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Frigga Fantasy Football: Week 15 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 fifteen.

Teddy Bridgewater scored the most fantasy points of any Vikings player last week with 15.7 points.
Teddy Bridgewater scored the most fantasy points of any Vikings player last week with 15.7 points.
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Did you make the playoffs in your fantasy league or advance to the next round?  If you did, congratulations!  You are in elite company.  If not, well, just rejoice in the fact that today is the day the new Star Wars movie comes out.  I'll be going on Monday afternoon while everyone else has to go back to work and school for a few more days.  I would say that the next three days would be tough while I avoid social media of all kinds, but that would be lying as I'll be busy with my last round of December gigs this weekend...it is the busiest month of the year for trumpet players!

In any case, if you DID move further in the playoffs, chances are that you didn't have too many Vikings in your starting lineups.  As Vikings fans have been accustomed to the past few years, there are basically Adrian Peterson, Blair Walsh, sometimes the Vikings D/ST and not much else for us to use in fantasy football.  I am in five season-long leagues this year and I advanced to the playoffs in three of them, missed another by one game and had an abysmal showing in the last (my dynasty league).  Of my three playoff teams, I have literally one Vikings player on a roster; the Vikings D/ST (who is on the bench in that league).  I've already been knocked out of the playoffs in one league last week, but I'm still alive in the other two.  So, my fingers are crossed.

The Vikings are still very much alive in the playoff race as well, but they will need to pick up another win or two to ensure they get at least a wildcard spot.  This week at home against Chicago presents a great opportunity to pick up a win.  Hopefully we can get healthy on defense sooner rather than later.  But the good news is that despite playing much better recently, the Chicago defense still represents a good matchup for fantasy football purposes.  There is only one position in which Chicago ranks in the top 10 in fantasy points against: wide receiver.  They are also tough against tight ends (12th best), but otherwise they are no better than 19th best against any other position.  And that should work out just fine, because none of our wide receivers or tight ends are scoring well on a consistent basis anyway.  I admit that I went a little overboard last week by recommending you to sit all your Vikings.  They surprised the heck out me with a strong performance that ultimately fell short.  So I'll try to remain objective for the next couple of weeks.  As always this week's stat projections come to us from Fantasy Pros and are a consensus of the following five sources: CBS Sports, ESPN, NumberFire, FF Today and Stats.com.

Minnesota Vikings Fantasy Projections for Week 15

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

2.9

16.6

0.1

n/a

n/a

n/a

212.8

1.1

0.8

13.5

11.8

RB Adrian Peterson

21.3

102

0.9

2.1

14.8

0.0

n/a

n/a

n/a

16.6

14.9

WR Stefon Diggs

0.2

0.7

0.0

3.8

52.0

0.3

n/a

n/a

n/a

7.0

7.7

TE Kyle Rudolph

n/a

n/a

n/a

3.3

33.5

0.2

n/a

n/a

n/a

4.7

5.1


Teddy had a great game last week in Arizona throwing for over 300 yards for only the second time this season and connected with Mike Wallace on a touchdown.  More importantly, he didn't turn the ball over until the very last play of the game (too soon?).  After back-to-back abysmal showings against Atlanta and Seattle, it was great to see Teddy rebound in a tough road matchup on a short week.  It remains to be seen what happens this week against Chicago.  Last time the Vikings faced the Bears Teddy did throw 30 passes, a bit more than his season-long average, but the game was very close with a 10-10 tie at halftime.  The Vikings fell behind heading into the 4th quarter, and therefore the game script required the Vikings to remain committed to the passing game and not just hand it to Peterson every play (he only got 20 carries).  But Teddy didn't have the greatest game completing only 57% of his passes, and throwing an interception.  It wasn't until the fourth quarter that Teddy really got hot and lead the team to a win.  So, I expect another close game where the Vikings will have to employ an even mix of run and pass.  In other words, his projection totals look pretty spot on to me.  I don't think he'll have another 300+ yard explosion, but he should comfortably hit 200 yards (and almost got there against Chicago last time, throwing for 187) and maybe a touchdown.  Still, it would be best to leave Bridgewater on waivers, which is where he belongs.

Peterson is in a great spot this week.  He ran for 5.2 yards per carry the last time he faced Chicago, and the Bears are allowing a healthy 4.2 yards per carry on average the last four weeks (which included DEN, GB, SF and WAS).  If the Vikings can get Peterson going and feed him 20 carries, he should reach 80 yards easily, and the odds are very good that he finds the endzone.  He's in a must-start position, but that goes without saying in season-long leagues.

There still really isn't any Vikings wide receiver I trust anymore.  Mike Wallace rose from the dead last week catching three passes for 42 yards and a touchdown, which marks the second week he's reached 40+ yards.  But I wouldn't feel confident starting him against Chicago.  Diggs has completely disappeared the last three weeks catching a combined 8 passes for 65 yards and no touchdowns.  It bears repeating that Bridgewater likes to spread the ball around in a low volume offense which makes his pass catchers not worth starting in any format.  Once again Teddy targeted 11 different players in the passing game, and no single player got more than 7 targets.  That said, Diggs continues to be one of the more heavily targeted options.  I still wouldn't feel confident starting any Vikings receiver.

Arizona was a team that wasn't dominant against tight ends, and the Vikings drew up a game plan that resulted in 9 receptions and 144 yards to tight ends.  Unfortunately, Rudolph only got about half of that production pie, catching 6 passes for 67 yards.  Rhett Ellison rumbled 41 yards on his only target, and MyCole Pruitt continues to steal a few targets each week as well.  I'm not sure what all of this means, but I think it means that Rudolph should probably stay on your bench.

The Vikings D/ST managed a touchdown the last time we faced Chicago, but counting on them to do so again, especially with key members of the defense that might not suit up, leads me to recommend sitting the D/ST this week.  Cutler has not been the same, gun-slinging, interception machine of seasons past, as he sports the lowest interception % of his career (and it's not close).  He also has the highest passer rating of his career too.  If it hadn't been for that D/ST score the last time we faced Cutler, the Vikings D/ST would have scored 1 standard point.  Since we lost Barr, Smith and Joseph the past two weeks, they've been pretty mediocre.  So much in fact that they have slipped to 12th overall among fantasy D/ST.  Even though it's a plus matchup, because of the injuries and how well Cutler is playing, I would try to find a better option to start.

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 Eddie Lacy vs OAK

Ignoring Week 13 when Lacy was "in the doghouse" for missing a team meeting and barely played, over the past four weeks, he has topped 100 rushing yards in every game and is averaging 16.4 standard fantasy points per game.  He's also being fed much more heavily.  Prior to missing Week 10 due to injury, Lacy was averaging only 10 carries per game.  The past four weeks (minus Week 13), he's averaging more than double that (21 carries per game).  With the Packers passing game continuing to be out of synch, and with Mike McCarthy taking over the play-calling duties last week, Lacy saw the most carries of the season at 24.  Oakland has been getting gashed on the ground allowing the 17th most fantasy points to opposing running backs, including giving up 90 or more rushing yards in six games out of thirteen games this year.  Granted, the past four weeks they have appeared to tighten up their run defense, but they also have faced some of the league's worst running teams: Detroit, Tennessee, Kansas City and Denver.  If the Packers want to win this game on the road, they will need to get their run game going, and I expect Lacy to get 18-22 touches this week.  Oakland allows an average of 18.2 fantasy points per game to running backs, but for some reason, Fantasypros has him projected for only 11.2 fantasy points.  I think he has a very good chance to beat that projection.

Oops of the Week

Oops Award

QB Philip Rivers vs MIA

Just on name recognition and matchup alone, Rivers should do well this week.  He's Philip Rivers and the Dolphins defense is ranked only 23rd best against quarterbacks allowing an average of 18.6 fantasy points per game to opposing signal callers.  But when you step back and look at the Chargers, they are a hot mess.  Their running game is in shambles, and they have no legitimate pass catchers left.  Rivers is literally throwing the ball to someone named Dontrell Inman and a Malcolm Floyd with only one functional shoulder.  Yes, Antonio Gates is still around, but this is a team that has all but quit on the season with a receiving corp that is almost as good as walking corpses.  Fantasypros has Rivers projected for a respectable 17.7 fantasy points this week, but he has scored more than that only once in the past five games.  In three out of those five games Rivers has only scored single digit fantasy points.  Rivers started out the year red-hot, but based on how things look right now there's no way I'd be starting him the rest of the way, and I think he'll fall short of his projection.

Last Week: 1-1, Season so far: 16-10

Daily Norseman Fantasy League

We had the first round of the playoffs last week and thankfully I was on a BYE.  I would have potentially lost to two of the other playoff teams last week with my mediocre point total.  In any case, 2 Glovez and Joe Webb Still Sucks get to advance to the semi-final round and face off against myself and Heath Miller Time respectively.   You can check-out the bracket below (which I goofed up the placement of last week):

2015 dnffl2

Feel free to leave your sit/start questions in the comments below for myself and others to chime in.