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Frigga Fantasy Football Friday: Week 13 vs SEA

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

Peterson scored the most fantasy points of any Vikings players last week, putting up an obscene 30.7 point total.
Peterson scored the most fantasy points of any Vikings players last week, putting up an obscene 30.7 point total.
Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

It's week 13, so let's talk fantasy football playoff formats.  Generally speaking there are two playoff formats that are the most popular: single elimination bracket and double-elimination bracket.  In single elimination, teams face off once per week, just like the real NFL playoffs.  I usually prefer this format, because I like my fantasy leagues to resemble the real NFL as much as possible (it's also why I like keeper and dynasty leagues).  However, some people don't like the random-ness of matchups where a lesser team can knock-off a dominant team with fluky matchups issues.  In that case, the double-elimination bracket can make sense.  This is where playoff teams battle each other for two weeks in a row, and the team that scores the most points after two weeks advances.  This removes a little bit of the randomness inherent in single-elimination formats, and I do like it a little more in money leagues.  In any case, that means the playoffs can last anywhere from 2-4 weeks, depending on how many teams can make the playoffs and how the playoff bracket is structured.   And since nobody should be using Week 17 (or the actual NFL playoffs) in standard draft leagues, that means the fantasy playoffs might begin for you this week (a four week playoff would then cover weeks 13-16 of the regular NFL season).  I'm in five leagues this year and only one of those five leagues have their playoffs starting today, while three have them starting in two weeks (single elimination bracket for those) and one starts next week.

Like many fantasy leagues whose playoffs begin this week, in a lot of ways the Vikings playoffs are already underway as well.  They are in first place in the NFC North with a 1-game lead over Green Bay and control their own destiny for playoff seeding.  But that division lead can evaporate very quickly, and all of their remaining opponents are also NFC teams that are all in the thick of the playoff hunt.  Every game from this point forward is almost like a playoff game, because if they lose a significant number of games from here on out, they will lose any potential head-to-head tiebreakers as well.

This week the Seattle Seahawks come to town and while they still have a strong defense, it's not quite the dominating powerhouse that it has been the past few years.  Teams with efficient offenses have found success against Seattle this year.  We can't go overboard and dismiss them entirely though, because they still have a top 8 fantasy defense or better against the following positions: quarterback, running back, and wide receiver.  But they are soft matchup against tight ends, kickers and D/ST.  When you consider that the following teams have had success: Arizona, Pittsburgh, Green Bay and Cincinatti, while the following have not: St. Louis, Chicago, San Francisco, Detroit and Dallas, you can see that they are pretty matchup dependent.  Seattle does better in fantasy against bad teams, and struggle with good ones.  I wouldn't classify the Vikings as a powerhouse offense necessarily, but we do have the #1 rushing team in the NFL, and that has to count for something.  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 13

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

3.7

18.5

0.1

n/a

n/a

n/a

197.5

1.0

1.0

11.8

12.3

RB Adrian Peterson

21.1

91

0.7

2.2

15.8

0.0

n/a

n/a

n/a

14.6

16.2

WR Stefon Diggs

0.1

0.7

0.0

4.2

53.4

0.2

n/a

n/a

n/a

6.8

9.3

TE Kyle Rudolph

n/a

n/a

n/a

3.2

31.6

0.2

n/a

n/a

n/a

4.1

5.3


This is the first time Teddy's yardage projection has dipped below 200 all year.  And it's also the lowest projection total we've seen for Teddy all year as well.  The Vikings are a run-heavy team, no doubt about it, and while we've seen him put up big statistical outings when the game script doesn't allow the Vikings to go run-heavy, I expect a low-scoring game where both teams try to control the clock with a run-heavy approach.  So I think a low projection for Teddy is smart, and I wouldn't expect much from him against Seattle.

Despite a tough matchup on paper against the former #1 run defense in the NFL last week, I expected Peterson to have a bounce back game, and he delivered in a big way putting up over 150 yards and a pair of touchdowns on 29 carries.  As I've said all year, the Vikings are committed to giving Peterson the ball and they have no worries about running him into the ground.  I might temper my expectations a little bit, but Peterson sure looks matchup proof at this point having scored double digit points in standard leagues for the last six weeks in a row.  There's a reason he's the #1 running back in the the consensus projections this week, despite the poor matchup.

There really isn't any Vikings wide receiver I trust anymore.  Diggs had a nice little run coming out of the gate, but as I've said repeatedly, Teddy is spreading the ball around every week targeting 8-11 different players in one of the league's lowest volume passing offenses.  I even removed Mike Wallace from the table since he hasn't scored more than 3.6 fantasy points in a game since week 4 (which means he'll probably go off this week, right?).  I can't recommend starting any Vikings receiver.

Well now I officially don't know what to do with Kyle Rudolph.  He's seen 22 targets the past three weeks, and has led or tied for the team lead in targets in two out of those three games.  The narrative of that end zone drop in Oakland lighting a fire under him might have some legs.  In the two games since "the drop" Rudolph has 13 catches for 159 yards and a touchdown, including having the best standard score of any tight end in week 11.  This week is a plus matchup as the Seahawks allow an average of 11.2 points per game to tight ends (ranked 4th worst).  I think Rudolph makes for a risky play, but there might be some upside here.  If you're a desperate Gronk owner with no good options left on the waiver wire, Rudolph could make for a decent spot start.

At this point, the Vikings D/ST is ranked 8th best in standard leagues and they are a pretty safe play any given week.  They've never scored in the negative, and the Seahawks offense is a plus matchup against opposing D/ST.  I wouldn't expect a huge day, but you could do a lot worse.  Blair Walsh is the 11th best kicker in fantasy so far this year and aside from two bad games against San Fran and Green Bay, he's been very safe.  I don't put those games on him though, as the entire team seemed to melt down those two weeks.  But surprisingly, Walsh had had an excellent fantasy year after a questionable training camp and Preseason.  With a plus matchup, start him with confidence.

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 Blaine Gabbert vs CHI

Gabbert has quietly played pretty well in replacing Kaepernick the past three weeks averaging 15.8 fantasy points per game.  He has averaged 222 passing yards and 1-2 touchdowns per game giving him a pretty safe floor in a limited sample size against some strong defenses (ATL, SEA and ARI).  Chicago's defense is hardly considered to be a powerhouse, and they allow an average of 16.7 fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks.  I think 14-16 fantasy points are a reasonable expectation for Gabbert who has some upside with solid receiving options in Anquan Boldin and Vance McDonald.  This isn't a sexy pick by any means, but I think he'll beat his Fantasy Pros projection of 12.5 points.

Oops of the Week

Oops Award

RB DeMarco Murray vs NE

If you've watched the Eagles offense the past couple of weeks and paid attention to Chip Kelly and the sidelines during those games you've seen a team that has all but quit.  This offense has struggled most of the year, and while Murray has remained fantasy relevant thanks to five total touchdowns and usage in the passing game, he's rushed for under 80 yards in four of his past five games and touched the ball only 31 times in the past two games (and that was also with Ryan Mathews sidelined).  Perhaps the Eagles offense suddenly finds its groove this week, especially if Bradford returns, but I wouldn't count on it.  The Patriots are a tough defense at home, that prior to last week's snow game that also saw a pair of linebackers exit the game where the Broncos shredded them on the ground, were allowing only 12.9 fantasy points per game to opposing backfields.  I have a hard time seeing Murray getting much going as I expect the game script to dictate the Eagles to throw the ball a ton.  I admit there is some risk with this pick as maybe Brady struggles with a lack of weapons to throw to, and the Patriot defense might not be so formidable without Donta Hightower questionable to play this week.  That said, the team does expect to get Jamie Collins back this week, and Brady has a history of making his receivers look good.  So I think Murray will still be a victim of game script in a touch road matchup, and fall short of his Fantasy Pros consensus projection of 10.5 points.

Last Week: 1-1, Season so far: 15-9

Daily Norseman Fantasy League

The playoffs for the DNFL are next week.  We are advancing 6 out of the 12 teams to the playoffs with the top 2 teams earning a BYE week in a 3-week, single elimination bracket.  Five teams have already clinched a playoff spot while the last spot and playoff seeding is still up for grabs pending the outcome of games this week.  I have extended my win streak to six games after defeating Jackson's Team and now get to face off against Arif.  Even if I lose this week, I will still get a 1st round bye. The biggest game of the week is the 6-6 CrisCarter's FallGuys vs the 6-6 MayTheNorseBeWithYou's.  Whoever wins that matchup earns a spot in the playoffs while the loser goes to the consolation ladder.  Joe Webb Still Sucks has effectively clinched the fifth playoff spot, because even if he loses and falls to 7-6, the two 6-6 teams are facing each other, so only one of them can move on to 7-6.  So the five playoff spots that are clinched below to Jules Winnfield, Heath Miller Time, 2 Glovez, Diggs Darklighter and Joe Webb Still Sucks, which also just all happen to have winning records. Good luck everyone!  Updated standings are below:

Rank

Team

W-L-T

Div

Pts For

Pts Against

Streak

Division 1

*3

MarkSP18 - Jules Winnfield

8-4-0

3-1-0

1806.04

1596.68

L-1

*5

Christopher Gates - Joe Webb Still Sucks

7-5-0

2-2-0

1345.54

1313.02

W-2

8

vikingarmy - Zim Reaper

5-7-0

3-1-0

1415.3

1551.88

W-1

12

Typically Lazy - TheBlairWalshProject

1-11-0

0-4-0

1138.16

1448.18

L-5

Division 2

*2

TINO24 - Heath Miller Time

9-3-0

4-0-0

1714.24

1377.26

W-1

*4

Eric Thompson - 2 Glovez

8-4-0

3-1-0

1465

1352.06

W-3

6

Viketoryordeath - MayTheNorseBeWithYou

6-6-0

0-4-0

1586.26

1484.56

L-2

10

Arif Hasan - We're Ball Wittenses

4-8-0

1-3-0

1318.58

1555.1

L-2

Division 3

*1

CCNorseman - Diggs Darklighter

11-1-0

4-0-0

1681.94

1297.48

W-6

7

RedHat16 - CrisCarters FallGuys

6-6-0

2-2-0

1421.62

1360.76

L-1

9

DADAIR25 - HitmanHarry

5-7-0

2-2-0

1266.98

1484.76

W-2

11

Jackson McIntire - Jackson's Team

2-10-0

0-4-0

1221.02

1558.94

L-6

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