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 6 ROCKERS
-- Vikings WR Justin Jefferson: Jefferson is logging 6.6 catches for 92.4 yards per game in 2021. The Vikings need to use him even more. Minnesota’s offense is at its best when Jefferson is involved. Last week against Detroit, he had five catches for 104 yards at halftime. After the break, he was targeted just twice and the Vikings squeaked out two field goals in the final two quarters. The Panthers have yielded the fewest passing yards per game (161.6), but that hasn’t stopped a few receivers like Corey Davis (5-97-2), Brandin Cooks (9-112) and Amari Cooper (3-69-1) to post solid fantasy box scores. Jefferson didn’t practice Wednesday, which has us slightly concerned, so monitor his status throughout the week. CONFIDENCE CLIP: 85%
-- Panthers WR D.J. Moore: Moore leads the Panthers in targets (50), receptions (35), receiving yards (440) and touchdowns (3). The closest teammates in those categories: targets (Robby Anderson with 29), receptions (Anderson; 29), yards (Anderson; 179) and touchdowns (three players with one). Even if the Panthers have a poor offensive game, Moore will get his looks. He’s tallied at least seven targets in all five games. CONFIDENCE CLIP: 80%
-- Vikings RB Dalvin Cook: Per usual, the biggest factor with Cook is health. He missed Week 3 with an ankle injury, played hurt in Week 4 against Cleveland and sat out the Vikings’ 19-17 win over Detroit. Good news: Cook was a limited participant at Wednesday’s practice. Carolina’s defense has looked impressive thus far, allowing the second-fewest fantasy points to running backs and even limited New Orleans’ Alvin Kamara to 30 yards on nine touches in Week 2. But Dallas star Ezekiel Elliot dominated the Panthers for 20-143-1, so Carolina can be beat. Our confidence clip reflects Cook’s recent injury history and a rather tough matchup. CONFIDENCE CLIP: 75%
-- Panthers RB Christian McCaffrey: McCaffrey hasn’t played since suffering a hamstring injury in Week 3. As of practice Wednesday, head coach Matt Ruhle said the star running back has a 50% chance to play against Minnesota. Obviously, if he suits up, you’re starting McCaffrey. Although be wary of expecting a monster day – not only is McCaffrey battling an injury, but also the Vikings haven’t allowed a running back touchdown through the air all season, and they surrendered just one all of last year. CONFIDENCE CLIP: 70%
WEEK 6 MOCKERS
-- Panthers QB Sam Darnold: The former New York Jets draft pick threw for 300+ yards in three straight outings but was humbled last week, completing 57% of his passes for just 177 yards, one score and three interceptions. He tends to struggle without his safety net McCaffrey, who can turn a simple screen pass into an 80-yard touchdown at any time. Darnold hurled five interceptions over the past two games in which McCaffrey was sidelined. He’s worth considering a start if CMC is on the field, but if not, stay far away. CONFIDENCE CLIP: 40%
WEEK 6 SHOCKERS
-- Minnesota Vikings D/ST: We’re not going to call them the Zim Reapers like the good ‘ole days under head coach Mike Zimmer, but this unit is improving. Darnold, just like he was with the Jets, is susceptible by turnovers. He’s thrown six interceptions -- five over the last two weeks -- and has fumbled four times (one lost). Opponents have sacked Darnold 11 times since Week 3. It could be another day of feasting for Danielle Hunter and the reemergence of Everson Griffen. CONFIDENCE CLIP: 70%
WEEK 6 TALKERS
-- Vikings QB Kirk Cousins: As mentioned in Jefferson’s fantasy breakdown, Carolina has been the NFL’s top passing defense so far (161.6 yards per game). But here’s the quarterbacks they faced: Zach Wilson (first career start), Jameis Winston (inconsistent), Davis Mills (first career start), Dak Prescott (very good) and Jalen Hurts (second-year QB). Prescott, the only quarterback listed around Cousins’ experience and talent level, threw for 188 yards and four touchdowns on 14-of-22 passing (130.3 rating). Don’t be too intimidated by the Panthers’ numbers. CONFIDENCE CLIP: 70%
-- Panthers RB Chuba Hubbard: The fourth-round pick has started the last two contests for Carolina in McCaffrey’s absence but has only been on the field for 47% and 65% of the snaps. (In contrast, McCaffrey played 89% and 71% of the snaps over the first two weeks.) Hubbard racked up 134 total yards in last week’s loss to Philadelphia but hasn’t found the end zone all season. If McCaffrey plays, Hubbard is on your bench. If he doesn’t, Hubbard has a high floor but a low ceiling. CONFIDENCE CLIP: 65% (if McCaffrey sits out)