Matchup Analysis: Minnesota Vikings at New England Patriots

Vegas Prediction

Vegas says: Vikings 21, Patriots 27

FBG Projections

TeamRushYardsTDCompAttPass YdTDINT

Minnesota Vikings Offense: overview

Points (vs AVG) (rank)Rush Yards (vs AVG) (rank)Pass Yards (vs AVG) (rank)
Vikings Offense24.1 (-0.1) (16)85 (-28) (30)283 (+35) (7)
Patriots Defense22.6 (-1.5) (12)108 (-5) (14)270 (+21) (25)

New England Patriots Offense: overview

Points (vs AVG) (rank)Rush Yards (vs AVG) (rank)Pass Yards (vs AVG) (rank)
Patriots Offense27.9 (+3.8) (8)118 (+4) (12)270 (+22) (11)
Vikings Defense22.4 (-1.8) (10)94 (-19) (5)221 (-26) (5)

Vikings Rushing offense

Neutral matchup vs. the Patriots defense.

The Vikings ground game has struggled since their Week 10 bye with the combination of Dalvin Cook and Latavius Murray averaging just 2.3 rushing yards per attempt over their last two games. A banged-up offensive line certainly contributes to this lack of effectiveness with both guards Mike Remmers and Tom Compton battling through injuries with this unit ranking near the bottom with a “C-” run grade according to Footballguys offensive line specialist Matt Bitonti. Usage of both Cook and Murray has been slightly perplexing since Cook’s return as they split time on the field at close to a 60/40 ratio in favor of Cook in Week 9, switched heavily in favor of Cook after the bye week in Week 11, then went back to the 60/40 snap split last week with Murray actually seeing one more carry than Cook. Most of Murray’s workload came when trying to salt away the victory last week though, as Cook remains the every-down back of choice for the Vikings and should see most opportunities going forward due in part fo his effectiveness as a pass-catcher. Murray can only be relied upon as a secondary option as long as Cook remains healthy.

The Patriots run defense has continued to look decent in recent weeks after a slow start to the season. They have allowed just two rushing touchdowns and an average of 84 rushing yards per game to running backs over their last four games. Limiting scores on the ground has been a strength of this defense as they have given up just the second-fewest rushing touchdowns in the league (5). With a couple of strong defensive linemen in Lawrence Guy and Trey Flowers, this front can be a difficult one to handle--especially for a below average offensive line like that of the Vikings. Where running backs can excel, however, is on the second level as these Patriots linebackers leave much to be desired when it comes to their ability to bottle up opposing runners.

Vikings Passing offense

Neutral matchup vs. the Patriots defense.

The Vikings passing offense broke out of a downward trend last week as Kirk Cousins led them to 342 passing yards and three touchdowns with solid games through the air to all four primary contributors on offense. This was a nice way to bounce back for Cousins, who averaged nine passing yards per attempt--his highest in a game this season. The turnover-free outing was also encouraging, as Cousins had thrown an interception in three straight games leading into last week. Adam Thielen managed to get back on track with his first game of over 100 receiving yards since Week 8. He remains one of the top receiving options in the league despite the number of mouths to feed in this offense. Stefon Diggs has now scored in three straight games with at least eight receptions in six of his last seven outings as he has come on strong in recent weeks. Even Kyle Rudolph saw an uptick in usage last week as Cousins was spreading the ball around well, leading to Rudolph’s second game of the season with seven receptions and over 60 receiving yards. Rudolph, however, has been held out of the end zone in eight straight games.

The Patriots pass defense has struggled at times this season, but their primary issue continues to be a lack of pressure being applied to opposing quarterbacks. They managed just two sacks last week against a below average Jets offensive line and have only 17 sacks now on the season--third-fewest in the league. The Vikings also have a very shoddy offensive line, which should present an opportunity for the Patriots to try and create some pressure. The New England secondary has been particularly susceptible to production from tight ends. Since Week 5, the Patriots have given up at least 50 receiving yards per game and a total of six receiving touchdowns to tight ends. They have allowed the league’s most fantasy points per game (PPR Scoring) to tight ends by more than a two-point margin over that span. Part of the reason for this is the funneled production due to what has been solid play from their talented cornerbacks Stephon Gilmore on the outside and Jason McCourty manning the slot. While both have had their ups and downs, this combination has primarily done a great job in coverage this season and should be tough matchups for both top Vikings targets with Gilmore shadowing Diggs while McCourty will run with Thielen as often as possible.

Patriots Rushing offense

Bad matchup vs. the Vikings defense.

Fresh off the bye, Sony Michel saw a heavy workload last week as he ran wild for 133 yards and a touchdown on 21 carries. This Patriots rushing offense was firing on all cylinders as they combined for 215 rushing yards on 36 attempts against the Jets. This game marked the third time Michel has been used on more than 20 rushing attempts while crossing the 100-yard threshold. James White also found plenty of room last week as he rushed for a season-high 73 yards on nine attempts, while Cordarelle Patterson had a much quieter game but remains minimally involved despite Michel’s return. Both White and Patterson should be expected to take the back seat to Michel after how he has looked in his past two games back in action. What may complicate things in this backfield is the recent activation of Rex Burkhead from injured reserve. He is eligible to play this week and may take some playing time away from everyone in this Patriots backfield as he is eased back into this offense.

The Vikings continue to excel against opposing rushers, limiting running backs to just the seventh-fewest fantasy points per game (non-PPR) while they have allowed only six rushing touchdowns on the season. A running back has yet to crack the 90-yard mark against the Vikings, and opposing rushers are averaging just 3.7 yards per attempt--tied for third-fewest in the league. They roll out a top-notch defensive line with interior linemen Linval Joseph and Sheldon Richardson proving to be a dangerous combination for opposing offensive linemen. This unit was effective even in the few weeks without their best linebacker Anthony Barr, but he returned to the field from injury last week and should help solidify Minnesota’s spot as one of the best run defenses in the league.

Patriots Passing offense

Bad matchup vs. the Vikings defense.

Tom Brady looked slightly improved coming off the bye in his last start, but he has still yet to kick into the typical mode many have come to expect from one of the all-time greats. His two touchdowns last week marked the first time in four games that Brady has found the end zone more than once while his 64.5 percent completion rate was his best mark since Week 7. A healthy Rob Gronkowski certainly makes a big difference for Brady and this offense though. Gronkowski finished with just 56 receiving yards and a touchdown, but his usage was encouraging as he hauled in the deep touchdown while seeing three more targets from inside the red zone, marking four times Brady was actively trying to find Gronkowski in the end zone. Just having Gronkowski on the field (99 percent of snaps last week) running routes makes a world of difference for the Patriots passing offense, but it also lowers the fantasy ceiling for other contributors such as Julian Edelman, Josh Gordon, and James White--all of whom finished behind Gronkowski in targets last week.

The Vikings defense proved last week why they are one of the best groups in the league as they held Aaron Rodgers to his worst game of the season last week. While their first five games were not pretty to watch at times, the Vikings have now held both Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers to fewer than 200 passing yards and just one touchdown. Over their last six games, both quarterbacks and wide receivers are scoring just the second-fewest fantasy points per game when facing the Vikings. Even tight ends are being shut down with just the fourth-fewest fantasy points per game over that same span of games. A big part of the success has been the pressure this defensive front has managed to create. Ranking tied for third with 36 sacks, the Vikings employ blitz packages very effectively as one of the top defense in the league at selling out against opposing quarterbacks. Minnesota’s secondary also continues to play at a high level while their top linebacker, Anthony Barr, just returned to the field to help continue to apply that pressure while keeping an eye on the likes of James White coming out of the backfield. The Patriots passing offense will need to start playing like they typically have done so in December to have a chance in this one, as what they have shown over the past few weeks will not do the trick against this defense.

Patriots vs QB

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)27 (+2.0)27 (+2.0)26 (+1.6)25 (+1.8)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)16 (-0.0)18 (+0.3)18 (+0.4)16 (-0.4)
9Aaron Rodgers7424432592048021.821.819.219.2
10Marcus Mariota65162422820221023.624.621.822.3
12Josh McCown64264527611325019.319.316.516.5

Kirk Cousins (FanDuel: $7600, DraftKings: $5500)

11@ CHI6730462622215019.619.619.019.0
12vs GB70293834230617030.830.827.430.4
13PROJ-Dodds26402891.70.93100.1222222.0 (H=55)22.0 (H=76)
13PROJ-Tremblay27412821.61390.1212121.0 (H=51)21.0 (H=70)
13PROJ-Bloom27362802.31.1240. (H=60)23.1 (H=83)

Patriots vs RB

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)12 (-1.5)13 (-1.0)12 (-1.5)13 (-1.3)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)8 (-4.6)5 (-6.2)6 (-5.9)4 (-7.2)
9Aaron Jones4314760421008.610.67.69.6
9Jamaal Williams317340222005.
10Derrick Henry1611582000017.817.817.817.8
10Dion Lewis4920570221106.
12Isaiah Crowell266300433006.
12Elijah McGuire35619031702.

Dalvin Cook (FanDuel: $6200, DraftKings: $6200)

11@ CHI59912033-20140.53.0
12vs GB41102903347113.616.615.116.6
13PROJ-Dodds12520.23250.19.512.511.0 (H=20)12.5 (H=25)
13PROJ-Tremblay9370.23240.17.910.99.4 (H=15)10.9 (H=20)
13PROJ-Bloom9320.34450.311.315.313.3 (H=28)15.3 (H=36)

Latavius Murray (FanDuel: $5600, DraftKings: $3700)

11@ CHI645000000.
12vs GB281133000003.
13PROJ-Dodds6240.21504.15.14.6 (H=5)5.1 (H=9)
13PROJ-Tremblay7310.20004.34.34.3 (H=4)4.3 (H=6)
13PROJ-Bloom9300.40005.45.45.4 (H=6)5.4 (H=10)

Patriots vs WR

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)13 (-1.1)13 (-1.0)12 (-1.2)13 (-1.3)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)17 (+0.3)20 (+0.7)18 (+0.5)20 (+1.7)
9Marquez Valdes-Scantling6063101000010.113.111.616.1
9Davante Adams719640100010.
10Corey Davis59107125100018.525.522.028.5
10Cameron Batson36323600003.
12Jermaine Kearse4012666100012.618.615.618.6
12Quincy Enunwa60447300007.311.39.311.3

Adam Thielen (FanDuel: $8100, DraftKings: $8000)

11@ CHI671276600006.613.612.115.6
12vs GB6898125100018.526.522.529.5
13PROJ-Dodds8970.500012.720.716.7 (H=32)20.7 (H=47)
13PROJ-Tremblay7910.501012.219.215.7 (H=29)19.2 (H=41)
13PROJ-Bloom8920.8000142218.0 (H=36)22.0 (H=52)

Stefon Diggs (FanDuel: $7700, DraftKings: $7600)

11@ CHI621813126100018.631.625.134.6
12vs GB66118771112014.922.918.922.9
13PROJ-Dodds7780.514011.218.214.7 (H=27)18.2 (H=40)
13PROJ-Tremblay7770.514011.118.114.6 (H=26)18.1 (H=39)
13PROJ-Bloom8740.6000111915.0 (H=28)19.0 (H=43)

Laquon Treadwell (FanDuel: $4600, DraftKings: $3200)

11@ CHI2931700000.
12vs GB3331600000.
13PROJ-Dodds2220.10002.84.83.8 (H=4)4.8 (H=9)
13PROJ-Tremblay2260.10003.25.24.2 (H=5)5.2 (H=10)
13PROJ-Bloom1700000.71.71.2 (H=0)1.7 (H=1)

Aldrick Robinson (FanDuel: $4600, DraftKings: $3200)

11@ CHI8222410008.410.49.410.4
12vs GB18211100001.
13PROJ-Dodds1120.10001.82.82.3 (H=1)2.8 (H=3)
13PROJ-Tremblay1120.10001.82.82.3 (H=1)2.8 (H=3)
13PROJ-Bloom2230.30004.16.15.1 (H=7)6.1 (H=14)

Chad Beebe (FanDuel: $4500, DraftKings: $3000)

11@ CHI29111800001.
13PROJ-Dodds1120.10001.82.82.3 (H=1)2.8 (H=3)
13PROJ-Tremblay000000000.0 (H=0)0.0 (H=0)

Patriots vs TE

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)29 (+2.4)27T (+3.1)28 (+2.7)28 (+3.4)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)22 (+2.1)23 (+3.3)24 (+2.8)24 (+3.2)
9Jimmy Graham596455111.515.513.515.5
10Jonnu Smith603345110.513.512.013.5
12Chris Herndon51875705.712.79.212.7

Kyle Rudolph (FanDuel: $5600, DraftKings: $3600)

11@ CHI61521301.
12vs GB64776306.313.39.813.3
13PROJ-Dodds4390. (H=10)9.1 (H=25)
13PROJ-Tremblay4380.2597.0 (H=10)9.0 (H=24)
13PROJ-Bloom4390. (H=12)9.7 (H=28)

Patriots vs PK

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)19T (+0.8)19T (+0.8)24 (+0.9) (+0.0)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)19 (+0.6)19 (+0.6)18T (+0.5) (+0.0)
9Mason Crosby1122555.05.0
10Ryan Succop2244101010.010.0
12Jason Myers2211779.09.0

Dan Bailey (FanDuel: $--, DraftKings: $--)

11@ CHI2200666.06.0
12vs GB1333666.06.0

Patriots vs TD

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)2 (-2.6)2 (-2.6)6T (-3.4)6T (-3.4)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)2 (-4.2)2 (-4.2)6 (-3.3)6 (-3.3)
9Green Bay Packers3143320000221.01.0
10Tennessee Titans1028430000337.07.0
12New York Jets2749800000000.00.0

Minnesota Vikings (FanDuel: $3300, DraftKings: $2100)

11@ CHI25.0030812100778.08.0
12vs GB17.0025440100667.07.0
13PROJ-Dodds27.303862.60.90.600.3777.0 (H=17)7.0 (H=27)
13PROJ-Tremblay27.253942.510.600. (H=18)7.1 (H=28)

Vikings vs QB

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)5 (-2.3)5 (-2.3)7 (-2.0)7 (-2.3)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)2 (-8.6)2 (-8.6)4 (-7.0)4 (-7.6)
9Matthew Stafford7025361990056010.610.66.67.6
11Mitchell Trubisky742031165121043014.614.616.916.9
12Aaron Rodgers5317281981000013.913.911.911.9

Tom Brady (FanDuel: $7900, DraftKings: $5800)

10@ TEN5821412540010013.314.311.311.8
12@ NYJ702031283201-1022.
13PROJ-Dodds24382771.90.8130.121.521.521.5 (H=51)21.5 (H=70)
13PROJ-Tremblay25392851.91240.121.821.821.8 (H=52)21.8 (H=71)
13PROJ-Bloom25332762.10.7110. (H=54)22.2 (H=74)

Vikings vs RB

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)7 (-3.8)6 (-4.3)5 (-4.4)6 (-5.1)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)2 (-8.6)2 (-7.9)2 (-8.8)2 (-8.9)
9Kerryon Johnson391237053704.
9Theo Riddick39000873603.610.67.110.6
11Jordan Howard481863011206.
11Tarik Cohen307270432305.
12Aaron Jones40177215321015.318.316.818.3
12Jamaal Williams1315000000.

James White (FanDuel: $6800, DraftKings: $6500)

10@ TEN441-50853102.
12@ NYJ37973051507.
13PROJ-Dodds5210.26480.511.117.114.1 (H=28)17.1 (H=42)
13PROJ-Tremblay5180.27560.511.618.615.1 (H=32)18.6 (H=48)
13PROJ-Bloom4210.24310.59.413.411.4 (H=19)13.4 (H=27)

Sony Michel (FanDuel: $7000, DraftKings: $6100)

10@ TEN171131000003.
12@ NYJ302113312212020.522.521.525.5
13PROJ-Dodds17670.519010.611.611.1 (H=18)11.6 (H=22)
13PROJ-Tremblay15610.51809.910.910.4 (H=16)10.9 (H=20)
13PROJ-Bloom17700.516010.611.611.1 (H=18)11.6 (H=22)

Rex Burkhead (FanDuel: $--, DraftKings: $3300)

13PROJ-Dodds2801501. (H=2)
13PROJ-Tremblay1401400. (H=1)
13PROJ-Bloom000000000.00.0 (H=0)

Vikings vs WR

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)2 (-5.0)4 (-6.3)5 (-5.5)4 (-6.6)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)7 (-4.9)10 (-5.5)10 (-4.4)9 (-5.8)
9Marvin Jones63866600006.612.69.612.6
9Kenny Golladay68434601805.
11Anthony Miller60322511-108.410.49.410.4
11Taylor Gabriel559752021706.913.910.413.9
12Davante Adams538569100012.917.915.417.9
12Equanimeous St. Brown36535301505.

Julian Edelman (FanDuel: $7200, DraftKings: $7100)

10@ TEN54129104000010.719.715.122.6
12@ NYJ605484100014.418.416.418.4
13PROJ-Dodds6620.41509.115.112.2 (H=21)15.2 (H=31)
13PROJ-Tremblay5620.40308.913.911.5 (H=19)14.0 (H=27)
13PROJ-Bloom7710.500010.117.113.7 (H=25)17.2 (H=38)

Josh Gordon (FanDuel: $6600, DraftKings: $5900)

10@ TEN551248100008.
12@ NYJ53557000007129.512.0
13PROJ-Dodds4620.300081210.0 (H=16)12.0 (H=25)
13PROJ-Tremblay4600.30007.811.89.8 (H=15)11.8 (H=24)
13PROJ-Bloom5710.500010.115.112.6 (H=24)15.1 (H=37)

Chris Hogan (FanDuel: $4900, DraftKings: $3500)

10@ TEN541000000000.00.0
12@ NYJ28224700004.
13PROJ-Dodds2230.10002.94.93.9 (H=4)4.9 (H=8)
13PROJ-Tremblay2240.1000354.0 (H=4)5.0 (H=9)
13PROJ-Bloom2260.10003.25.24.2 (H=4)5.2 (H=9)

Cordarrelle Patterson (FanDuel: $4800, DraftKings: $3300)

10@ TEN12000041101.
12@ NYJ2221-1051000.
13PROJ-Dodds1602110. (H=2)3.4 (H=5)
13PROJ-Tremblay1603170. (H=3)4.0 (H=6)
13PROJ-Bloom000000000.1 (H=0)0.1 (H=0)

Phillip Dorsett (FanDuel: $4600, DraftKings: $3000)

10@ TEN15221800001.
12@ NYJ922100000132.03.0
13PROJ-Dodds1110.10001.72.72.2 (H=1)2.7 (H=3)
13PROJ-Tremblay1100.10001.62.62.1 (H=1)2.6 (H=3)
13PROJ-Bloom21200001.23.22.2 (H=1)3.2 (H=4)

Vikings vs TE

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)12 (-0.8)14 (-1.0)13 (-0.8)13 (-0.9)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)1 (-5.3)2 (-6.8)1 (-6.0)2 (-6.9)
9Luke Willson34221701.
11Trey Burton5911900.
12Jimmy Graham22423403.

Rob Gronkowski (FanDuel: $6700, DraftKings: $5400)

12@ NYJ697356111.614.613.114.6
13PROJ-Dodds4620. (H=19)13.2 (H=32)
13PROJ-Tremblay4520.37119.0 (H=13)11.0 (H=23)
13PROJ-Bloom4590.58.912.910.9 (H=18)12.9 (H=31)

Vikings vs PK

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)30 (+1.6)30 (+1.6)31 (+1.9) (+0.0)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)23 (+0.9)23 (+0.9)21 (+0.8) (+0.0)
9Matt Prater3300999.09.0
11Cody Parkey33009911.011.0
12Mason Crosby1122555.05.0

Stephen Gostkowski (FanDuel: $--, DraftKings: $--)

10@ TEN1211446.06.0
12@ NYJ2233999.09.0

Vikings vs TD

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)29 (+1.8)29 (+1.8)23 (+1.7)23 (+1.7)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)23 (+1.1)23 (+1.1)22T (+1.7)22T (+1.7)
9Detroit Lions2428311100556.06.0
11Chicago Bears2026822101141415.015.0
12Green Bay Packers2441620000222.02.0

New England Patriots (FanDuel: $3600, DraftKings: $2400)

10@ TEN34.0038520000221.01.0
12@ NYJ13.0033821000448.08.0
13PROJ-Dodds21.303732.410.800.5101010.0 (H=29)10.0 (H=44)
13PROJ-Tremblay21.253672.710.800.510.310.310.3 (H=31)10.3 (H=47)