The Worksheet, a fantasy football overview by Rich Hribar, breaking down everything you need to know for the Week 14  Detroit Lions vs Minnesota Vikings Sunday afternoon game on December 8, 2019 at 1 pm ET.
14.25Implied Total28.25
26.225Points All./Gm20.211
66.527Opp. Plays/Gm64.619
40.6%16Opp. Rush %38.3%9
59.4%17Opp. Pass %61.7%24
  • The Vikings have won and covered four consecutive games versus the Lions. 
  • Detroit has had the ball with the lead in 11 games this season, tied for second in the league with New England and Kansas City.
  • Kenny Golladay has 110.1 fantasy points on targets 15 yards or further downfield, the most in the league. The next highest player (Mike Evans) has 87.7.
  • Opposing passers have completed 53.7% (22-of-41) of their deep passing attempts against Minnesota over their past six games after completing 38.1% (16-of-42) over their opening six games. 
  • Detroit is allowing 78.9 non-passing points per game, 30th in the league.
  • Minnesota has scored a touchdown on 37.5% of their drives at home this season, the highest rate in the league.

Trust (spike production for that player)

  • Kirk Cousins: Cousins has 17 or more fantasy points in seven of his past eight games, with multiple touchdown passes in seven of those weeks. His highest-scoring game of the season came when these two teams met in Week 7 (29.2 points), but that also was a 72-combined-point shootout. We’re unlikely to get the back and forth scoring affair here, but Detroit has allowed a top-12 scoring passer in 10 of 12 games.
  • Dalvin Cook: He wasn’t even on the final injury report this week, so approach Cook as the set and forget option he is while treating Alexander Mattison as the cleanup man and option if Cook were to re-aggravate his chest injury. Detroit is 26th in rushing points allowed per game (14.8) and 31st in receiving points allowed per game (14.9) to opposing backfields. 

On the Cusp (proxy of a player’s average)

  • Stefon Diggs: We’ll need to see if Adam Thielen finally suits up or not this week, so we won’t assume anything early on in the week given how the past few weeks have gone. Diggs has been the WR42 or lower in three of his past four games while finding the end zone if one of his past six. He’s been feast or famine, posting five 100-yard games and seven below 50 yards, but he was more feast when he touched Detroit up for 7-142-0 on eight targets when these teams played earlier in the season. 
  • Kyle Rudolph: As long as Thielen remains out, Rudolph is a solid lower-end TE1 option. He’s been a TE1 in five of his past six games. Albeit a touchdown-dependent option – scoring six touchdowns over those six games with 38.2 receiving yards per game – Rudolph has averaged 14.7% of the team targets per game over that span. Detroit is 31st in fantasy points allowed per target (2.09) to opposing tight ends and has allowed a touchdown to an opposing tight end in five of their past seven games. 

Bust (down-week production for that player’s standards)

  • Bo Scarbrough: Scarbrough has produced solid 18-98 and 21-83 rushing lines over the past two weeks, but still has yet to catch a pass and has only been targeted once over his three games played. Being a rushing-only fantasy asset is a tough spot as a massive road underdog against a Vikings defense allowing 10.9 rushing points per game to backfields (10th). 
  • David Blough: Blough was a productive QB14 (17.3 points) in his first career start on Thanksgiving, but his production waned as the game wore on, averaging 4.4 yards per pass attempt in the second half of his debut. Nine rookie quarterbacks have made starts against Minnesota since they hired Mike Zimmer in 2014 with none throwing multiple touchdowns in any of those games.

If You Must (intriguing bench option or deeper league play) 

  • Lions WRs: Both Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones continued to survive the quarterback carousel in Detroit for fantasy purposes, but both still had some fragility to their performances. Jones found the end zone, which elevated a 3-40 line to WR31 status. Golladay had a gaudy 4-158-1 game, but he maxed out his opportunity, receiving just five total targets. Golladay now has just 14 targets over his past three games. Golladay has also struggled to shake free in this matchup, catching 12 passes for 186 yards and zero touchdowns in four career games against Minnesota with Matthew Stafford playing. But when these wideouts do get looks, they are high-leverage targets that are downfield or in the end zone. Blough attempted 10 passes 15-yards or further downfield in his debut while the Vikings have gotten leaky in allowing explosive pass plays as the season has worn on. Xavier Rhodes has allowed the fourth-most receptions in coverage this season (53) while Trae Waynes is seventh (49) and each has allowed four touchdown receptions.

More Week 14 Fantasy breakdowns from The Worksheet:

DAL at CHI | DET at MIN | BAL at BUF | SF at NO | IND at TB | CIN at CLE | DEN at HOU | WAS at GB | CAR at ATL | MIA at NYJ | LAC at JAX | TEN at OAK | KC at NE | PIT at ARI | SEA at LAR | NYG at PHI