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Bleacher Report – Vikings

Fantasy Football: Stefon Diggs emerging as fantasy threat

By Bo Mitchell

Anthony Maggio, John Tuvey and Bo Mitchell will be here all season delivering the edge you need to dominate your fantasy football league. Visit each Thursday for a new column and a new episode of the Fantasy Football Party podcast.

After producing exactly zero offensive touchdowns in Week 1 against the Titans, the Vikings head into their Week 2 prime-time matchup against the Packers with pretty much the same fantasy outlook they had last week. Simply, there are few slam-dunk fantasy plays here.

Yes, you are still going to start Adrian Peterson – because you don’t overreact and bench the reigning NFL rushing leader after a bad Week 1. If you recall, it was mentioned last week in this very space that Peterson has posted fantasy clunkers in Week 1 quite frequently the last six seasons. Indeed, make that seven seasons in a row now with under 100 yards in the season opener.

The immediate aftermath of Week 1 is usually the height of fantasy football panic season. We spend the preseason speculating on the campaign ahead, when in reality all we can do is give it our best guess based on the info at hand. Fantasy owners jump on scraps of intelligence emanating from coaches and GMs like fans scurrying after a souvenir t-shirt shot into the stands by a mascot. And then Week 1 hits and things don’t always go like we thought.

That’s when the panic sets in. Sometimes it’s warranted, sometimes the small sample size returns result in dumb roster moves.

Is it time to panic on Peterson? The vast body of work suggests it’s not. His last eight games dating back to last season, in which he is averaging under 4.0 yards per carry, however, is enough to give one pause. If you plan to feast on the panic of the Peterson owner in your fantasy league with a “buy-low” offer, be sure to site that stat. We could in fact be witnessing the slow decline of a 31-year-old Hall of Fame running back, but that’s not something we can unequivocally conclude yet.

Adrian had two substandard games against the Packers last season in terms of yardage, rushing 32 times for a total of 112 yards, but he did score two touchdowns to salvage some fantasy value.

Speaking of panic, it might be time to do so with kicker Blair Walsh, who was shanking field-goal attempts into the next fairway on Sunday in Tennessee. Granted he still made four field goals, which was a fantasy helper, and last season he booted the most field goals in the NFL despite the misses that dominated his narrative. In short, he is a valuable fantasy commodity for now, and will continue to be as long as he is employed by a team that frequently springs a flat tire upon entering the red zone. The key word in that sentence is “employed”. The Vikings know how to get a hold of Robbie Gould if need be.

With opposing defenses continuing to game plan around stopping Peterson, things tend to open up down the field for receivers, specifically Stefon Diggs, who hauled in seven of nine targets for 103 yards against Tennessee. Entering the season, Diggs looked like a WR3 for fantasy purposes, but more games like Week 1 will escalate him into the WR2 conversation soon. He’s definitely in the fantasy lineup mix against the Packers.

Lastly, the Vikings had one of the top-ranked fantasy defenses entering the season and certainly showed why in Week 1. A two-touchdown-per-game rate isn’t exactly sustainable over the course of the season and a matchup against the Packers offense likely won’t result in elite fantasy production this week, but the Vikings D should be bolted to your fantasy lineup until further notice.

— Bo Mitchell

DFS Week 2 Values

For those of you down with Daily Fantasy Sports—or DFS, if you’re into the whole brevity thing—we’ll provide the best values at QB/RB/WR/TE for DraftKings and FanDuel on a weekly basis. Here’s what 2V has come up with for Week 2.

QB: Philip Rivers vs. Jaguars

DraftKings: $6.400

FanDuel: $7,700

Rivers takes a hit after throwing for just one TD last week and losing his top receiver in the process. But Keenan Allen wasn’t available when the Bolts traveled to Jacksonville last season and Rivers still managed to drop 300 and 4 on the Jags. Phil averaged 343 and 2 at home against non-AFC West opponents last season, yet he’s still

QB: Eli Manning vs. Saints

DraftKings: $7,600

FanDuel: $8,100

Sometimes it’s worth opening up the wallet and paying the premium. Manning facing the Saints, who gave up 486 yards—319 in the air—to the Raiders last week, fits that bill. The last time these teams got together they combined for 101 points—second-most in NFL history. New Orleans can’t stop anyone so they’ll be trying to match that total, and that puts the onus on Eli to keep pace. Sprinkle a healthy Victor Cruz into Manning’s receiver rotation and he’s set to post a solid return on your investment.

RB: Latavius Murray vs. Atlanta

DraftKings: $5,700

FanDuel: $7,100

Murray is the best value among top-end backs in Week 2, in part because the Raiders used multiple backs to beat up the Saints last week. Murray is still far and away the lead dog in Oakland and he’ll stay on the field regardless of how the game plays out. If you’re shying away from paying for David Johnson or CJ Anderson (or overpaying for Todd Gurley or Adrian Peterson) this week, Murray’s your man.

RB: Jeremy Langford vs. Philadelphia

DraftKings: $4,600

FanDuel: $6,500

Opportunity, opportunity, opportunity. Langford was on the field for 96 percent of the Bears’ offensive snaps last week, so you know he’ll get the opportunity to produce. He’s the pass-catching back, he’s the goal line back, and while he’s not particularly pretty or incredibly effective, through sheer volume of touches he’ll pay dividends.

RB: Chris Thompson vs. Dallas

DraftKings: $3,700

FanDuel: $5,200

Thompson was on the field twice as much as “starter” Matt Jones, in part because the Redskins played for behind much of the game—and in part because Washington is a pass-heavy team and he’s the pass-catching back. Shane Vereen found moderate success against Dallas in that role last week; Thompson is poised to do the same here, at an extremely budget-friendly price.

WR: Victor Cruz vs. New Orleans

DraftKings: $4,300

FanDuel: $5,700

There’s nothing wrong with stacking your DFS deck against a defense that’s struggled as mightily as the Saints. Even if you’re paying top dollar for Odell Beckham Jr.—and there’s no reason you shouldn’t—feel free to augment OBJ with Cruz. The Salsa King was OBJ before OBJ, and he returned to the end zone last week in his first game action in two seasons. What little defensive resources the Saints can muster will be focused on Beckham, leaving Cruz a conga line towards value-priced productivity.

WR: DeSean Jackson vs. Dallas

DraftKings: $6,300

FanDuel: $6,600

Jackson has faced the Cowboys three times since coming to Washington from the Eagles, and he’s been a top-20 fantasy receiver that week in each of those meetings. Despite coming off a 100-yard game on Monday night, his price tag didn’t get much of a Week 1 bump. The Redskins aren’t a running team, and history suggests they’ll take plenty of shots down the field with Jackson; at this price, you don’t want to miss out.

WR: Tyrell Williams vs. Jacksonville

DraftKings: $3,700

FanDuel: $5,400

With Keenan Allen out, look for Williams to move into the San Diego starting lineup alongside Travis Benjamin. Williams is a bigger, faster, younger version of former Philip Rivers favorite Malcom Floyd who impressed in the preseason and will have an opportunity to make a name for himself against the Jaguars. Considering that Stevie Johnson and Dontrelle Inman combined for 157 yards and two TDs against Jacksonville in last year’s meeting, that’s a lot of productivity just waiting for Williams to seize it.

TE: Coby Fleener at New York Giants

DraftKings: $3,900

FanDuel: $5,600

One week after hitting the milk carton and disappointing DFS players who put their faith in Fleener, he’s back with an even tastier matchup—and a price cut to boot, at least on DK. We’ve already established this game will be a point-fest, and the Giants have been particularly friendly to opposing tight ends. Last week Big Blue surrendered a league-high 10 catches to tight ends, a category they’re overtly familiar with after leading the NFL in it last season as well. Fleener was on the field but not targeted last week; the Giants’ defense—or lack thereof—suggests Drew Brees will find him here.

TE: Jacob Tamme at Oakland

DraftKings: $2,900

FanDuel: $5,100

More of a bargain on DraftKings than FanDuel, where tight end prices seem inflated this week, Tamme saw as many targets in Week 1 as did Julio Jones and Mohamed Sanu. The Raiders surrendered the third-most fantasy points to tight ends last season, and their success in holding Coby Fleener in check last week was less a product of improved defense and more a product of Drew Brees looking elsewhere. If your lineup is pricey elsewhere, Tamme makes a great way to save while still providing a favorable matchup.

Check back next week for Week 3 DFS values. Good luck in Week 2!

— John Tuvey

Anthony Maggio, John Tuvey and Bo Mitchell co-host the 1500ESPN Fantasy Football Party podcast. Bookmark the podcast page for upcoming episodes and subscribe to the podcast now! Don’t act like you’re not impressed.

Maggio hosted Fantasy Football Sunday on 1500ESPN from 2012-2013 and is the Fantasy Football Editor at Mitchell is Vice President of Content for Sportradar. And Tuvey is Director of Content at SportsHub Technologies. All three men are kind of big deals, enjoy leather-bound books and have woodwork at home that smells of rich mahogany.

Follow Maggio @MPLSMaggio
Follow Bo @Bo_Mitchell
Follow John @jtuvey

The post Fantasy Football: Stefon Diggs emerging as fantasy threat appeared first on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

Source:: 1500 ESPN Sportswire

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