Kickoff Sunday, Oct 2nd 9:30am Eastern

Vikings (
22.75) at

Saints (
19.25)

Over/Under 42.0

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Notes

Key Matchups
Vikings Run D
31st DVOA/26th Yards allowed per carry
Saints Run O
13th DVOA/15th Yards per carry
Vikings Pass D
20th DVOA/28th Yards allowed per pass
Saints Pass O
28th DVOA/32nd Yards per pass
Saints Run D
18th DVOA/4th Yards allowed per carry
Vikings Run O
3rd DVOA/17th Yards per carry
Saints Pass D
11th DVOA/14th Yards allowed per pass
Vikings Pass O
15th DVOA/11th Yards per pass

XANDAMERE’S SHOWDOWN SLANT

Oh, I love London games, because we get an extra Showdown! This week we have the Vikings and the Saints playing across the pond in a 43.5 total game with the Vikings favored by 2.5 points. The reason for the Vikings being favored, I believe, is because half the Saints are questionable, which is going to form the story of this game. I’m going to write this up (as of Thursday evening) as if all of the questionable guys play, and will come back to do an update if we get news of anyone sitting or if it looks highly likely someone will miss. 

New Orleans

On the New Orleans side, we’ve been seeing Alvin Kamara used more heavily in a primary RB1-type role instead of what we’ve been used to with this team of seeing Kamara and the RB2 roughly split carries down the middle, while Kamara gets all the passing game work. In the games that they have been active together, Kamara has out carried Mark Ingram 24 to 9, which is exciting for Kamara’s fantasy prospects. We haven’t seen a blow-up game from him yet, but it’s coming, and at just $9,200, I view Kamara as too cheap for his upside. Ingram, on the other hand, is too expensive for his likeliest outcomes and can be considered as something of a contrarian option as his price will keep his ownership down. One injury note here is that if Jameis Winston sits, I think that likely helps Kamara’s passing game role, as Winston is more of a gunslinger while Dalton just loves to check down. 

Showdown Ownership Projections!

Ownership updates automatically

In the passing game, all of Chris Olave, Michael Thomas, and Jarvis Landry are playing around 70-75% of the snaps, with nobody really pushing for a full-time, every-down kind of role so far. Olave leads the NFL (and the world, probably) in air yards this season, and last week the box score results finally caught up, with a 9/147/0 line. He’s an awesome play, especially if Winston starts. It’s weird to see Michael Thomas as the Saints second most expensive wide receiver considering he’s caught 16 of 22 targets including three touchdowns so far on the year. MT’s yardage upside is lower than Olave’s, but his touchdown equity is higher, and he’s a serious bargain at $7,800 (see a theme? Soft pricing on this one). Behind those two, we have Jarvis Landry, who’s going to do his possession receiver thing. Landry’s ceiling is definitely the lowest of the bunch, but at $5,600, it’s a completely reasonable price. Marquez Callaway was playing the WR4 role with Deonte Harty mixing in occasionally, but, when Landry left early last week it was Tre’Quan Smith, who had missed the first two weeks of the season, who stepped in and delivered a 4/105/0 performance out of nowhere. My guess as to how this plays out should Landry miss is that Smith is the guy, which would make him a really chalky play at $4,600 after his big week. Keep in mind he did that on just five targets, so while the ceiling is strong, the floor here is very low. At tight end, Juwan Johnson is the receiving option and though his targets vanished last week, I’ll trust the longer-term trend and think he should be good for five or so targets, making him a solid value option at $3,000 (especially if people shy away due to the box score dud last week). Adam Trautman is only around to make prop bets on though you can include the blocking TE in your MME player pool.

UPDATE: Jameis Winston and Michael Thomas are both OUT

It looks like the rest of the questionable Saints will suit up. Andy Dalton will start at quarterback, and while normally DK prices up the backup quarterback when the starter is questionable, they neglected to do so in this one. Dalton is a cash game lock at $6k and a strong tournament option who will also come with substantial ownership. My take here is the only real way you can avoid Dalton is if you think the Saints just completely smash on the ground and do nothing in the air, or if you think the Vikings dominate the game from start to finish. Taysom Hill might also get a few more reps at QB and at $6k has touchdown upside to offer. In the passing game, MT’s absence should mean the Saints primary wide receivers are Olave, Landry, and Smith. Olave now looks like an even stronger play, Landry adds some more floor and median projection (though his ceiling is still a little shaky but at $5,600 he’s a great value play), while Smith feels like a boom/bust option but with slate-winning ceiling.

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Jameis Winston:

  • MIN has allowed pass yds of (260, 333, 277), QB TDs of (0, 3, 1), and point totals of (7, 24, 24)
  • Winston pass yds: 269:2 // 236:1:3 // 353:1:2
  • NOR points: 27, 10, 14
  • 38 of NOR’s 51 points have come while trailing in the 4th quarter
  • Winston’s only games of 20+ DK pts with NOR: (148:5, 37) // (279:4:1, 26) // (269:2, 9)

NOR WRs:

  • Targets: Thomas (8, 9, 5) // Olave (3, 13, 13) // Landry (9, 5, 5)
  • Olave leads the league in intended air yds, has the 3rd highest aDOT, and the 9th highest team share of intended air yds
  • With NOR trailing in all 3 g, Thomas did most of his fantasy scoring in the fourth quarters of W1 & W2 before missing most of the fourth quarter in W3 with foot injury
  • Before last week’s game-winning drive with a few seconds left, MIN had not held a second half lead since W1
  • WRs with 40+ yds vs MIN: Quez (69), AJB (69), Smith (80) // Chark (46), St. Brown (73), Reynolds (96)
  • Olave has 4 rec on 10 tg of 20+ air yds for 158 yds
  • MIN has allowed the 6th most yds to WRs, and 13th most completed air yds

NOR RBs:

  • In 2021, AK’s total touches without Ingram: 24 // 14 // 28 // 26 // 24 // 31 // 32 // 19 // 32
  • In 2021, AK’s total touches with Ingram: 23 // 20 // 17 // 17
  • 2022 NOR RB touches: AK (13 / – / 22) // Ingram (5 / 12 / 5)
  • Ingram scored a RZ TD in W3
  • AK receiving yds with Jameis: 8:1 // 25 // 29:1 // 0 // 51:1 // 128:1 // 7 // 12
  • RBs vs MIN (total yds): Jones (76), Dillon (91:1) // Sanders (86) // Williams (107:2), Swift (46)
  • MIN currently ranks 25th in def rush DVOA
  • AK’s last game vs MIN was a 6-TD performance on Christmas 2020
  • AK career vs MIN: 38 // 105:1 // 76:2 // 55:1 // 172:6

Kirk Cousins:

  • Cousins vs Dennis Allen’s NOR Def: 322:3 // 359:2:1 // 242:1 // 291:3
  • QBs vs NOR: Mariota (215, 72:1) // Brady (190:1) // Mayfield (170:1)
  • The Saints have just 4 sacks and the fewest pressures through 3 weeks
  • NOR sacked Cousins 2, 4, 2, 2, in previous matchups under Dennis Allen
  • Cousins in 2022: 277:2 // 221:1:3 // 260:2

MIN WRs:

  • Targets: Jefferson (11, 12, 6) // Thielen (4, 7, 8) // Osborn (4, 2, 8)
  • Yards: Jefferson (184:2, 48, 14) // Thielen (36, 52, 61:1) // Osborn (14, 25, 73:1)
  • MIN WRs vs Dennis Allen’s NOR Def::
  • Diggs: 7:93:2 // 6:137:1 // 10:119:1 // 2:19
  • Thielen: 9:157 // 6:74 // 7:103:1 // 7:129 // 8:97:1
  • Jefferson: 6:85
  • PFF has charted Lattimore with just 23 yds allowed in his coverage so far in 2022
  • 2022 WRs vs NOR: London (5:74), Zaccheaus (4:49) // Evans (3:61), Perriman (3:45:1) // Moore (1:2), Shenault (90:1)

Irv Smith Jr:

  • Irv Smith has 14 tg over the last two weeks
  • He’s turned those tg into 5:36:1 & 2:32
  • Pitts was held to 2:19 in W1 in NOR’s only relevant TE matchup

MIN RBs:

  • Cook is questionable
  • Mattison’s 2022 rushing: 17:72:1
  • MIN RBs vs Dennis Allen’s NOR defense (total yds)::
  • Dalvin Cook: 137 // 130:2 // 85
  • Latavius Murray: 67:1 // 95:1
  • NOR’s elite rushing defense over the years is finally starting to show some cracks
  • Only 7 RBs finished with 50+ rush yds vs 2021 NOR
  • In 2022, Patterson (120:1), Fournette (65), and CMC (108) have all rushed for 50+ yds, and Patterson & CMC joined Sanders as the only RBs to break 100 rush yds vs NOR since mid-2017
  • RBs to score 20+ DK pts vs NOR since 2018: Saquon (22, 29.6) // Latavius (20.5) // Zeke (25.6) // CMC (34.3, 22.8, 26, 24.7) // Mostert (24.9) // Dalvin (28.0) // Sanders (32.6) // Fournette (21.7) // Gibson (21.2) // Patterson (22.6, 25.6)
  • That’s 15 RB scores of 20+ DK pts allowed in the last 73 games, and just 7 of 25+
  • 14/15 scored a TD /// 6/15 scored 2 TDs /// 10/15 had 5+ rec /// 13/15 had 6+ DK rec pts