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Frigga Fantasy Football Friday: Week 10 vs OAK

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

Peterson scored the most fantasy points of any Vikings players last week, putting up 20.3 standard points.
Peterson scored the most fantasy points of any Vikings players last week, putting up 20.3 standard points.
Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

The Vikings go on the road to face the Oakland Raiders this Sunday, who they have faced once already this year, albeit in the Preseason.  At the time, the big storyline was the comparison of two, second-year quarterbacks in Derek Carr and Teddy Bridgewater.  While it was only the Preseason, Bridgewater arguably had the better statistical day.  And at the very least, he would have tallied more fantasy points anyway.

But as we sit just past the half-way mark of the NFL regular season, it would appear that Derek Carr has emerged as the more statistically relevant quarterback.  Carr has more passing yards, touchdowns and a higher passer rating than Teddy at this point.  Here are both quarterback's stats through the first 8 games of the year:

2015 Stats

Att.

Comp.

Comp. %

Yards

TDs

INTs

Yds/Att.

QB Rat.

ANY/A

Teddy Bridgewater

232

149

64.2

1,670

6

6

7.2

83.4

5.38

Derek Carr

273

174

63.7

2,094

19

1.5

7.7

104.3

7.96


As you can see in the comparison, Carr has been the more efficient quarterback.  While he is averaging over 5 more passing attempts per game than Teddy, his yards per attempt, quarterback rating and adjusted net yards per attempt (which account for sack yardage lost, TDs and INTs) are all significantly higher.  Through the first half of the season, Derek Carr has simply been the better quarterback.  Thankfully Teddy has a stronger supporting cast around him, and the Vikings sit at 6-2 whereas the Raiders are at 4-4.  All signs point to Teddy being able to play this week, so it will be interesting watching these two quarterbacks battle the opposing team's defenses.

Speaking of defense, the Raiders defense has been below average this year for fantasy purposes, which is good news for the Vikings.  They have the fourth worst fantasy defense against quarterbacks, allowing an average of 19.6 fantasy points per game.  If that wasn't good enough news, they also have the 2nd worst fantasy defense against kickers and the worst fantasy defense against tight ends.  They are even a plus matchup against running backs and wide receivers, although they are not quite as bad as they are ranked 19th and 13th respectively.  All that said, if there is one area to avoid, it is with the Vikings D/ST, as the Raiders offense is 6th best against D/ST units. I can't believe I'm about to write this, but the Raider offense under Bill Musgrave is ranked 7th best in points per game, 8th best in yards per game and currently hold a +1 advantage in turnover margin.  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 10

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

2.7

14.0

0.1

n/a

n/a

n/a

209.1

1.0

0.8

12.5

12.3

RB Adrian Peterson

20.8

91.5

0.7

1.9

13.5

0.0

n/a

n/a

n/a

14.7

13.8

WR Stefon Diggs

0.2

1.0

0.0

5.2

69.4

0.5

n/a

n/a

n/a

10.2

11.8

WR Mike Wallace

0.0

0.0

0.0

3.3

44.2

0.2

n/a

n/a

n/a

5.7

4.5

TE Kyle Rudolph

n/a

n/a

n/a

2.6

25.3

0.2

n/a

n/a

n/a

3.5

4.4


I advised you to sit Teddy Bridgewater last week, and that ended up being a wise move.  He vultured a rushing touchdown and a 2-point conversion from Peterson which helped boost his fantasy total to 13.5, but otherwise he only threw the ball 21 times for 144 yards and an interception.  After getting knocked out of the game in the 4th quarter, he had a disappointing stat line.  I actually expect a much better game from Teddy this week as the Raiders have a pretty soft defense and have been involved in shoot-out after shoot-out this season.  The Vikings will likely try to play their brand of old-school football as always: run first, clock-management and solid defense, but this Raiders offense is potent and Derek Carr has been on fire.  I expect Teddy to have to throw a bunch to keep up.  If you have better options, I would role with those, but I see his 12.5 point projection to be a little low, despite the fact that it's on par with his season-long per game average.  Teddy is capable of so much more now with Diggs in the mix.

I have to admit I was very surprised by Peterson's performance against a top ranked defense last week.  He put up over 100 yards on the ground and a score against the Rams, which only one other team has been able to do so far this year.  The Vikings gave Peterson an astounding 31 touches last week in a tough matchup, and are simply feeding him non-stop now.  The Raiders are much less stingy on the ground, so I expect another productive day.

Stefon Diggs had a quiet day last week, but the targets are still there.  He's worth a start in any given week, and we probably just saw his worst game of the year.  Mike Wallace is completely droppable at this point as he is not heavily involved in the offense, and his timing with Teddy has not been consistent.  Since the Vikings came back from their BYE week and Diggs has emerged Wallace has averaged only 6 targets per game, and has hauled in an average of 1.8 receptions, 15.8 receiving yards and 0 touchdowns.  During that same timespan, Diggs has averaged 8.8 targets and has hauled in an average of 5.5 receptions for 93.5 yards and 0.5 touchdowns per game.  There are only two things that might concern me in usage between Diggs and Wallace.  Last week, Wallace got one more target than Diggs for some odd reason, and second, Diggs' yardage totals have been trending in the wrong direction during the past four weeks: 129, 108, 95, and 42.  But I wouldn't make too much out of it.  Since I expect Teddy to throw it a ton to keep up with Derek Carr, I also expect Diggs to be on the other end of all those passing attempts.  So I would feel comfortable starting Diggs as a WR2.

Once upon a time I said that Kyle Rudolph would no longer be fantasy relevant, except for Week 10 against the Raiders.  Well, here we are and I no longer feel confident about starting him.  Yes, barring the weird Week 5 against Denver where no tight end caught a pass from Manning the Raiders have allowed a touchdown to a tight end in every single game this year.  But the yardage totals have been all over the place from as many as 105, to as few as 8.  Tight End matchups carry the least amount of relevancy to predicting fantasy points of any position, and since the Vikings need Rudolph to stay in and block a lot to help out the offensive line and the running game, your only hope this week is for a few red zone targets and a touchdown.  Odds are better this week than any other week this season for that to happen, but I still wouldn't start Rudolph, especially if you have other startable options instead.

I would strongly consider sitting the Vikings D/ST against the Raider's offense.  After last week's pathetic showing against the Rams, they have slipped to #11 overall in standard scoring and Oakland only allows an average of 3.4 fantasy points per game to opposing D/ST.  In fact, they've forced opposing D/ST units into the negative four times this season, and that includes the supposedly decent Jets defense.  That said, Blair Walsh is officially out of the doghouse and back in America's hearts as a top 10 fantasy kicker!  I'll repeat what Zimmer said in his post-game, locker room speech, "Atta boy Blair."  He gets the best possible matchup for kickers this week, so start him up!

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

QB Kirk Cousins vs NO

For any fans of Matthew Berry and the Fantasy Focus podcast you will know of his disdain for defensive coordinator Rob Ryan.  But I think he's got it all wrong!  All Hail Rob Ryan and his god-awful defense!  They are fantasy goodness, and as the worst fantasy defense in the NFL against quarterbacks, just about everyone who is matched up against them is worth a start.  New Orleans allows an average of 24.5 fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks, 24.5!  And they just got blown up to the tune of 38 and 33.3 fantasy points the past two weeks by Eli Manning and Marcus Mariota.  The fewest points they allowed in any given week was 14.3, and that was against Brandon Weedon.  Everyone else has scored at least 17.6.  Kirk Cousins is also capable of massive point totals, having scored 30.2 against Tampa Bay and 21.7 against Philadelphia.  He is definitely inconsistent as he also has three games of single digits, so this pick comes with a bit of risk.  But Fantasypros only has Cousins projected for 15.7 fantasy points this week, and I think he'll top that especially considering he'll have his full complement of pass catchers back and fully healthy.

Oops of the Week

Oops Award

Marshawn Lynch vs ARI

Lynch owners won't want to hear this, but in the six games that Lynch has played he is averaging only 9.8 fantasy points per game.  Despite averaging over 17 carries and 2 receptions in those six games, he has only topped 75 rushing yards once.  Yes he's coming off a BYE week, and since returning in week 6 from a hamstring injury he has posted 11.4, 18.2 and 8.2 fantasy points in the last three games.  So there is hope that he is finally back healthy and ready to get back to "Beast Mode."  But the Arizona defense is tough for running backs.  They allow an average of only 14.9 fantasy points to opposing running backs, 7th best in the NFL.  They've allowed only one team to rush for more than 100 yards, and only two teams have scored rushing touchdowns against them.  The past two years Lynch hasn't been awesome against Arizona.  In his past four games against Arizona he has averaged 16 carries, 78.5 yards and 0.75 touchdowns.  Thanks to a bit of receiving yards and the TDs, he's averaging 13.7 fantasy points in those previous four games.  So, despite the bad matchup, and the potential concern regarding Lynch's effectiveness so far this season, Fantasypros consensus projections have him at his most recent career average against Arizona at 13.0 fantasy points, also 8th most of the week.  I think he has trouble finding the endzone and falls short of that.

Last Week: 1-1, Season so far: 11-7

HELP ME FRIGGA

This week's question comes from Tom Roller, who you can follow @TommyRoller. He asks:

I know that Vikings fans who own Amari Cooper may be a little squeamish about starting him, especially considering that the Vikings are 8th best in fantasy against opposing wide receivers.  If you have a blanket rule that you never start guys against the Vikings, I can certainly respect that.  But if given the choice, I think Cooper is the best play.  While Matthews and Cooper are virtually tied in targets on the year, Cooper is averaging 4 fantasy points per game more than Matthews in PPR leagues.  And despite the sudden outburst from Jordan Matthews last week and a plus matchup this week, I still don't trust him and the Eagles offense.  The Saints and Brees still like to spread the ball around, which makes Snead nothing more than a WR3 with upside.  So the choice really comes down to Cooper or Matthews.  I like Cooper in a PPR who has caught at least four passes in every game this season giving him a high floor.  For what it's worth 98% of experts compiled by Fantasypros rank Cooper ahead of Matthews this week in PPR leagues, and I agree.

Daily Norseman Fantasy League

Well, well, well...I don't mean to gloat, but a certain someone has jumped into the sole possession of first place in the Daily Norseman fantasy league.  And yes, that certain someone is me (thank you Antonio Brown).  We'll see if I can maintain my pole position all the way to the playoffs, but there is still some jockeying going on among the top 4-6 teams in this league and plenty of time to make some moves before we hit the playoffs.  The updated standings are below!

Rank

Team

W-L-T

Div

Pts For

Pts Agnst

Streak

Division 1

2

MarkSP18 - Jules Winnfield

7-2-0

3-0-0

1476.28

1229.76

W-2

7

Christopher Gates - Joe Webb Still Sucks

5-4-0

1-2-0

1000.8

960.8

W-1

8

vikingarmy - Zim Reaper

3-6-0

2-1-0

1050.64

1212.16

W-1

12

Typically Lazy - TheBlairWalshProject

1-8-0

0-3-0

814.18

1083.26

L-2

Division 2

3

TINO24 - Heath Miller Time

7-2-0

3-0-0

1318.7

1069.64

L-1

4

Viketoryordeath - MayTheNorseBeWithYou

5-4-0

0-3-0

1229.9

1112.8

W-3

6

Eric Thompson - 2 Glovez

5-4-0

2-1-0

1108.64

1105.06

L-3

9

Arif Hasan - We're Ball Wittenses

3-6-0

1-2-0

994.66

1174.24

L-2

Division 3

1

CCNorseman - Diggs Darklighter

8-1-0

3-0-0

1320.54

982.2

W-3

5

RedHat16 - CrisCarters FallGuys

5-4-0

2-1-0

1115.92

1017.28

W-2

10

DADAIR25 - HitmanHarry

3-6-0

1-2-0

990.6

1196.68

L-1

11

Jackson McIntire - Jackson's Team

2-7-0

0-3-0

935.62

1212.6

L-3

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.