From a football perspective, the Vikings' season-opening win over Atlanta was pretty close to a complete success. There were things to nitpick and things that will need to improve going forward, but Vikings fans presumably all came away from the 28-12 victory fairly satisfied.
From a fantasy football perspective, however, the Vikings' performance was a mixed bag. If you started Dalvin Cook in a season-long league or paid up to get him in DFS, you were thrilled with his huge day. The Vikings D/ST also put up a top-5 scoring output in Week 1.
Unfortunately for anyone looking for big things from the Vikings' passing attack, game script and an extreme run focus prevented Kirk Cousins and his pass-catchers from experiencing enough volume to produce a lot of fantasy points.
Week 2 is a new week. Let's take a look at the outlook for all of the Vikings' fantasy-relevant players as the team heads to Green Bay.
It's hard to have a big fantasy day when you only throw the ball ten times. Cousins was incredibly efficient with his drop-backs and made a few great throws, but the volume was never there. He finished tied for 22nd among QBs in standard ESPN scoring (more than Aaron Rodgers or Mitch Trubisky, for what it's worth), saving his day from utter disaster with a goal-line rushing touchdown.
Cousins owners shouldn't give up hope just yet. Low volume will be a concern throughout the year, but there will be games when the Vikings have to air it out. This weekend at Lambeau is a perfect spot for a bounce-back game from Cousins, fantasy-wise. The Vikings almost certainly won't jump out to a huge lead early on the road, and there's a good chance they'll have to throw the ball to keep pace with Rodgers.
Just look at last season. In Cousins' first trip to Lambeau as a Viking, he dropped season-highs of 425 yards and 4 touchdowns on the Packers. Later in the year, he put up 342 yards and 3 more TDs against them. Those were two of his three best fantasy outputs of the season. The Packers' defense is better than it was a year ago, but Cousins is an intriguing DFS option and someone I'd rate in the QB 10-15 range with upside for more.
Now that we know the plan of feeding Dalvin Cook early and often is very real, there's no way you're benching No. 33 if you own him. Even against a Packers front seven that is stronger than Atlanta's, he's an RB1 this Sunday. Cook was limited on the ground in both matchups against Green Bay a year ago but had two of his best games as a receiver, posting a combined 10 catches for 102 yards and a touchdown. He's in line for another 20+ touches this week.
The rookie running back from Boise State had a strong debut, carrying the ball nine times for 49 yards. Don't expect that many carries this week in a game where the Vikings will have to pass more frequently. Mattison also isn't a major threat to steal goal-line work from Cook. He's an extremely valuable handcuff and someone who could have standalone value in some games this year, but this week isn't one of them. Add him off the waiver wire and stash him on your bench if he's available in your league.
Thielen was his usual self against the Falcons, catching all three of his targets for 43 yards and a score. He didn't win you your fantasy matchup, but he didn't lose it for you either. Expect a lot more than three targets at Lambeau on Sunday; Thielen posted lines of 12/131/1 and 9/125/1 against Green Bay in 2018. He's going to eat on Sunday and should be considered a mid-range WR1. Don't even think about benching him.
Diggs' status is a bit more concerning than Thielen's. His hamstring isn't at 100 percent, and he's struggled when trying to play through injuries in the past. His 37 yards on two catches against Atlanta caused a lot of frustration among fantasy owners last weekend and may have them thinking about going elsewhere at the WR position this week.
My advice: stick with him. Diggs is simply too good to bench. He scored three touchdowns against the Packers last season and is always capable of going off for a huge day. Keep him in your lineup and hope that the hamstring continues to heal throughout the week.
Rudolph finished as the TE9 last season, although that was mostly due to a huge, hail-mary aided game against the Lions in Week 16. Approaching 30 years old, Rudolph is safe to drop in your fantasy league. He didn't record a catch against the Falcons (although he did have one negated by a penalty) and at this point in his career, Rudy will need to catch a touchdown to bring back fantasy value. He only reached the end zone four times last season, two of which came in the aforementioned game in Detroit.
The Vikings have an excellent defense, but this is a week to stay away from starting their D/ST. Facing Rodgers on the road is a tough spot.
Bailey had a very poor 2019 fantasy debut, simply because he never got an opportunity to kick a field goal. He did go 4-for-4 on extra points with new holder Britton Colquitt, and should have at least one or two field goal chances at Lambeau. Daniel Carlson attempted three kicks there in Week 2 last season (he didn't exactly make any, but that's not the point). Bailey should be considered a mid-tier kicking option this week.
Not On The Fantasy Radar
- Irv Smith Jr.
- Mike Boone
- Chad Beebe
- Josh Doctson