*Pre-editor post (forgive any typos)
I remembered this game, from the live watch, as the Saints pushing around the Vikings for a sweet road victory. When I re-watched, I realized – the Saints were pretty/very lucky here. I was more impressed with the Vikings, considering the key injuries they entered this game with.
The Saints jumped out 7-0, first drive. Minnesota would later answer and go up 13-7. The Saints fought back to take a 17-13 halftime lead.
Down 17-13 with 12:33 left in the 3rd quarter, the Vikings went for a 4th & 1 at midfield. In a big spot, Kirk Cousins threw to NFL scouting failure Laquon Treadwell of all people…who dropped a tough, but ‘had to make that’ kinda catch. That took any Vikings momentum away. The Saints went up 20-13 and Minnesota starting to drive again, then Cousins threw a pass to Stefon Diggs who stopped his route and Cousins thought he was still moving – pick six and a 27-13 lead for the Saints heading into the 4th quarter. The Vikings kept scrapping, but not enough time left and too insurmountable a lead. The Saints won but I feel like Minnesota walks away thinking they blew the game, not that they got beat.
Minnesota is 4-3-1 now…and, maybe, the best team in the NFC North…BUT…as I’ve been saying since this summer – this 2nd-half schedule is going to get them. DET-BYE-@CHI-GB-@NE-@SEA the next 5 games. And Seattle is not the weak spot I thought they might be. We project 8-7-1 for the finish and shy of the playoffs. They must beat DET this week and then go to CHI and beat the Bears Week 11 to get a chance at getting to 9+ wins and winning the division. Week 11 vs. the Bears may be their Super Bowl.
New Orleans is playing their Super Bowl this week – hosting the Rams. The winner has the best chance at the #1 seed in the NFC, which means a lot for both teams, but especially the Saints. If the Saints lose to the Rams -- it’s a #2 seed and fighting Carolina for the division. We see them losing to LAR and ending as the #2 seed at 12-4.
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- Alvin Kamara (13-45-1, 7-31-0/8) vs. Mark Ingram (13-63-0, 3-29-0/3) vs. Tarik Cohen vs. Christian McCaffrey…
Why those other two?
Christian McCaffrey for Kamara deals happening all over now – now that we gave the signal on CMC ‘sell high’.
Tarik Cohen, because people mocked me for saying Cohen was better than Kamara if he got the same touch counts.
23.9 FF PPG/32.7 PPR = 14.0 carries, 68.8 rush yds, 8.8 rec (11.7 targets), 84.5 rec. yds, 1.5 TDs = Kamara (Wks1-4)
*Last 3 games (Ingram back)
12.0 FF PPG/18.0 PPR = 12.0 carries, 44.3 rush yds, 4.0 rec (4.7 targets), 19.0 rec. yds, 1.0 TDs = Kamara
10.5 FF PPG/12.8 PPR = 13.7 carries, 49.3 rush yds, 2.3 rec (2.7 targets), 19.7 rec. yds, 0.7 TDs = Ingram
*One Kamara’s 3 games here, he barely played in a blowout…more went to Ingram (Week 5). This drop-off has Kamara owners freaked out. I think they are getting head-faked that Ingram is causing some issue. Kamara had 7 catches last week…he’s fine.
*The other guys (last 3 games):
16.4 FF PPG/21.7 PPR = 5.3 carries, 28.3 rush yds, 5.3 rec (8.7 targets), 76.3 rec. yds, 1.0 TDs = Cohen
10.7 FF PPG/16.4 PPR = 9.7 carries, 31.3 rush yds, 5.7 rec (6.7 targets), 36.0 rec. yds, 0.7 TDs = McCaffrey
The best fantasy option the last 3 weeks…Tarik Cohen, ladies and gentlemen.
Kamara is CLEARLY the main option for the Saints – big game here, and Kamara played 38 snaps to Ingram’s 23. The red zone guy…Kamara.
-- The Drew Brees (18-23 for 120 yards, 1 TD/1 INT) fade hit you hard last week. I’ve given like 10 warnings the past 3 weeks. Not much more I can do.
-- Tre’Quan Smith (3-18-0/4) had that 3-111-2 game a few weeks ago and heart’s swooned as Ted Ginn went on I.R.
I said he’s a lesser Ginn.
Last two games since the 2 TD game…3.0 rec., 31.0 yards, 0.0 TDs. Even his 2 TD game wasn’t impressive. He’s ‘OK’ that’s all. You should have been selling this stock. You still can this week before it hits WR4/0.0 value…in other week people may wake up from Rookie Derangement Syndrome here.
-- Everything was normal on the Vikings side of this…no major notes. One item to put up for thought if it comes to it…
If Stefon Diggs is out this week…he’s been missing practice all week, so far, then people will get interested in Laquon Treadwell, maybe.
I like Aldrick Robinson (1-19-0/2) if Diggs is out -- 5 catches this season with MIN…3 of them TDs. He looks really good because is a talented WR.
-- Saints IDP notes…
Eli Apple (9 tackles) had a strong debut…showing he has another gear when he wants to. If I know him, he’ll fade off the map in a few weeks…or this offseason.
Marcus Davenport (3 tackles, 2.0 sacks) got his 3rd and 4th sacks in his last 5 games…and then got hurt and will miss a few weeks. A key loss heading to that Rams showdown.
Sheldon Rankins (2 tackles, 2.0 sacks) is stepping back up, a really talented DT -- 4.0 sacks in his last 6 games.
Snap Counts of interest:
61 = Latavius
07 = Boone
03 = Roc Thomas
51 = Mk Thomas
41 = Tre’Quan
19 = Carr
09 = Cam Meredith
34 = J Hill
14 = Watson
10 = Arnold