Wow, what a game! I think of all the teams in the NFL 2017, watching anything involving the Baltimore Ravens is the worst experience I have each week. I literally don’t care about anyone on that team, for fantasy, besides the kicker. The only team I think is worse to watch week-to-week is Miami. If Miami and Baltimore ever play a game this season I might go into a coma watching it. Thank God that would never happen. Wait…
The score was 24-16 Vikings, but honestly this should have been 30+ to 0-10. The very first drive of the game, the Vikings cruised down the field and Case Keenum took a one-on-one shot from 30+ yards out to Laquon Treadwell…the defender basically held/grasped one of Treadwell’s arm, forcing Laquon to try to operate with his one good arm…and he tried the ball bounced off his hands softly and the defender detached from Treadwell and grabbed the easy INT. Every other play an NFL games is a penalty flag that leaves you scratching your head a lot of the time…and then you see blatant DPI like this at the goal line without any other players around, and the refs don’t see a thing. Unbelievable. It was that kinda game for the Vikings – dominating but kept closer on fluky plays and a meaningless Ravens TD pass with 0:00 left on the clock. This was really a Vikings beat down.
Minnesota will win this week in London vs. CLE to go to 6-2 and head off to a BYE. Their remaining schedule is an easy path to 10-6 or better and an NFC North title sans Aaron Rodgers playing. The only thing that could stop the Vikings from winning the North is some kinda epic collapse, but nothing like that would happen to Minnesota under Mike Zimmer would it? I mean, besides last year when it happened…
The Baltimore Ravens are barely worthy of being in the NFL. How they’ve won three games is beyond me. They could win tonight on TNF and go to 4-4 and be in the playoff hunt still. If they get to 8—8 or better this season there is not football god.
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- At a certain point in this game, the Vikings realized gold by running to the right off-tackle on the Ravens and Latavius Murray (18-113-1, 0-0-0/1) led the charge. You see the 100+ yard game and are reinvigorated by Lat, and maybe worry for Jerick McKinnon (14-47-0, 3-10-0/4), which reasonable but I don’t think any major switch has happened. These two are going to share snaps and touches all year…but McKinnon is the guy.
Murray popped two nice runs off right tackle, a 35 and 29 yarder…16 carries for 49 yards on all his other totes. McKinnon nearly popped a couple but got shoestring tackled on them. Murray looked back to full speed and his runs were mostly untouched efforts. McKinnon churned for tougher yardage. I walked away from this re-watch feeling mostly fine about McKinnon. But Murray isn’t going away.
-- Adam Thielen (5-41-0/12) is an unreal talent…but look at his flimsy stat line against the Ravens. You cannot trust/rely upon Case Keenum (20-31 for 188, 0 TD/1 INT) or anything in the Mike Zimmer offense. It’s going to be an up and down affair every week.
That’s why I advocate selling Stefon Diggs (DNP) when he gets cleared because Diggs left weeks ago with an injury after a hot start and when Minnesota was high-flying on offense for a few weeks. Diggs walks back into the same issue with Keenum/Zimmer…an output roller coaster.
If you think Teddy Bridgewater is riding in on a white horse to save the day, think again. It’s the offense more than anything else. Mike Zimmer is the new Jeff Fisher. The last four weeks for Keenum: 196.5 yards per game and 2 TD/2 INT. Keenum had one big game…against terrible, injured Tampa Bay several weeks ago.
I love Thielen and I’ll use him every week, but I’ll trade him hot in redraft if I need to. Thielen is as good a WR as there is in the NFL…but he has 2 TDs in his past 13 games, all coming one game Week 16 last year. Thielen has had at least five catches in every game this season…he’ll get you catches and yards but not TDs with this offense as currently constructed.
-- I’d love to love Laquon Treadwell (3-28-0/4) but this system cannot support Thielen and Diggs hardly, so no way it supports a 3rd WR when Diggs returns.
Just note – I can see flashes of ‘it’ with Laquon Treadwell the past few weeks. There will be a day, but not with Mike Zimmer and with Thielen-Diggs ahead of him.
-- I nod off when watching the Ravens on offense, which is probably why I’m always shocked that Buck Allen (6-20-0, 8-29-0/11) has so many catches in games. He has a lot of catches and like no yards to ever go with it. He may be the most boring, start-able RB in fantasy. I just cannot do it.
His fantasy PPR points in games the past 5 games: 7.8, 10.4, 18.5, 9.6, 12.9…useful…but dull.
-- Some people are asking if it’s Michael Campanaro’s (3-31-0/3, 1-19-0) time with all the Ravens’ WR injuries. Sadly, no. I wish it were, but this Ravens offense makes Mike Zimmer look like Mike Leach/Washington State. Joe Flacco can barely complete a forward pass, except dump offs to Buck Allen for no yards.
Don’t even ask me about Chris Moore (2-36-1/8). You have to be kidding me.
Griff Whalen (4-23-0/6) is the best non-Campanaro WR they have…and he won’t matter either.
-- The best thing about either offense is their kickers…
Justin Tucker (3/3 FG, 1 XP) has hit 3 FGs in three straight games. 10-12-14 points in each game the past three weeks. In a redraft, not a must keep but you want to try to hold as the schedule opens up and gives the Ravens a chance to stall drives more in FG range as they’re want to do. I’d only ditch Tucker for Greg Zuerlein – if anyone drops Z during his/this BYE week, I roster him, start Tucker this week and then trade/drop Tucker Week 9 to go to one kicker (Z) for the ROS (Tucker on a Week 10 BYE).
Feel free to just ride Tucker the ROS, and just grab a one-week rental for his Week 10 BYE. Tucker is one of the game’s greats and always undervalued what he brings to the table.
Kai Forbath (6/6 FGs) is another guy we’ve gently pushed in lieu of Tucker or Z. He hit six FGs in this game. He has 8-10-24 points his last three games. He’s a poor man’s Dan Bailey, but suddenly struggling with XPs…and went 0/1 in this game on an XP attempt. Everyone rushed in to get him after 6 Week 7, but then he’ll get nothing but XPs versus the Browns and start being dumped, maybe. He’s a viable option among kicker names. I like Steven Hauschka better among non-Tucker/Z names.
Snap Counts of Interest…
65 = Thielen
55 = Treadwell
35 = McKinnon
31 = Latavius
58 = Griff Whalen
58 = Chris Moore
32 = Michael Campanaro
41 = Allen
16 = Collins