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Bleacher Report – Vikings

Fantasy Football: Assessing 10 Vikings for the rest of the season

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 1500espn.com each Thursday for a new column and a new episode of the Fantasy Football Party podcast.

There was a bit of chest thumping in the Twin Cities a few days ago when, for the first time in maybe ever, the Minnesota Vikings were atop the NFL Power Rankings as set forth by various sports media outlets, most notably ESPN.com.

From a fantasy football perspective, though, how do the individual Vikings players rank the rest of the season? The Week 6 bye feels like a good time to gauge such a thing.

Thus, here are the official “Bo Mitchell Fantasy Football Vikings Power Rankings for the Rest of the Season”… or something like that:

  1. Vikings Team Defense

No debate here. The Vikings lead the league in scoring defense, at 12.6 points allowed per game and D/ST touchdowns with four. They are also tied for first in sacks (19) and takeaways (12). Not sure there’s anything more this unit could be doing right now. They are the only slam-dunk, every-week fantasy starter the Vikings have.

  1. Stefon Diggs

The groin injury is a concern, as is his having just one touchdown. Assuming he’s ready to roll following the bye week, however, Diggs should again assert himself as the Vikings’ best weapon. Right now, he’s a low-end WR2 or high WR3, making him close to an every-week starter depending on league size and lineup requirements.

  1. Kyle Rudolph

I hope you listened when I warned you not to start Rudolph last week against the Texans, who have been tough on several very good tight ends this season. You would be wise to bench him again the first game after the bye against an Eagles team that has been the best in the league against tight ends this season. After that, plan to put Rudolph in your lineup and leave him there, barring injury, the rest of the way because Bradford targets him a ton, especially in the red zone.

  1. Jerick McKinnon

He’s averaging just 3.1 yards per carry, has only seven receptions and just one touchdown, but he’s a healthy running back who figures to receive the lion’s share of the work for the Vikings for most of the rest of the season. That in and of itself gives McKinnon fantasy value. Finding healthy, featured running backs these days is tougher than finding someone without an opinion on Donald Trump.

  1. Sam Bradford

If Bradford continues to play the way he has, he could leap-frog a few teammates on this list. The counting numbers (yards and touchdowns) have not been remarkable, but the Vikings don’t need them to be so it’s not an indictment of how well he is playing. There are so many really good quarterbacks in the league these days posting such gaudy numbers that I don’t see Bradford ascending past QB2 status for fantasy purposes.

  1. Adam Thielen

Thielen has grabbed the role of Vikings No. 2 wide receiver and quickly gained the trust of Bradford. This week was the first time I have seen him picked up in a league in which I participate. He is currently owned in just 2.3 percent of ESPN.com fantasy leagues. That will change.

  1. Blair Walsh

You know the deal. Walsh is a really nice guy, but he’s reprised his role as the target of Vikings fans wrath this season. It’s not like fans have much to complain about overall, but when they do… it’s usually about one of Blair’s missed extra points or field goals. It’s gotten to the point that his next bad game could be his last as a Vikings kicker. For now, as long as you (and coach Zimmer) can stomach the misses and you play in a league with a minimum of 12 teams, he’s usable.

  1. Cordarrelle Patterson

So apparently Patterson is a thing again – and not just a kick returner or special teams gunner. I hesitate to even write these words, but… he looked like an actual offensive weapon last week against the Texans. I think we all need to set down the Purple Kool-Aid and see what plays out here because there’s a long track record we can’t ignore. It’s good to see the Vikings finding use for Flash and even better to see his effort level but at this point his offensive production is tough to predict.

  1. Matt Asiata

McKinnon has clearly usurped Asiata in the Vikings backfield, leaving No. 44 the clear junior member of the committee. He’s not even guaranteed all the goal-line duty anymore, making the forecast of multiple-touchdown games (his only chance at fantasy value) almost impossible.

  1. Adrian Peterson

Remember him? Yeah, I know Peterson looked awful prior to tearing his meniscus earlier this season so maybe Father Time actually is catching up him. However, there is a slim chance Peterson could return by the end of the season and, well… he is Adrian Peterson. He will play when healthy and he’ll remain a more tantalizing fantasy play than a lot of what’s left at running back across the league these days. Peterson was dropped in one of my leagues this week and I picked him up. His ownership level is down to almost 40 percent in ESPN.com leagues. If you are in a league with large rosters (the league I claimed him in has 20 roster spots) go ahead and stash him. A Week 15 home game against a rotten Colts run defense – exactly three months from the day he injured his knee — looks enticing. Forget about Week 16 on the Tundra at Lambeau, though.

— Bo Mitchell

DFS Week 6 Values

Do you like to play Daily Fantasy Sports? Do you want to be your own boss? Then we’re here for you! Each and every week in this very space we’ll provide the best values at QB/RB/WR/TE for DraftKings, FanDuel and FantasyDraft—host of the weekly Fantasy Football Party listener league—to help you build a winning DFS lineup. Click here to sign up for the listener league; if you can beat two of the three hosts you’ll be eligible for a drawing to win a $50 Zubaz gift card! And if you’ve never played on FantasyDraft before, use the promo code FFParty for a limited time for free $5 FantasyCash. Whew, that’s a mouthful! Here’s what 2V has uncovered for Week 6 DFS success.

QB: Alex Smith at Oakland

DraftKings: $5,700

FanDuel: $6,800

FantasyDraft: $11,300

Smith has thrown multiple touchdowns in five straight meetings with the Raiders and in seven of eight against them dating back to his days with the 49ers. Oakland isn’t stopping anyone through the air this year either, giving up a dozen passing scores in five games and letting three quarterbacks top 350 yards against them. There are several solid options at the high end of the quarterback salary scale this week, but if you’d prefer to go the other direction Smith has all the traits of a value play.

QB: Matthew Stafford vs. Los Angeles

DraftKings: $6,200

FanDuel: $8,000

FantasyDraft: $11,700

It’s not that the Rams’ defense has been particularly bad this year, though the loss of cornerback Trumaine Johnson certainly doesn’t help. Stafford has three three-TD games already this season as Jim Bob Cooter’s offense chooses to attack via the air—in part because of the dearth of effective rushing RBs on their roster. With between a half-dozen to a dozen higher-priced quarterback options, Stafford is a solid mix of price and performance.

RB: Bobby Rainey vs. Baltimore

DraftKings: $3,300

FanDuel: $5,000

FantasyDraft: $6,400

With 13 catches for 95 yards the past two weeks, Rainey has taken over the pass-catching RB role vacated when Shane Vereen was lost for the season with a triceps injury. That skill set will be needed once again as the Giants are unlikely to have success running the ball against a Baltimore defense that over the past three games has given up 52 RB rushing yards per game. Rainey’s receiving yards came when Big Blue faced similar ground game stonewalls; pencil him in for a budget PPR helper once again.

RB: Jalen Richard vs. Kansas City

DraftKings: $3,800

FanDuel: $5,100

FantasyDraft: $7,400

Remember last week when right in this very space the tout was DeAndre Washington? Yeah, sorry ‘bout that. Wrong Raider. Richard and Washington split the touches in Latavious Murray’s absence, and Richard was twice as productive. But this isn’t just a case of chasing last week’s points; Richard is Oakland’s pass-catching back, and the Chiefs have already allowed three different backs to catch at least five passes. KC is seventh in fantasy points allowed to running backs, and at minimum the portion that comes via the air belongs to Richard. As an added bonus, he’s cheaper than Washington in all three DFS formats.

RB: Jamaal Charles at Oakland

DraftKings: $5,100

FanDuel: $7,100

FantasyDraft: $10,100

Charles returned from last year’s season-ending knee injury before KC’s Week 5 bye with just a couple of carries; as such his price is at an all-time low. Two weeks of rest should do wonders, as will a familiar opponent. Over his past four meetings with Oakland Charles has produced an average of 129 yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns per game. Best of all, he’s posted those numbers while averaging less than 20 touches per game. The Raiders have allowed a running back touchdown in every game this year, as well as two 100-yard rushers and three more backs to top 85 yards from scrimmage—with only the two triple-digit rushers topping 17 touches. Even if the Chiefs continue to ease Charles back into the mix, he’ll do more than enough to outperform his low price tag.

WR: Mike Wallace at New York Giants

DraftKings: $5,200

FanDuel: $6,400

FantasyDraft: $10,200

The Giants’ secondary is all kinds of banged up, and if Steve Smith Sr. were healthy he’d be the value play here. But he’s not expected to go this week after exiting last week’s game prematurely due to injury, leaving Wallace as Joe Flacco’s go-to guy. Wallace’s scoring pace has dropped off since tallying three TDs in the first two games, but he saw a season-high 11 targets last week and turned them into a season-high seven catches—and those numbers came with Smith still around for at least some of the game. No Smith means more Wallace, and the price is right.

WR: John Brown vs. New York Jets

DraftKings: $4,500

FanDuel: $6,600

FantasyDraft: $8,800

Last week’s suggestion to use Sammie Coates against the Jets paid immediate dividends as he put an 80-yard touchdown on the board before most fans had downed their first overpriced beer. A healthy Carson Palmer in Arizona sends us back to the same long-ball well for a value-priced Brown, the Cardinals’ top home-run hitter. As noted last week, a defense that lets Marquise Goodwin and Tanner McElvoy—and add Coates to that list—get behind them is bound to surrender at least one big play to the speedy Brown on Monday night.

WR: Cole Beasley at Green Bay

DraftKings: $4,400

FanDuel: $5,900

FantasyDraft: $8,800

The Rodney Dangerfield of NFL wideouts, Beasley is 10th in the league in receptions and a top 30 fantasy wide receiver—yet here he is, hanging out in the cheap seats. Don’t expect the Cowboys to rush Dez Bryant back this week, not with the extra week of rest the Week 7 bye offers and Dallas already overachieving record-wise. And the Packers are stifling opposing ground games, leaving Dak Prescott little option but to lean once again on his safety valve—and pile up the reception points at a significantly discounted price.

TE: Jimmy Graham vs. Atlanta

DraftKings: $4,900

FanDuel: $6,900

FantasyDraft: $9,300

Another “get him now because his price will never be lower” opportunity—or GHNBHPWNBL, for short. Rolls right off the tongue, doesn’t it? Graham looks healthy, has back-to-back 100-yard games under his belt, and faces an extremely tight-end friendly Atlanta defense—yet he’s not even a top-five tight end price-wise in two of the three DFS sites. Even when he does crack the top five he’s a 17% discount over the top option at his position. Graham hasn’t returned to his previous level, but he’s trending upwards and this is likely your last chance to grab him as a value play.

TE: Jesse James at Miami

DraftKings: $3,000

FanDuel: $5,400

FantasyDraft: $5,900

If you prefer to shop for tight ends in the bargain bin, set your sights on James this week. He’s tied for second among all tight ends with three touchdowns and is fresh off posting season highs across the board last week. Rumors of Ladarius Green’s return next week must be keeping a lid on James’ price tag, giving you the opportunity to capitalize against a Miami defense that’s allowed a top 10 fantasy tight end performance in three of the past four weeks.

Best of luck in Week 6! Check back next week for our Week 7 DFS values.

–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 Zoneblitz.com. 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

Follow The Fantasy Football Party podcast @TheFFParty

The post Fantasy Football: Assessing 10 Vikings for the rest of the season appeared first on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

Source:: 1500 ESPN Sportswire

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