The Worksheet, a comprehensive fantasy football preview by Rich Hribar, breaks down everything you need to know about the matchup between the Eagles and Vikings on Thursday night.

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7.0 Spread-7.0
20.75 Implied Total27.75
20.014Points All./Gm20.014
68.021Opp. Plays/Gm78.031
5.93Off. Yards/Play4.122
3.63Def. Yards/Play4.921
48.53%20Opp. Rush %28.21%3
51.47%13Opp. Pass %71.79%30

  • The Eagles averaged 18.2 yards per drive in Week 1 (28th) after averaging 35.8 yards per drive in 2022 (fourth).
  • 88.9% of the Minnesota yardage came via passing in Week 1, the highest rate in the league.
  • The Vikings had a gain of 20 or more yards on 7.9% of their offensive plays in Week 1, second in the league behind the Dolphins (12.3%).
  • The teams with Kirk Cousins starting in prime time are 11-18 over his career. With Minnesota, that record is 7-9 (6-10 ATS), but it is 3-1 on Thursday Night.
  • Minnesota blitzed on a league-high 47.4% of drop backs in Week 1 after blitzing at a 21.3% rate in 2022 (23rd).
  • The Vikings generated pressure on just 27.8% of those blitzes (23rd).
  • When Jalen Hurts was pressured in Week 1, he completed just 3-of-11 passes for 10 yards (0.9 Y/A).
  • When Hurts was not pressured, he completed 19-of-22 passes for 160 yards (7.3 Y/A).

Trust = spike production for that player


Jalen Hurts (TRUST): The opener was not kind to Hurts.

He closed Week 1 as the QB19 (10.8 points). He had just one game in 2022 with a lower finish and fewer points, which was the Week 18 game when he returned from a shoulder injury.

Hurts was good when kept clean but was pressured on 38.7% of his drop backs. He had just one game all of 2022 with a higher pressure rate.

Hurts was impacted by pressure last year. Not to the degree of Week 1, but he had a 44.4% completion rate under pressure with 5.5 yards per attempt last season compared to a 73.3% completion rate and 8.1 Y/A when he was kept clean.

Hurts threw for a season-high 10.7 Y/A against Minnesota in Week 2 a year ago to go along with 33.0 fantasy points.

The Vikings underwent a lot of changes under Brian Flores in Week 1 compared to their 2022 deployment under Ed Donatell.

Minnesota blitzed at the league’s highest rate, but they hardly got home against a softer offensive front for Tampa Bay.

For his career, when Hurts has been blitzed but not pressured, he has averaged 8.1 yards per pass attempt with a 108.8 rating.

Despite blitzing so heavily, Minnesota only played man coverage 5.9% of the time against the Bucs, which was the second-lowest rate of Week 1.

With all the changes for Minnesota, they only allowed 5.1 Y/A to Baker Mayfield but had breakdowns that led to a pair of touchdowns while Mayfield finished as the QB11 (16.0 points).

I am fully anticipating Hurts to rebound here at home as a front-end QB1, even if he falls short of the output he had in this matchup a year ago.

Kirk Cousins: Cousins appears to at least be on the same trajectory of last season as a high-volume passer.

A year after finishing fourth in the NFL in drop backs (698), Cousins dropped back to pass 47 times in Week 1, fifth in the league to open the year.

His 344 passing yards were second to only Tua Tagovailoa as he closed the week as the QB10 (16.5 points).

We have the “Prime Time Cousins” narrative in play here.

To be fair to Cousins, his night terrors are a bit overstated for fantasy purposes.

With the Vikings, he has a 66.6% completion rate, 29 touchdowns, and 14 interceptions (93.0 rating) in games starting at 7 p.m. or later. He also does have six QB1 scoring weeks in those games.

But in prime time in this matchup a year ago, he had a hard time shaking the narrative.

Cousins threw for just 4.8 Y/A with 3 interceptions in Philadelphia Week 2 of last season.

Under pressure in that game, Cousins was 6-of-14 (42.9%) for 43 yards (3.1 Y/A) with a touchdown and 2 interceptions. His 34.8 rating under pressure in that game was his lowest of the year.

To compound matters, both Christian Darrisaw (ankle) and Garrett Bradbury (back) picked up injuries on Sunday.

If looking for a few positive notes, we should run into plenty of pass volume here while the Eagles are dealing with their own set of injuries and changes defensively.

Through their defensive losses and changing coordinators, Mac Jones just threw a league-high 54 passes against the Eagles on Sunday. He threw for just 5.9 Y/A, but the sheer volume got him to 316 yards while he closed three drives with passing scores on his way to a QB2 overall (24.1 points) scoring week.

James Bradberry began the week in concussion protocol. The short week makes it unlikely he returns this week. The Eagles also lost Nakobe Dean to a foot injury.

All in all, I would expect Cousins to push 40 pass attempts here, which is enough to get over the start time of this one and use him as a volume-based fantasy option. Cousins is easier to slot into a QB2 slot, but he does carry an upside outcome here.

Running Back

Alexander Mattison: Mattison did get the run as the feature back for Minnesota in Week 1 as expected.

He played 73.4% of the snaps (eighth among running backs) while handling 78.6% of the running back carries (eighth) and 70.0% of the running back touches (14th).

The downside is that we saw more of the same from an efficiency stance.

Mattison rushed 11 times for 34 yards (3.1 YPC) and three catches for 10 yards. He was able to salvage things with a 4-yard touchdown catch.

The Eagles were strong up front in the opener against a New England front that missing starters Cole Strange and Michael Onwenu. They could catch a Minnesota offensive line missing pieces in Week 2.

Against New England’s backs, the Eagles allowed just 2.8 yards per carry (eighth).

Mattison is a volume-based option on the RB2/FLEX line.

Eagles RBs: After a summer of ambiguity and the team masking their depth chart at the running back position, the Eagles operated with Kenneth Gainwell as their primary back.

Gainwell set career-highs with 41 snaps and 18 touches. He handled 81.8% of the backfield touches, which was fourth among all running backs.

Gainwell only managed 74 total yards with 3.9 YPC.

The downside is that on the heaviest workload of his career, Gainwell also picked up a rib injury and has already been ruled out for Week 2.

With the short week and Gainwell banged up, D’Andre Swift (two touches for three yards) and Boston Scott (two touches for 10 yards) should have extended roles, but also should see Rashaad Penny active after he was a healthy scratch in the opener.

This is what “load management” looks like and the Eagles have a luxury to swap options in and out.

Even with Gainwell out, we are doing some guesswork on who the feature back will be, if there will even be one. This situation really makes me like Jalen Hurts and the passing game more.

Our best guess to make is leaning on Swift, but anyone in this backfield is a volatile FLEX swing.

Wide Receiver

Justin Jefferson: Jefferson got out of the blocks hot in Week 1, catching 9-of-12 targets for 150 yards against the Buccaneers.

Jefferson accrued 27.3% of the team targets and was on a pass route for 100% of the team drop backs.

We, of course, were in a similar spot with Jefferson in Week 2 a year ago and he caught 6-of-12 targets for 48 yards. He caught just 1-of-6 targets for seven yards in the coverage of Darius Slay (who also had two interceptions).

The Eagles played man coverage just 22.0% of the time in that game. They were above the base rate of man coverage in Week 1 (26.8%) but will also enter this week potentially down Bradberry, as noted earlier. Even with the poor runout from a year ago, we will take a dozen targets to Jefferson whenever we can and live with the results.

Jefferson remains a front-end WR1.

The Eagles only allowed a 50% catch rate to New England wide receivers on Sunday, but they faced a league-high 32 targets to wideouts, allowing 16 catches for 146 yards overall and a pair of touchdowns to Kendrick Bourne.

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