The Minnesota Vikings and Detroit Lions will finish their seasons with one final matchup on Sunday. Neither team has anything to play for as both have been eliminated from playoff contention. Minnesota comes into this game with a 6-9 record, while Detroit is 5-10.
The Lions fired head coach Matt Patricia earlier this season, and a number of coaches were held out due to COVID-19 protocols against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Detroit never stood a chance in a 47-7 home loss last week. Meanwhile, Minnesota spent its Christmas getting blown out against the New Orleans Saints by a score of 52-33.
It remains to be seen if anybody will be shut down for the final game of the regular season, but it would make sense if Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford sat out of this game. He has been banged up with multiple injuries down the stretch of this season and left his Week 16 matchup with a sprained ankle.
Date: Sunday, Jan. 3
Time: 1:00 p.m. ET
Notable Statistical rankings (Football Outsiders)
Vikings: #19 Overall — #9 offense, #18 defense, #31 special teams
Lions: #26 Overall — #18 offense, #32 defense, #11 special teams
Fantasy football start/sit advice
Kirk Cousins, QB, $6,300
Kirk Cousins is never the most exciting play but with the volume he has been throwing the ball in recent weeks, he’s worth considering at this price. Cousins threw the ball at least 35 times in each of his last five games and threw multiple touchdown passes in seven of his last eight games with seven games this season where he threw three touchdowns. Cousins could be a useful start in what couldn’t be a more meaningless game for Detroit.
Justin Jefferson, WR, $7,600
Justin Jefferson could become a big star in the NFL at the wide receiver position for a long time with a stellar rookie season, and he continues to get plenty of passes thrown his way especially toward the last stretch of the season. Jefferson has double-digit targets in four of his last five games. He has gone three games in a row without a touchdown, but that shouldn’t last long.
Danny Amendola, WR, $3,900
He’s an incredibly cheap fantasy option, but Amendola could lead this Lions offense in receiving this weekend especially if Stafford is held out. Amendola is a check down machine, and we saw that with Chase Daniel and David Blough stepping in for Stafford. Amendola led the team in all categories with seven targets, five receptions and 37 yards against Tampa Bay.
D’Andre Swift, RB, $6,300
Regardless of Stafford’s health, Swift is a solid play against the Vikings if the Lions can keep this game close. He averaged 4.5 yards per carry in each of his last two games, but his carries are going to be limited when Detroit gets blown out. Swift is going up a Minnesota defense that is giving up the 28th most rushing yards per game in the NFL, so this is a pretty sweet matchup for him.