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Fantasy Football: Are there ANY Vikings worth starting? Plus, DFS plays

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.

Well folks, it’s come to this… all season long we’ve been analyzing the fantasy value of Vikings players. We’ve looked at the matchups, tried to find sleepers and reviewed what was going right and – more often than not – wrong.

Here we are heading into Week 11, and the question must now be asked: are there any Vikings worth starting this week? Anyone? Let’s try to find one.

The Vikings offensive line is broken, and that has led to a historically bad running game and heart-stopping moments for Sam Bradford.

Now the Cardinals come to town. It’s not the same Cardinals team as the past few seasons, but it can still be formidable. They bring with them the No. 2 total defense, No. 3 scoring defense and No. 2 pass defense (one yard per game worse than the Broncos).

Fantasy owners know not to use any part of the Vikings running game and the Cardinals’ pass defense acumen suggests strongly that starting Bradford, even in super-flex and two-quarterback leagues, would be a poor choice.

But what about Kyle Rudolph and Stefon Diggs, you ask?

Well, Rudolph is a fairly touchdown-dependent play and, well… the Cardinals have not allowed a single tight end touchdown this season. They are the only team that hasn’t. Oh and they have given up just 26 receptions to tight ends – tied with the Eagles for the fewest in the league. Translation: bench Rudolph, too.

But Diggs is different, right? He has 13 receptions each of the last two games. No player has ever done that before. He’s become a PPR monster. Here’s the thing, though: he had those two big games against a Detroit team that ranked worst in the league against the pass and then a Washington defense that, for reasons unknown, chose not to shadow Diggs with Pro Bowl cornerback Josh Norman. Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians has already announced to the world that he is going to assign his Pro Bowl corner, Patrick Peterson, to cover Diggs on Sunday.

There won’t be 13 receptions this week.

Peterson is as good as it gets in shutting down receivers. No wide receiver has caught 10 passes in a game against Arizona since 2014. And it’s not like Diggs has been a big touchdown threat this season (he has two), but the Cardinals have allowed only one touchdown to a legitimate No. 1 wide receiver this season: Mike Evans, who’s tied for the NFL lead with eight touchdown receptions. Diggs is a “maybe” in a PPR league, but that’s it. We’re talking a pretty low floor here. The only previous time Diggs faced Peterson was last December and he came away with two catches and 12 yards on seven targets.

New Vikings kicker Kai Forbath? Well, the Vikings do tend to bog down in the red zone all the time… but the Cardinals have allowed just five field goals on six attempts from inside the red zone this season, according to Sportradar. Only the Ravens and Eagles have allowed fewer. Forbath is a no.

That leaves the Vikings defense, which is about to get a healthy dose of one of the very best running backs in the league, David Johnson. He’s a very good play this week, by the way, in case you needed the reminder. Carson Palmer has taken 26 sacks this season – third most in the NFL – but the Vikings seem to have lost their way to the quarterback. In the four games since their Week 6 bye, the Vikings have three sacks – tied for last in the NFL during that span with the Jaguars and Texans (and that includes a Houston bye week).

In summary then, the Vikings defense is no longer a fantasy lock and don’t expect anything close to the box scores Diggs has treated fantasy owners to the last few weeks. There are no safe plays here at this time.

The Cardinals defense makes a pretty good fantasy play, though.

— Bo Mitchell

DFS Week 11 Values

For you DFS players, we’ll provide the best values at QB/RB/WR/TE for DraftKings, FanDuel and FantasyDraft—host of the weekly DFS listener league—on a weekly basis. Click here to sign up for the listener league. And if you’ve never played on FantasyDraft before, use the promo code FFParty for a limited time for free $5 FantasyCash. Here’s what Maggio has unearthed for Week 11.

QB: Colin Kaepernick vs. New England

DraftKings: $5,200

FanDuel: $7,000

FantasyDraft: $10,200

No quarterback has rushed for more yards per game than Kaepernick, with his 45.6 mark 5.4 yards better than Tyrod Taylor—who’s rushed for 76 yards and a score in two meetings with the Patriots this season. Kaep’s actually hit 55 yards or more in three of his four starts and has at least one touchdown pass in all four, so he’s got a reasonable floor with a decent ceiling considering New England’s allowed’s sixth most schedule adjusted fantasy points to quarterbacks. And at rock-bottom prices, Kaepernick gets my vote for a solid tournament play or potentially even a cash game quarterback—particularly on DraftKings—if you want to pay up for big names elsewhere.

QB: Kirk Cousins vs. Green Bay

DraftKings: $5,800

FanDuel: $7,600

FantasyDraft: $10,900

If you want to spend just a bit more across all three sites on your quarterback, Cousins fits the bill—though I’ll note he, like Kaep, is better on DraftKings. Captain Kirk’s got multiple TD passes in three of his last four games and has topped 300 yards in two of them. Meanwhile, the Packers were just lit up by Marcus Mariota and have now allowed three or more touchdown passes in three of their last five weeks. Green Bay’s only allowed more than 300 yards passing twice this season, and not since Week 3, but have allowed more than 280 each of the last three weeks. A 285-2-1 line is just fine for cash games at his price.

RB: James Starks at Washington

DraftKings: $4,200

FanDuel: $5,500

FantasyDraft: $8,400

The Packers just signed Christine Michael, but I expect this to be a Starks-led backfield for at least one more week. The rub here is that he only had 10 touches in his first week back from a five-week layoff. Thing is, Green Bay was ambushed early by the Titans last week, so only rushed the ball 10 times between Starks and Montgomery. Would it have been more in a closer game? Will Starks get a vast majority of those carries if there is more work and this is a closer game? Did I leave the garage door open? Most of these questions mean that Starks is only a budget tournament option.

RB: Spencer Ware vs. Tampa Bay

DraftKings: $6,000

FanDuel: $7,700

FantasyDraft: $11,300

The Bucs surprisingly haven’t allowed a rushing score in each of the last three weeks, but that’s mostly because they were annihilated through the air by Atlanta and Oakland before the Bears put up a stink-bomb in Week 10. The Chiefs hope to play by a different formula—get a lead, and run the ball over and over and over. That’s Ware’s wheelhouse, and his depressed price thanks to no big games since Week 7 means you can buy low on what should be a return to RB1 territory.

RB: Theo Riddick vs. Jacksonville

DraftKings: $5,100

FanDuel: $6,700

FantasyDraft: $10,100

The PPR sites (FantasyDraft and DraftKings) are slightly better for Riddick, but I’ve got no qualms about him on FanDuel in this matchup, either. Riddick has 34 touches in his two games since missing back-to-back contests with injury, and should get more considering the Jaguars have faced 27 carries by opposing running backs per game the last five weeks—and Riddick will catch it plenty, too. It’s been two weeks since a running back has hit paydirt against the Jaguars, but they’d allowed six RB touchdowns the four weeks prior.

WR: Corey Coleman vs. Pittsburgh

DraftKings: $4,700

FanDuel: $5,400

FantasyDraft: $9,200

I’m trying to catch Coleman on the come in this one. He’s got at least five targets in every one of his four games, with 12 combined in his two weeks since returning from a hand injury. We know Cleveland’s going to give up points, so will be playing catch-up for most, if not all, of this game. And since Pittsburgh has been friendlier to wide receivers the last two weeks versus its previous two games, I’m hoping it all comes together here for the talented rookie and he’s a tournament-winning type of play. There’s a wide range of outcomes here, to be sure, so I wouldn’t go near him in cash games.

WR: Eddie Royal at NY Giants

DraftKings: $3,400

FanDuel: $5,200

FantasyDraft: $6,700

Cameron Meredith is going to be the more popular Bears receiver this week because he’s the closest physical proxy to the suspended Alshon Jeffery. But we’ve yet to really see a Jay Cutler to Meredith connection develop—the 50-yard halftime heave last week was a tipped ball in the back of the end zone for Meredith’s only catch of the day. Meanwhile, Royal missed a month prior to last week when he received just two targets. But before he went down, Royal had seen six or more targets in five of six games to start the season, and slot receivers (Jamison Crowder, Randall Cobb, Willie Snead) have had success against the Giants.

WR: Julian Edelman at San Francisco

DraftKings: $6,300

FanDuel: $6,100

FantasyDraft: $12,000

Another glitch in the Matrix! Yeah, you’ll see this from time to time with the PPR-types—I noted it a few weeks back when Larry Fitzgerald was cheaper on FanDuel than he was on DraftKings. But still, based on the higher budget with FanDuel, you’ve got to take notice when players go cheaper there than they are on DraftKings. I don’t mind Edelman on the PPR sites (DK and FantasyDraft) either considering the matchup here. But I’ll be hard-pressed to pass on him on FanDuel in both cash games and tourneys.

TE: Martellus Bennett at San Francisco

DraftKings: $3,700

FanDuel: $5,200

FantasyDraft: $7,400

This doesn’t require a whole lot of explanation. Rob Gronkowski isn’t expected to play. San Francisco allows the most opponents possessions per game in the league—plus the second most touchdowns. Bennett’s always in play as a tournament option anyway based on New England’s potent offense. But with more usage coming via opponent tendencies and Gronk’s injury, I’ll be all over Bennett in tourneys and in my cash game lineup this weekend.

TE: Zach Miller at NY Giants

DraftKings: $3,800

FanDuel: $5,500

FantasyDraft: $7,400

Miller hasn’t found the end zone since Week 4, and the Giants have only allowed one tight end touchdown all season—also in Week 4. Perhaps the universe is trying to tell us something. Perhaps not. I’m not going to predict a score here—though regression is coming for both Miller and New York, so it could happen this week—but the Giants have 307 yards to tight ends the last three weeks. Throw in the extra targets likely coming Miller’s way this week thanks to Alshon’s suspension and I think Miller’s a fine pivot off Bennett for tournaments, especially on Fantasy Draft where the two are the same price.

— Anthony Maggio

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

Follow The Fantasy Football Party podcast @TheFFParty

The post Fantasy Football: Are there ANY Vikings worth starting? Plus, DFS plays appeared first on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

Source:: 1500 ESPN Sportswire

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