Kickoff: Friday, December 25th at 4:30 PM ET
Location: Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, LA
Betting Odds: NO -7, 51 Total on Oddsshark
Kirk Cousins (Sit)
Since Week 10, Kirk Cousins has thrown for 35 or more passes in five of six games. The Vikings defense has forced their offense to throw way more than they would like and Cousins has been able to produce for fantasy during this stretch. That will likely need to happen again this week, but the Saints defense has been one the best in football (third in passing defense per Football Outsiders) and just held Patrick Mahomes to career-low yards per attempt. I would avoid using Cousins in my fantasy finals this week.
Dalvin Cook (Start, RB1)
Congratulations on reaching the finals because you drafted Dalvin Cook. He has been a true workhorse, carrying the ball at least 20 times in seven of the last eight games. This matchup is difficult as the Saints are the second-best run defense by DVOA (per Football Outsiders), but it’s Dalvin freaking Cook. I really don’t need to say anything else.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Justin Jefferson (Start, WR2), Adam Thielen (Start, WR2)
Justin Jefferson has taken the NFL by storm. He is close to breaking the rookie receiving yards record. He has taken over the WR1 role on this team and has out targeted Adam Thielen in four of the last five games. Jefferson also has dominated the deep targets in the offense, which has given him the yardage advantage on Thielen as well. But Thielen has been dominant in the red zone, where he leads the NFL in end zone targets with 18. Both Jefferson and Thielen are WR2’s like the Saints’ defense has been fantastic and can limit this Vikings offense.
New Orleans Saints
Drew Brees (Start)
Drew Brees looked pretty rusty in his return last week against the Chiefs. He completed only 15 of 34 passes, which is very un-Brees-like. He did manage to salvage his day in the second half with three touchdown passes. Brees is not a high-end starter this week without his favorite target Michael Thomas. But against a middling Vikings pass defense who struggle to generate pressure, Brees can be a lower-end QB1/streaming option.
Alvin Kamara (Start, RB1)
With Michael Thomas out again and Drew Brees back, Alvin Kamara has become the lead target in the offense again. Just in time for the fantasy playoffs. The Vikings have the 20th ranked run defense (per Football Outsiders) and were just torched by David Montgomery. Kamara is in a prime spot for an RB1 performance in the finals.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Emmanuel Sanders (Start, Flex), Jared Cook (Stream)
Emmanuel Sanders has been serviceable with Drew Brees under center for the Saints. Without Michael Thomas, Sanders elevates to the second target behind Kamara and should have some success against the struggling Vikings defense. Sanders is more of a floor play, so if you need a higher ceiling in your finals, I’d look elsewhere. Jared Cook is a boom/bust touchdown-dependent TE (pretty much like the rest of them). Without Thomas, Cook has a higher chance of catching a touchdown, so he’s a fine streamer.
-Frank Costanzo (@FrankQBList on Twitter, Zzzonked92 on Reddit)