Minnesota Vikings vs Atlanta Falcons (Kirk Cousins, Justin Jefferson, Calvin Ridley)
Using Kirk Cousins in any fantasy format is enough to make one queasy. However, he is in an ideal spot to return great value on his cheap salary. The Vikings square off against the Falcons, a team without a win and one of the worst defenses in the league. In each game this season, Atlanta has been unable to contain opposing passing attacks. Comparable signal caller Teddy Bridgewater just lit them up last week, and Cousin’s should do the same. A ceiling performance of 300 yards and multiple touchdowns is within the realm of possibility.
Cousin’s also has a pair of talented wide receivers to bolster his prospects of fantasy stardom. Adam Thielen is often overlooked in the discussion of best pass catchers in the league, but continues to dominate for his squad. This week he’s a bit pricey, and could be over-owned after his electric performance last Sunday night. For that reason, rookie Justin Jefferson appeals more so than Thielen. Justin Jefferson has impressed since becoming more involved in the offense, averaging a staggering 19.5 yards/reception. With the Falcons focused on Adam Thielen, Jefferson should have no issues handling soft coverage from a terrible secondary. Look for him to pad his touchdown total, as he’s managed only one score thus far.
On the visitors side, Calvin Ridley is a logical choice to make this a game stack. For starters, Julio Jones is still nursing his injured hamstring. Even if Jones plays, he will likely be used as a decoy to open things up for Ridley. This scenario bodes well for his chances against a Vikings secondary that has problems of their own. Minnesota hasn’t been able to cover anyone this season as their young corners rank inside the top ten in fantasy points allowed to receivers. Excluding the game against Green Bay, Ridley has eclipsed 100-yards receiving in every game he’s played, and hasn’t scored since Week 2. He should be able to put it all together in a great matchup, especially if the Falcons trail for extended periods in this contest.
Detroit Lions (Matthew Stafford, Kenny Golladay, T.J. Hockenson)
Detroit is facing another lost season, making this game against Jacksonville a must-win situation. Thankfully for Matthew Stafford, he faces a young secondary that has had their issues this year.
Stafford has gotten off to a slow start, mostly due to star receiver Kenny Golladay missing time due to injury.The Jags are currently in the top ten in terms of fantasy points allowed to opposing quarterbacks. A lacking pass rush will allow Stafford time to find Golladay and other weapons downfield, setting him up for a great fantasy outing. Plus, the Lions under Matt Patricia have shown a tendency to blow leads late in games. This only adds to Stafford’s ceiling, giving him more passing opportunities to keep his team in contention.
Speaking of Kenny Golladay, the stud wideout is quietly rounding into form now that he’s healthy. In just two games, he’s scored twice and is averaging a healthy 12 yards/reception. Coming off a bye week with more time to prepare, he could have an absolute monster day against an inexperienced Jacksonville secondary. Much has been made of rookie cornerback CJ Henderson, who the Jaguars selected in the first round of the draft. He has performed well, but has yet to face a receiver of Golladay’s caliber. Kenny G should use his excellent separation ability and physical play style to have his way with the rookie. He’s got a great chance to finally eclipse 100-yards receiving and find the end zone once again.
T.J. Hockenson is an interesting name if you’re looking to be contrarian with your stack. He’s reasonably priced and is second on the team in target share. Averaging 5 targets/game is slightly ahead of Marvin Jones, which helps his cause to fill your tight end spot. Jacksonville’s lackluster pass rush means he won’t have to block as much as usual, providing him a boosted amount of work as a receiver. Keep an eye on the Jaguars injury report for Myles Jack. The star linebacker has been dealing with an ankle injury that forced him to miss his last game. If he sits once again, the Jags will have no one to deal with Hockenson.