What We Saw: Week 14

The QB List staff catches you up on everything you missed during Week 14 of the 2020 NFL season.

Vikings @ Buccaneers

 

Early on in this game, the Vikings had a chance to establish a significant lead against the Buccaneers. They were in scoring position on each of their first four possessions. One drive ended in a touchdown, two of the drives ended in a missed field goal, and the other ended in a punt thanks to a sack on third down. They came out of those drives with six total points and then it was all Tampa Bay after that. It’s worth noting that Vikings kicker Dan Bailey missed all three of his field-goal attempts and his lone extra-point try. The Buccaneers outscored the Vikings 26-8 after their first score, cruising to an easy 26-14 victory. Tampa Bay will travel to Atlanta next week and Minnesota will host the Bears.

 

Minnesota Vikings

 

Quarterback

 

Kirk Cousins: 24/37, 225 yards, 1 TDs, 6 sacks, 1 fumble lost | 5 carries, 41 yards

 

Kirk Cousins looked good early on in this game. He was taking a back seat to the running game but was also moving the offense fairly easily. The Buccaneers pass rush really started to hit home as the game wore on. Cousins was under constant pressure and took six sacks; one resulted in his lost fumble. He surprisingly added 41 yards with his legs today. He was making nice adjustments with some outside pressure and ran up the middle for some chunk gains. Cousins will be a low-end QB1/QB2 next week against the Bears.

 

 

Running Backs

 

Dalvin Cook: 22 carries, 101 yards, 1 TD | 4 targets, 2 receptions, 8 yards

 

Everyone knows the Buccaneers’ strength is in stopping the run. Dalvin Cooks and the other Vikings’ running backs had 71 rushing yards after the first quarter. They were really controlling the game early, running 20 offensive plays to the Bucs’ 5 in the first quarter. Cook took a short goal line touchdown and got over 100 yards late in this one. He was close to breaking off some really big plays but was tripped up a couple of times. Cook left the game briefly with a hand injury but returned a few plays later. He is an obvious RB1 going forward no matter the matchup.

 

 

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

 

Adam Thielen: 4 targets, 3 receptions, 39 yards

Justin Jefferson: 8 targets, 4 receptions, 39 yards, 2PT conversion

Irv Smith Jr: 4 targets, 4 receptions, 63 yards, 1 TD

Tyler Conklin: 5 targets, 5 receptions, 40 yards

 

With Kirk Cousins facing a lot of pressure throughout this game, he struggled to push the ball downfield consistently. The tight ends were the ones moving the chains and were more involved in the passing game today. Veteran Kyle Rudolph was out, so second-year man Irv Smith  Jr. and rarely-used Tyler Conklin stepped up and were more involved. They combined for over 100 yards and a score and were both moving the chains consistently. They both can’t really be relied on in fantasy right now. Adam Thielen just missed a touchdown on a diving attempt that he got a hand on but couldn’t pull in. He wasn’t really involved other than that but is still a low-end WR1. Justin Jefferson had a couple of really nice receptions but also had a couple of drops. The deep passing game wasn’t working today so Jefferson’s line was pretty quiet, but he did have a 2PT conversion to give a small boost to his stat line. Jefferson is a rock-solid WR2 right now with upside for more every week.

 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

 

Quarterback

 

Tom Brady: 15/23, 196 yards, 2 TDs | 3 carries, -2 yards

 

This Tampa Bay offense started off slow coming out of their bye week. They ran five total plays on their two drives in the first quarter. Tom Brady missed a couple of open throws on those drives, but on the third drive, Brady hit Scotty Miller in stride for a beautiful 48-yard bomb that went for a TD.

 

 

On the first drive of the second half, Brady hit Rob Gronkowski on a well-designed play-action from two-yards out for an easy score. The Bucs led by at least two scores for the entire second half so there was no sense of urgency to throw the ball often. Brady and company have a nice matchup on tap next week against Atlanta. He will be a solid QB1 in that matchup.

 

Running Backs

 

Ronald Jones: 18 carries, 80 yards, 1 TD |  2 targets, 1 reception, 4 yards

 

With change-of-pace back Leonard Fournette a healthy scratch on Sunday, Ronald Jones was the clear lead running back. He had 20 of the 26 running back opportunities. LeSean McCoy had five touches but wasn’t actively involved in the game. Ronald Jones looked good on his touches, consistently getting nice chunks of yardage on his carries. He even had a goal line plunge for a touchdown. He once again wasn’t very involved in the passing game, continuing his streak of one or fewer receptions in each of his last four games. Jones is a solid RB2 at the moment but will need touchdowns to really contribute in fantasy.

 

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

 

Mike Evans: 5 targets, 3 receptions, 56 yards

Chris Godwin: 3 targets, 2 receptions, 25 yards

Antonio Brown: 5 targets, 5 receptions, 49 yards

Rob Gronkowski: 2 targets, 1 reception, 2 yards, 1 TD

Scotty Miller: 2 targets, 1 reception, 48 yards, 1 TD

 

The three big receivers didn’t really do a whole lot in this one. Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, and Antonio Brown were each held under 10 PPR points. The Bucs only ran 49 plays with Brady throwing the ball just 23 times. With those kinds of numbers, there isn’t going to be a lot of volume to go around. Evans drew an endzone pass interference that led to the Ronald Jones touchdown. He and Godwin are solid WR2 options. Evans gets there with touchdowns and red zone looks, while Godwin racks up points through volume. Antonio Brown has not scored a touchdown and has not gone over 14 PPR points in any game this year. He is on the WR3/4 line and will likely need a score to really help you. Scotty Miller isn’t used often now but he and Brady connected on a long 48-yard touchdown where Miller simply outran the corner and Brady hit him with a strike. Rob Gronkowski drew a pretty egregious pass interference call in the end zone on a hail mary attempt at the end of the first half that led to a field goal, in addition to his 2-yard touchdown mentioned earlier. He is a solid TE1 at the moment, getting it done it with both volume and touchdowns in recent weeks.

 

 

— Kevin Taylor (@ktbeast918 on Twitter)

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