After spending Week 1 in Las Vegas, it’s time to dive in weekly to preview what could go down for the Vikings players statistically. This will be especially helpful if you are participating in daily fantasy (Draftkings, Fanduel, etc.). I will say, the Vikings offensive line didn’t look crisp against the 49ers. Hopefully Week 2 is a better showing.
Kirk Cousins projected stats: 23/38, 292 yards, 2 TD’s, 1 INT, 21 yards rushing.
Breakdown: It will be interesting to see how Cousins fares on the road for the first time in Purple. His offensive line will have their hands full with Mo Wilkerson, Mike Daniels, Clay Matthews and Nick Perry. John DeFilipo would be wise to start the game with quick passes and screens to slow down Green Bay’s front 7. Cousins also missed open receivers on a handful of plays in Week 1, something he must work on. Does this mean more throws to Laquon Treadwell also? Truthfully, Cousins will go as far as his offensive line and running game do this week, which brings us to our next player.
Dalvin Cook projected stats: 18 carries, 91 yards, 1 TD, 4 catches, 43 yards
Breakdown: Tarik Cohen and Jordan Howard did quite well on Sunday night. The problem was that Chicago had no play-action game to capitalize. That could be different Sunday, with Cousins being one of the league’s better play-action quarterbacks. Cook has made it clear he does like the inside runs. However, it would behoove Minnesota to do all they can to get him to the edges. Green Bay is vulnerable in that area, and Cook has the elusiveness to make Green Bay’s secondary miss. His 10 avoided tackles Sunday were the most in the NFL according to PFF. His stat line could have a stronger correlation with the result in Green Bay than it did in Minnesota this past week.
Stefon Diggs: 7 catches, 107 yards, 0 TD
Adam Thielen: 6 catches, 85 yards, 1 TD
Breakdown: Who covers Diggs and Thielen this week? I can’t imagine it will be the same player for the entire game on both receivers. Packers Defensive Coordinator Mike Pettine probably wants to rotate, Kevin King, Tramson Williams, Jaire Alexander and Josh Jackson. All of those players present matchups Diggs and Thielen should win 1v1. The question becomes who gets double-covered? And again, the Vikings offensive line must give Kirk Cousins time to throw. Otherwise, any separation created by Diggs and Thielen won’t matter.
Kyle Rudolph: 3 catches, 31 yards, 1 TD
Breakdown: Rudolph is by far the most difficult starting skill position player to project on this team. He doesn’t catch at a high volume, and he does less in terms of ‘YAC.’ That said, he scores in the Red Zone quite often. His touchdown vs. the 49ers was the type of touchdown Vikings fans have been screaming for since he was drafted in 2011. Unless Ha-Ha Clinton-Dix is shadowing Rudolph the entire game, I think he might do a bit better than he did this past week. His red-zone presences will make or break the Vikings in big games. How many games this season will be bigger than Sunday in the Frozen Tundra? Probably none.