NFL Week 10 concludes Monday night with the Minnesota Vikings heading to Chicago to take on the Bears. Here’s how both teams look from a fantasy football standpoint.
Kirk Cousins and his underutilized pass catchers head to the Windy City for a Monday night showdown with the talented Chicago Bears’ secondary. Having attempted just 209 passes this season, ranking 26th in the league, Cousins will have to knock the rust off in what could be a high-scoring affair. Should Bears’ wide receiver Allen Robinson (knee) play, as expected, Cousins and Co. may have to throw at an elevated rate to keep pace. The Vikings’ passing game hasn’t lit up many scoreboards this season but Captain Kirk’s 5th ranked Completion Percentage Above Expectation 3.9% tells us he’s still as accurate as ever. However, it must be noted that the Vikings’ preferred run-first mentality fits nicely with the Bears’ defensive weaknesses. On the season, Chicago has allowed 1,052 rushing yards—11th-most in the league. Given the match-up and offense/defense fit, Cousins cannot be trusted to find his ceiling this week.
Despite back-to-back box score flops, wide receiver Adam Thielen remains Top 12 in .5PPR scoring on the year. The Bears’ secondary is allowing the 2nd-fewest .5PPR points per game to opposing wide receivers (22), but it’s worth noting that alpha dog, perimeter receivers have managed to get the job done against them throughout the year (Calvin Ridley: 5/13-110, Mike Evans: 5/9-41-1, and A.J. Brown: 4/9-101-1). Thielen remains a talent-based WR1.
Stud rookie receiver Justin Jefferson is the only non-Thielen receiver that warrants serious fantasy consideration as No. 3 WR Chad Beebe is the lone remaining receiver to even see the field over the last two weeks, albeit at 21% and 29% snap rates. Jefferson is a high-floor/questionable-ceiling flex play with just three usable outings on his 2020 resume. Beebe is not startable at any position.
Chicago is surprisingly vulnerable to opposing tight ends, surrendering the 5th-most .5PPR points to the position through nine weeks (11.9). It’s been ages since he’s looked good but tight end Kyle Rudolph will be playing without sidekick Irv Smith Jr., who’s out with a groin injury tonight. Rudolph’s positional target competition comes in the form of blocking tight end, Tyler Conklin who has somehow managed to take the field in every game this year without seeing a single pass come his way. He has, however, recorded a (presumable) post-turnover tackle. Rudolph garners match-up and volume-based TE1 steaming viability for his date with Chicago.
Since Minnesota’s Week 7 bye, running back Dalvin Cook has erupted for 85.8 .5PPR fantasy points, more than twice as many as the second highest scorer, Alvin Kamara, and his 34.2 .5PPR points. Given the aforementioned meshing of offensive strength and defensive weakness, fantasy managers can expect another showing in the upper echelon of the RB1 ranks.
Alexander Mattison warrants multi-flex consideration in very deep leagues, given the Bears’ struggles against opposing running backs.
QB Nick Foles enters Monday night’s bout slightly short staffed with lead back David Montgomery on the shelf (concussion). Things could get a lot worse if stud wide receiver Allen Robinson can’t go (knee) but as of now, all signs point to him playing. The Vikings’ injury-ravaged and talent-deficient secondary has been the streaming target of fantasy gamers all year, allowing 21.7 fantasy points per game (4th-most). This week, Foles is “elevated” to back-end QB2 status with the positive match-up.
Should Allen Robinson indeed take the field, he’s a no-brainer WR1 and a candidate to post season-best results due to the excellent match-up. Generating pressure on just 19.8% of snaps and recording just 22 passes defended, it’s easy to see why Minnesota’s back-end has allowed the 4th-highest touchdown total on the year (19)—when compared to all other team’s who have already played their Week 10 game.
Downfield receivers such as Kalif Raymond (3/3-118), DK Metcalf (6/11-93-2), and Julio Jones (8/11-137-2) have gashed the Vikings’ secondary for chunks gains all year long, creating an exciting opportunity for deep threat speedster Darnell Mooney to make good on his 9th-ranked 15.0 average targeted air yards. He’s a high-end flex play with and albeit shaky floor due to Foles’ scattershot long-ball tendencies.
Slot receiver has seen a nice uptick in target volume over the last two weeks but his largely barren 2020 box scores render him just a high-floor flex option.
Tight end Jimmy Graham has been hilariously dependent on touchdowns in order to provide fantasy viability. Unfortunately for him, Minnesota’s been much more generous to tight ends in the yardage column (65.9 per game—2nd-most in the league), than they have been in the touchdown department (0.4 per game—4th-fewest in the league). That said, Graham’s 14 red zone targets tower over Allen Robinson’s 9, which is the second-highest total on the team. Graham remains firmly in the low-floor/high-ceiling TE1 ranks.
No. 2 tight end, rookie Cole Kmet, is highly questionable to play this week (groin) after recording two DNP’s on Thursday and Friday, followed by just a limited participation on Saturday. Kmet’s absence would help Jimmy Graham’s touchdown chances.
The Bears’ backfield has been thrown into disarray with Week 1’s top two backs, David Montgomery (concussion) and Tarik Cohen (Injured Reserve) unavailable. The crack squad left to pickup the pieces consists of the position-less Cordarrelle Patterson, big-bodied Patterson-pass-stealer Ryan Nall, Artavis Pierce, and washed-up veteran Lamar Miller.
Cordarrelle Patterson is the only one of the bunch that the coaching staff has seen fit to consistently give meaningful snaps too—but it’s fair to point out that Nall’s are on the rise. Bet on Patterson as the most likely to return mild flex value with Nall as a full-point PPR multi-flex option in cavernously deep league. Its entirely possible that Lamar Miller’s once-upon-a-time bellcow status vaults him to the forefront of Matt Nagy’s mind, making him a zero-floor/moderate ceiling roll of the dice in your flex slot. Ignore Pierce.