UPDATE: Adam Thielen is ACTIVE for Week 15.
When it comes to the psychology of Fantasy Football, Adam Thielen is going to be a fascinating case study in Week 15. Long have there been philosophies about playing your studs when it comes time for the fantasy playoffs, yet Thielen’s status as a must-play option was even in question prior to the Pro Bowl WR injuring his hamstring back in Week 7. Despite playing a regular allotment of snaps in Minnesota’s first six games of 2019, Thielen registered three or fewer receptions in half of his starts and only once broke the 100-yard receiving plateau - something for which he’d become synonymous for doing in 2018.
Well, Thielen’s set to make his return for the Vikings this Sunday against the Chargers, as the 29-year-old was left off the team’s final official injury report. Unfortunately for him, he’s not exactly being welcomed back under the most pristine circumstances. Los Angeles has been incredibly stout versus wide receivers all year long. The team’s conceded just a single 100-yard receiving performance through 14 weeks of action and the 124.2 total yards per contest it surrenders on average to opposing WRs is the third-lowest figure in all of football. If that wasn’t enough, the Chargers are limiting wideouts to an NFL-best 5.6 yards per target since the beginning of Week 9 - a span of time where Los Angeles has gone up against reputable offensive juggernauts like Green Bay and Kansas City. In the simplest terms, this is a bad, bad matchup.
Fantasy Football Analysis, Minnesota Vikings WRs Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen
From an individual matchup perspective, it’s Stefon Diggs who actually draws the worst assignment of the afternoon in Casey Hayward. However, Diggs has earned his role as a must-play WR by averaging an insane 0.55 PPR fantasy points per route run so far in 2019, a hefty figure that only trails the likes of Tyreek Hill and Michael Thomas. Conversely, Thielen is essentially a long list of question marks additionally hampered by a completely unappealing opponent. I could see having to possible use the veteran as a FLEX option in deeper formats, but I’d be steering clear in most situations.
Start Diggs. Sit Thielen.