Vikings vs Redskins
By Sean Weymouth
I wanted to start this off with a bit of thoughts on strategy of which I employ on any of these showdown slates.
The first is simple – stacks. Look I’m not saying it would be impossible to win or cash on a showdown slate without the correlation of a stack like QB-Receiver, but why take the chance. So let’s say I’m going to play a QB in either the Captains slot or as a flex, I’m going to try and fit in as many of his pass catching options as I can do that I can double up on the points from receptions and scores, without missing one. If you are lucky you will have the right stack that catches all the scores and your are doubling points like crazy. Again it’s not full proof, but I think it gives the best avenue for success when done right.
Part of doing it right also is trying to be different in your lineup, so that if it’s between you and another player and you both need 10 points but his receiver is the same as the other 5 guys below you and yours is a the secondary option, you may get 5 and he may get 5 but because your lineup construction differs from the others, you may pull ahead – contrarian plays in other words. If you can stack your QB with as many of his receiving options as you can, with a contrarian play or two included – and that offense goes off, you should be in decent shape to cash.
Another correlation I like to look at is the defense and the kicker that opposes that defense. So if you are playing a dominant defense for the potential of fantasy points on turnovers, you also have to be thinking their opponent likely won’t be scoring a lot of touchdowns. So why not include the opposing kicker in that stack with the defense. Since teams may stall in the red zone several times during the game against your defense, they will settle for field goals – and guess what guys, field goals are fantasy points too.
Ok so let’s get into the matchups.
I don’t think there is a fan out there that can’t see that the Vikings are in a smash spot tonight – or are they? Well, yes, the Redskins have been bottom of the league in rush yards and pass yards allowed – especially if you remove the Miami and mudbowl games over the last two weeks from the stats. The most important stat for me here is their overall lack of turnovers especially interceptions, which is why I’m very high on Kirk Cousins tonight even at his high salary (18k for Captain, 12k for Flex). Even without Adam Theilan on the field, Kirk will have a whole host of weapons starting with Stefon Diggs ($16,500 Captain, $11k for Flex). As I had mentioned above if I am playing Cousins I am playing as many of his receiving options alongside to maximize. So that would include Diggs of course (and likewise if I am playing Diggs, I’m also playing Cousins). However I would expect Diggs’ ownership on the slate to be mega high. So perhaps you would want to include a contrarian option with Cousins. May save you some bucks which you will need with these prices too. I’d expect the tight ends to see an uptick in targets tonight, since they did when Theilan left the game on Sunday, so that puts both Kyle Rudolph ($8,100 Captain, $5,400 Flex) and Irv Smith ($7,200 Captain, $4,800 Flex) in play, but i wouldn’t play both in the same lineup and of the two I would pick Rudolph over Smith as a Captain. Also you may want to take a shot on Olabisi Johnson ($9,300 Captain, $6,200 Flex) and even Laquon Treadwell ($5,700 Captain, $3,800 Flex) as they will serve as receivers 2 & 3 after Diggs tonight. Lastly the one constant in this offense that should be included in every lineup you make is Dalvin Cook but at $19,500 in the Captain chair or $13,000 for Flex it will be tough to fit Cook, Cousins and Diggs in without leaving you little to play with – so maybe pair with one of the cheaper options above, to help give you as much as you can in one. I would expect all 3 to be the Chalk tonight from an ownership perspective, but they will be chalk for a reason – i think they are going to roll tonight!
You can consider Cook’s backup Alexander Mattison ($4,400 Flex) but not at Captain. You’re hoping for a touchdown with Mattison because barring a Cook injury, he has been only been handling 10 or so touches a game and I expect these will come tonight only when the Vikings have the game in hand. This is an NFC matchup don’t forget.
I may shoot myself later for saying this but I’m avoiding the Vikings Defense tonight. While they have been OK I just don’t trust the secondary in a game I expect Case Keenum to be throwing, a lot. I do however think kicker Dan Bailey ($6,000 Flex) is ok for savings – but not in the Captain’s Chair. I don’t expect every Vikings drive to end in a TD and Bailey could be a sneaky way to get points from field goals. I’d use Bailey to round out a heavy priced lineup or use as a cheap Vikings player on a Red Skins heavy lineup.
Well the Redskins will have a tough road tonight. I say this not because I’m so scared of the Vikings Defense but more so I’m scared of what the Skins’ D will be giving up. For that, I think any Red Skins lineup I build will have Case Keenum ($12,000 Captain, $8,000 Flex) in the Captains Chair. Again as I mentioned before, for any lineup I have with Keenum I am stacking with as many of his pass catchers as possible and that starts with Terry “F1” McLauren ($13,800 Captain, $9,200 Flex) who I predict will have a big game tonight against the ghost of Xavier Rhodes. However if there is one player on the Skins that will be CHALK tonight (high ownership) it will be Scary Terry. So don’t sleep on a couple of other targets for Keenum in Trey Quinn ($3,600 Flex) or Paul Richardson ($5,000 Flex) for both savings and contrarian plays. I am not sure I’d put both in the same lineup but using one of these guys with Terry and Case and a Vikings TE may give you an edge in the “ownership game” tonight in your lineups.
Another possibly undervalued play is TE Jeremy Sprinkle ($3,400 Flex) who with both Jordan Reed and Vernon Davis out, could serve as Keenum’s security blanket tonight – and we all should know by now, Keenum likes throwing to TEs!
If your really want to go Contrarian though, my pick for the lowest owned Captain would be Adrian Peterson ($8,400 Captain, $5,600 Flex). With Chris Thompson out and the next man up being Wendell Smallwood ($1,800 Flex) , I think the Skins will lean on AP more than normal, even in the negative game script. Hey who knows, it is a revenge game after all for AP. Actually for Keenum too. Actually for Cousins too.
As I am with the Vikings Defense, I am going to avoid the Redskins D as well. There are just too many ways for the Vikings to put points on the board tonight and sure an interception or sack is possible, but if the Vikings pour 42 on them in the first half – those Defensive plays aren’t going to help. I would however consider Dustin Hopkins ($4,500 Captain, $3,000 Flex) as he may have a busy night and he is a good salary saver with your Keenum/McLauren stack – or is a great pivot play for a Vikings heavy stack.
Good Luck in your contests!!