The Minnesota Vikings (3-5) have a pretty simple game plan on offense: Let’s get a lead and then just let Dalvin Cook carry us the rest of the way. Can the Chicago Bears force Minnesota out of its one-dimensional ways. We’ll be watching on Monday night.
Most offenses want to be versatile and balanced, but with Cook ripping off 200-plus yards from scrimmage in back-to-back weeks, the Vikings were content with throwing 34 passes combined in those two games. Justin Jefferson was Minnesota’s top wideout in Week 9 as he caught three of four targets for 64 yards. Neither he nor Adam Thielen has caught more than three passes in either of the past two weeks because of Minnesota’s ultra-conservative attack. Tight end Irv Smith Jr. hauled in just two passes for 10 yards against the Lions, but both went for touchdowns.
The Chicago Bears (5-4) had nothing working in Tennessee on Sunday. Nick Foles tacked on some garbage-time yards and a couple of touchdowns late, but the fact remains that Chicago trailed 24-3 with 6 minutes remaining in its Week 9 loss, its third straight defeat. The lone bright spot continues to be the consistency of Allen Robinson. He caught seven passes for 81 yards and since Week 3, he has ended all but one game with at least four receptions and 70 yards.
Notable Statistical rankings (Football Outsiders)
Vikings: #14 overall — #7 offense, #15 defense, #28 special teams
Bears: #17 overall — #28 offense, #4 defense, #22 special teams
Vikings: -3, -157
Bears: +3, +138
Fantasy football start/sit advice
Adam Thielen, WR, $6,000
It’s unfortunate that Thielen has become game-script dependent, but the Vikings aren’t going to mess with their winning formula if they can help it. The Bears also don’t present a cozy matchup; they have allowed the third-fewest DraftKings points per week to opposing WRs. Thielen is more of a WR2 in Week 10.
Dalvin Cook, RB, $8,900
This is only a question for DFS enthusiasts. After shredding two of the NFL’s worst run defenses, Cook will now go up against a Chicago that just limited Derrick Henry to 68 yards on 21 carries. Moreover, Chicago has given up just two rushing touchdowns to running backs in its last six games. That should cause you to pause just a bit if you’re thinking about unloading your DraftKings wallet for Cook at this season-high price.
Allen Robinson II, WR, $7,000
The Vikings’ pass defense isn’t quite the sieve it appeared to be early in the season. Still, No. 1 wideouts continue to have their way with this young group. DK Metcalf, Julio Jones and Davante Adams accounted for seven scores against Minnesota from Weeks 5-8. Even Marvin Jones Jr., who was the Lions’ de facto No. 1 outside receiver in Week 9, scored against Minny. Robinson should join the TD party this week.
Darnell Mooney, WR, $4,100
Mooney should be on your radar solely because of his involvement over the past two weeks: 17 targets and 10 catches while playing more than 85 percent of the snaps in each. He can break off a big play, as witnessed with his 50-yard catch against the Saints in Week 8. That target share and upside has Mooney looking like a worthy GPP consideration.