Green Bay Packers (8-2, 9-1 ATS) at Minnesota Vikings (4-5, 5-4), 1 p.m.
Brolley’s Packers Stats and Trends
The Packers extended their NFL-best ATS winning streak to nine straight covers, with their only failed cover coming against the Saints in their bizarre season-opening loss.
Green Bay has played under the total in seven straight games.
The Packers have covered three of the last four meetings in this series since 2019.
A.J. Dillon is going to be the main man in this backfield for at least the next week or two while Aaron Jones rests with his sprained MCL — Patrick Taylor will be his top backup. Dillon saw a career-high 23 touches last week, which he turned into 128 yards against the Seahawks. The Vikings have been gashed for 4.5 YPC and 133.2 scrimmage yards per game by RBs this season.
Aaron Rodgers returned to the lineup last week and he threw for his second-most yards in a game (292), but he failed to throw for a touchdown after registering multiple TDs in seven straight games. A-Rob shredded the Vikings for 755 yards and seven touchdowns in two meetings last season.
Davante Adams has just three TDs through nine games after leading the league with 18 receiving scores last season, but he’s still posted double-digit FP in every game and he’s leading the league with a 35% target share. Adams combined for 21/209 receiving with a ridiculous five receiving TDs in two games against the Vikings last season.
Randall Cobb led these secondary WRs with 28 routes last week, followed by Marquez Valdes-Scantling (27) and Allen Lazard (24). None of these WRs produced more than six FP against the Seahawks. Minnesota is giving up the sixth-most receiving yards per game (183.8) to WRs this season.
Brolley’s Vikings Stats and Trends
The Vikings have covered in three of their last four games after knocking off the Chargers as three-point road underdogs.
Minnesota is 1-7 ATS in its last eight home games.
Minnesota has played under the total in five of its last seven games.
Dalvin Cook had his third performance with 20+ FP last week, finishing with 118/1 scrimmage on his second-most touches (27) in a game this season. He went nuclear on the Packers last season with 42/213/5 rushing and 3/61/1 receiving in two contests. Green Bay is giving up the ninth-fewest FPG (22.1) to RBs this season.
Kirk Cousins finished with 294/2 passing against the Chargers last week after finishing with fewer than 190 passing yards in his two previous games. Cousins posted 419/3 passing in two matchups against the Packers last season. Green Bay’s defense is coming off a shutout of the Seahawks after limiting Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs to 13 points the week prior.
Justin Jefferson feasted last week with 9/143 receiving on 11 targets just a few days after OC Klint Kubiak said his star second-year receiver deserved more targets. Kubiak likely learned his lesson after the Vikings targeted him just nine times in Weeks 8-9. Jefferson didn’t do much in this matchup with just 5/52 receiving in two games but that was before he became a major part of their offense. The Packers limited D.K. Metcalf to 3/26 receiving last week.
Adam Thielen had his three-game run with touchdowns snapped last week, but he still posted 5/65 receiving and he saw 7+ targets for the eighth time in nine contests. He combined for 9/137/2 receiving in two games in this matchup last season. The Packers haven’t allowed a WR to score a TD in the last three weeks in matchups against the Cards, Chiefs, and Seahawks.
Tyler Conklin has posted 5+ targets and 3+ catches in four straight games, and he found the end zone twice against the Chargers on his way to 3/11/2 receiving on five targets in Week 10. Gerald Everett caught all eight of his targets for 63 yards in this matchup last week.
Barfield’s Pace and Tendencies
Pace (seconds in between plays): 31.1 (32nd)
Plays per game: 65.9 (21st)
Pass: 58.6% (22nd) | Run: 41.4% (11th)
Pace: 25.6 (6th)
Plays per game: 68.9 (7th)
Pass: 57.8% (23rd) | Run: 42.2% (10th)
All pace / play data is from the last eight weeks.
While the Packers have plummeted to dead last in pace over the last eight weeks, the Vikings are playing faster now than at any other time in Kirk Cousins’ tenure in Minnesota and it’s resulted in their play volume spiking to nearly 70 snaps per game. However, the Vikings are the NFL’s Jekyll and Hyde team and the extra pace and play volume has not consistently led to shootouts. Over the last five weeks, their games have combined for 36 (vs. Lions), 62 (vs. Panthers), 36 (vs. Cowboys), 65 (vs. Ravens), and 47 (vs. Chargers) total points scored.
My lean here is that this game ends up underwhelming for fantasy. Green Bay has not missed Jaire Alexander at all and are giving up just 13.3 points per game over their last six contests with a high water mark of 22 points allowed to the Bengals back in Week 5. As a result, Packers’ games have averaged just 33.5 total points scored per contest with six-straight unders hit in this span. (Side note: Green Bay is going to be dangerous in the postseason with their defense hitting stride and stud LT David Bakhtiari coming back soon after ACL surgery.)
Huber’s Key Matchup Notes
Nobody should need to be told that Davante Adams is an outstanding play on a weekly basis. However, a four-game stretch where Adams has only averaged 14.4 FPG might provide us with some shade toward an explosive opportunity. It’s possible that Adams could be working against Patrick Peterson on Sunday. Practicing for the first time since being designated to return from IR due to a hamstring injury, tasking Peterson with guarding Adams in his first game back would be a tall task. Prior to his injury, Peterson was allowing 1.26 YPCS (55th-best among outside corners), 0.26 FP/CS (48th), 0.24 AY/CS (49th), and a 109.1 TPR (67th). If Peterson is unable to take the field, Cameron Dantzler will be tasked with defending Adams’ favorite side of the field. Either way, we want to place a premium on volume, and we get that with Adams’ 35.4% target share the last two weeks.
This might appear to be a nice spot for production for the Vikings’ passing game against a defense missing Jaire Alexander. That said, ‘21 first-rounder Eric Stokes has been one of the top defensive rookies, and Rasul Douglas has emerged as a lockdown corner during his five weeks in Green Bay. Undeservedly sent packing by both the Panthers and Raiders, Douglas is limiting his coverage to 0.71 YPCS (eighth-best), 0.19 FP/CS (12th), and a 62.6 TPR (seventh). Stokes hasn’t provided the same elite results, but he’s played well enough to be a problem for opposing wideouts.
Dolan’s Vantage Points
Week 10 RB Leaders by Fantasy Points— Scott Barrett (@ScottBarrettDFB) November 18, 2021
1. Darrel Williams (29.4)*
2. Rhamondre Stevenson (27.4)*
3. AJ Dillon (26.8)*
4. Christian McCaffrey (26.1)
5. Jonathan Taylor (24.6)
6. D'Ernest Johnson (22.7)*
7. Antonio Gibson (21.8)
8. Mark Ingram (20.8)*
*backup to injured RB1
“Last week Aaron Jones played on 46% of the snaps, and Dillon (49% of the snaps) still walked away with 23 touches, 128 YFS, and 26.8 fantasy points. He’s now exceeded 75.0 YFS in 5 of his last 7 games, and averages 94.4 YFS over his last three games. Though, keep in mind, last week was the first time he’s exceeded a 40% snap share all year.
But now Aaron Jones (MCL) joins Kylin Hill on the sideline, and the only other active RB on the roster is Patrick Taylor Jr., who played on 3 snaps last week and has 2 total touches in his career. So, Dillon should now be looking at, what? 80% of the snaps at a minimum, with 95% firmly within the realm of possibilities?
Green Bay ranks 9th in team RB FPG (26.3). So, if we play it conservative and say Dillon can be roughly 80% of that, we’re looking at 21.0 fantasy points. (Only Derrick Henry and Jonathan Taylor are averaging more than 21.0 FPG.) And 80% feels about right. Dillon feels like a lock for 18-plus carries. But, granted, Dillon (1.8 targets per game) also probably isn’t the receiver Jones is (4.7 targets per game), but, then again, maybe not. John Hansen has been hyping up Dillon’s pass-catching chops all offseason. And Dillon currently leads all of 69-qualifying RBs in YPT average (10.9).
On-paper the matchup looks mostly neutral, though possibly top-12 based on the opposition’s weaknesses in contrast to Dillon’s strengths. Green Bay is favored, but only slightly so (-2.5), against a Vikings defense that ranks 10th-worst in YPC allowed (4.48), 8th-worst in rushing FPG allowed (14.8), but 11th-best in schedule-adjusted FPG allowed (-2.5). We like him this week as a top-5 option.”
The Vikings are getting healthier in the secondary just as they prepare to face Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adams. They designated CB Patrick Peterson to return from IR this week, and S Harrison Smith is coming off the COVID list. Obviously, despite how good this matchup has been by the numbers, it is hard to trust any of the secondary receivers here, but the total (which is slowly rising to one of the higher totals of the week) suggests points could be scored here.
We still love us some Adam Thielen — and so does Kirk Cousins in the red zone, but the Vikings actively came out and said last week that they need to get more targets to Justin Jefferson. And as we have seen multiple times this year from other teams, they followed through on that.
#Vikings OC Klint Kubiak on Justin Jefferson having just nine targets in the past two games combined (with five catches): "You don't want to come out of games with Justin having those type of targets."— Chris Tomasson (@christomasson) November 11, 2021
Here’s Scott again, this time from the Week 11 XFP Report:
“The #SqueakyWheelNarrative hit big for Jefferson in Week 10, who caught 9 of 11 targets for 143 yards. If including plays negated due to penalty, he actually saw 13 targets, one shy of a career-high, and totaled 26.9 XFP (a season-high and most by any WR on the week).
He now ranks 12th in XFP/G (16.9) and 10th in FPG (17.5). And, through 25 career games, Jefferson totals 2,175 receiving yards, the 2nd-most by any player all-time.
Yeah, so, he’s a beast. But I will say you should probably temper your expectations across the next few weeks, and throughout the remainder of the season. He gets Green Bay, San Francisco, and Detroit the next three weeks. And they rank, respectively, best, 5th-best, and 12th-best by schedule-adjusted FPG allowed to opposing WRs over the last five weeks of the season. In real terms, his remaining schedule is worth -4.3 FPG off of a perfectly-neutral schedule, and his postseason schedule is even worse, worth -5.2.”
I’m not going to take much away from the Packers shutting down the Seahawks’ passing game last week. I think the Vikings will have more success.