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Bleacher Report – Vikings

Fantasy Football: Purple Haze Shrouds Fantasy Options in Color Rush Game; plus DFS plays

By John Tuvey

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.

The Vikings’ Thanksgiving festivities didn’t end well, and you may or may not have a chance to peruse this article before they unveil their Color Rush uniforms in their second consecutive Thursday night tilt. No worries, however, as on paper this game doesn’t offer up much fantasy help.

Everywhere the Cowboys succeed—second in the NFL in road scoring, second in red zone touchdowns—the Vikings are equally stout—fifth-best in points allowed at home, third-fewest red zone touchdowns surrendered. And where Dallas is weak—allowing the fourth-most passing points per drive—Minnesota is ill-suited to exploit them.

Ezekiel Elliott has ascended to every week starter status, but the Vikings defense isn’t nearly as shut-down as it appeared earlier in the season. Dak Prescott is on a serious roll, but no quarterback has topped 24 fantasy points against Minnesota all season and only Kirk Cousins (21) has made it beyond 19 fantasy points in the past two months.

For comparison, the 20th ranked fantasy quarterback this season (Tyrod Taylor) averages 20.3 fantasy points per game.

Dez Bryant is a tough start as well, as the Vikings are the only NFL team that has yet to allow a 100-yard receiver and just once all season as a wideout facing Minnesota cracked the top dozen scores at the position that week. Those numbers push Cole Beasley and Terrance Williams off the radar as well.

After shutting down tight ends through the first two months of the season the Vikes have allowed TE TDs in two of the past three games, so Jason Witten warrants consideration; then again, he’s topped 60 yards just once since Week 1 so he’s far from a sure thing.

On the purple—very purple, given the full-on grape flavor of the Vikings’ Color Rush uniforms—side, a full practice for Stefon Diggs Wednesday makes him far and away the Vikings’ best fantasy option. Dallas has already allowed eight different receivers to see double-digit targets, including slot guys like Jamison Crowder (8-88 on 10 targets), Jordan Matthews (11-65-1 on 14 targets) and Randall Cobb (7-53-1 on 11 targets), so another big day is in the offing for Diggs.

Kyle Rudolph comes into play as well, facing a Dallas defense that just served up 16-167-2 to Washington tight ends last week. And if Diggs and Rudolph are options, you could make a case for Sam Bradford to be a low-end fantasy helper as well. It’s not as if the Vikings’ running game is producing, so if Bradford slings it around like many other quarterbacks to face the Cowboys—seven of the last 10 passers to square off with Dallas have thrown at least 40 passes—he could put up fantasy worthy numbers through sheer volume.

On the bright side, after an extended rest the Vikings will return to Sundays for the remainder of the season—save for Christmas weekend, when the bulk of the NFL slate will be played on Saturday, December 24th. And it’s a fantasy-favorable slate as well—which may just be next week’s topic.

—John Tuvey

DFS Week 13 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 13.

QB: Ryan Fitzpatrick vs. Indianapolis

DraftKings: $5,200

FanDuel: $7,000

FantasyDraft: $10,200

Vontae Davis continues to fight through injuries, but is a shell of himself at the moment and the only one to usually be scared of in Indy’s secondary. Plus the Colts are allowing the second most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks, with multiple touchdown passes ceded in eight straight and nine of 11 this season. Fitzpatrick isn’t great, but he’s got great upside with solid receiving weapons. He makes for a very cheap, and likely low-owned, DFS tournament play with enormous upside.

QB: Matthew Stafford at New Orleans

DraftKings: $7,000

FanDuel: $8,300

FantasyDraft: $13,300

This isn’t an indictment of the Saints defense, which has actually improved as the season’s progressed. Stafford making this list is more a response to Drew Brees playing at home, where he’s averaging 357 yards and more than three touchdown passes per game. The Lions will have to score to keep up and have the weapons to do it, making Stafford a solid value this week among the high-end quarterbacks.

RB: Theo Riddick at New Orleans

DraftKings: $5,800

FanDuel: $6,500

FantasyDraft: $11,000

For the same reasons noted above, Riddick finds himself among the value plays as well. Yes, his touches are down some—just under 14 per contest his last three games—but he’s still busy in the passing game and will need to be this week in a game with the highest Vegas total on the board.

RB: Jeremy Hill vs. Philadelphia

DraftKings: $4,300

FanDuel: $5,800

FantasyDraft: $8,500

Hill’s price has been depressed all season thanks to a job-share, and a tough matchup with the Ravens last week without Giovani Bernard in the mix kept it pretty low this week as well. Though he did suffer an ankle injury in Week 12, Hill now has 18 touches in back-to-back games and is expected to play in Week 13—where I expect he’ll at least hit that 18 mark against an Eagles defense that’s solid against opposing RBs, but not as much as Buffalo and especially Baltimore, Cincinnati’s previous two foes.

RB: Kenneth Dixon vs. Miami

DraftKings: $3,700

FanDuel: $5,100

FantasyDraft: $7,300

Dixon’s playing time has increased by the week, as has his workload. He collected a season-high 17 touches against the Bengals in Week 12 and hit the 80 total yards mark for the second time in three games. Though the Dolphins are stout on the defensive line, they’ve still allowed a RB score in four of their last five games with decent combo yardage totals to boot. Dixon’s a tournament option only here, but a potential low-dollar filler who could get the touches needed to well surpass his salary expectation.

WR: Tyler Boyd vs. Philadelphia

DraftKings: $4,800

FanDuel: $5,400

FantasyDraft: $9,500

Though Boyd hasn’t filled the role of the injured AJ Green, he’s certainly taken the mantle as Cincy’s top receiving options. The rookie has 17 targets his last two games, which he’s converted to 11 catches for 116 yards and a touchdown. The scores may be a little tougher to come by considering he’s playing out of the slot, but the Eagles have allowed the eighth most fantasy points to wide receivers this season. Considering the target volume and opponent, Boyd makes for a nice value on the PPR sites especially.

WR: Golden Tate at New Orleans

DraftKings: $6,200

FanDuel: $5,900

FantasyDraft: $11,700

Read the Stafford entry, rinse, repeat. Tate’s shaken off a slow start to the season to hit the 77-yard mark or higher in four of his last six contests. While he’s only scored once in his last five games and his 11 targets in his last two overall are his fewest in back-to-back games since the first two weeks of October, there’s going to be a lot of volume here. That said, Tate’s price makes him more of a cash play, while the cheaper vertical threat Marvin Jones—whose 11 targets last week were his most since Week 2—make him the better tournament option.

WR: Stefon Diggs vs. Dallas

DraftKings: $6,700

FanDuel: $6,500

FantasyDraft: $12,600

Assuming Diggs comes back from the knee injury that held him out of Thanksgiving’s game with the Lions, I anticipate a return to the volume he saw for three straight weeks before getting Patrick Peterson’d against the Cardinals. Diggs saw a whopping 42 targets, and because of the nature of those targets (short) he managed to haul in 34 of them. Diggs isn’t a huge threat to get in the end zone, but even with the half PPR on FanDuel, Diggs’ volume makes him an excellent cash game play if you’ve got the little bit more budget to spend versus the aforementioned Tate.

TE: Jason Witten at Minnesota

DraftKings: $3,400

FanDuel: $5,300

FantasyDraft: $6,600

Prior to shutting out Eric Ebron entirely on Thanksgiving, the Vikings had allowed 355 yards and two touchdowns to tight ends over a four-week stretch. Though Minnesota gets credit for blanking Ebron, the Lions basically use Anquan Boldin as a tight end so it’s tough to say they’ve figured things out here. Witten, meanwhile, does have his occasional down game (as he did on Thanksgiving), but prior to his three targets against Washington he’d seen 25 targets in his previous three games and seven or more 6 times in 10 contests. That makes Witten an OK cash game target at this price, but a better tournament one.

TE: Cameron Brate at San Diego

DraftKings: $3,600

FanDuel: $5,500

FantasyDraft: $7,000

The enormous day is pretty rare for Brate—he’s topped 67 yards once this season, and 49 yards just twice—but he’s got five or more targets in four of his last five games and five touchdowns this season. It’s enough volume that I’m OK with Brate in cash games if you need to spend down, but like most tight ends he’s better suited for a tournament because of his usual need to find the end zone to meet or exceed salary expectation.

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: Purple Haze Shrouds Fantasy Options in Color Rush Game; plus DFS plays appeared first on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

Source:: 1500 ESPN Sportswire

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