2019 Dynasty/Fantasy Football Analysis: Week 14 – Vikings 20, Lions 7
Another Mike Zimmer special here… Another game where the Vikes totally dominate their opponent, but once they get up by more than two scores they go into hiding trying to run the clock out. It makes sense for NFL wins/losses, though…I’m just mad as a bettor. It’s the second time I’ve taken the Vikings with that sweet home field advantage, watched them dominate their opponent, but then pull back the reins and not cover. Here they gave up a late TD to push the -13.0 line.
My betting woes shouldn’t take away from a clean, dominant victory. Minnesota is the last, true home field advantage – the Vikings are now 6-0 at home with five double-digit wins in 2019. This matters because if the Vikings can beat LAC on the road Week 15, they finish out with two home games over Green Bay and Chicago. If Zimmer loses both those games and thus loses the division and then coughs up the wild card to the Rams or maybe the Bears (if MIN loses to LAC this week), then they have to fire Mike Zimmer…another late season flop, if it were to happen.
I don’t believe it will. In fact, I’d project Minny to finish 11-5 and win the NFC North over fading Green Bay. But there is no margin for error…the Vikings have to win two of their next 3 games to try to secure a post season. Three wins to close out could get them a top seed/BYE. It’s all in front of the Vikings, but that’s where Zimmer usually finds something to trip over.
The Lions are now losers of nine of their last 10 games. The Matt Patricia era seems to be going well. Will they fire him (and the GM) at the end of the season? They should, but who do they think they’re going to get? I’d stick with one more year and be done if a turn didn’t occur…but hard to sell tickets for 2020 with a failing coach and boring roster. Who would Detroit hire any better? It’s a sad commentary on NFL coaching candidates (and existing coaches).
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- There was fear that the Vikings could throttle back on Dalvin Cook (18-62-1, 2-13-0/2) due to his mounting injuries and heavy 2019 workload and history of injuries, but ‘come on’ – every time you apply logic to coaches and THEIR favorite RB, there is none…they’ll keep them in taking carries in a 50+ lead with a minute left.
Alexander Mattison (14-46-0, 2-18-0/2) got a good amount of touches here but didn’t have any FF gold with it. He was running 2nd-half into a defense playing the run/clock run.
Mattison still has one value – Cook is one hit away from gone for weeks with his issues, and then Mattison starting vs. Green Bay Week 16 would be a homerun.
-- If Adam Thielen (DNP) is activated for Week 15, then you have to assume he’s 100%. The team might risk him for no reason vs. LAC, but I think Thielen is going to manage himself better as he has stated. If he’s active, you have to have some WR2 faith.
It would really help Stefon Diggs (6-92-0/9) from getting doubled/taken out of games. Since Thielen has gone out, the past six games, Diggs has 1 TD…and three games with 90+ yards and 3 games with less than 50 yards.
The four games before Thielen was gone, Diggs had 7 catches in a game in three of 4 games…with 3 TDs and three 100+ yard games.
-- Bo Scarbrough (19-65-0, 1-5-0/3) is questionable for Week 15, but likely to play against TB despite a rib injury.
The injury + the Vikings run defense = not a great start option for Week 15.
-- Watching David Blough (24-40 for 205 yards, 1 TD/2 INTs) here…it’s not been good. He’s over his head with a limited line/team around him. Basically, he threw that long TD pass first drive on Thanksgiving in his debut and has been a mess ever since, but all we remember is the long TD pass to open the game.
The Bucs-DST is a sleeper for sure against Blough this week.
-- Vikings DT, who I am a fan of, Jaleel Johnson (3 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 sack, 2 QB hits) is finally getting more playing time and is starting to deliver some numbers.
His last three games: 3.7 tackles, 0.7 sacks, 1.0 TFLs, 1.0 QB hits per game.
Not earth shattering, but rising…someone to keep watch of in deeper IDP leagues.
Snap Counts of Interest:
51 = Irv Smith
46 = K Rudolph
35 = Conklin
33 = Cook
27 = Mattison
06 = Boone
34 = Scarbrough
21 = Ty Johnson
16 = McKissic