What We Saw: Washington Redskins vs. Minnesota Vikings

Ryan Kruse (@ryanpkruse) breaks down what he saw in the Thursday night game between the Redskins and the Vikings.

Washington Redskins vs Minnesota Vikings


Washington Redskins




  • Case Keenum: 12/16, 130 yards
  • Dwayne Haskins: 3/5, 33 yards, 1 INT


Case Keenum started out looking okay on his first drive. He converted a tough third down but ended his first series with an ugly fumble. He bounced back well after the fumble for a nice drive downfield but the Redskins had to settle for three points because Keenum couldn’t make it happen near the goal line. The rest of the first half was more of the same story. Keenum would drive downfield, making some good passes on the way there. Then he would make a few bad plays in the red zone and have to settle for a field goal. Surprisingly, Keenum did not start the first half. He was eventually ruled out with a concussion.

Dwayne Haskins came in to start the second half but his first drive was a lackluster three-and-out. He started his second drive with a nice pass into a tight window but he took a bad sack (as young quarterbacks will do) and the Redskins had to settle for a field goal… again. Haskins began his third series with an interception on his first NFL throw to college teammate Terry McLaurin. The ball was thrown too high but was likely catchable. Haskins simply couldn’t get it together tonight.


Running Backs


  • Adrian Peterson: 14 carries, 76 yards | 2 targets, 2 receptions, 27 yards
  • Wendell Smallwood: 2 carries, 9 yards | 2 targets, 1 reception, 11 yards


Adrian Peterson didn’t have any flashy plays to begin the game but he had good efficiency, averaging four yards per carry in the first quarter. Although his efficiency took a bit of a dip in the second quarter, Peterson had a beautiful 14-yard run where I lost count how many jump-cuts he made. He had two great plays to start the ‘Skins’ second drive of the second half and continued to make some good runs here and there. The Redskins had an ugly second half and Peterson was one of the only players looking as least passable out there. He ended up with about 12 fantasy points, his second-highest total of the season. Wendell Smallwood began his night by catching a tough first down where he was immediately hit hard as he turned around. He was rarely used outside the passing game and his stats reflect that.


Wide Receivers/ Tight Ends


  • Terry McLaurin: 6 targets, 4 receptions, 39 yards
  • Jeremy Sprinkle: 2 targets, 2 receptions, 12 yards
  • Paul Richardson Jr.: 4 targets, 3 receptions, 34 yards


Terry McLaurin didn’t get started until there were about four minutes left in the first quarter but he looked good even with Xavier Rhodes covering him for the most part. McLaurin had two end zone targets to begin the second quarter but the first was pass interference on Rhodes and the second was almost intercepted. “Scary Terry” ran some excellent routes, made some great catches, and was the team leader for receptions in the first half. McLaurin had an overthrown ball bounce off his hands and right into the Vikings’ secondary. That completed his unsatisfying fantasy performance for the night.

For a guy with very limited usage the past month, Paul Richardson Jr. was the most consistent Redskins wide receiver in the first quarter but he didn’t see any targets in the second quarter if I’m not mistaken. Still, with how much Keenum was spreading the ball around, his four targets in the first half is notable. Unfortunately, he didn’t see any more targets once Haskins was throwing the ball. Jeremy Sprinkle had a pair of nice catches. I’m mentioning that because there’s pretty much nothing else to mention when it comes to the Redskins’ receivers.


Minnesota Vikings




  • Kirk Cousins: 23/36, 285 yards | 2 carries, 2 yards


After Kirk Cousins’ impressive fantasy performance last week, many were wondering which Cousins we would see this week. Luckily, he had a good match-up with which to work and began the game with respectable efficiency. Cousins was playing well in the first half but failing to capitalize on some big chances. He drove his team to the red zone but took multiple sacks and had to settle for three instead. The rest of Cousins’ half was more of the same until the Vikings had a nice two-minute drill before the half and finally scored their first touchdown. Cousins only had one completion in the first half and it was on a throw-away. It’s not that he was playing terribly in the second half or anything like that, the Vikings just played like they normally do. Once they knew the game was theirs to lose they relied heavily on the run and didn’t bother chasing after points.


Running Backs


  • Dalvin Cook: 23 carries, 98 yards, 1 TD | 6 targets, 5 receptions, 73 yards
  • Alexander Mattison: 13 carries, 61 yards | 2 targets, 2 receptions, 3 yards


Dalvin Cook didn’t have any flashy plays until he had a beautiful catch-and-run for 18 yards in the second quarter. The catch must have pumped him up because Cook broke off a couple good runs right after his reception including one that almost made it to the end zone. Cook had more fantastic catch-and-runs before the half including a season-long 31-yarder that he almost took to the house yet again. Thankfully, the Vikings let him punch it in for an easy six points before the half. The Vikings continued to rely on Cook to burn clock in the second half and he did well to get those difficult short yards. They were also careful to give him plenty of rest when the Vikings knew they pretty much had the game wrapped up. Alexander Mattison continued to get plenty of work, especially in the second half. He had a few fantastic garbage-time runs. One where he shook about four or more defenders and another to keep the clock running with about two minutes left.


Wide Receivers/ Tight Ends


  • Stefon Diggs: 7 targets, 7 receptions, 143 yards
  • Kyle Rudolph: 3 targets, 3 receptions, 17 yards
  • Irv Smith Jr.: 3 targets, 3 receptions, 21 yards
  • Bisi Johnson: 2 targets, 2 receptions, 27 yards


Stefon Diggs started the game with two early catches but fumbled the second, ending a promising opening drive for the Vikings. His third catch brought him up to 70 total yards and eight fantasy points, so the fumble wasn’t too damaging. Unfortunately, that’s all he got in the first half. Diggs started with a great catch on the Vikings’ first drive of the second half where he took a big helmet-to-helmet hit but did well to come down with the ball. He continued to make great catches including one where he barely tip-toed two feet down before he fell out of bounds. Overall, fantasy owners should be pleased with his performance. Kyle Rudolph had an encouraging early target on the Vikings’ first drive of the night but only got one more target for the rest of the first half. Rudolph had another target early in the second half and then was not targeted again for the rest of the game. His usage this year has been seriously concerning for fantasy fans. Besides Diggs and Rudolph, there isn’t much to report when it comes to Vikings receivers. Do you want me to talk about Irv Smith Jr. and Bisi Johnson? I think both are rostered in less than 3% of leagues. Neither is worth a mention unless one happens to score a touchdown.



–Ryan Kruse



(Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire)

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