Matchup Analysis: New Orleans Saints at Minnesota Vikings

Vegas Prediction

Vegas says: Saints 27, Vikings 26

FBG Projections

TeamRushYardsTDCompAttPass YdTDINT
NO25951.126382971.60.8
MIN20740.726392872.00.8

New Orleans Saints Offense: overview

Points (vs AVG) (rank)Rush Yards (vs AVG) (rank)Pass Yards (vs AVG) (rank)
Saints Offense34.0 (+10.0) (2)108 (-2) (16)302 (+48) (6)
Vikings Defense23.6 (-0.5) (14)90 (-20) (5)256 (+3) (16)

Minnesota Vikings Offense: overview

Points (vs AVG) (rank)Rush Yards (vs AVG) (rank)Pass Yards (vs AVG) (rank)
Vikings Offense25.3 (+1.2) (14)87 (-22) (27)293 (+40) (7)
Saints Defense27.2 (+3.1) (27)72 (-38) (1)294 (+40) (28)

Saints Rushing offense

Bad matchup vs. the Vikings defense.

The Saints run game hasn’t shown its 2017 dominance yet. That’s to be expected – Mark Ingram lost the first four games to injury, and Alvin Kamara is a bit miscast as a grinding runner. It may take time for this unit to shake out fully, but it projects well going forward, so patience is key. Last season, Ingram and Kamara averaged 101 yards per game (4.56 per carry) together down the stretch as football’s most lethal tandem. Ingram is a deft inside runner with patience and underrated juice in his legs, while Kamara is arguably the NFL’s most explosive backfield weapon. And both operate behind an elite front line, graded fifth overall (with a B+ run-blocking grade) by our Matt Bitonti. With Drew Brees spreading the offense, the onus is on Ingram and Kamara to produce. Last season’s devastating run suggests they’re fully capable of it, even in tougher matchups.

There’s still very little success to be found against Minnesota’s run defense. Armed to the teeth with athletic, engulfing linemen capable of making plays in the backfield, the Vikings simply don’t allow big fantasy days. Through 7 weeks, only Todd Gurley has topped 59 yards, and all runners (Gurley include) are averaging just 3.71 per attempt. Along the way, they’ve allowed just a single touchdown on the ground. Sheldon Richardson continues to excel at both penetration and containment, and middle linebacker Eric Kendricks is fast and active in pursuit. Fantasy players target opposing runners at their own risk.

Saints Passing offense

Tough matchup vs. the Vikings defense.

Yet again, Drew Brees showed the football world he doesn’t need big volume or downfield striking to dictate a game. Brees’ usage has dipped a bit over the past three games, but remains the NFL’s most accurate passer, capable of smothering defenses with placement as precise as ever. On the year, he’s completing more than 77% of his throws and has yet to toss an interception. He’s not getting much dynamism from his receivers, though. Michael Thomas keeps playing pitch-and-catch (a 91% catch rate), but beyond him, there’s little proven playmaking. The team is hoping rookie Tre’Quan Smith’s Week 6 eruption (3 for 114 and 2 touchdowns) was a legitimate shove to the front of the pack. Smith offers more explosiveness than the likes of Cameron Meredith or Austin Carr, and the team would rather he create splash plays downfield than Ben Watson lumber over the middle. This passing game is in excellent hands, with Thomas, Smith, and Alvin Kamara offering plenty of dynamite. But the production isn’t as projectable as the efficiency is right now.

It’s been a dominant two weeks, but it hasn’t been enough to prove the Vikings pass defense is back on track. Smothering throughout 2017, this unit has allowed 261 yards or more to every non-rookie starter it’s faced. (In fact, Jared Goff and Carson Wentz went far beyond the pole in their turns, totaling 776 and 7 touchdowns.) There’s plenty of talent in the secondary, particularly in free safety Harrison Smith and occasional shutdown cornerback Xavier Rhodes. But the rest of the group tends to struggle in coverage, often rescued by an erratic, misplaced throw by a rookie. The pass rush is still lethal, but there’s so much open downfield, quarterbacks are more willing to simply wing it through coverage. The better ones are finding success.

Vikings Rushing offense

Bad matchup vs. the Saints defense.

Dalvin Cook continues to nurse his nagging hamstring issue, but it’s yet to doom the Vikings ground game. Latavius Murray has shown new life over the last 2 games, churning out 224 yards and 3 touchdowns. Murray is running hard and decisively, and he’s benefiting from a front line that’s improving week by week. His 38-yard scoring scamper last week was a great snapshot of the runner/line connection growing stronger. Cook could conceivably return any week now, and he offers a notable talent upgrade. And Murray’s floor isn’t very attractive – he’s disappointed mightily in a few juicy starts thus far. But at the moment, he’s one of the league’s hottest runners, and this entire Minnesota offense is tough to keep out of fantasy lineups.

The Saints run defense just continues to neutralize opposing lead runners. Through 6 games they’ve allowed only a single back to top 44 yards, and that came back in Week 1. Some of that can be chalked up the game flow of Saints games, which can get out of control and force offenses to abandon the run. But they’ve stifled not just volume, but their efficiency, too. Among lead backs, only Saquon Barkley has produced more than 3.6 yards per carry. And outside of garbage time, only Barkley and one other have found the end zone. With a burgeoning front line anchored by rising star nose tackle Sheldon Rankins, there’s no reason to assume this is a short-term anomaly. They may not be quite this dominant going forward, but this is looking like a fairly prohibitive unit.

Vikings Passing offense

Good matchup vs. the Saints defense.

For the past two seasons, the football world has seen the development of Adam Thielen, from undrafted nobody to productive No. 1 wideout. But few could’ve expected quite this level of proficiency – the NFL’s reception and yardage leader through seven weeks, Thielen has been a model of high-end consistency. Averaging a line of 10-117-0.7, he’s hauling in 75% of his targets and has yet to land short of 102 yards in a game. Between Thielen and Stefon Diggs (7-67-0.4), Kirk Cousins certainly hasn’t hurt for dynamism. Cousins has already thrown for 296 yards or more 4 times; he’s one of the league’s truly elite downfield creators and a perfect match for these explosive receivers. The reserves and tight ends don’t offer much to the stat sheet, but all of the principal figures are weekly threats to erupt, regardless of matchup.

The New Orleans pass defense hasn’t returned to its devastating ways of 2017, but it’s inching in that direction. They opened the year in horrid fashion, allowing 346 yards per game and 10 touchdowns over the first 3 weeks. Cornerbacks Marshon Lattimore and Ken Crawley were gambling and whiffing left and right, and splash plays were cropping up all over the field. But since Week 4, they’ve tightened considerably, clamping down on all three opponents. Baltimore’s John Brown had a big day last Sunday, but aside from him, there’s been little dynamism against the Saints. Lattimore is returning to the ball-hawking ways of his rookie year, but without missing terribly on the ball. And Crawley continues to flash shutdown potential in his own right; he’s a much better cover man than he showed early in the year. The addition of Eli Apple, who’d improved greatly in his third year, brings more depth – and keeps the burnable P.J. Williams off the field more. This isn’t some unit to fear in fantasy, but that’s well within their range of outcomes.

Vikings vs QB

STANDARDPPRFDDK
Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)24 (+1.4)24 (+1.3)24 (+1.0)24 (+0.8)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)25 (+2.8)25 (+2.7)23 (+1.8)25 (+2.3)
WEEKPLAYERoSNAPCMPATTYDTDINTRSHYDTDSTDPPRFDDK
4Jared Goff5526334655027044.044.039.342.3
5Carson Wentz59243531120526026.226.221.025.0
6Josh Rosen5821312400100011.011.08.68.6
7Sam Darnold71174220613618119.119.115.016.0

Drew Brees (FanDuel: $--, DraftKings: $--)

oSNAPCMPATTYDTDINTRSHYDTDSTDPPRFDDK
5vs WAS6326293633021030.431.427.230.7
7@ BAL7122302122043018.918.916.816.8
8PROJ-Dodds26382971.60.8460.322.922.922.922.9
8PROJ-Tremblay26392931.516100.322.522.522.522.5
8PROJ-Bloom25332522.30.6110.121.921.921.921.9

Vikings vs RB

STANDARDPPRFDDK
Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)11 (-3.3)7 (-5.0)7 (-4.6)6 (-5.8)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)13 (-2.7)10 (-3.8)11 (-3.6)10 (-4.4)
WEEKPLAYERoSNAPRSHYDTDTARGRECYDTDSTDPPRFDDK
4Todd Gurley53178306473121.625.623.625.6
4Malcolm Brown200000000.00.00.00.0
5Wendell Smallwood2932704344113.116.116.618.1
5Jay Ajayi29829011503.44.41.93.4
6David Johnson55185515215013.015.012.014.0
6Chase Edmonds414000000.40.40.40.4
7Trenton Cannon23240546907.311.39.311.3
7Isaiah Crowell3311290312105.06.05.56.0

Alvin Kamara (FanDuel: $--, DraftKings: $--)

oSNAPRSHYDTDTARGRECYDTDSTDPPRFDDK
5vs WAS316240431503.96.95.46.9
7@ BAL39176412211013.515.514.515.5
8PROJ-Dodds10430.45470.1121714.517.0
8PROJ-Tremblay10430.45410.111.416.413.916.4
8PROJ-Bloom13510.55310.514.219.216.719.2

Mark Ingram (FanDuel: $--, DraftKings: $--)

oSNAPRSHYDTDTARGRECYDTDSTDPPRFDDK
5vs WAS36165323220019.321.320.321.3
7@ BAL3512320221004.26.25.26.2
8PROJ-Dodds11460.44280.110.414.412.414.4
8PROJ-Tremblay10460.44340.1111513.015.0
8PROJ-Bloom13540.53240.111.414.412.914.4

Vikings vs WR

STANDARDPPRFDDK
Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)16T (-4.0)6 (-5.2)5 (-4.6)6 (-5.4)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)16 (-0.7)14 (-2.1)15 (-1.4)16 (-1.3)
WEEKPLAYERoSNAPTARGRECYDTDRSHYDTDSTDPPRFDDK
4Cooper Kupp53119162200028.237.232.740.2
4Brandin Cooks52871161110018.625.622.128.6
5Shelton Gibson9114800004.85.85.35.8
5Nelson Agholor52444500004.58.56.58.5
6Christian Kirk46767700007.713.710.713.7
6Larry Fitzgerald49853900003.98.96.48.9
7Robby Anderson621034400004.47.45.97.4
7Andre Roberts31622100002.14.13.14.1

Michael Thomas (FanDuel: $--, DraftKings: $--)

oSNAPTARGRECYDTDRSHYDTDSTDPPRFDDK
5vs WAS51547400007.411.49.411.4
7@ BAL669769100012.919.916.419.9
8PROJ-Dodds7850.500011.518.515.018.5
8PROJ-Tremblay6790.500010.916.913.916.9
8PROJ-Bloom6790.700012.118.115.118.1

TreQuan Smith (FanDuel: $--, DraftKings: $--)

oSNAPTARGRECYDTDRSHYDTDSTDPPRFDDK
5vs WAS4433111200023.126.124.629.1
7@ BAL52634400004.47.45.97.4
8PROJ-Dodds3450.30006.39.37.89.3
8PROJ-Tremblay3480.30006.69.68.19.6
8PROJ-Bloom4560.400081210.012.0

Cameron Meredith (FanDuel: $--, DraftKings: $--)

oSNAPTARGRECYDTDRSHYDTDSTDPPRFDDK
5vs WAS30557100007.112.17.611.1
7@ BAL180000000000.00.0
8PROJ-Dodds2320.10003.85.84.85.8
8PROJ-Tremblay2290.10003.55.54.55.5
8PROJ-Bloom2250.20003.75.74.75.7

Austin Carr (FanDuel: $--, DraftKings: $--)

oSNAPTARGRECYDTDRSHYDTDSTDPPRFDDK
5vs WAS14221700001.73.72.73.7
7@ BAL150000000000.00.0
8PROJ-Dodds1100.10001.62.62.12.6
8PROJ-Tremblay1110.10001.72.72.22.7
8PROJ-Bloom000000000.00.0

Vikings vs TE

STANDARDPPRFDDK
Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)27 (+2.2)27 (+3.1)26 (+2.6)26 (+3.2)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)25 (+2.1)26 (+3.4)25 (+2.8)26 (+3.9)
WEEKPLAYERoSNAPTARGRECYDTDSTDPPRFDDK
4Gerald Everett23111301.32.31.82.3
5Zach Ertz571110110117.027.022.030.0
6Ricky Seals-Jones39656906.911.99.411.9
7Chris Herndon247442110.214.212.214.2

Ben Watson (FanDuel: $--, DraftKings: $--)

oSNAPTARGRECYDTDSTDPPRFDDK
5vs WAS3644300375.07.0
7@ BAL356643110.316.313.316.3
8PROJ-Dodds3340.35.28.26.78.2
8PROJ-Tremblay3340.35.28.26.78.2
8PROJ-Bloom4310.34.98.96.98.9

Josh Hill (FanDuel: $--, DraftKings: $--)

oSNAPTARGRECYDTDSTDPPRFDDK
5vs WAS38222418.410.49.410.4
7@ BAL440000000.00.0
8PROJ-Dodds190.11.52.52.02.5
8PROJ-Tremblay160.11.22.21.72.2
8PROJ-Bloom160.11.22.21.72.2

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

oSNAPTARGRECYDTDSTDPPRFDDK
5vs WAS140000000.00.0
7@ BAL11323503.55.54.55.5
8PROJ-Dodds1100121.52.0
8PROJ-Tremblay1100.11.62.62.12.6

Vikings vs PK

STANDARDPPRFDDK
Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)28 (+1.4)28 (+1.4)27 (+1.5) (+0.0)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)6 (-1.6)6 (-1.6)7 (-2.0) (+0.0)
WEEKPLAYERFGFGAXPXPASTDPPRFDDK
4Sam Ficken1255888.00.0
5Jake Elliott2211777.07.0
6Phil Dawson1122555.05.0
7Jason Myers1122557.07.0

Wil Lutz (FanDuel: $--, DraftKings: $--)

FGFGAXPXPASTDPPRFDDK
5vs WAS1145778.08.0
7@ BAL1133666.06.0
8PROJ-Dodds1.92.32.62.78.38.39.69.6
8PROJ-Tremblay22.52.62.68.68.610.010.0

Vikings vs TD

STANDARDPPRFDDK
Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)22 (+1.1)22 (+1.1)11T (+0.7)11T (+0.7)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)19 (+0.7)19 (+0.7)11 (-1.8)11 (-1.8)
WEEKPLAYERPTYDSACKINTFRSFTYTDSTDPPRFDDK
4Los Angeles Rams3144640100665.05.0
5Philadelphia Eagles2337510100334.04.0
6Arizona Cardinals2741141101202014.014.0
7New York Jets373161000011-3.0-3.0

New Orleans Saints (FanDuel: $--, DraftKings: $--)

PTYDSACKINTFRSFTYTDSTDPPRFDDK
5vs WAS19.0028331100778.08.0
7@ BAL23.0035110000111.01.0
8PROJ-Dodds26.903852.410.600.47.67.67.67.6
8PROJ-Tremblay27.003782.610.600.47.87.87.87.8

Saints vs QB

STANDARDPPRFDDK
Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)30 (+6.4)30 (+6.4)30 (+6.7)30 (+6.7)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)16 (-0.2)16 (-0.3)15 (-0.5)13 (-1.3)
WEEKPLAYERoSNAPCMPATTYDTDINTRSHYDTDSTDPPRFDDK
4Eli Manning6231412551025017.317.314.715.7
5Alex Smith6123392750127119.519.514.715.7
7Joe Flacco6823392792014022.422.419.619.6

Kirk Cousins (FanDuel: $--, DraftKings: $--)

oSNAPCMPATTYDTDINTRSHYDTDSTDPPRFDDK
5@ PHI6230373011051019.219.214.118.1
6vs ARI712434233114141222318.119.6
7@ NYJ692540241202-10202017.517.5
8PROJ-Dodds263928720.84100.223.823.823.823.8
8PROJ-Tremblay25392801.914110.222.922.922.922.9
8PROJ-Bloom29382861.70.6220.121.321.321.321.3

Saints vs RB

STANDARDPPRFDDK
Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)3 (-5.7)4 (-5.8)3 (-6.0)4 (-6.6)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)5 (-5.0)12 (-2.4)10 (-4.2)12 (-3.4)
WEEKPLAYERoSNAPRSHYDTDTARGRECYDTDSTDPPRFDDK
4Saquon Barkley54104418656016.022.019.022.0
4Wayne Gallman9260331702.35.31.84.3
5Kapri Bibbs849100006.96.96.96.9
5Chris Thompson408170864506.212.29.212.2
7Alex Collins2811380431004.87.86.37.8
7Javorius Allen30330332102.45.43.95.4

Latavius Murray (FanDuel: $--, DraftKings: $--)

oSNAPRSHYDTDTARGRECYDTDSTDPPRFDDK
5@ PHI4611420221405.67.66.67.6
6vs ARI58241551213021.822.822.325.8
7@ NYJ58156922214020.322.321.322.3
8PROJ-Dodds15600.52130.110.912.911.912.9
8PROJ-Tremblay15610.52160.111.313.312.313.3
8PROJ-Bloom14510.421208.710.79.710.7

C.J. Ham (FanDuel: $--, DraftKings: $--)

oSNAPRSHYDTDTARGRECYDTDSTDPPRFDDK
5@ PHI800011700.71.71.21.7
6vs ARI1411010000.10.10.10.1
7@ NYJ20000000000.00.0
8PROJ-Dodds0001600.61.61.11.6
8PROJ-Tremblay0201700.91.91.41.9
8PROJ-Bloom000000000.00.0

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

oSNAPRSHYDTDTARGRECYDTDSTDPPRFDDK
8PROJ-Dodds000000000.00.0
8PROJ-Tremblay000000000.00.0
8PROJ-Bloom000000000.00.0

Saints vs WR

STANDARDPPRFDDK
Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)32 (+10.3)32 (+12.9)32 (+12.2)32 (+14.1)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)12 (-1.8)18 (+0.1)18 (-0.2)19 (+0.3)
WEEKPLAYERoSNAPTARGRECYDTDRSHYDTDSTDPPRFDDK
4Sterling Shepard59101077100013.723.720.725.7
4Odell Beckham5911760011007.014.010.514.0
5Jamison Crowder52845500005.59.57.59.5
5Paul Richardson42545000005.09.07.09.0
7John Brown5077134100019.426.422.929.4
7Michael Crabtree48956600006.611.69.111.6

Adam Thielen (FanDuel: $--, DraftKings: $--)

oSNAPTARGRECYDTDRSHYDTDSTDPPRFDDK
5@ PHI60107116100017.624.621.127.6
6vs ARI691511123100018.329.323.832.3
7@ NYJ661091101000172621.529.0
8PROJ-Dodds81010.600013.721.717.721.7
8PROJ-Tremblay8990.600013.521.517.521.5
8PROJ-Bloom91080.7000152419.524.0

Stefon Diggs (FanDuel: $--, DraftKings: $--)

oSNAPTARGRECYDTDRSHYDTDSTDPPRFDDK
5@ PHI531110910225011.621.616.621.6
6vs ARI63533301904.27.25.77.2
7@ NYJ631483302-702.610.66.610.6
8PROJ-Dodds6710.514010.516.513.516.5
8PROJ-Tremblay6680.516010.416.413.416.4
8PROJ-Bloom7720.417010.317.313.817.3

Laquon Treadwell (FanDuel: $--, DraftKings: $--)

oSNAPTARGRECYDTDRSHYDTDSTDPPRFDDK
5@ PHI30432100002.15.13.65.1
6vs ARI38443800003.87.85.87.8
7@ NYJ51331100001.14.12.64.1
8PROJ-Dodds2280.2000465.06.0
8PROJ-Tremblay2280.2000465.06.0
8PROJ-Bloom4380.2000597.09.0

Aldrick Robinson (FanDuel: $--, DraftKings: $--)

oSNAPTARGRECYDTDRSHYDTDSTDPPRFDDK
5@ PHI151000000000.00.0
6vs ARI61000000000.00.0
7@ NYJ8313410009.410.49.910.4
8PROJ-Dodds1110.10001.72.72.22.7
8PROJ-Tremblay1110.10001.72.72.22.7
8PROJ-Bloom1130.10001.92.92.42.9

Saints vs TE

STANDARDPPRFDDK
Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)2 (-3.1)2 (-4.3)5 (-3.3)4 (-4.2)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)7 (-2.7)6 (-4.4)6 (-3.5)6 (-4.6)
WEEKPLAYERoSNAPTARGRECYDTDSTDPPRFDDK
4Rhett Ellison54532902.95.94.45.9
5Jordan Reed39212102.13.12.63.1
7Mark Andrews2611816.87.87.37.8

Kyle Rudolph (FanDuel: $--, DraftKings: $--)

oSNAPTARGRECYDTDSTDPPRFDDK
5@ PHI54554104.19.16.69.1
6vs ARI60443703.77.75.77.7
7@ NYJ56411601.62.62.12.6
8PROJ-Dodds4370.35.59.57.59.5
8PROJ-Tremblay3320.3586.58.0
8PROJ-Bloom4380.35.69.67.69.6

David Morgan (FanDuel: $--, DraftKings: $--)

oSNAPTARGRECYDTDSTDPPRFDDK
5@ PHI2011500.51.51.01.5
6vs ARI290000000.00.0
7@ NYJ240000000.00.0
8PROJ-Dodds1600.61.61.11.6
8PROJ-Tremblay1500.51.51.01.5
8PROJ-Bloom000000.00.0

Saints vs PK

STANDARDPPRFDDK
Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)6T (-1.2)6T (-1.2)3 (-1.7) (+0.0)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)3 (-2.5)3 (-2.5)4T (-2.8) (+0.0)
WEEKPLAYERFGFGAXPXPASTDPPRFDDK
4Aldrick Rosas1111444.00.0
5Dustin Hopkins2211779.09.0
7Justin Tucker1123555.05.0

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

FGFGAXPXPASTDPPRFDDK
5@ PHI3522111113.013.0
6vs ARI22339910.010.0
7@ NYJ3444131314.014.0
8PROJ-Dodds22.42.72.88.78.710.110.1
8PROJ-Tremblay2.12.62.72.79910.510.5

Saints vs TD

STANDARDPPRFDDK
Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)12 (-1.2)12 (-1.2)3 (-4.6)3 (-4.6)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)4 (-4.2)4 (-4.2)2T (-5.8)2T (-5.8)
WEEKPLAYERPTYDSACKINTFRSFTYTDSTDPPRFDDK
4New York Giants3338910000110.00.0
5Washington Redskins4344720100440.00.0
7Baltimore Ravens2433910100333.03.0

Minnesota Vikings (FanDuel: $--, DraftKings: $--)

PTYDSACKINTFRSFTYTDSTDPPRFDDK
5@ PHI21.0036430201191913.013.0
6vs ARI17.00269411008812.012.0
7@ NYJ17.0026333100111112.012.0
8PROJ-Dodds26.203912.310.600.47.77.77.77.7
8PROJ-Tremblay26.003922.610.600.4888.08.0