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Fantasy Football Picks: Vikings vs. Bears DraftKings NFL DFS MNF Showdown Strategy

Julian Edlow preps you for Monday’s 8:20 p.m. ET NFL contest between the Vikings and Bears with game-script analysis and DraftKings Captain’s Picks.

Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook (33) celebrates his touchdown in the fourth quarter against the Detroit Lions at U.S. Bank Stadium.  Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

After a hot 5-1 start to the season, the Bears have lost three in a row and find themselves as three-point home underdogs to a three-win Vikings squad. The 43.5-point total tells us we likely aren’t looking at a barnburner here, but there are still some solid spots to target on the slate.

Set your DraftKings fantasy football lineups here: NFL $2.25M Monday Night Millionaire [$1M to 1st] (MIN vs CHI)

Let’s break down Vikings-Bears from an MNF DraftKings Showdown perspective and set your lineups here


SHOWDOWN STRATEGY

Minnesota Vikings

The 0-3 start to Minnesota’s season may have skewed the perception on them a bit. Since then, they have an awful blowout loss at home to the Falcons, but also a one-point loss in Seattle and wins over the Texans, Packers and Lions. How have the Vikings been winning games? Dalvin Cook ($13,600). Since returning from injury in Week 8, Cook’s posted a 52-369-5 line in two games as a rusher, adding five receptions for 109 yards and another touchdown. He’s averaging 47 DKFP over those two games, and while Chicago’s run defense is far superior to Detroit and Green Bay’s, Cook’s volume is about as safe as it gets. Pencil him in for 25 touches.

While it isn’t a favorable matchup for Kirk Cousins ($10,200) either, the defense keying in on Cook may open up some opportunities. The floor/ceiling combination of Cook is far more appealing, but Cousins is a reasonable tournament pivot. Cook should be popular enough that it prevents many from rostering Cousins. Stacking the two is nearly half of your salary and doesn’t leave much room to roster pass-catchers with Cousins.

One thing about the Vikings’ passing attack is that it’s pretty predictable. Adam Thielen ($10,000) and Justin Jefferson ($8,600) combine for over 50% of the team’s receptions this season with no other active WR or TE averaging more than 4.7 DKFP. Thielen profiles as your safer cash or single-entry play here, while Jefferson has the upside to break GPPs, most recently going for 42.6 DKFP against the Falcons.

With Irv Smith Jr. (groin) listed as out for this game, it could mean a larger role for Kyle Rudolph ($3,400). After a slow start to his rookie season, Smith had scored double-digit DKFP in three of his past four games. Rudolph’s still yet to score more than 9.1 DKFP in a game this season but is in a good buy-low spot. He should see more red-zone looks without Smith and the weakness in the Bears’ pass defense is clearly defending the TE position — Chicago ranks 27th in DKFP allowed.

Kickers and D/ST are both good salary savers here against a team like the Bears. Especially with no real punt plays to consider outside of Rudolph, who should be a good salary saver.


Chicago Bears

The Bears are already limited enough of offense but have injuries to two of their top weapons. David Montgomery (concussion) has already been ruled out, while Allen Robinson ($10,800) is a true game-time decision with a knee injury. Waiting for the Robinson news will be one of the keys to this slate. It’s worth noting that the Bears are on bye next week, so holding A-Rob out would get him a couple of full weeks of rest.

It doesn’t leave many trustworthy targets for Nick Foles ($9,800), who’s a dicy GPP play at best. Foles has thrown two touchdown passes in consecutive games for the first time this season, and Minnesota does rank just 24th in DKFP allowed to WRs. But if Robinson sits, it’s tough to imagine this offense moving the ball well.

Still, Robinson’s potential absence would create value. Darnell Mooney ($6,600) would slot in as Chicago’s WR1 and is already coming off his two most encouraging outings of the season. Mooney was targeted a season-high 11 times last week against Tennessee and the previous week he had a season-high 69 yards with a touchdown. A soft matchup against a Minnesota secondary that ranks 29th in DKFP allowed to WRs could be just what Mooney needs to put together his first big game.

Anthony Miller ($4,800) is the next-best option, clearly getting more involved in the offense over the past two weeks. After a string of duds, Miller has hauled in 11-of-19 targets for 132 yards in the past two games combined. Other considerations at WR would be Cordarrelle Patterson ($5,200), who’s expensive, but will get touches in the running game with Monty out, and Riley Ridley ($1,200).

Jimmy Graham ($7,200) had an encouraging game against the Titans, securing all six of his targets for 55 yards and a touchdown. It was a nice bounce-back from his failed revenge game against the Saints when he caught just 2-of-7 targets. The Vikings have been bottom of the barrel against TEs as well, so you can look to Graham if you don’t mind spending up.

The RB position is going to be pieced together by a lot of names. Patterson should mix in for plenty of touches, but will also compete with Ryan Nall ($6,200), Artavis Pierce ($1,800) and potentially even Lamar Miller ($200) in his season debut. Nall scored 13.5 DKFP last week, but it was with the Bears down big, catching four passes for 35 yards and a touchdown. While he’s arguably in the best spot here, taking the savings might give us better value in terms of points per dollar.

Set your DraftKings fantasy football lineups here: NFL $2.25M Monday Night Millionaire [$1M to 1st] (MIN vs CHI)


THE OUTCOME

Paying up for Dalvin Cook ($20,400) at a pretty wild price may sound tough to do, but I think we have the value to do it. Cook is the safest play on the slate by a mile, and also has an outrageous ceiling. Slotting in Rudolph and a couple of Bears’ WRs easily makes the room.

Final Score: Vikings 23, Bears 17


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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is jedlow) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above.


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