Kickoff: Sunday, November 19th, 8:20 PM ET
Location: Empower Field at Mile High, Denver Colorado
Betting Odds: DEN -2, 43.5 total via Odds Shark
Writer: Justin Mello (@JustinMelloNE on Twitter)
Joshua Dobbs (Start, QB2)
I am beyond impressed with what Joshua Dobbs has been able to do this year. I know we’re not talking about Patrick Mahomes here, but I’m not sure how many quarterbacks could learn a completely new playbook in such a short period of time and still have the level of success that Dobbs has had in two separate instances this season. What he is doing now with the Vikings is somehow even more impressive than what he did with the Cardinals. In two games with Minnesota, Dobbs has thrown three touchdown passes and has added two on the ground as well. He has been taking full advantage of the impressive weapons at his disposal, and he could potentially get All-Pro receiver Justin Jefferson added to the mix this week as well. The Broncos’ defense has been significantly better of late compared to early in the season, but they are still the second-lowest-graded team in pass coverage by PFF. This makes the journeyman quarterback a high-end QB2 who could potentially finish as a QB1, especially if Jefferson is active.
Alexander Mattison (Start, RB2), Ty Chandler (Sit)
Alexander Mattison is active and should be considered a RB2. Chandler is a sit.
I’m operating under the assumption that Alexander Mattison will not be medically cleared to play on Sunday night. If that is the case, Ty Chandler should see the bulk of the work just as he did down the stretch in Week 10. The only other running back who could potentially pose a threat to Chandler is Kene Nwangwu, but Chandler out-snapped Nwangwu 33 to three last week. Even as the workhorse, Chandler is still difficult to trust though. He only averaged three yards per carry last week while operating as the lead back. He also doesn’t profile as a pass catcher. He only has five receptions on the season which hurts his PPR upside. The good news is that the Broncos have allowed the most fantasy points to running backs this season and are coming off a game where they let James Cook run through them like a Pop Warner defense. The matchup and workload are enticing enough to make Chandler a solid RB2 option this week if you were able to snag him off waivers. On the off chance that Mattison is able to go, he becomes the RB2 and Chandler should remain on the bench.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Justin Jefferson (Out), Jordan Addison (Start, WR2), K.J. Osborn (Sit), T.J. Hockenson (Start, TE1)
Jefferson is inactive which elevates Addison to a WR2.
We are still anxiously waiting for Justin Jefferson to be activated off IR before Sunday. If he is, he is a no-brainer WR1 for fantasy. He has scored over 24 fantasy points in PPR formats in all four games that he’s started and finished this season. Dobbs has played well enough that he shouldn’t be a concern for Jefferson’s output, and I don’t believe the hamstring injury should be either. He has already been practicing in a limited fashion and Kevin O’Connell has been very clear that they are taking their time with him to make sure he’s ready. If they let him suit up on Sunday, it means they feel confident that he’s healthy and ready to play at his normal elite level.
Rookie phenom Jordan Addison has filled Minnesota’s WR1 role more than admirably with Jefferson on IR. The talent is unquestionably there. There are some concerns this week, however. If Jefferson plays, Addison will be demoted to the de facto third receiver for the Vikings if you include T.J. Hockenson. Additionally, Addison predominantly lines up on the outside which means he could draw frequent coverage from star cornerback Patrick Surtain II who is coming off a game where he severely limited Stefon Diggs. Things seem to be trending in the wrong direction for Addison this week, but he is explosive and talented enough to still be a WR3. He could even be considered a WR2 if Jefferson remains inactive.
K.J. Osborn is trending toward playing this week, but it is still uncertain given the concussion he suffered in Week 9. Regardless, Osborn has only topped 50 yards once this year, and there is too much ambiguity around his status (as well as the status of Jefferson) to trust him in your starting lineup. This is especially true because he doesn’t play until Sunday night. I’d look in another direction.
Tight end T.J. Hockenson is an absolute smash start this week. Joshua Dobbs clearly has a great rapport with him considering Hockenson posted ten receptions for over 100 yards and a touchdown in the first half last week. They also coincidentally worked out together in the offseason which now makes perfect sense given the chemistry we’ve seen on the field. It could get even better because Week 11 provides a mouth-watering matchup. The Broncos have allowed the second-most fantasy points to tight ends this season and have allowed at least five receptions to tight ends every week since Week 4. Hockenson could be in for a monster outing.
Russell Wilson (Start, QB2)
The ride for Broncos country has been rugged and bumpy, to say the least. Things are still far from perfect, but the road beneath them is at least paved now. Russell Wilson has taken a sizable step forward from last year and has better numbers than most are giving him credit for. He has 18 touchdown passes and just four interceptions which is shockingly impressive. I still don’t think we’ll ever quite see the Wilson we saw in Seattle again, but it’s clear that Russ isn’t completely cooked. The Vikings lack apparent talent on defense, but defensive coordinator Brian Flores has done a great job getting the most out of his unit. In fact, the Vikings are the sixth-highest-graded defense in coverage by PFF. The matchup is nothing to be terrified about, but it’s also not an overly favorable one. Wilson should be treated as a middle-of-the-pack QB2.
Javonte Williams (Start, RB2), Samaje Perine (Sit), Jaleel McLaughlin (Sit)
We are finally seeing workhorse volumes from Javonte Williams. Over his last two games, he has played 84 snaps and has logged 55 touches. He hasn’t necessarily been the most efficient, but at least the usage is there. The Vikings’ run defense has been formidable this year while allowing the sixth-fewest fantasy points to running backs. They haven’t even allowed a 100-yard rusher since Week 2. This causes reason for concern, but Williams still figures to touch the ball 20+ times which makes him difficult to remove from your RB2 slot.
I have been impressed with both Samaje Perine and Jaleel McLaughlin when they are actually on the field. The problem is that neither of them has played more than a third of Denver’s offensive snaps in any of their last three games. For as long as Williams is dominating this backfield, Perine and McLaughlin can’t be trusted in your lineup.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Courtland Sutton (Start, WR3), Jerry Jeudy (Start, Flex), Marvin Mims Jr. (Sit), Adam Trautman (Sit)
I usually am adamant that touchdowns are an unpredictable stat that you shouldn’t read too much into, but Courtland Sutton is an absolute touchdown magnet. He has found the end zone in seven of nine games this season which is especially impressive considering this offense doesn’t score that much in general. Sutton’s overall volume has been inconsistent, but he has played 87% of offensive snaps this season and is the clear WR1 in Denver. The Vikings have a respectable defense that limits Sutton’s floor, but the touchdown upside is too great to ignore. He is a high-risk, high-reward WR3 in Week 11.
Teammate Jerry Jeudy has underwhelmed this season to put it mildly. He is second on the team in targets, but he hasn’t done much with that. PFF ranks his matchup advantage this week as the 45th-most favorable of all wide receivers. In other words, there’s no reason to believe this will be a breakout week. It’d probably be difficult to find a better Flex option despite his lackluster performances thus far, so Jeudy can be considered just that given his involvement in the offense. Marvin Mims Jr. has become a complete afterthought in Denver and should not be in starting consideration.
Adam Trautman is used as more of a blocker than anything. He only has four receptions in as many weeks. There is no reason to start him regardless of the matchup.