If you’re reading this article, you’re having a tough time setting your fantasy football lineup this week.
Don’t worry. We’re here for you.
Each week, we’ll share our take on players involved in the Minnesota Vikings’ matchup, place them in four different categories -- Rockers, Shockers, Mockers and Talkers -- and give them a percentage on our confidence level in their possible fantasy production.
Rockers: The no-brainers. These players should lead you to victory this week.
Mockers: Yikes. Keep these guys on the bench.
Shockers: Starting these sleepers could make you look like a fantasy genius.
Talkers: Boom or bust. It’s a risky play that could win or lose your fantasy matchup.
WEEK 9 ROCKERS
-- Vikings RB Dalvin Cook: He’s got the juiciest matchup on the Vikings offense. Despite already having a bye (there are still 16 teams yet to have a weekly break), the Chargers have allowed the most total rushing yards in the NFL -- 1,293. That’s 161.6 per game. Over the last four weeks, opposing running backs have averaged 145.8 yards and tagged the Chargers for nine total scores. Only the New York Jets and Detroit Lions have surrendered more fantasy points to the position. CONFIDENCE CLIP: 100%
-- Chargers QB Justin Herbert: It’s been an up-and-down season for the Chargers, but the reigning Rookie of the Year has improved his TD% (5.6), yards per game (293.8) and rating (98.9) from his historic debut campaign. At home this season, Herbert is logging 295.3 yards and 2.5 scores per contest. The Vikings have intercepted five passes in their last four tilts, but that’s not nearly enough to even think about benching Herbert. CONFIDENCE CLIP: 90%
-- Chargers RB Austin Ekeler: As he’s done his entire career, Ekeler does a good chunk of his damage through the air. He ranks third on the Chargers in targets and has logged just one fewer reception than Mike Williams, the team’s No. 2 receiver. No back facing Minnesota has topped D’Andre Swift’s six catches for 53 yards in Week 5, but that’d be an average game for Ekeler (5.1 catches for 46.4 yards). Plus, running backs have crossed in the goal line in all but two matchups against the Vikings this season. CONFIDENCE CLIP: 80%
-- Chargers WR Keenan Allen: Coming off his first 100-yard game since Week 2, Allen will take on Minnesota cornerback Mackensie Alexander in the slot. Alexander has surrendered 16 receptions, 289 yards and two scores on 27 targets in coverage -- a 120.8 passer rating. Allen has found the end zone once in the last five matchups, but we like his chances to find paydirt against this shorthanded secondary. CONFIDENCE CLIP: 80%
WEEK 9 MOCKERS
-- Vikings WR Adam Thielen: The offensive game plan will likely center around Cook. Jefferson should get the most targets, leaving the scraps for Thielen. An opponent’s No. 2 receiver hasn’t topped four catches for 36 yards in the last three tilts against the Chargers. Based on Minnesota’s assumed strategy of favoring the run and the lack of consistency from Thielen, we’re leaving him on the bench this week. CONFIDENCE CLIP: 20%
WEEK 9 SHOCKERS
-- Chargers WR Mike Williams: Williams has cooled off significantly from his surprising start in which he hauled in six touchdowns in five weeks. Over the last three games, Williams has compiled six total catches and no scores. But he’s treated to a matchup against either Bashaud Breeland, who made Dallas backup quarterback Cooper Rush look like a future Hall of Famer two weeks ago, or the inconsistent Cameron Dantzler. CONFIDENCE CLIP: 60%
WEEK 9 TALKERS
-- Vikings WR Justin Jefferson: It’s exhausting writing the same reminder to Minnesota’s offense each week -- Get. Jefferson. Involved. But over the last two games he hasn’t been, with five receptions on nine targets. Sigh. It’s not an incredible matchup on paper for Jefferson, as receivers have scored once against Los Angeles over the last three outings. CONFIDENCE CLIP: 60%
-- Vikings QB Kirk Cousins: The Chargers have surrendered the fifth-fewest fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks, but it’s more of an indicator on how horrific they are against the run. Teams have run the ball (32.1 rushing attempts per game) more than they’ve worked through the air (29.6 pass attempts per game) vs. Los Angeles. If Dalvin is cooking, things should open up a bit for Cousins in the passing game. But will it be enough volume? CONFIDENCE CLIP: 45%