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 eight 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 2 ROCKERS
-- Cardinals QB Kyler Murray: Proving the preseason doesn’t matter whatsoever, the Cardinals first-team offense went three-and-out on all three drives it was on the field in exhibition play, which of course created an overreaction. And what did Arizona do in Week 1? The Cardinals scored on four of their first five drives of the season and racked up 38 points against Tennessee. There was offseason chatter that Murray would run the ball less often in 2021, but the Oklahoma product rushed five times for 20 yards and a score last week -- a solid eight additional points in a standard fantasy league. His rushing ability gives Murray a safe floor each week, even when he doesn’t pass for four scores like Week 1 vs. the Titans. CONFIDENCE CLIP: 100%
-- Vikings RB Dalvin Cook: Cook produced just 61 rushing yards on 20 attempts -- his worst career game when seeing 20+ carries. However, that changes nothing in Week 2. Arizona did hold star running back Derrick Henry to 58 rushing yards on 17 attempts last week, but that was mostly because the Cardinals led 24-6 at halftime and Tennessee was playing catch-up the rest of the game. Even with a 32-year-old J.J. Watt on the defensive line, we’re not ready to crown the Cardinals as an elite run-stopping defense just yet. CONFIDENCE CLIP: 90%
-- Cardinals WR DeAndre Hopkins: The Vikings secondary looked shaky at best in Week 1. Cincinnati’s top two receivers, Ja'Marr Chase and Tee Higgins, combined for nine catches for 159 yards and two scores. Veteran cornerback Patrick Peterson was burned badly against Cincinnati, and Minnesota’s other starting cornerback Bashaud Breeland allowed five receptions for 107 yards and two scores before being benched for a drive to start the second half. That bodes well for Hopkins, who scored twice last week and saw double-digit targets from Murray in his final five games of 2020. CONFIDENCE CLIP: 90%
-- Vikings WR Justin Jefferson: His 2021 season debut didn’t stand out in the box score, but we’ll take nine targets, five receptions and 71 receiving yards for a wideout any week. Arizona held A.J. Brown and Julio Jones to a combined seven catches for 78 yards and a score, but at this point in their careers Jefferson might be more talented than Jones, and Brown just never got going. Jefferson is the Vikings’ best deep threat, but he’s also reliable in short-yardage situations in case Kirk Cousins needs to get the ball out fast. Which will need to happen. CONFIDENCE CLIP: 80%
WEEK 2 MOCKERS
-- Vikings QB Kirk Cousins: It’s not that Cousins is a guaranteed flop in Week 2. He might have a solid week. We’re just very, very concerned about No. 8 having any time to throw. When his offensive line wasn’t jumping offsides (Minnesota was flagged 11 times on offense in Cincinnati), he was constantly under pressure, hit eight times and taken down for three sacks. Enter Cardinals linebacker Chandler Jones. The reigning NFC defensive player of the week racked up five sacks against Tennessee, tying a franchise record, and teammate Michael Dogbe added one for a total of six. Cousins has some of the NFL’s best offensive weapons around him, but if he doesn’t have time to throw what does it matter? CONFIDENCE CLIP: 20%
WEEK 2 SHOCKERS
-- Vikings WR K.J. Osborn: The second-year player didn’t play a single offensive snap as a rookie, but registered seven catches for 76 yards in Week 1. Getting the same number of targets as teammate Justin Jefferson (9) might have been a fluke, but his playing time (81% of the snaps) was not. It’s clear Minnesota will favor three-WR formations over playing multiple tight ends moving forward, and for now that job is Osborn’s to lose. If you need a flyer at your FLEX spot this week, why not hop on the Crazy Train with Mr. Osborn? CONFIDENCE CLIP: 55%
WEEK 2 TALKERS
-- Vikings WR Adam Thielen: Listed as a “talker” last week, Thielen impressed with nine catches, 92 yards and two scores on a team-high 10 targets. Just like last year, it looks like Thielen will once again be Cousins’ favorite target in the red zone, as he notched the only Minnesota target inside the 20-yard line last week, a five-yard touchdown catch. If he has another big game this week and proves he can avoid the low-floor games that have plagued him over the last two seasons, Thielen could be listed as a rocker for Week 3. CONFIDENCE CLIP: 70%
-- Cardinals RB Chase Edmonds: With Murray’s ability to run the football, Arizona isn’t the best place for backs to be reliable options in fantasy football. Even worse, it’s a split backfield between Edmonds (58% of the snaps in Week 1) and James Conner (49%). Conner received more carries than Edmonds (16 to 12) last week, but we think that was more due to the game script of a blowout. What we like about Edmonds is his ability to catch the football. He hauled in four receptions for 43 yards last week. The Vikings allowed Joe Mixon to post 150 combined yards and one touchdown in Week 1. Edmonds should get most of that work if the game stays close. CONFIDENCE CLIP: 60%