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Frigga Fantasy Football Friday: Week 3 vs SD

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The Daily Norseman breaks down the statistical projections for the Vikings against the Chargers and what it all means for fantasy football.

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Teddy uses his legs to boost his fantasy point totals last week.
Teddy uses his legs to boost his fantasy point totals last week.
Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

Editor's Note: FanDuel is running a $1,500,000 fantasy football league in week 3. The top 66,000 teams win cash with $100,000 paid to first place on Sunday. JOIN NOW!

There's an old saying in the arts that "success happens when preparation meets opportunity", and in my experience that has mostly been correct.  But even if you work hard and are prepared, sometimes the most challenging part is finding those opportunities. In the music business especially, opportunity tends to come about through connections with other people.  It's often "who you know" that opens doors and gives you an opportunity to succeed in the first place.  A professional network is always important in any business, but to break into the music world it almost always takes someone to give you a recommendation to that first gig where you can meet other people that might hire you again.  "Who you know" often determines if you are going to be successful.

So what does this have to do with the Vikings, and especially fantasy football?  Well this week in particular, a lot!  First of all, our offensive coordinator is Norv Turner who used to be the head coach of our opponent this week, the San Diego Chargers.  It wasn't really all that long ago either (just 3 seasons ago), and many players from that 2012 season are still with the team today. While there is a new head coach in Mike McCoy who runs a new offense under Frank Reich, they are still basically running the same defense with the same D-coordinator John Pagano. In other words, Norv Turner still knows this team and should know how to take advantage of the defense.  Of course it goes both ways, as John Pagano will know how to take advantage of Norv's offense too, but the connections don't end there.  Last week the San Diego Chargers took on the Cincinnati Bengals, which happens to be Mike Zimmer's old team. And in fact, the Bengals are still running the same defense that Zimmer installed when he was their defensive coordinator just a couple of seasons ago.  So the Vikings have some valuable tape on the Chargers offense and how they dealt with Zimmer's defense, just last week!  The connections continue from there as we have a pair of offensive lineman on the team that used to play for the Chargers as well.  During the Preseason the Vikings traded a 2016 draft pick to the Chargers for offensive lineman Jeremiah Sirles, who may end up getting his first start as a Viking since Brandon Fusco suffered a concussion last week. And two seasons ago the Vikings signed Mike Harris as a free agent when the Chargers cut him following the 2013 Preseason, and he has developed into our starting right guard this year.  In other words, the Chargers and Vikings, despite having only played each other twice in the past 11 seasons, should know each other very well because of all these interesting connections.  The Vikings know the Chargers, and hopefully it leads to a bit of success on the field.

In terms of fantasy, we mostly care about how our offense will stack up against the Chargers defense, and in that regard things look pretty rosy.  Not only do we get home field advantage, the Chargers defense has been just average or worse recently.  Last year they were ranked 21st against quarterbacks, 14th against running backs, 11th against wide receivers and 4th against tight ends. Aside from being stingy against tight ends, the Chargers were a pretty soft matchup most of last year.  And this season, through the first two weeks, the Chargers are ranked 17th against quarterbacks, 25th against running backs, 4th against wide receivers and 24th against tight ends.  It's tough to gauge much after only two games, but aside from being able to shut down Detroit's receivers at home week 1, this defense hasn't shown much ability to stop anyone.  I think that will bode well for the Vikings chances in fantasy scoring this week.  The consensus projections come to us directly from Fantasy Pros, who compile the stats from the following four sources: ESPN, CBS Sports, NumberFire, and FFToday.  So, let's take a look at what the experts think will happen this week.

Minnesota Vikings Fantasy Projections for Week 3

Vikings Player

Rush Att.

Rush Yds

Rush TDs

Rec.

Rec. Yds

Rec TDs

Pass Yds

Pass TDs

Pass INTs

Total Points

Season

Average

QB Teddy Bridgewater

3.9

19.4

0.2

n/a

n/a

n/a

230.4

1.3

0.9

15.2

13.5

RB Adrian Peterson

19.6

86.6

0.7

3.0

28.4

0.1

n/a

n/a

n/a

15.3

11.2

WR Mike Wallace

0.0

0.0

0.0

3.7

54.9

0.5

n/a

n/a

n/a

8.5

5.1

WR Charles Johnson

0.0

0.1

0.0

3.0

42.3

0.2

n/a

n/a

n/a

5.4

1.9

WR Jarius Wright

0.2

1.3

0.0

2.2

29.8

0.1

n/a

n/a

n/a

3.9

3.7

TE Kyle Rudolph

n/a

n/a

n/a

3.7

38.3

0.3

n/a

n/a

n/a

5.4

7.2


Last week Teddy had a good fantasy day, but it was not because of his passing. The Vikings jumped out to an early lead and rode Peterson's hot hand (he got 31 touches) and just flat out didn't pass the ball much as evidenced by Teddy's 18 pass attempts and mere 153 passing yards.  But thanks to Teddy's six rushing attempts for 21 yards and a touchdown, he got an 8-point boost with the help of his legs.  Still, Teddy connected with Rudolph in the end-zone for his first passing touchdown of the season, which was nice to see.  Game flow dictated a conservative passing attack last week, but Teddy is projected for a similar statistical outing against the Chargers as he has the past two weeks.  At this point, who knows how Teddy will do, but since he's only projected as the 19th best quarterback, hopefully you've got better options and can leave him on your bench.

After all the fretting over Peterson in week 1, he broke out big time last week scoring 17.2 standard fantasy points en route to the 4th best performance among all running backs for the week.  He looked like the runner everyone expected when they spent a 1st round pick on him, and the scary thing is he left a lot of points on the field and could have been even better.  If not for a pair of fumbles and getting stuffed at the goal line numerous times he easily could have lead all running backs last week.  There were two things to be concerned about in last week's game though.  First, of the 18 pass attempts from Teddy, only 2 of them went Peterson's way.  With the way Norv targeted running backs in the passing game last season, this was a bit of a disappointment.  The offensive line continues to struggle opening up holes for Peterson as he had to bounce it outside after getting bottled up on numerous occasions.  The Minnesota running game is still a work in progress, but last week was certainly encouraging.  You're no doubt starting Peterson this week at home against a suspect Chargers run defense, and I expect another big day, but there are some red flags.

While Teddy buoyed his low passing numbers with some rushing work, his wide receivers have not been so lucky.  After two games no Vikings wide receiver has found the end zone, and no receiver has surpassed 63 yards in either game.  For all the hype surrounding Charles Johnson, he's been a total after-thought in the offense garnering only 6 targets through two games (tied for 3rd most with Jarius Wright).  Mike Wallace has been Teddy's favored receiver thus far with 10 targets through two games and 101 total receiving yards.  The Chargers have held opposing receivers in check through two games and if there is one area their defense is respectable, it's in the secondary lead by Eric Weddle and company.  While the Chargers secondary gets knocked a lot because of their size, the fact is, the Vikings receivers aren't tall (Johnson is the tallest at 6'2'), so there won't be many matchups to exploit like there would be if we had a 6'5" guy like Brandon Marshall.  So I don't think you can trust any Vikings receiver right now until we see some consistent production from Teddy Bridgewater.  I'd be leaving Mike Wallace and Charles Johnson on your fantasy benches until it looks like this passing game can get off the ground.  If the Vikings continue to use a run heavy approach (and they should with a productive back like Peterson), this could be yet another disappointing year in fantasy for Vikings wide receivers.

All that said, there is one pass catcher that has been having a respectable start to the season: Kyle Rudolph.  Rudolph has the most targets of any pass catcher on the team through two games (13 targets) and consequently has the most receptions as well (10 catches).  Rudolph has been targeted on 26% of Teddy's pass attempts and has hauled in 27% of his completions.  He's caught Teddy's lone passing touchdown and is one of the best red zone threats in the NFL (and certainly on the Vikings).  If there is one guy that could take advantage of the size problems in the secondary, it is the 6'6" Rudolph.  He is the one pass catcher that could be worth a start in any given week, but I especially like him this week.  While his projection of only 5.4 points seems meager, he's still ranked as the 13th best tight end based on projections, making him start-able in deeper leagues or in the case of injury replacement if Jordan Cameron or Jason Witten miss time.  The Chargers were stingy against tight ends last year, but have so far allowed a touchdown to tight ends in each of the last two games.  I know it's ridiculously early after only two weeks, but if he maintains his current production Rudolph would end the year with 80 receptions, 664 receiving yards and 8 touchdowns or 115.2 fantasy points (a career best).  That would have made him a Top 9 or 10 tight end in each of the past three years.  It's early, but returns are decent for Kyle Rudolph as a low-end fantasy starter, and I like his chances to find the end-zone this week.

The Vikings Defense/Special Teams is currently ranked 16th best in fantasy through the first two weeks, averaging 6 fantasy points per game, making them merely average and barely worth starting.  That said, the San Diego offense has gifted opposing defenses an average of 11.5 fantasy points per game making them an excellent matchup.  They've given up 6 sacks, 3 interceptions, 3 fumbles and a touchdown through the first two weeks, both against the Detroit and Cincinnati defenses.  Based on how productive the Cincinnati defense was last week (4 sacks, 1 interception and 2 fumble recoveries), I like the Vikings chances since they run essentially the same defense, so start ‘em up!  Oh, and you're not starting Blair Walsh this week or pretty much ever until we see him not miss anything for a few weeks in a row.

It's onto to 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 Michael Crabtree vs CLE

Believe it or not, but the Oakland Raiders have transformed themselves into a pass happy, air-it-out team through the first two games, even more surprising given that Bill Musgrave is the offensive coordinator.  Even so, Derek Carr and Matt McGloin have combined for 89 pass attempts through the first two weeks, tied for 2nd most attempts in the league.  Crabtree has the most targets and receptions of any Raiders receiver with 24 and 14 respectively (Amari Cooper is second with 20 and 12).  While Cooper has 8 more receiving yards, they both have a touchdown and Crabtree is still very much in the mix averaging 10.4 standard fantasy points per game through the first two games.  Cleveland has given up 253 yards and three touchdowns to the Jets and Titans combined in the first two weeks, which bodes very well for the Raiders chances.  Oakland is on the road, and traveling east so take that into consideration, but the Fantasy Pros consensus projection for Crabtree this week is only 6.1 in standard scoring, and I think he'll beat that total this week, especially if Joe Haden shadows Amari Cooper.  I like Crabtree even more in PPR leagues.

Oops of the Week

Oops Award

RB Matt Forte vs SEA

I'm sort of going back to the same easy well as last week, but if the consensus projections demand it, I'll feel compelled to write about it. Generally speaking, you want to avoid starting your running back against Seattle's run defense.  But that is especially true when your team is on the road against Seattle, and even more true when your running back is not 100% healthy and that same Seattle defense is getting their best run stopping player in the secondary back in Kam Chancellor.  If all of that wasn't bad enough, the Bears will be starting Jimmy Clausen over Jay Cutler as Jay is dealing with an injury (what, did someone finally punch his very punch-able face?). I want nothing to do with anyone on the Bears offense this week.  With Matt Forte projected for 12.1 fantasy points in standard scoring leagues, I think he falls well short of that projection.  He might still be worth a FLEX start in PPR leagues if he plays, but I want him on my bench in standard leagues.

Last Week: 2-0, Season so far: 3-1

HELP ME FRIGGA

I didn't get too many questions this week, but some of the other writers helped me out (thanks for the assist guys!). In general, get your questions to me via twitter on Wednesday or Thursday!  So this week I chose the following question from our very own Ted Glover:

With Tevin Coleman likely out, I like Devonta Freeman against a beat up Dallas Cowboys team.  While their defense is much improved, I don't trust Brandon Weedon to keep their defense off the field for very long and I think by the 4th quarter the Falcons will have a sizeable lead and will be running Freeman down their throats at will.  Until the Eagles can get their offense humming like last year, I can't recommend any Eagles player, including Sproles.  Between Abdullah and Gordon, both are in a time-share of sorts, both have bad matchups and both are rookies.  The big difference for me is the health of their quarterbacks.  With Stafford banged up, the whole Detroit offense may struggle, just like they did last week against the Vikings.  So as much as it pains me, I'd recommend Melvin Gordon as the least worst option among the remaining choices.  So, start Freeman and Gordon this week.  For what it's worth my hand-picked expert consensus via Fantasy Pros, has Freeman and Gordon as the two highest ranked options among your group of four as well.

Daily Norseman Fantasy League

We've got four undefeated teams so far in the Daily Norseman League, myself included!  Despite having the 2nd highest "Points For" total in the league, I also have the lowest Points Against...meaning I've had the easiest schedule thus far. It remains to be seen if I can sustain my 2-game win streak, but I've got the following guys in this PPR league: Antonio Brown, Larry Fitzgerald, Martellus Bennett and Mark Ingram, so I'm feeling pretty good.  But MarkSP18 has secured the most fantasy points so far, while Typically Lazy has the fewest.  It's still very early and anyone's game, but some teams have a much tougher uphill climb than others.  But here are the current standings:

Rank

Team

W-L-T

Pts For

Pts Against

Streak

Division 1






1

MarkSP18 - Jules Winnfield

2-0-0

309.62

289.06

W-2

7

vikingarmy - Zim Reaper

1-1-0

240.44

239.16

L-1

9

Christopher Gates - Joe Webb Still Sucks

0-2-0

249.3

303.92

L-2

12

Typically Lazy - TheBlairWalshProject

0-2-0

203.92

235.86

L-2

Division 2






3

TINO24 - Heath Miller Time

2-0-0

288.26

215.7

W-2

4

Eric Thompson - 2 Glovez

2-0-0

287.7

218.76

W-2

6

Viketoryordeath - MayTheNorseBeWithYou

1-1-0

256.6

247.52

W-1

11

Arif Hasan - We're Ball Wittenses

0-2-0

204.5

299.56

L-2

Division 3






2

CCNorseman - Diggs Darklighter

2-0-0

297.18

199.94

W-2

5

RedHat16 - CrisCarters FallGuys

1-1-0

274.34

248.76

L-1

8

DADAIR25 - HitmanHarry

1-1-0

231.44

299.58

W-1

10

Jackson McIntire - Jackson's Team

0-2-0

233.88

279.36

L-2

If you're interested in joining my Week 3 Fanduel League, join here!  We finally filled the league at 12 spots last week, so we'll go with 12 again this week.  It's still a $2 entry fee and the top 4 finishers will earn a payout just like last week.  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.