The Minnesota Vikings will be looking to bounce back after a tough home loss last week when they take on the Carolina Panthers Sunday afternoon at U.S. Bank Stadium.
The Panthers (4-6) are coming off of 20-0 shutout victory in Week 11 against the Detroit Lions. In that game, Carolina did not have the likes of Teddy Bridgewater and Christian McCaffrey, so they had to lean on the duo of P.J. Walker and Mike Davis.
Walker, who was making his NFL debut, completed 70.6 percent of his passes for a touchdown and two interception. His lone touchdown pass went to Curtis Samuel, who had eight receptions (10 targets) for 70 yards. Meanwhile, Davis was the game’s leading rusher with 64 yards on 19 carries.
Defensively, the Panthers did a great job of making the Lions’ offense obsolete. Quarterback Matt Stafford was sacked five times, while veteran running back Adrian Peterson was held to 18 yards on seven carries.
As for the Vikings, they lost a tough one to the Dallas Cowboys 31-28 last week. Minnesota’s offense was clicking on all cylinders. Quarterback Kirk Cousins was an efficient 22-of-30 for 314 yards and three touchdowns. Pro Bowl running back Dalvin Cook had 115 rushing on 27 carries and a touchdown. Wide receivers Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson combined for 11 receptions for 209 yards and three touchdowns.
Date: Sunday, Nov. 26
Time: 1:00 p.m. ET
Notable Statistical rankings (Football Outsiders)
Panthers: #17 Overall — #13 offense, #19 defense, #11 special teams
Vikings: #16 Overall — #9 offense, #11 defense #31 special teams
DraftKings Sportsbook odds
Panthers: +4, +175
Vikings: -4, -205
Fantasy football start/sit advice
D.J. Moore, WR, $6,200
Over the last few weeks, third-year wideout D.J. Moore has started to heat up and rack up the targets. Moore has 13 receptions (21 targets) for 241 yards and a touchdown in Carolina’s last three games.
Last week against the Lions, Philly native had one of his best performance this season with seven receptions (11 targets) for 127 yards. Even though he did not score a touchdown, the 23-year-old wideout still recorded 14.8 fantasy points. This week, he could top replicate that performance against a Vikings’ pass defense that is giving up 27 fantasy points to opposing wide receivers.
Mike Davis, RB, $6,900
With McCaffrey not expected to play due to a shoulder injury, that means more carries for Mike Davis. When Run CMC was out earlier this season because of an ankle, Davis filled in admirably and became a solid RB2 in fantasy football. Last week, the 27-year-old running back scored 13.9 fantasy points, which was the first time he scored double-digit fantasy points since Week 5 against the Falcons.
This week, he is facing a Vikings’ defense that is giving up 17.2 fantasy points to opposing running backs and 122.1 yards per game.
Justin Jefferson, WR, $6,300
On Wednesday, it was reported that Adam Thielen tested positive and then negative for COVID-19. It is unclear if the veteran wide receiver will play on Sunday. If he can’t, then that opens up a door to become WR1 and receive a ton of targets against the Panthers. This season, Jefferson has been the best rookie receiver and a must-play in both fantasy and NFL DFS.
This week, he’ll be going up against a Panthers’ secondary that is giving up 245.5 yards but only 1.5 passing touchdowns per game. Without Thielen, he could be the recipient of a TD pass from Cousins.
Dalvin Cook, RB, $9,500
Cook has been a man on a mission over the last few weeks. In the Vikings’ last three games, the former Florida State running back has rushed 417 yards on 79 carries and three touchdowns. Through 11 weeks, he already has 1,063 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns and could add to it this weekend.
This season, the Panthers’ run defense is giving up 116.8 yards per game and 14 touchdowns, which is good for sixth in the league. There should be no question on if you should be starting Cook or not.