Vikings @ Bears
There weren’t a ton of fireworks in this Monday night matchup, but QB Kirk Cousins was ultimately able to lead his team to a win against the Bears. Cousins was able to get a couple of monkeys off his back – his first career win on Monday Night Football, and his first win against Chicago as a Viking. There were also a couple of big takeaways from this game for the Bears as well. First, their offense was absolutely terrible – from both a fantasy perspective and a real-life perspective as well. Secondly, QB Nick Foles sustained an injury in the last minute of the game and had to be carted off. With Chicago headed to their bye week, it’s tough to say who will emerge as their starter in Week 12. What could all of this mean for your fantasy team as the fantasy playoffs are right around the corner? Let’s dive into what we saw:
Kirk Cousins: 25/36, 292 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT, 1 sack | 1 carry, -1 yard
As mentioned above, it was a long-awaited win on Monday Night Football for QB Kirk Cousins. Cousins hasn’t been great for fantasy purposes this year, and his Monday night performance was about average to his fantasy production this season. Cousins threw 2 TDs to WR Adam Thielen and was able to move the ball consistently in the second half. Even with the Bears’ run defense keeping RB Dalvin Cook mostly bottled up for the first three quarters, it didn’t lead to a huge increase in fantasy output from Cousins this week. While Cousins won’t garner starting QB attention in most redraft formats, he might be a decent bye-week fill-in over the next few weeks – Minnesota faces off against Dallas, then Carolina, then Jacksonville.
Dalvin Cook: 30 carries, 96 yards | 4 targets, 4 receptions, 16 yards
Alexander Mattison: 2 carries, 4 yards
The main story of the night was how well the Bears’ defense had bottled up Vikings’ RB Dalvin Cook, but then Cook exploded for 55 of his 96 rushing yards in the 4th quarter. While Cook failed to find the end-zone, he did finish with over 100 scrimmage yards for a third straight game. Cook’s longest official run of the night was only 13 yards – although he did have a 36-yard yard scamper up the left sideline that was called back on a holding penalty on TE Kyle Rudolph. Cook may have fallen behind Saints’ RB Alvin Kamara for the RB1 overall spot, but Cook is still a fantasy stud that must be started every week in all formats. Vikings’ backup RB Alexander Mattison still retains value as a handcuff to Cook but holds no flex value of his own.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Justin Jefferson: 10 targets, 8 receptions, 135 yards
Adam Thielen: 7 targets, 4 receptions, 43 yards, 2 TDs
Chad Beebe: 2 targets, 2 receptions, 16 yards
Kyle Rudolph: 5 targets, 4 receptions, 63 yards, 1 fumble
It was an outstanding night for the Vikings’ top two WRs on Monday night as both Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson topped 20 fantasy points in most PPR formats. Thielen turned 4 catches into 2 TDs, including a super nifty one-handed grab midway through the first quarter:
ADAM THIELEN ONE-HAND TD.
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) November 17, 2020
Thielen’s second TD grab came early in the 4th quarter and essentially put the game away for Minnesota. Standout rookie WR Justin Jefferson had another huge game on Monday night. Jefferson has definitely been a boom-or-bust receiver thus far in his young career, but it will be tough to bench him with three straight positive matchups over the next three weeks (Dallas, Carolina, Jacksonville). Jefferson busted a monster play for 54 yards late in the third quarter. It’s also worth mentioning that Jefferson was Kirk Cousins’ preferred target on 3rd downs – Jefferson finished with 5 catches on 5 targets for 102 yards on 3rd down alone. Both of these WRs should be considered worth starting over the next few weeks.
Nick Foles: 15/26, 106 yards, 1 INT | 1 carry, 2 yards
As mentioned in the intro, Bears’ QB Nick Foles was carted off with either a hip or leg injury with just over 30 seconds remaining in Monday night’s game. Foles had an abysmal night otherwise – barely topping 100 yards and throwing an INT with no TDs. Foles did lead the Bears offense on a couple of field-goal drives in the first half, but they totaled only two first-downs in the entire second half. After Foles had his best game of the season last week against the Titans, it’s a shame that his future is uncertain after sustaining a seemingly pretty severe injury. While Foles wasn’t really on anyone’s fantasy radar, we wish him a speedy recovery and hope his injury isn’t too severe.
Ryan Nall: 1 carry, 0 yards | 2 targets, 1 reception, 18 yards
Lamar Miller: 2 targets, 2 receptions, 6 yards
Artavis Pierce: 3 carries, 9 yards
This had to be one of the worst fantasy performances from a group of RBs in any NFL game this season. The Bears were without starting RB David Montgomery on Monday night, and they leaned on WR Cordarrelle Patterson to handle most of the work out of the backfield. All three Bears’ RBs combined for 9 rushing yards, 3 catches, and 24 receiving yards – and RB Ryan Nall‘s 18-yard reception came with less than 30 seconds left in the game. While it’s likely Montgomery will return after Chicago’s Week 11 bye, if he doesn’t, it will be tough to trust any other Bears’ RB – as it appears that Patterson would handle the bulk of the carries.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Cordarrelle Patterson: 2 targets, 2 receptions, 19 yards, 1 TD | 12 carries, 30 yards
Allen Robinson: 9 targets, 6 receptions, 43 yards
Anthony Miller: 7 targets, 2 receptions, 28 yards
Cole Kmet 3 targets, 1 reception, 7 yards
It was a tough night for Chicago’s pass-catching group against the Vikings on Monday night. With Nick Foles only throwing for 106 yards, there just wasn’t enough work to go around to provide many opportunities. WR Cordarrelle Patterson bolstered his fantasy output with 30 rushing yards and a 104-yard kickoff return TD. WR Allen Robinson‘s 6 receptions helped his performance in PPR formats, but his 10.3 PPR points tied for his second-lowest output of the season. It will be interesting to see how Nick Foles’ injury plays out. Bears’ backup QB Mitchell Trubisky has been out with a shoulder injury as well. If Foles and Trubisky are unable to play in Week 12 and Chicago is forced to start third-stringer Tyler Bray, it would be a definite hit to all of Chicago’s skill players’ values. This will be a development that is certainly keeping an eye on if you have Bears’ skill players rostered.
— Corey Saucier (@Deputy_Commish on Twitter, LightsKamaraAction on Reddit)