2019 Dynasty/Fantasy Football Analysis: Week 15 – Vikings 39, Chargers 10
You could judge this game one of two ways…
1) The Vikings got 7 turnovers and crushed the Chargers. Minnesota is too awesome for LAC.
2) The Vikings were only up 12-10 right before the half, despite getting a few turnovers to that point, and then with LAC driving into the red zone to take the lead with seconds remaining before half…a fumble, the ball bounded around between players, and then it got scooped up and the Vikings took it for a long defensive score for a 19-10 halftime lead. The Chargers had the ball right after half and fumbled the first play again…and the dam kinda broke and Minnesota won the 2nd-half 20-0 on their way to a 39-10 win. Seven turnovers will do that to you.
Minnesota might have won anyway, but seven turnovers glossed over a game where the Vikings weren’t all that sharp, per se. Regardless, you take that road win and thank the football gods. Had Minnesota lost it would have amped the Rams up more on the SNF game (and maybe made a difference) and Green Bay would have had a nice cushion for the division. Now, Week 16 is the showdown…10-4 MIN vs. 11-3 Green Bay…at Minnesota.
It’s not that much of a showdown, really. If Green Bay loses, then they can still win the division by beating Detroit Week 17. The Vikings need to win out and for Green Bay to lose out. Most likely, no matter what happens Week 16…Green Bay is winning the division and the Vikings will be the 6th-seed playing at one of SF-SEA-NO-GB. In order to have any shot at a better wild card seed or winning the division, the Vikings must beat Green Bay this week.
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- The biggest news from this game, creating the biggest issue for Week 16…Dalvin Cook (9-27-0, 1-16-0/3) left the game with a shoulder injury.
He got tackled in the open field midway into the game and went down innocently enough…but then you could see he landed on his shoulder somewhat and he started writhing around in pain. It did not look good at all. He now has issues related to both shoulders.
Will he play Week 16?
Some are reporting he’s done for the year. Mike Zimmer says he could’ve gone back in. My early sources seem to think he will play, and that there will be an obvious risk of reaggravation…a fairly high one, but because of the magnitude of the game and the wonderful world of painkillers – he’s going to be active and create a lot of drama for fantasy, because they play on Monday night. He may be the key to a win-loss for FF owners, and Cook has all the risk in the world – reaggravation, split workload, pulled back in a big lead/deficit.
Like with most of these shoulder injury RBs…if they are active, you’re forced to start them and hope for the best.
More FFM’ers seem to be facing Cook this title week, not possessing him (if he’s even involved in your title game). If you own Cook, you need the backups to give you flexibility in case Cook is a late scratch. If you are facing him, you want to get to these Vikings backup RBs to block the Cook owner…back them into a corner. Getting the Vikings’ backup RBs could win you the title because your opponent might take a zero on MNF potentially with Cook.
But which Vikings’ backup RB?
Alexander Mattison (DNP) would be the beyond obvious choice if he were not also injured. Will he play Week 16? Unknown at this point. He wasn’t even practicing last week. There will be a rush to get him ready for this week. If Mattison is active…he’s the top alternative to Cook.
There is a wrinkle in all this…Mike Boone (13-56-2) -- because Boone is more talented than Cook or Mattison, and both Cook and Mattison might be out and force Boone to be the starter. I type ‘force’ because Mike Zimmer does not want Boone playing, not really. He’d rather have Cook with half a shoulder or Mattison limping around than go to the more talented Boone…why, I do not know, but I know it’s 100% true. Ameer Abdullah might get touches to split with Boone, just because Zimmer is Zimmer.
If Cook and Mattison are out, Boone will be a potential RB1 for the week…he’s that talented…even if sharing with Abdullah. If Cook is out and Mattison plays, then Mattison is probably an RB1 (depending on his ankle injury impact). Abdullah is in the picture potentially as well, as a spoiler split with everyone.
I don’t know if any of us will know the Cook-Mattison status by Tuesday night waiver claims. It will probably be a Friday-Saturday-Monday thing.
My assumptions if I had to predict it Tuesday before noon (when I’m writing this)…
1) Cook plays and then who knows how long he goes or how much work load he takes.
2) Mattison has all week and an extra day to get ready. As soon as we see him practicing ‘limited’ early in the week…he’s likely playing. If he hasn’t even practiced early in the week…he’s in doubt.
3) Boone…you should get if Cook-Mattison are both owned, just as a wild card shot at Cook-Mattison both declared out before Saturday or whenever (don’t forget, 3 games Saturday).
4) If the owner has Cook-Mattison, and then they get Boone…stuff Abdullah on your roster if you have the space to – just in case Cook and Mattison out, but then Abdullah named surprise starter (because he’s ‘experienced’). It’s not likely, but just for gamesmanship…if you can spare the spot to do it (assuming this is title game week and no need for extra depth for next week).
2020 College Football Metrics Season Coming Soon
It’s almost time…
Time to start the studies, scouting, grading, ranking of the 2020 NFL Draft/Dynasty Rookie Draft class. CFM, as always, will have scouting reports on all the top prospects and small-school sleepers and everything in-between as we grade/rank over 600+ prospects by draft day. We’ll cover the East-West Shrine, Senior Bowl, NFL Combine, and NFL Draft along the way and build to our weekly Top 200+ Dynasty Rookie Draft rankings (including IDPs).
We’ll also look back at the 2019 NFL Draft and 2019 Dynasty Rookie Draft rankings and re-do the 2019 Rookie Draft to see where we’re at and what items undervalued (now) to target in 2020. So much scouting to do – the Dynasty/Fantasy studies never end and are constantly fluid. It all starts again in early-mid January 2020.
More details and specific launch date as we get closer to the end of the 2019 regular season.
-- Melvin Gordon (7-28-0, 5-36-0/7) fumbled early in the game, and that was forgiven the next series. Gordon then fumbled right out of halftime and disappeared the rest of the game. Justin Jackson (5-15-0, 2-2-0/2) got extra work in his place in this blowout.
I assume Gordon will be right back to his normal role this week. Anthony Lynn has no reason to bench/piss off Gordon at this stage. Lynn doesn’t know if he’ll be back as coach, nor if Gordon will be a Charger if Lynn is back. Unless Lynn says different, assume coaches do what they always do – ride their handpicked guy no matter what, even if their shoulder is hanging off their body by a thread.
-- Remember, when Hunter Henry (2-29-0/2) came back from his injury and was awesome Week 6?
Since Week 7, eight games played, Henry has just 2 TDs.
He’s been under 50 yards in five of his last 7 games, including his last three games under 40 yards.
His last three games of catch counts: 2-2-2.
Favorable matchup this week, but can HH take advantage? Can Rivers take advantage?
-- Adam Thielen (3-27-0/3) was back from his hamstring injury. He looked fine but only played 51% of the snaps, but the Vikings got up so much that they didn’t need to push him back. I would assume normal game for AT this week, with a low risk of reoccurrence of his hamstring.
The whole passing game was down because: (1) LAC has a top 5 pass defense, and (2) this game was out of hand with turnovers so no need to juice it through the air.
Snap Counts of Interest:
30 = Ekeler
25 = Gordon
13 = JJax
46 = Diggs
33 = Thielen
28 = Cook
21 = Boone
15 = Abdullah