Minnesota Vikings (5-5, 6-4 ATS) at San Francisco 49ers (5-5, 4-6), 4:25 p.m.
Brolley’s Vikings Stats and Trends
The Vikings have covered in four straight road games, and they’re 4-1 ATS in their last five games overall.
Minnesota is 6-1 toward overs in its last seven road games.
The Vikings seemingly play in the league’s most exciting games every week, with six of their first 10 games decided on the final snap of the game.
Minnesota is the only team that’s held a lead of 7+ points in every game this season.
Kirk Cousins has thrown for multiple TDs in three consecutive games after posting 341/3 passing against the Packers last week. He’s now thrown 21 TD passes to just two INTs through 10 games while averaging 277.5 passing yards per game. The 49ers are giving up the 12th-most FPG (19.2) to QBs this season, but they’ve stymied Matthew Stafford (243/1 passing) and Trevor Lawrence (158/0) the last two weeks.
Justin Jefferson has been fed the last two weeks with a combined 21 targets for 17/312/2 receiving and 60.1 FP against the Chargers and Packers. Cooper Kupp was the last true #1 WR they faced in Week 10, and he went for 11/122 receiving on 13 targets.
Adam Thielen scored his fourth TD in his last five games last week, which was his eighth score of the season. He’s also posted 5+ catches and 65+ yards in four of his last five games. The 49ers haven’t allowed a WR to score a receiving TD since Michael Pittman scored in Week 7, and they’ve given up seven WR receiving TDs this season.
Tyler Conklin has posted 3+ catches in five straight games after hauling in all three of his targets (9% share) for 35 yards and 6.5 FP against the Packers in Week 11. It was his worst fantasy performance since Week 5, and he’s seen just eight targets the last two weeks after seeing 14 targets in his first two games out of their Week 7 bye. The 49ers wiped out Dan Arnold last week, who failed to even see a target, and no TE has recorded 40+ yards against them since the season opener.
Dalvin Cook has reached 20+ touches in four of his last five games, and he’s posted three catches in each of his last three games after falling below the mark in four straight games in Weeks 2-8. He’s averaged just 3.9 YPC in the last two weeks but he doubled his TD total for the season with a score in each game. The 49ers are allowing 3.8 YPC and the eighth-fewest rushing yards per game (80.1) to RBs, but they’ve given up the fourth-most rushing TDs per game (.9) to the position.
Brolley’s 49ers Stats and Trends
The 49ers are 1-4 ATS in their last five home games.
San Francisco is 3-1 ATS in its last four games.
The 49ers absolutely dominated the Jaguars last week, running 33 of the first 37 plays from scrimmage.
The 49ers are +4 in turnover differential the last two weeks after opening the season -9 through their first eight games.
Jimmy Garoppolo has two TD passes in three straight games, but he’s attempted just 41 passes over the last two weeks in a pair of three-score victories over the Rams and Jaguars. He’s averaging 8.0 YPA or better in four straight games with his full cast of receivers. The Vikings have been ripped for 32+ FP twice in the last three weeks by Aaron Rodgers (385/4 passing) and Lamar Jackson (266/3).
Deebo Samuel posted season-lows in targets (2), catches (1), and receiving yards (15) last week, and he still came through with 16.4 FP thanks to season-highs in carries (8) and rushing yards (79) with a rushing TD. Deebo has seen a 20% target share the last two weeks, but his rushing production (13/115/2) has kept him afloat. Davante Adams feasted in this matchup last week with 7/115/2 receiving, and Minnesota is giving up the third-most FPG (41.5) to WRs.
Brandon Aiyuk has turned a corner with 20/245/2 receiving on 26 targets over the last four weeks after managing just 9/96/1 receiving on 16 targets in his first six contests. Marquez Valdes-Scantling went for 4/123/1 receiving on 10 targets in this matchup last week, and the Vikings are giving up a healthy 14.2 YPR.
George Kittle is streaking with touchdowns in his first three straight games since returning from the injured reserve. He has 4+ catches and 13+ FP in each of those contests. The Vikings are giving up the fourth-most FPG (8.8) and the third-fewest catches per game (3.5) to TEs. Mark Andrews posted 5/44 receiving in this matchup in Week 9.
Eli Mitchell is trending toward returning this week after needing finger surgery last week, and he should step back into a sizable role after Jeff Wilson managed just 19/50 rushing (2.6 YPC) last week. Wilson saw by far a season-high 27 carries the last time he played in Week 10, but he failed to reach double-digit FP with 91 rushing yards without a touchdown or a catch. Wilson posted 5/43 receiving in Week 9, but he has just 4/30 receiving in his other six games. The Vikings are giving up 4.5 YPC to RBs after A.J. Dillon posted 11/53 rushing last week.
Barfield’s Pace and Tendencies
Pace (seconds in between plays): 27.4 (13th)
Plays per game: 68.0 (11th)
Pass: 58.4% (22nd) | Run: 41.6% (11th)
Pace: 29.4 (25th)
Plays per game: 64.1 (27th)
Pass: 54.0% (28th) | Run: 46.0% (5th)
All pace / play data is from the last eight weeks.
The Vikings Jekyll & Hyde act continued last week as they tied their season-high in points scored (34) in a shootout against the Packers. Three of the Vikes’ last 5 games have now combined for over 60 total points and their offense has put up 27+ four times in this span despite bottoming out for 16 in Week 7 vs. Dallas.
The 49ers offense has also seemingly gotten on track, too with 33 (vs. Bears), 31 (vs. Rams), and 30 (vs. Jaguars) points scored in three of their last 4 games.
If both of these offenses bring their A-game, this game has explosive upside and could end up going even higher on the scoreboard if the Vikings have to chase. Over the last eight weeks, the Vikings are the seventh-fastest offense in seconds per play (24.2) when trailing by 3 or more points. They are +3.5 dogs as of Friday morning.
Huber’s Key Matchup Notes
Continuing to be featured at left corner, the metrics for Josh Norman have fallen off a cliff after a hot start. He’s licensing the 23rd-most YPCS (1.29), 10th-most FP/CS (0.33), 20th-most AY/CS (0.24), and the fifth-highest TPR (125.0). If we needed some motivation for Justin Jefferson exposure, the fact that he’ll see primary coverage from Norman should do the trick.
The outlook is nowhere near as good for Adam Thielen. Emmanuel Moseley has consistently been a top-15 performer at right CB for SF.
Jimmy Garoppolo is not a threat to attack defenses over the top. On deep targets this season, he’s thrown a pair of TDs vs. a pair of INTs. And he hasn’t completed more than one deep attempt in a game since Week 7. But he has done a tremendous job over the last four weeks at improving his efficiency, and leading his squad to a 3-1 record. One of the reasons we’ve seen some scheme alterations from the Vikings in recent weeks is an increase in long-ball allowance.
Dolan’s Vantage Points
Is there a more fun player to watch in the NFL than Deebo Samuel right now? The guy is amazing. The fact that he’s a wide receiver who put up nearly 20 FP last week despite catching only 1 pass just speaks to his unique skill set and the creative ways in which Kyle Shanahan uses him.
A couple things to note on Sunday's matchup: #49ers WR Deebo Samuel is averaging 9.53 YAC per reception, most of any WR in the NFL. The Vikings are allowing 3rd-most YAC per reception in NFL (6.40).— Nick Wagoner (@nwagoner) November 24, 2021
And Deebo could be used more in the backfield again this week if RB Elijah Mitchell (finger) can’t play.
It's too early to make a call on Mitchell. If he plays, he's worth starting. But not sure he's going to be available. If it's him or Beasley and you don't have time to wait, you're probably better with the safe play and Beasley so long as he's active.— Nick Wagoner (@nwagoner) November 25, 2021
RB Elijah Mitchell (finger) was in a blue, no-contact jersey with his hand specially wrapped. He took part in the running back drills at the start of practice but was not catching any passes. He'll be listed as limited on the practice report.— Matt Barrows (@mattbarrows) November 24, 2021
It seems to me that hands are pretty important for a running back, and if Mitchell hasn’t been using his surgically repaired hand in practice this week, it might be tough for him to play, which would mean a big role for Jeff Wilson again. If Mitchell does play, it’s possible he could be limited. I’m downgrading him on my personal depth chart.
Shanahan said the 49ers will be able to protect Elijah Mitchell's broken finger. Bottom line: If he's comfortable playing he'll be on the field Sunday.— Matt Barrows (@mattbarrows) November 26, 2021
One of the advantages of Deebo being used all over is that it’s helped Brandon Aiyuk crawl out of Shanahan’s doghouse to become a useful fantasy asset. Here’s Graham from Start/Sit on an all-of-a-sudden potential league-winner:
“After the first six or seven weeks, Aiyuk’s season looked lost. He was playing a normal, full-time role – but just not seeing any targets. The lightbulb has definitely come on as of late, though. Aiyuk admitted a few weeks ago that he was in Kyle Shanahan’s doghouse because he was struggling in practice and that he has since turned a corner. Now the production is following. After catching just 9 balls for 96 yards in his first six games, Aiyuk has totaled 20/245/2 over his last four after having one of his best outings of the year against the Jaguars. The trust factor in Aiyuk is clearly back – he’s seen 7 or more targets in three of his last 4 games and has the same number of total targets (19) in his last three games as George Kittle. We like Aiyuk as a strong WR2 start in deeper formats against this Vikings secondary that was just shredded by the Packers even after getting CB Patrick Peterson and S Harrison Smith back.”
The Vikings are both one of my favorite and least favorite teams to write about every week, because I don’t really have to say anything — they are what they are. Really, the only decision most fantasy players have on a weekly basis with this club is whether or not to play Kirk Cousins or TE Tyler Conklin. Graham doesn’t like this matchup for Conklin:
“We’ve been on Conklin as a streamer and DFS punt a few times this year, but this is by no means one of those spots. Even before erasing Dan Arnold for 0/0 last week, the 49ers were giving up just 30.2 YPG (third-fewest) to TEs on the season. Conklin’s target share bottomed out to a season-low 9% last week and I’m not confident that it’ll rebound here with the 49ers facing the fourth-lowest target share (17%) against TEs.”