Game Previews: All Fantasy Relevant Players For Week 5
Vikings vs. Eagles
This isn’t how this season was supposed to go. The Vikings are one of the top offenses in football, having two wide receivers on pace for 1,000+ yards in Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen and a quarterback in Kirk Cousins that is on pace for almost 5,500 yards. They also have a defense headlined by Xavier Rhodes, Harrison Smith, along with what was supposed to be a stout defense carrying over from last season, but so far (not) so good. They come into Week 5 after a 1-2-1 start and things don’t get easier playing a pissed off Philadelphia team that just suffered a rough loss at the hands of Marcus Mariota and the Titans.
Will the Vikings hot offense continue?
The Vikings lit it up against the Rams and now take on an Eagles defense that made Mariota and his half-handed hipster glove look good. Sure, I think that the Eagles will come out with something to prove and they have a great pass rush, but there aren’t many teams that will slow down the Vikings pass attack this year. Adam Thielen is unstoppable – seriously. As I wrote on my season projections, he is on pace for 160 catches and over 1500 yards. He will add on more of the same while Stefon Diggs catches at least one score. I think the Vikings keep it going in the passing game, but the run game continues to suffer without Dalvin Cook who is most likely a game time decision (likely limited or out). Look for 40-50 passes from Captain Kirk.
Kirk Cousins: 33/47, 372 yards, 3 touchdowns
Adam Thielen: 11 catches, 123 yards, 1 touchdown
Stefon Diggs: 8 catches, 96 yards, 1 touchdown
How will the defense fare in this one?
Unfortunately for the Vikings defense, it doesn’t get any easier this week. The Eagles have another week of health from Carson Wentz as well as Alshon Jeffery getting in another full week off the injury report after going 8/105/1 in his first game of the season. I project that the Vikings will have two interceptions in this one, but it will be a shootout that comes down to the end. If I have the Vikings defense, I am worried at how game scripts have gone so far this year. I suspect all offense on both sides of the ball and am fine with benching the Vikings for streaming options until they build some trust.
Who is going to win this one?
My pick is that the Vikings move to 2-2-1 this week and grab a big win as the playoff race starts to take shape. I project that the Vikings win the shootout and give the eagles another heartbreaker. The Vikings will win this one 38-28.
Nearly a week removed from their embarrassing defeat at the hands of the Tennessee Titans (and their own incompetence), the Birds head home to face a Minnesota Vikings team which they eviscerated in last year’s NFC Championship game. Keep in mind, however, that a lot has changed since the Eagles penultimate playoff victory: Kirk Cousins is now slinging the rock for this high-octane Vikings pass offense, both Carson Wentz and Dalvin Cook have returned from serious injuries (well, sort of for the latter), and the Vikings’ best defensive player, Everson Griffen, will not be participating due to “mental health issues”. How then, with all of these changes considered, will the Eagles’ fantasy studs perform? Let’s see…
Will Wentz Pack a Wallop or Get Walloped?
This one is REALLY tough. Yes, the Vikings’ defense was torched through the air last Thursday, however this was with Jared Goff playing out-of-his-mind and throwing arguably the best receiving corps and offensive line in football right now. Wentz has shown mostly positive play, but rust still remains on his arm when you watch closely. He will have to be on point to best what remains one of the best secondaries in football. Luckily, he should have the benefit of getting back one of his two primary passing backs, providing him with not only massively better pass protection on 3rd down, but an added weapon in crunch time. I expect Wentz to struggle on some occasions as his receivers struggle to get open, but look for a strong overall performance as the stud QB continues to refine his play week to week.
Curing the Virus
We can only hope that a week of practice, and presumably an ample amount of scolding from the coaches, will cure the outbreak of “the dropsies” that crippled the Eagles’ pass catchers last weekend. Assuming this is the case, we can assume Nelson Agholor, Dallas Goedert, and Zach Ertz will be the primary weapons in this one. “What about Alshon dude?! He’s their best receiver! What are you thinking?!!”. Well, you may have forgotten that despite the torching of the Minnesota D at the hands of the Rams, they still possess one of the best outside CBs in the game in Xavier Rhodes. Alshon Jeffery is incredibly talented, but coverage from Rhodes has led to slow days for many of the league’s best receivers. On the other hand, Minnesota will be without their starting #2 corner Trae Waynes, and his backup Marcus Sherels; combine those losses with the poor pass coverage