What We Saw: Week 9

The QB List staff catches you up on everything you missed during Week 9 of the 2020 NFL season.

Lions @ Vikings


When “The Chef” is cooking, there is no better running back on show in the NFL – a Dalvin Cook-inspired Minnesota Vikings put the Detroit Lions firmly in their place thanks to a dominant display to run out 34-20 winners at home in Minneapolis.

The Vikings improve to 3-5 in the NFC North, displacing the Lions in the 3rd spot. After a somewhat uninspiring start, the Vikings are more than likely to catch the Bears and push for a playoff spot. The Lions, on the other hand, have some serious questions to tackle, including whether Matt Patricia is the right man to lead them going forward. A quick side note…big shout out to their special teams unit today, they blocked 2 punts to give their team every chance of getting back into the contest.



Detroit Lions




Matthew Stafford: 23/32, 211 yards, 1 TD, 2 INT, 2 sacks

Chase Daniel: 8/13, 94 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT | 1 carry, 5 yards


It was another bitterly disappointing afternoon for Matthew Stafford (10.44 fantasy points in Yahoo! leagues) and this insipid Lions offense. Despite having a greater share of time of possession, the Lions had an average-yards-per-play of 5.7 compared to the Vikings 8.9. Stafford wasn’t helped by the playcalling but he also didn’t help himself as two long, laborious drives in the first half resulted in a field goal and a missed field goal. He couldn’t establish a rhythm at all. Both interceptions were horrible – Stafford stared down his targets in the middle of the field and didn’t account for the covering linebackers, Eric Wilson on the first and Erik Kendricks on the second.




Stafford was knocked out of the game in the 4th quarter after being evaluated for a concussion after a sack by Eric Wilson. It topped off a miserable week for Stafford who spent most of it in isolation after a COVID test. He didn’t practice at all and that translated onto the field. Without Golladay and a clear gameplan for the rushing attack, Stafford has been relegated to a low-end QB2 option. That is a far cry from the quarterback who started the 2019 season on fire.

Chase Daniel (7.26 fantasy points) entered the game and led a touchdown drive. It is a situation worth monitoring as the Lions prepare for Washington next week.


Running Backs


DeAndre Swift: 13 carries, 64 yards | 5 targets, 3 receptions, 33 yards

Adrian Peterson: 8 carries, 29 yards | 5 targets, 3 receptions, 14 yards

Kerryon Johnson: 4 carries, 29 yards | 3 targets, 3 receptions, 36 yards


What a mess this backfield is! It is almost a crime that a young back with the potential to take the NFL by storm like DeAndre Swift (12.70 fantasy points) is ceding carries to a washed-up Adrian Peterson (7.30 fantasy points) and the forsaken Kerryon Johnson (9.50 fantasy points) – whatever the strategy is here it isn’t working and only serves to frustrate owners who have Swift rostered on their teams.

The rookie should have extended into the endzone for a score on 2nd and goal at the end of the 1st quarter. Swift failed to exert himself at the goal line and then fumbled the ball out of bounds on contact. It was a lucky break as the ball could have easily touched the pylon potentially resulting in a touchback. Whether this had an impact on why Peterson was given the ball on the very next play on 3rd and goal at the 1-yard line is a key question for the coaching staff. That play resulted in a 4-yard loss and field goal attempt. There is just no confidence in this backfield right now in Detroit.


Wide Receivers/Tight Ends


Danny Amendola: 10 targets, 7 receptions, 77 yards | 1 carry, 2 yards

Marvin Jones: 4 targets, 3 receptions, 43 yards, 1 TD

T.J. Hockenson: 8 targets, 5 receptions, 39 yards, 1 TD

Quintez Cephus: 2 targets, 2 receptions, 31 yards

Marvin Hall: 5 targets, 3 receptions, 28 yards

Jason Cabina: 1 target, 1 reception, 4 yards

Jesse James: 1 target, 1 reception, 0 yards


In the absence of their best receiver, Kenny Golladay, the Lions really struggled to move the sticks at key moments in the first half. Danny Amendola (14.90 fantasy points) led the team in targets and receptions in Golladay’s absence but much of his work was out of the slot and early in the game. He quickly became irrelevant once the Lions fell behind big. Marvin Jones (13.30 fantasy points) put a nice spin move on young Vikings cornerback Kris BoydΒ to bring the Lions back in contention in the 2nd quarter. The veteran has had a disappointing season thus far but showed his worth on this play.



T.J Hockenson (14.90 fantasy points) saved his fantasy day with a garbage-time touchdown reception from replacement quarterback, Chase Daniel. Up until that point the Vikings had done a good job at limiting the star tight end to just 4 catches for 29 yards. He was also the target of the Stafford pass that resulted in his first interception. Hockenson should be a top 10 fantasy option at the position going forward and is the only reliable start in this offense.



Minnesota Vikings




Kirk Cousins: 13/20, 220 yards, 3 TDs, 1 sack


We saw the best version of Kirk Cousins (20.80 fantasy points) that is possible for fantasy production. Cook will grab all the headlines, however, Cousins set up this win with two excellent 5-play touchdown drives in the 1st quarter with perfect passes downfield to Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen on each drive respectively. Benefitting from the best offensive line he has had since signing in Minnesota, Cousins never looked like turning the ball over or making mistakes because of pressure. With this kind of protection and a favorable schedule ahead, expect to see more throws like this dime to Jefferson.



Cousins was poised and ruthless in the pocket today, going through his reads quickly and executing efficiently. He finished off the Lions midway through the 3rd quarter with this toss to Irv Smith Jr. after some nice pre-snap motion. A word of note for fantasy owners, however, Cousins has only attempted 30 passes in a game two times this season. He is a low ceiling, very low floor option.



Running Backs


Dalvin Cook: 22 carries, 206 yards, 2 TDs | 2 targets, 2 receptions, 46 yards

Alexander Mattison: 12 carries, 69 yards

Ameer Abdullah: 1 target, 1 reception, 22 yards, 1 TD


Another week, another sensational performance from “The Chef” – Dalvin CookΒ (39.20 fantasy points) demolished the Lions rush defense, totally 250+scrimmage yards alongside 2 trips into the endzone. Cook has 6 scores in the last 2 games and now has at least 1 rushing TD in each of the 7 games he has played this season, this ties the longest streak by any player in Vikings history. It is hard to argue with those who claim he is the best back in the league. His illusiveness is mouthwatering, when watching him run with the ball you can see his body movement throw off defenders with every twitch. This shimmy, cut, and turn upfield serves to showcase his elite talent.



His 2nd touchdown of the day was one of those pure “stand and admire” moments in football.



Alexander Mattison (6.90 fantasy points) saw a good chunk of work in the second half with the game wrapped up. He isn’t fantasy relevant, however, he will continue to see junk time carries if the Vikings continue to blow away the opposition on the ground. Talk about revenge! Former Lions running back Ameer Abdullah (9.20 fantasy points) scored a touchdown with his first snap of the game today. That helped nobody in fantasy!



Wide Receivers/Tight Ends


Justin Jefferson: 4 targets, 3 receptions, 64 yards

Kyle Rudolph: 4 targets, 3 reception, 40 yards

Adam Thielen: 5 targets, 2 receptions, 38 yards

Irv Smith Jr: 4 targets, 2 receptions, 10 yards, 2 TDs


With only 13 completions from Cousins to spread around, the two primary receivers in Minnesota had a quiet day in terms of fantasy relevance – Justin Jefferson (9.40 fantasy points) and Adam Thielen (5.80 fantasy points) were held way under their projected scores as Cook shined as the jewel of this Gary Kubiak offense. Jefferson showed outstanding route-running ability once again, and 2 of his 3 catches to set up touchdowns for the Vikings.



He was unlucky not to grab another pass that would have resulted in a passing touchdown in the 3rd quarter – he was interfered with by Lions cornerback Amani Oruwariye, an easy PI call that set up a score to stretch the Vikings lead to 27-10.

Cousins threw 2 of his 3 touchdown passes in the red zone to an unlikely source – Irv Smith Jr. (15.00 fantasy points). We waxed lyrical last week about the potential of the 2nd year tight end out of Alabama and somebody from the Vikings organization obviously read the article! This production is doubtful going forward but do not be surprised to see Smith emerge as a top TE fantasy option by the end of the season.


— Benjamin Haller (@benjaminhaller1 on Twitter)

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