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Frigga Fantasy Football Friday: Week 11 vs GB

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

Peterson was once again the Vikings' top fantasy scorer last week with 27.6 standard points.
Peterson was once again the Vikings' top fantasy scorer last week with 27.6 standard points.
Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Is there an important game this Sunday or something?  Gosh, after reading all the articles this week I sure wouldn't know it.  Oh, did I forget the sarcasm font?  Sorry about that.  So yeah, we host the Packers this week and we've been dissecting the matchup here at the Daily Norseman all week.  There's been extra importance placed on the game after we beat the Raiders on the road and saw the Lions pull off a miracle win in Lambeau which saw the Vikings slip into sole possession of first place in the NFC North.  7-2 feels pretty darn nice I must say, but 8-2 with a 2-game cushion over the Packers would feel even better.

Green Bay is kind of an odd matchup for fantasy football, and it really depends on the position as to whether they are a good matchup or bad matchup.  On the one hand, opposing QBs, tight ends and kickers have been scoring well against them.  On the other, running backs, wide receivers and team D/ST have not.  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 11

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

3.6

20.2

0.2

n/a

n/a

n/a

209.9

1.1

1.0

13.5

12.2

RB Adrian Peterson

22.0

102.4

0.8

1.9

13.9

0.0

n/a

n/a

n/a

16.3

15.3

WR Stefon Diggs

0.2

1.4

0.0

4.4

61.1

0.5

n/a

n/a

n/a

9.1

10.8

WR Mike Wallace

0.0

0.0

0.0

2.6

35.8

0.2

n/a

n/a

n/a

4.7

4.2

TE Kyle Rudolph

n/a

n/a

n/a

2.4

24.9

0.0

n/a

n/a

n/a

3.8

4.0


With the run-first mentality of our offense, Teddy just isn't a start-able option in fantasy at this point.  In nine games this year he's scored 15 or more points only three times.  The other six games have seen him score 13 or less with half of them being single digit games.  On average he attempts passes at one of the lowest rates in the NFL meaning the volume just isn't there to sustain big fantasy numbers.  It's also hurting his pass catcher's numbers, but I'll get to that later on.  In any case, the Packers do represent a plus matchup in that they allow 17.3 fantasy points per game (ranked 18th or 0.3 points above average), but so did the Raiders last week and Teddy only mustered 11.9 fantasy points.  Bridgewater might not even be worth having on the bench at this point.

Peterson continues to get massive usage week in and week out and appears to be matchup proof.  That said he popped up on the injury report in practice this week with a hamstring which is never a good sign.  But, this is the risk with a 30-year running back with a ton of carries already logged.  He was only limited during Wednesday and Thursday's practice, so he shouldn't be in any danger of missing this week's game as far as I can tell.  But if you don't already have Jerick McKinnon on your roster as a hand-cuff now would be a good time to add him.  If Peterson ends up missing any time you don't want to have to scramble to add Mckinnon later when you can add him now for nothing.  Yes the matchup is poor on paper as the Packers allow an average of only 16.7 fantasy points to opposing running backs (ranked 12th best), and it looks like he's banged up a little, but you're starting him if he plays.

As mentioned above, the passing volume for the Vikings has been dreadful and it has made pretty much all pass catchers fantasy irrelevant over the past few weeks.  Not only are there not very many passes to go around, Bridgewater has been spreading the ball around too.  He targeted 9 different players last week, 9 the week before, 8 the week before that and an astounding 11 different players in Week 7.  With the way this passing offense has been going recently I don't want to start any Vikings wide receivers, and especially not against Green Bay who allows an average of only 21.9 points to all opposing wide receivers (11th best).  Granted, Green Bay hasn't really faced a decent passing offense all year with the exception of San Diego, and their receivers accumulated 270 yards and a touchdown to score 33 combined fantasy points.  But the rest of their schedule has included the sputtering passing attacks of St. Louis, San Francisco, Seattle, Kansas City and Denver.  So perhaps that 11th best ranking is overrated.  But still, I've lost all trust in this passing offense for fantasy purposes and want no part of it for the foreseeable future.  Diggs has seen only 7 passing targets the past two weeks combined.  His projection is decent, and maybe the matchup is better than it looks on paper, but if I have a comparable or better option to start over Diggs, I think it would be wise to use them.

Remember how the Oakland defense was terrible against Tight Ends and the odds were good for a tight end touchdown?  Well, the narrative held up for another week as the Raiders allowed another tight end touchdown!  Oh wait, you thought I was talking about Kyle Rudolph?  No, no, it was Rhett Ellison who scored...which helps exactly no one in fantasy football.  Ellison caught both of his passing targets for 18 yards and a touchdown, while Rudolph caught only one of his four targets for 7 yards AND HAD THE WORST DROP IMAGINEABLE IN THE ENDZONE.  Yeah, the ball literally hit Rudolph in the hands with no defenders within 5 yards of him and he flat out dropped a sure touchdown.  Rudolph = disappointment, which equals = he should be on your waiver wire.  After putting up 0.7 points in literally the best matchup of the year he's droppable in all leagues despite seeing the most targets of any pass catcher last week (which isn't saying anything).  Look, I get it, we're Vikings fans and we want to start our Vikings players.  And heck, Green Bay is only ranked 22nd against tight ends in fantasy and they allow an average of 9.3 fantasy points per game to the position.  But when you step back and realize that Rudolph hasn't scored more than 9 fantasy points in a single game all year, and has had more than 6 points in a game only three times this year, it's really tough to recommend starting him.  There just isn't much opportunity, so if you're starting Rudolph, you're crossing your fingers for a touchdown.  But his floor is effectively 0 points and I rarely want to start a guy with a 0 point floor in any given week.  I'd rather start Julius Thomas or Jacob Tamme over Kyle Rudolph this week.  They both have equally good matchups and are used more regularly in their team's passing offenses.

Just when I was getting ready to throw in the towel on the Vikings D/ST, on the road, against a potent offense, they managed one of the best performances of the season.  They held Oakland to only 14 points and picked off Carr twice!  Not to mention tacking on a few sacks and returning a kickoff for a touchdown.  It all added up to a ton of points.  That said, I don't trust them against Aaron Rodgers and the Packers.  The Packers offense has not allowed a D/ST touchdown yet this year, and Rodgers has only thrown three interceptions all year.  That said, there will be plenty of opportunities for sacks and if the Green Bay offense is still sputtering they might get some added points for limiting yards and points, but I don't expect huge numbers for the D/ST.  The Packers allow an average of only 3.2 fantasy points to D/ST, 4th best in the NFL.  While I was wrong last week, I'd still be sitting them again this week.  I think Blair Walsh is still worth a start even though he missed a couple last week.  It was windy, so I don't fault him too bad.

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

WR Steve Johnson vs KC

With the injuries to Keenan Allen and Malcolm Floyd, Steve Johnson in the only reliable wide receiver Philip Rivers has left.  While Antonio Gates could be Rivers go-to target at this point, Kansas City is elite at shutting down tight ends, ranked 2nd best in fantasy.  But they are literally the 2nd worst fantasy defense against wide receivers.  In week 9 before their BYE last week, Rivers targeted Johnson 10 times after Floyd went down, and Johnson hauled in 7 of those targets for 68 yards.  It was a bit of a disappointment, but it could have been so much more if not for a penalty.  With a dream matchup and the potential for huge volume in a potent passing attack, I'm all-in on Steve Johnson this week.  And yet, Fantasy Pros only has him projected for 8.1 fantasy points.  He has a very good shot to beat that projection.

Oops of the Week

Oops Award

WR A.J. Green vs ARI

I think it's time to re-evaluate A.J. Green for fantasy purposes.  There was a time two years ago when Andy Dalton simply threw the ball to Green over and over and targeted virtually no one else in the passing game.  But those days appear to be over.  Here's an eye-opening stat: in the Bengals last five games, Green has led the team in targets only once.  Outside of Week 8 when he got 17 targets, the other four games he has averaged only 7 targets per game.  For a supposed #1 wide receiver and a 2nd round pick in most fantasy drafts, this has to be viewed as a disappointment.  With the emergence of Tyler Eifert in the passing game, and Marvin Jones offering a legitimate second option, Dalton is able to go with whoever the defenses gives him.  Even including the ridiculous Week 8 game with 17 targets, Green is only averaging 7.8 fantasy points in his last 5 games and 10.99 fantasy points per game on the year.  Oh yeah, and this game is a prime-time Sunday night game.  Andy Dalton folding in prime time appears to still be a thing after last week's embarrassing performance, so I'm hesitant on any Bengals receivers.  In a nutshell what I'm saying is that Green is a volume dependent player, and lately the volume hasn't been there.  But somehow, FantasyPros is projecting Green for 11.5 fantasy points this week on the road against the Cardinals, who are ranked 12th best against wide receivers.  I think he'll fall short of that projection.

Last Week: 2-0, Season so far: 13-7

HELP ME FRIGGA

I've gotten lots of fantasy football questions on twitter this week, and I'm sorry I can't feature all of them all.  Generally if you're asking me about Vikings, just read the article!  Even though he didn't use the #HelpMeFrigga hashtag, I've chosen the following question from Brett Anderson who you can follow @ctownbrett who asks one of the most common fantasy questions of the week:

This really is the million dollar question.  In a standard league, I think it's essentially a coin flip, although I like LaFell a tiny bit more simply for the deep ball and TD potential.  One or two plays could make your week with LaFell.  I expect Amendola to man the slot and get all the short dump-offs and intermediate stuff, which would be a better play in a PPR.  I could see Amendola easily getting 10-15 targets and 6-10 catches.  But he might not even top 70 yards.  LaFell could get 40 yards and a touchdown on a single play and outscore Amendola and his 8 catches for 80 yards in standard.  So for me, it really depends on the scoring format as to which is the better play this week.

The tricky thing about this game is that the Patriots have entirely different personnel against the Bills this second time around.  I'm thinking the Week 2 game script trends are mostly irrelevant, because Dion Lewis and Julian Edelman aren't playing this time (they combined for 28 targets in week 2!).  It was also Blount's first game back and they were easing him into the lineup.  So I would guess the Pats might not attempt 59 passes like they did last time, and they attack the Bills a little more on the ground to loosen up the secondary, and maybe throw it deep to LaFell a couple times as a result.  I expect another big Gronk game and they probably try to give their running backs more than 10 carries.  While I do expect Amendola to be heavily involved in the passing game now that Edelman is out, I think his ceiling is a bit more limited.  I would expect the Pats to lean on Blount and Gronk in the redzone over Lewis and Edelman this second time around.  So again, in standard I like LaFell, but in PPR I like Amendola.

Daily Norseman Fantasy League

What can I say?  I'm catching teams at exactly the right time.  Last week I faced MarkSP18 and his league leading Points For total, but he had almost half of his team on a BYE. Despite Mark getting lucky with Andre Ellington off the waiver wire and his bench guys like Matt Jones and Michael Floyd going off, I staved off the upset thanks to Antonio Brown (again) and Larry Fitzgerald.  At this point I have the second most Points For in the league, and the fewest Points Against, which all adds up to first place and a 9-1 record.  It hasn't been so lucky for others though.  I hate to bring it up, but it's so unusual that I have to.  HitmanHarry had a brutal week 10 with his trio of Peyton Manning, C.J. Anderson and Emmanuel Sanders combining for -5.7 points.  His team was projected for 130 points on the week, and yet they only mustered 46.8, almost a 1/3 of their projection.  Talk about bad luck, yeesh.  There's been virtually no movement in the standings, but here they are again.  As you can see, the top 3 teams continue to separate themselves from the pack:

Rank

Team

W-L-T

Div

Pts For

Pts Against

Streak

Division 1

3

MarkSP18 - Jules Winnfield

7-3-0

3-0-0

1604.98

1375

L-1

7

Christopher Gates - Joe Webb Still Sucks

5-5-0

1-2-0

1098.68

1110.92

L-1

8

vikingarmy - Zim Reaper

4-6-0

2-1-0

1194.2

1301.26

W-2

12

Typically Lazy - TheBlairWalshProject

1-9-0

0-3-0

932.1

1211.66

L-3

Division 2

2

TINO24 - Heath Miller Time

8-2-0

3-0-0

1442.56

1146.62

W-1

4

Viketoryordeath - MayTheNorseBeWithYou

6-4-0

0-3-0

1380.02

1210.68

W-4

5

Eric Thompson - 2 Glovez

6-4-0

2-1-0

1200.32

1151.86

W-1

9

Arif Hasan - We're Ball Wittenses

4-6-0

1-2-0

1123.06

1292.16

W-1

Division 3

1

CCNorseman - Diggs Darklighter

9-1-0

3-0-0

1465.78

1110.9

W-4

6

RedHat16 - CrisCarters FallGuys

5-5-0

2-1-0

1192.9

1141.14

L-1

10

DADAIR25 - HitmanHarry

3-7-0

1-2-0

1037.4

1288.36

L-2

11

Jackson McIntire - Jackson's Team

2-8-0

0-3-0

1024.72

1356.16

L-4

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.