Washington Redskins at Minnesota Vikings
Game Time: Thursday, October 24 at 8:20pm ET
Spread: Vikings -16
Case Keenum – The Redskins defense hasn’t played that poorly this season. It is the offense that is the reason for their awful start. It doesn’t matter who their starting quarterback is, they all suck equally. The Vikings defense did give up a lot of yards and touchdowns to Marvin Jones and the Lions last week, but the Redskins are perhaps the worst offense in football. Keenum couldn’t be farther off the fantasy radar if he tried.
Adrian Peterson – After being a great big nothing to start the season, Peterson has been much more involved since Jay Gruden was fired. This is more like the Peterson we saw last year as he had 81 yards against a tough 49ers defense. This will be the real test to see if the Redskins will remain this run heavy, since it was almost mandated by the weather conditions last week. Peterson is dealing with a significant ankle sprain, so there is a chance he won’t suit up for this one. The Vikings have allowed just one rushing touchdown the entire season, so you shouldn’t expect him to score, and with his health compromised he likely won’t top 50 yards. If he can’t go Wendell Smallwood will likely get the bulk of the work and get swallowed up whole by the Vikings defense.
Terry McLaurin – When it is raining and your quarterback throws the ball 12 times in a game it is going to be a hard time scoring fantasy points. When you are going against one of the best defenses in football, it is hard to score fantasy points. The Vikings are one of the better defenses in football in terms of yardage, but they have allowed 14 passing touchdowns in seven games. Keenum will certainly have an easier time than he did in Week 7, but it still won’t be great. However, McLaurin will be back to a guy you can start on Thursday night.
Kirk Cousins – After an awful start to begin the season, Cousins now has three straight games of more than 300 yards and ten touchdowns in the last three games. Washington is allowing two passing touchdowns a game, and if the Vikings decide to continue to throw this should be another successful game for Cousins. He might not throw for 300 yards again, but he could certainly be over 250 yards and two touchdowns.
Dalvin Cook – He was a mega superstar again with 142 yards and two touchdowns against the Lions in Week 7 as Cook continues what could be an MVP season. There aren’t enough positive words in the English language to describe how good of a player he is. The Redskins are the fifth worst defense against the run this season, allowing 134 yards on the ground, and Cook could easily blow by that number. Expect at least 125 yards, three catches, and a touchdown for Cook on Thursday night as your fantasy week gets off to an amazing start.
Stefon Diggs – If you gave up on Stefon Diggs you really have to be kicking yourself. Sure, his Week 7 game was helped by the fact that Adam Thielen left early, but he now has seven catches in three of the last four weeks. What once seemed like it might be a lost season for Diggs now seems like he is on track for another good year. His first three weeks seem like a big of an afterthought now and you should absolutely fire him up Thursday night against the Redskins, especially considering the fact that Thielen is going to miss the game.
Kyle Rudolph – For the first time this season Rudolph actually showed up on the fantasy radar with five catches for 58 yards and a touchdown. Considering he had nine catches in the previous six weeks, I think you can figure this as an outlier for Rudolph. There is an outside chance that he could have success again versus the Redskins defense, but even in a season with tight end being a disaster you probably have a better option than Rudolph.
Summary: The Redskins are abysmal, and don’t even try to blame last week’s game on the rain. Sure, it had an impact but they weren’t winning anyway. The offense is so bad (how bad is it?), the offense is so bad that Christian McCaffrey and Ezekiel Elliott alone have the same number of points. That’s not fantasy points. That’s points that they have accumulated from touchdowns. 90 each. The Vikings might be without Adam Thielen in this one, but Kirk Cousins has woken back up, and Dalvin Cook is playing at an MVP level. This one should be over in the first half.
Prediction: Vikings 27, Redskins 9