What We Saw: Week 3

Mike Williams is finally the guy we all wanted him to be, and the rest of What We Saw in Week 3

Seahawks @ Vikings

Final Score: Seahawks 17, Vikings 30

Writer: Corey Saucier (@Deputy_Commish on Twitter, /u/Lights_Kamara_Action on Reddit)


This game seemed like it would stay neck-and-neck to the end, but ultimately Seattle’s offense sputtered and the Vikings took the game from them. It was actually somewhat strange to watch. Seahawks’ QB Russell Wilson had no answer for the Vikings Defense in the 2nd half and everything just stopped working for them. RB Chris Carson looked dynamic in the first half (including an explosive 30-yard TD run – easily his longest of the season) but mustered only a few touches in the second half. Seahawks’ WR D.K. Metcalf started out this game unguardable – connecting with Wilson for 3 grabs, 55 yards and a TD on Seattle’s opening drive alone. But early in the second quarter, things just completely changed for Seattle. In fact, the entire Seahawks’ offense was shut out from the point of Carson’s TD (11:12 left in 2nd quarter). So while it is true that the Seahawks’ offense sputtered, Minnesota’s defense certainly deserves some credit.

But the big story in this game was the absence of Vikings’ star RB Dalvin Cook, and a dominant performance from Kirk Cousins. Backup handcuff RB Alexander Mattison failed to find the end-zone against Seattle on Sunday, but he still had a ridiculous 171 total yards in Cook’s absence. Cousins remains a borderline starting option as a fantasy quarterback, but if we see more performances like we saw on Sunday, that could change in a big way this season. Let’s dive into what we saw:


Seattle Seahawks




Russell Wilson: 23/32, 298 yards, TD | 3 carries, 7 yards


To start out this game, Russ was cooking. Now, I don’t know if he was being allowed to cook or if he chose to cook on his own, but it was definitely happening. Wilson started out 4/5 on Seattle’s first possession, including this quick strike to WR D.K. Metcalf:



An illegal block penalty negated what would have been a first-down to WR Tyler Lockett on Seattle’s possession, and they ultimately had to settle for a field goal. After Seattle’s following possession put them up 17-7, that was it. They wouldn’t score again for the rest of the contest, and Minnesota went on to run away with the victory. Russ hasn’t been quite himself so far this season from a fantasy standpoint. He is still an explosive option and should be in your lineup if possible, but this offense needs to break out of its funk before Wilson can be trusted as the dynamic QB1 we’ve come to expect him to be.


Running Backs


Chris Carson: 12 carries, 80 yards, TD | 2 targets, 2 receptions, 2 yards

Alex Collins: 2 carries, 8 yards

Travis Homer: 3 targets, 3 receptions, 48 yards


Seattle starting RB Chris Carson started out with a dominant performance of his own – but just as the rest of the Seahawks’ offense, Carson disappeared in the second half – leaving his fantasy managers wanting more. Carson has been off to a pretty solid start this season, but his efficiency has been inconsistent at times. This slick 30-yard score early in the second quarter seemed to be the end of the inefficiency (and also had Pete Carroll fired up on the sidelines):



But after this play, Carson would go on to touch the ball three more times in total. Fellow Seahawks’ RB Alex Collins mixed in on a handful of touches here and there, but Minnesota stretching their lead caused Seattle to mostly abandon the running game throughout the rest of the second half.



Wide Receivers/Tight Ends


D.K. Metcalf: 9 targets, 6 receptions, 107 yards, TD

Gerald Everett: 5 targets, 5 reception, 54 yards

Tyler Lockett: 4 targets, 4 receptions, 31 yards

Will Dissly: 1 target, 1 reception, 39 yards


We felt like we might be gearing up for a WR D.K. Metcalf performance for the ages on Sunday afternoon due to his heavy involvement early on. Metcalf finished with a solid fantasy outing on Sunday, but once this offense took a nosedive, Metcalf’s performance went right along with it. As the tweet says, D.K. was making it look too easy early on for Seattle:



That Metcalf TD was his second of the young season, and Sunday’s outing was certainly his best of the young season – but you got the feeling watching this one that there were definitely some more plays that were left out on the field. Seattle’s fellow star WR Tyler Lockett had one of his trademark ‘quiet’ games against the Vikings on Sunday – finishing with just 4 targets on the afternoon. There was a scary moment where Lockett made a catch and his leg kind of bent back behind him awkwardly as he went to the ground. Thankfully Lockett was fine and came back into the game shortly afterward, but he wasn’t able to make much of an impact, otherwise. This pass-catching group will look to bounce back as a whole next week vs. San Francisco.


Minnesota Vikings




Kirk Cousins: 30/38, 323 yards, 3 TD


As I mentioned in the opening, we don’t always think of Minnesota QB Kirk Cousins as someone that’s a top option at QB for fantasy. We look to him for our bye-week fill-ins, we look to him if our starting fantasy QBs should happen to be out a few weeks due to injury. But Cousins is flashing QB1 potential so far this season, even without fantasy standout RB Dalvin Cook around to keep defenses honest. Cousins connected for 3 TD passes on the day – starting out with this savvy toss into tight coverage to hit TE Tyler Conklin to tie the game early:



Cousins also gave us this masterclass in fantasy quarterbacking – proving that running a play with only one shoe maybe isn’t the greatest idea:



Cousins also finished the game Sunday afternoon without a turnover. He was smart with the ball and efficient with the Vikings’ offense as a whole – especially in the second half. Cousins and the Minnesota offense were able to stay on the field, and more importantly, keep Russell Wilson and Seattle’s offense off the field.



Cousins dealt the Seahawks’ defense many psychological blows, escaping pressure and making plays out of situations where he had no business doing so, such as the connection with WR K.J. Osborn above. It may just be time for us to reimagine our perceptions of what Cousins can be as a fantasy QB this season.


Running Backs


Alexander Mattison: 26 carries, 112 yards | 8 targets, 6 receptions, 59 yards

Ameer Abdullah: 5 carries, 24 yards


We knew that with RB Dalvin Cook sidelined with an ankle injury, it would be RB Alexander Mattison getting the call for Minnesota against the Seahawks on Sunday. Mattison has filled in admirably for Cook thus far in his young career, and Mattison has also established himself as one of fantasy’s most reliable handcuffs. Cook has been no stranger to missing time due to injury in his career, and while Mattison hasn’t carved out much of a standalone role for himself, we know that Mattison can deliver in a substitution role – and that’s exactly what he did on Sunday, finishing with a career-high total in scrimmage yardage. The Vikings turned to Mattison to help them hold their second-half lead, and he was able to do just that. It wasn’t easy to scour Twitter for vids of Mattison, but here’s one of a nice-looking screen pass from some guy’s TV:



It will certainly be worth monitoring whether or not Cook can go next week, but if not, Mattison should be trusted in basically all formats.


Wide Receivers/Tight Ends


Jordan Jefferson: 11 targets, 9 receptions, 118 yards, TD

Adam Theilen: 9 targets, 6 receptions, 50 yards, TD

Tyler Conklin: 8 targets, 7 receptions, 70 yards, TD


We finally got our breakout performance from Minnesota’s star young WR Justin Jefferson on Sunday against a banged-up Seattle secondary. Jefferson didn’t break any ridiculous huge plays, but instead, he caught several short passes out in the flat that were designed to be turned into YAC opportunities – almost like an extension of the running game. Jefferson paced the Vikings’ pass-catchers in targets, catches, and yardages on Sunday, but the rest of this group still had a whale of a day. Speaking of, here’s just some guy named Adam Theilen:



TE Tyler Conklin also had a big week against Seattle, and he got the scoring started for the Vikings on the TD grab seen above. Conklin did a great job of finding space to get open in Seattle’s defensive backfield.



Corey Saucier (@Deputy_Commish on Twitter, /u/Lights_Kamara_Action on Reddit)

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