Arizona is coming off of their first win of the season into a road game against the Vikings, hoping to be the second team with a rookie “Josh “ quarterback to upset the Vikings and their poor offensive line.
On the other spectrum, the 2-2-1 Vikings just beat the world champion Eagles and are trying to take care of business at home against a bad Cardinals team.
Who will succeed in fantasy football?
Let’s take a look:
Start of the Week: Kyle Rudolph, TE, Vikings
The Cardinals have a solid secondary and are top 15 against the pass in the NFL. Perhaps that’s because they get run on a lot but Patrick Peterson and Bene Benewikere have played well and Budda Baker, Antoine Bethea and Tre Boston in Steve Wilks’ coverage scheme have prevented the majority of big plays in the passing game from happening.
That’s usually not good for the 3rd ranked passing attack in the Vikings, but they have a creative OC who I believe will continue Adam Theilen’s 100 yard streak and will take advantage of Arizona’s linebackers by utilizing his tight end similarly to how he did last week against the Eagles.
George Kittle looked unstoppable at times against Arizona as they don’t have the linebackers in coverage to be able to stop TE threats, so look for a big day from Rudolph.
Cards Start: Larry Fitzgerald, WR: 6 catches, 90 yards, 1 TD
While you’d normally say that Christian Kirk will be the top WR option (maybe top offensive option, period, in AZ outside of David Johnson) I think that in what could be Larry Fitzgerald’s final game in Minnesota they make it an effort to get him the ball more and he ends up with a few tough catches and finally catches a Touchdown pass from Josh Rosen.
Perhaps off of some play-action or a flea-flicker like Bruce Arians was bound to do. I bet Kirk and others are used to keep the safeties deep so Rosen can hit the middle of the field.
Cards Sit: Chad Williams, WR 0 Catches, 0 yards.
Williams might be the guy who draws Xavier Rhodes given how often Christian Kirk can line up in the slot and with Fitzgerald probably shifting outside a bit more, I think that Williams might see a lot less targets.
There’s another factor too: Kendall Wright.
Wright was recently signed this week and while it doesn’t seem like he will be active for Sunday’s game, with how BAD Arizona’s receivers have been, they might want just anything at this point. If he plays, Williams’ snaps go down as there’s just too many slot recievers.
As for David Johnson—I think he’ll have a decent statline but given how predictable OC Mike McCoy’s offense has been and this being a good Vikings defense, don’t expect a true breakout game from him as long as McCoy is calling plays.
Viking Start: Latavius Murray/Dalvin Cook 150+ yards, 2 TD’s combined
The Vikings are 31st in running the ball, so why start the running backs?
Because Arizona is worse at stopping the run than the Vikings are at running the ball, obviously. Arizona has given up an insane amount of yardage to running backs this year, particularly off of screens, and despite battling injuries himself last week, Niners RB Matt Breida was averaging 8.0 YPC before he finally left the game.
If Cook plays, he might have a breakout game even with his health, and Murray’s a tough body to bring down who might score a touchdown if the Vikings get close enough.
Vikings Sit: Kirk Cousins, QB, Vikings 210 yards, 0 passing TD’s
I can’t say to sit Diggs against Patrick Peterson yet, even though he might be matched up on him a lot.
If Diggs ends up drawing Bene Benewikere, he might go off for a few big or deep catches if Arizona’s pass rush can’t get home, and if he does that he might hit over 100 yards.
If he doesn’t, eh, you shouldn’t be sitting Diggs anyway.
Who you can sit?
Cousins has fascinating splits in his wins and his losses.
In his wins let’s see what his fantasy total was according to Yahoo! Fantasy:
Win vs. San Francisco: 26.8 points
Win vs. Philadelphia: 24.15 points
Loss vs. Buffalo: 16 points
Loss vs. LA Rams: 53.9 points
And one tie against the Packers: 70.75 points (425 yards and 4 TD’s, whew!)
Notice anything in common?
In the wins against the Niners and Philadelphia, Cousins put up a decent day. In the loss against the defensive Bills, he had his lowest output, but against the heavily offensive Rams and Packers teams, he put up great numbers keeping up with those two offenses.
.....Does anybody really think Cousins and the Vikings are going to get into a shoot-out with Arizona this week?
The Vikings seem to be playing to their level of competition so if you are choosing between Cousins and another option, pick that option knowing that Kirk’s going up against a tougher passing defense that could force turnovers or bad plays while they will get run on a ton.
And if AZ ends up turning the ball over with a rookie QB on the road and how David Johnson can fumble a time or two....might be Kirk doesn’t have to do a ton.
OR he might not be able to...
If the Vikings get down early to Arizona and Cousins starts throwing the ball similarly to the Niners with C.J. Beatherd last week, it’s possible that the Vikings win this one without needing to rely a ton of Cousins in a comeback effort against a bad Cardinals offense.
Either way, it doesn’t seem like Cousins will be having a booming fantasy day throwing the ball against Arizona.
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