Teddy has averaged 278 passing yards per game and 1.33 touchdowns per game.  Or to think of it another way, he averaged 9.9 fantasy points per game without Diggs, and 14.4 with Diggs.  I think Teddy gets a bit of a boost with Diggs as his go-to weapon, and his projection shows that this week too.  He makes for an excellent BYE week fill-in once again this week.

Peterson is banged up with a number of injuries and hasn't practiced as of Thursday night.  But I would be surprised if he wasn't out there on Sunday.  If Peterson is on the field, then he should be starting for your fantasy team.  If he sits for some reason, I don't want any part of Jerick Mckinnon or Matt Asiata.  It would likely be a repeat of last year's nightmare scenario.

How about that Stefon Diggs diving catch last week?  Diggs Darklighter (as most of my fantasy teams are called) is the real deal!  Here are three numbers for you: 10, 9 and 9.  Those are the number of passing targets Diggs has gotten the past three weeks.  Here is another set: 10, 9 and 5.  Almost the same right?  Those are the passing targets Mike Wallace has gotten the past three weeks.  Diggs: 324 receiving yards and a touchdown.  Wallace: 142 receiving yards and a touchdown.  No one else is worth considering at this point, but Diggs has been the dominant receiver and looks like the better play the rest of the way.  I wouldn't drop Mike Wallace yet, but if he is out-targeted something like 9-5 for a second straight week then I think the writing is on the wall.

Rudolph caught a 2nd touchdown in as many weeks, and his 3rd on the year, but he still hasn't scored more than 7 fantasy points in a game.  While Diggs and Wallace have seen a boat-load of targets the past three weeks, Rudolph has seen a TOTAL of 11 the past 3 weeks combined.  The volume isn't there and anyone thinking he was going to excel like Antonio Gates and Jordan Cameron need to rethink it.  Rudolph's fantasy production is completely dependent on touchdowns, which does not make him a good play in anything other than TD-only leagues.

The Vikings D/ST is a top 10 unit in standard leagues and is definitely worth a start against a turnover-prone Jay Cutler.  The Bears offensive line is actually decent in pass protection having only allowed 12 sacks in 6 games, ranked 10th best in adjusted sack rating from Football Outsiders.  But with the prospect of multiple interceptions and turnovers, I say: start ‘em up!  Hey Blair Walsh, that makes two weeks in a row of no missed field goals...but too bad about that missed extra point.  I'm still waiting for three in a row...as I tell my students, "gotta start over."  Still, the 20 points from FIVE field goals, including a 50-yarder certainly made up for it.  Last week not-with-standing, Walsh still hasn't earned my trust.

It's onto my league-wide picks!  I like to highlight one player that I think will outscore their consensus projection by giving them the "Well Played" designation, and then also highlight one player I think will fall short of their projection by giving them the "Oops" designation.  Here are my picks for this week:

Well Played of the Week

Well Played

RB Giovanni Bernard vs PIT

The Bengals offense has been red-hot to start the year, and Giovanni Bernard has had a great start right along with them.  While it's been tough to determine who will get the most carries, Hill or Bernard, outside of Week 1 and Week 6, it has been Bernard getting the most carries and overall touches.  Through the first six games, Bernard has out-touched Hill 95 to 77 thanks mostly to his work in the passing game.  That said, Hill has 6 touchdowns to Bernard's 2, giving Hill more fantasy points as a result.  This is mostly a split backfield though. While Pittsburgh is the 4th best defense against running backs, consider who they've played and how those teams fared.  The teams that struggled are teams that have struggled to run the ball all year: San Francisco, St. Louis and San Diego.  While Pittsburgh did hold New England and Arizona in check on the ground, those teams aired it out against them instead.  Baltimore and Kansas City both ran for over 100 yards, so it seems possible that a good running team can have success against Pittburgh.  Cincincatti has the 6th best offensive line in adjusted line yards for run blocking while Pittsburgh is only 17th in defensive line yards allowed on the ground.  To make a long story short I don't believe that #4 overall ranking for fantasy and wouldn't read too much into the matchup.  Bernard has averaged 11.1 fantasy points per game in standard leagues, and is even better in PPR leagues where he has averaged 3 receptions per game.  Fantasy Pros has him projected for only 10 standard fantasy points this week, but I think he'll exceed that.

Oops of the Week

Oops Award

WR Randall Cobb vs DEN

Cobb has been both a fantasy treat and a fantasy trick this year.  After injuring his shoulder in the Preseason, there were question marks around what Cobb might do this year, but he exploded onto the scene averaging 16.6 points per game during the first three weeks of the year thanks to a three-TD performance against Kansas City in week 3.  It appeared the shoulder was a non-issue, but then team-mate Davante Adams injured his ankle in Week 3, and he hasn't played in the last three games.  During that stretch, Cobb has averaged only 3.5 fantasy points per game while teammate James Jones has gone wild during Adams absence.  While Adams may return this week, Cobb is on the road against the #1 defense in fantasy against wide receivers.  It's tough to predict what might happen with Adams back in the lineup, but I don't want any part of this passing game in the Mile High City.  Never-the-less, Fantasy Pros is projecting Cobb for 10.5 fantasy points, and I think he'll fall short of that.

Last Week: 1-1, Season so far: 9-5

HELP ME FRIGGA

This week's question comes from our good friends over at Vikings Territory, who you should definitely be following @vikingterritory


What a great problem to have!  I think all are start-able options this week.  While Chris Johnson has the best matchup of the three, he also carries the most risk being on the road and with both Andre Ellington and David Johnson getting some looks.  For that reason, I'd start Peterson and Forte.  Having said that, Peterson is banged up and if that scares you I would have no problem sitting Peterson this week for Johnson if his practice status has been non-existent.  But I'd still roll with Peterson and Forte and not overthink it.

Daily Norseman Fantasy League

I don't know if it's luck or what, but this fantasy team of mine just keeps on winning, despite having holes all over the roster.  I can't complain though.  I'm stitting in 2nd place behind Heath Miller Time, while Jules Winfield and 2 Glovez are still close behind both at 5-2.  At this point in the season the four of us look like the playoff teams right now, but it's still early and anything can happen in the 2nd half of the season.  Don't look now, but Joe Webb Still Sucks is on a 3-game win streak to improve his record to 4-3.  The overall standings this week are pretty much the same as last week though:

Rank

Team

W-L-T

Div

Pts For

Pts Agnst

Streak

Division 1

3

MarkSP18 - Jules Winnfield

5-2-0

3-0-0

1191.96

1009.94

L-1

5

Christopher Gates - Joe Webb Still Sucks

4-3-0

1-2-0

753.56

743.8

W-3

9

vikingarmy - Zim Reaper

2-5-0

2-1-0

809.08

936.48

L-3

12

Typically Lazy - TheBlairWalshProject

1-6-0

0-3-0

647.94

837.06

W-1

Division 2

1

TINO24 - Heath Miller Time

6-1-0

3-0-0

1022.8

809.14

W-1

4

Eric Thompson - 2 Glovez

5-2-0

2-1-0

875.74

821.16

L-1

6

Viketoryordeath - MayTheNorseBeWithYou

3-4-0

0-3-0

939.24

921.54

W-1

8

Arif Hasan - We're Ball Wittenses

3-4-0

1-2-0

799.22

884.56

W-3

Division 3

2

CCNorseman - Diggs Darklighter

6-1-0

3-0-0

992.72

753.56

W-1

7

RedHat16 - CrisCarters FallGuys

3-4-0

2-1-0

864.72

840.42

L-1

10

Jackson McIntire - Jackson's Team

2-5-0

0-3-0

786.92

911.94

L-1

11

DADAIR25 - HitmanHarry

2-5-0

1-2-0

735.16

949.46

L-3

I will no longer be hosting Fanduel leagues this season, as last week's league didn't fill again. I have to work too hard promoting them on twitter to get them to make.  In any case, don't forget if you want to see your fantasy football question featured here in the Frigga Fantasy Football series, hit me up on twitter @CCNorseman with the hashtag: #helpmefrigga on Wednesdays or Thursdays.  Feel free to leave your sit/start questions in the comments below for myself and others to chime in.

*My Halloween Playlist is as follows (complete with Youtube Links!):

All Hallows Eve - Type O Negative
The Number of the Beast - Iron Maiden
Skeletons In The Closet - Alice Cooper
Thriller - Michael Jackson
Dragula - Rob Zombie
Halloween in Heaven - Type O Negative
Cosmic Monsters Inc - White Zombie
If I Was Your Vampire - Marilyn Manson
Nightmare On My Street - Will Smith
Halloween - Helloween
The Conjuring - Megadeth
Bela Lugosi's Dead - Bauhaus
Dead Skin Mask - Slayer
Halloween - King Diamond
Sangue - Theatres des Vampires
Black Sabbath - Black Sabbath
Sweet Dreams - Marilyn Manson