Kickoff: Sunday, January 2nd at 8:20 PM ET
Location: Lambeau Field, Green Bay, WI
Betting Odds: MIN +6.5, 47.5 total via Oddsshark
Kirk Cousins (Start-able High-end QB2)
I’m ranking Kirk Cousins just barely outside of QB1 territory this week. He’s a better option than most, but I’m personally tempering expectations a bit. Cousins is averaging 15.2 fantasy points per game over his last five.
Besides the recent streak of mediocrity, Cousins will face a Packer defense allowing the 10th-fewest passing yards this year and will do so in a late-night prime-time game in the frigid Green Bay weather. That doesn’t sound like the type of guy you want to trust in a fantasy championship. Unfortunately, some managers may not have any better options.
Dalvin Cook (Start, RB1)
Dalvin Cook cleared COVID-19 protocols and will be active for Sunday’s game against the Packers. If Cook is on your team, you have to start him. He’s too valuable to keep on the bench in such a crucial fantasy week. The Packers’ defense is middle-of-the-road against running backs this year, and it should be a cold one in Lambeau on Sunday night. I expect the Vikings will try to establish the run early.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Justin Jefferson (Start, WR1), Adam Thielen (Sit), Tyler Conklin (Sit)
Adam Thielen had surgery for his ankle on Tuesday and will miss the rest of the regular season.
Justin Jefferson, on the other hand, has a lot going for him heading into Week 17. It’s a must-win game for Minnesota, the Vikings are underdogs and could have to throw the ball if they fall behind, and Thielen will be inactive. Jefferson is averaging 22.6 fantasy points per game over his last four and has scored three touchdowns over that same span. Jefferson is still a must-start, even with the cold weather forecast.
Tyler Conklin was trending in the right direction earlier this year, but he’s slowed down a bit since. Conklin has only reached double-digit fantasy production once in his last six games. Tyler averaged just 6.2 fantasy points per game over that same span. Managers should look elsewhere if they are in the championship this week.
Green Bay Packers
Aaron Rodgers (Start, QB1)
A toe injury has been limiting Aaron Rodgers for a few weeks now, but you wouldn’t know it by looking at his fantasy stats. Rodgers is averaging 26.6 fantasy points per game over his last five starts. AR12 will look to continue his impressive play against the Vikings this week, a team allowing the seventh-most fantasy points to the quarterback position. Minnesota is also allowing the sixth-most passing yards this year. Fire up Rodgers with confidence.
Aaron Jones (Start, Low-end RB1), A.J. Dillon (Start-able High-end Flex)
Aaron Jones has been a bit lackluster lately, with an average of only 14.35 fantasy points in his last two games. Still, Aaron Jones is the lead back in Green Bay and will continue to see most of the work despite the timeshare with A.J. Dillon. Jones may have been underwhelming the past two weeks, but it would be tough benching such a talented back. There should be enough opportunity for an impressive showing in championship week. The Vikings are allowing plenty of fantasy points to running backs and are conceding the fifth-most rushing yards in the league this year.
A.J. Dillon is still involved in Green Bay’s run game, but his opportunities have dwindled a bit lately. Dillon averaged just eight carries in his last two games. A.J. will have to be incredibly efficient to achieve a respectable fantasy stat line, so I recommend leaving him on the bench, especially if you are in the championship this week.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Davante Adams (Start, WR1), Marquez Valdes-Scantling (Sit), Allen Lazard (Sit)
Davante Adams is the only fantasy-relevant receiver in Green Bay that’s worth starting during championship week. The overall WR2 on the season has been unstoppable lately, averaging an insane 26.5 fantasy points per game over his last five. Managers should be licking their chops because the match-up couldn’t be better for championship week. The Vikings are conceding the second-most fantasy points to wide receivers this year.
Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Allen Lazard have been too inconsistent to trust this year, and the fantasy championship week will be no different. Lazard was okay last week and even had a touchdown, but that was likely because Valdes-Scantling was inactive. Look elsewhere for more dependable receiving options.
-Ryan Kruse (@ryanpkruse)
Curious if you take weather into account (GB vs. Minnesota)?