What We Saw: Week 12

Is Cordarrelle Patterson the best waiver wire find of the year? Probably.

Vikings @ 49ers

Final Score: 49ers 34, Vikings 26

Writer: Justin Herrera (@Semtexmex93 on Twitter)

 

The Minnesota Vikings went on the road this week to play the San Francisco 49ers in Santa Clara. The announcers said it best; This game had a big playoff feel to it as both teams are in the hunt for one of the three wildcard spots. This game was a back-and-forth affair that showed the best of these two squads. In the end, the 49ers’ defense was able to force some turnovers that were turned into points. The game result was San Francisco 49ers 34, Minnesota Vikings 26.

 

Minnesota Vikings

 

Quarterback

 

Kirk Cousins: 20/32, 238 yards, 2 TD, INT

 

 

Kirk Cousins got his day started on the Vikings’ second drive, stringing together an 11-yard catch to Davin Cook with a 29-yard pass to Adam Thielen which then set up a two-yard TD to Thielen. Two drives later, Cousins stretched the field with Justin Jefferson, connecting on two passes for 45 yards, paving the way for yet another Thielen TD. This would be the last bit of production for Cousins in the first half.

The second half started off rough for Cousins with an interception by Azeez Al Shaair, On the very next drive, Cousins got back to work, throwing a 15-yard pass to Jefferson which set up a Jefferson to Cook 24 yard pass. Cousins’ struggles were apparent in the second to last drive, with the team down and needing a score. The Vikings had the ball on the six-yard line and couldn’t find the endzone. Cousins got one last chance to score, and he started the drive with a 23-yard bomb to Jefferson. Unfortunately, the Vikings would go four and out after this catch officially ended the game. Cousins did enough in this game to give Minnesota a chance to win, but he ultimately didn’t have enough to actually come through and pull it out.

 

Running Back

 

Dalvin Cook: 10 carries, 39 yards | 7 targets, 6 receptions, 64 yards

Alexander Mattison: 7 carries, 21 yards, TD| 3 targets, 2 receptions, 7 yards

Kene Nwangwu: 1 carry, 7 yards | 99-yard kick return TD

 

 

Dalvin Cook wasn’t very effective on the ground in this game, going for 39 rushing yards on 10 carries. The majority of his yards came on a 30-yard scamper up the middle in the third quarter. Cook was also a recipient of a 24-yard pass from Justin Jefferson. Unfortunately, Cook went down in the fourth quarter with a shoulder injury after being blown up by the Niners’ defensive line for a loss of four yards and a fumble.

Alexander Mattison was the recipient of the team’s lone rushing TD, as he scored on a six-yard run. Mattison’s fantasy outlook might be bright if Cook has to miss a week or go on IR. Kene Nwangwu scored on a 99-yard kick return, and almost scored on a punt return. He looked explosive in the few times with the ball in his hands and may be worth monitoring as a backup option in this offense if Cook does indeed miss time.

 

Wide Receiver/Tight End

 

Justin Jefferson: 9 targets, 4 receptions, 83 yards | 1/1, 24 passing yards

Adam Thielen: 7 targets, 5 receptions, 62 yards, 2 TDs

Tyler Conklin: 3 targets, 2 receptions, 25 yards

CJ Ham: 1 target, 1 reception, 16 yards

KJ Osborn: 2 targets, 1 reception, 5 yards

 

 

Adam Thielen got started on the second Vikings drive, as a flea-flicker left him wide open down the sideline for a 29-yard grab. This would set up a two-yard TD, Thielen’s first of the day. Two drives later Thielen would catch a 20 yard TD, giving him two on the day. Justin Jefferson did a lot of the big-play work in this game, starting his day on the fourth drive by beating Josh Norman for 30 yards. Then on the very next play, he snagged a 15-yard pass, collecting 45 of his 83 yards on this drive. On the second drive of the third quarter, Jefferson threw a pass to Dalvin Cook for 24 yards. Overall he was very effective as a deep threat and has big-play potential in each and every week for fantasy, but he wasn’t quite able to find the end zone this week. That’s the game we play with rostering deep threats, unfortunately. Tyler Conklin finally got involved on the second to last drive, getting two catches for 25 yards, before fumbling it away. He continues to be a promising piece that isn’t seeing as many looks as he probably should.

 

San Francisco 49ers

 

Quarterback

 

Jimmy Garoppolo: 17/26, 230 yards, TD, INT | 3 carries

 

 

Jimmy Garoppolo came out overthrowing his targets and not looking accurate at all. This led to him getting picked off by Hunter Smith while throwing into double coverage. Garoppolo came back on the next drive and threw a 37 yarder to Brandon Aiyuk to help set up a Deebo Samuel rushing TD. Jimmy G’s struggle would continue through the half as he would have a drive ended because of his lack of mobility when he was sacked for 10 yards. Jimmy G came alive on the final drive. Completing six of eight passes for 51 yards and finishing off the drive with a three-yard TD to JaJuan Jennings.

Garoppolo started the second half by tossing two 13 yard passes to George Kittle and Elijah Mitchell, helping the Niners score the go-ahead TD. Two drives later, Jimmy G connected with Aiyuk again for another 30-yard catch, setting up a field goal. Garoppolo missed out on another TD to Jennings, when the receiver couldn’t get two feet in for the touchdown. The last big play of the day for Jimmy G was a 26-yard dart to Kyle Juszczyk. Overall, Garoppolo played his role as game manager very well, but he can’t be trusted as a QB1 in any fantasy leagues.

 

Running Back

 

Elijah Mitchell: 27 carries, 133 yards, TD | 6 targets, 5 receptions, 35 yards

Jeff Wilson: 2 carries, 5 yards

 

 

Elijah Mitchell is a bad man. He’s becoming one of the best running backs in the league, as he was consistently eating up five yards or more per carry with his longest going for 15 yards. Overall Mitchell was a beast in this game, consistently keeping his feet chopping and falling forward for extra yards. Mitchell sees things that rookie running backs typically don’t see, which is why he’s becoming one of the best RBs in the game. Mitchell’s numbers were great with 27 carries, 133 yards, and a TD while contributing 5 receptions for 35 yards. This game shows how good Mitchell can be for fantasy football.

 

Wide Receiver/Tight End

 

Brandon Aiyuk: 6 targets, 3 receptions, 91 yards | 1 carry, 4 yards

Deebo Samuel: 4 targets, 1 reception, 12 yards | 6 carries, 66 yards, 2 TD

Kyle Juszczyk: 2 targets, 2 receptions, 27 yards

JaJuan Jenning: 3 targets, 2 receptions, 24 yards, TD

George Kittle: 2 targets, 1 reception, 13 yards

Charlie Woerner: 1 target, 1 reception, 11 yards

Trent Sherfield: 1 target, 1 reception, 5 yards

 

 

Deebo Samuel is a swiss army knife in San Francisco and his ability to take six carries for 66 yards and two TDs is the reason why he’s one of the best skill players in the game. Samuel scored on two end-arounds for 20 and three yards respectively. He’s a beast in the open field and should continue to beat defenses in a multitude of ways.

Brandon Aiyuk showed out once again in this game, setting up the first team touchdown by catching a 37-yard dart downfield. His two other catches went for 30 and 24 yards, Aiyuk had 6 targets during the game, but was overthrown on a couple so his day could have been even bigger. JaJuan Jennings came alive in this game, as the former Tennessee Volunteer scored a three-yard TD on a flat route.

George Kittle was mostly a blocker in this game, only catching one pass for 13 yards. This just goes to show how dominant of a player he is – the best receiving TE in the game receives only two targets and their team still scores 34 points on the back of three TDs on the ground. While it’s disappointing for fantasy managers, it’s still a testament to Kyle Shanahan’s ability to call a game. Overall, the 49ers receiving corps is hindered by the offense’s desire to run the ball 30 plus times a game. It won’t stop Deebo from being fantasy-relevant, but it doesn’t guarantee anyone else will be.

 

— Justin Herrera (@Semtexmex93 on Twitter)

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