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Well, no one is shocked by a 16-0 shutout by the Vikings over the Packers. Possibly, lamenting the low volume of fantasy stats in the cold but the Minny win is no surprise.
Brett Hundley struggled in the cold, but I think more so that the Packers O-Line is/was cratering, no Davante Adams, and then Jordy got hurt…and the excellent Vikings defense. The cold was the least of Hundley’s issues. The Pack might look a little better on offense in a dome Week 17 at Detroit. Maybe…if Adams is back. Green Bay may be without Jordy, Adams, and a couple of OLs…it’s a miserable end to a lost season.
Minnesota marches on. They didn’t play their best game, but it was a cold, sluggish game where it looked like the Vikings were happy to just sit on a lead and not take a lot of chances. Their defense handled its business. The Vikings are one win away from a #2 seed, with a long-shot hope at a #1 seed.
If the Eagles win and Carolina had lost…the Vikings would not have anything to play for Week 17. Carolina pulled a last-second victory over Tampa to keep the pressure on the Vikings for another week (Carolina owns a tie-breaker over the Vikings if they tie).
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- Case Keenum (14-25 for 139 yards, 1 TD/0 INT) was white hot going into this game, but then posted an underwhelming game in the cold -- in what was a fantastic matchup on paper.
You’ll want to blame the cold, and that did not help…but Keenum missed some big plays by a hair. Maybe, affected by the cold, but the opportunity was there. It wasn’t a game without options for FF points for Keenum.
Once the Vikings got up, they didn’t go totally conservative, but conservative enough to book a weak fantasy week for their offense. Next week, at home/in the dome, versus dead Chicago…Keenum and company will be fine.
-- If Week 17 was meaningless, I suspect Teddy Bridgewater would’ve gotten a full…and I would not have assumed he stepped in and has anything close to what Keenum has produced. Case K. is in a rhythm and Teddy B. comes in semi-cold with mostly backup receivers.
Bridgewater is on a countdown to free agency, and who is going to ‘really’ want him? No wildly impressive work in the NFL, but solid, and coming off a horrific injury? Thin-framed, likely injury prone…he’s going to find he’s going to get a Nick Foles post-Rams era treatment – a chance to be backup somewhere. After the bad teams draft a cheaper, fresher QB…tell me the team paying up to install Teddy as their franchise?
-- As the whole passing game went silent, so went Adam Thielen (2-24-0/6). Thielen had sprung loose on a deep pass down the left sidelines, but Keenum threw it about a yard too far for a missed 50+ yard TD gift.
-- Jamaal Williams (15-58-0, 0-0-0/3) took the lead role back…as the Green Bay RB roller coaster continues. Aaron Jones (3-13-0) got hurt in this game, early on, and didn’t return.
Next week, Williams may have no real competition taking on the soft run defense of the now-out-of-it Detroit Lions.
-- Sure, the weather made this game kinda sluggish in the passing game but I saw plenty of effort and opportunity…but something else seems wrong with Jordy Nelson (3-11-0/5). He seems to have lost all his zip/pop.
Partway through the game, Jordy hurt his arm and was taken out. It seems like Jordy has been ‘out’ (of it) for about 8-10 weeks now. It’s very possible that ‘age’ has caught up to Jordy Nelson in a hurry. He’s going to be 33.5 years old the middle of next regular season.
-- As the beatdown unfolded and as Jordy left the game, rookie WR Michael Clark (3-36-0/9) got a long, unexpected look. Clark is a tall dude…6’5.5”/220, a 4.53 40-time, 7.54 three-cone. He’s more of a ‘my, aren’t I tall for a WR?’ prospect than a legit star on the rise.
Clark is a clunky/awkward/not smooth but decent-ish WR, and someone I thought they’d try convert to a receiving tight end, but he’s working more a ‘big’ WR right now. He’s someone who we have as a possible name for the dynasty stash but has not found his way onto the master list. Not sure he will.
So, Adams was out. Jordy went out. And Jeff Janis (1-12-0/2) is forced in for some snaps…and yet Michael Clark gets 9 targets and Janis 2. The Jeff Janis career is about over. Moneyball/analytics people loved Janis and we never did, not for a second. Having the ‘right’ formula is everything…we had it on Janis.
-- Green Bay 2nd-year DT Kenny Clark (5 tackles, 2.0 sacks) is coming on fast – 5.5 tackles, 1.1 sacks per game in his last 4 games.
We liked Clark coming out of UCLA…a top DT run stopper, probably the best run stopper I scouted in the class, but now he’s penetrating the backfield more in year two.
Clark will be on the IDP stash list coming up.
Snap Counts of Interest…
61 = Cobb
53 = Allison
28 = Clark
27 = Jordy
43 = D Morgan
35 = K Rudolph
40 = Latavius
25 = McKinnon