Vikings vs Giants: Fantasy Football Worksheet, Week 5

The Worksheet, a fantasy football overview by Rich Hribar, breaking down everything you need to know for the Week 5 Minnesota Vikings vs New York Giants Sunday afternoon game on October 6, 2019 at 1 pm ET.
MinnesotaRank@NY GiantsRank
24.75Implied Total20.25
15.86Points All./Gm24.221
65.225Opp. Plays/Gm62.512
39.5%17Opp. Rush %45.2%26
60.5%16Opp. Pass %54.8%7
  • Just 3-of-8 (27.3%) of the offensive touchdowns scored by Minnesota have come via passing, the lowest rate in the league. League average outside of them is 69.4%.
  • Kirk Cousins is 1-of-6 (16.7%) passing in the red zone, ahead of only Josh Rosen (14.3%) in completion rate from the red zone.
  • Cousins is averaging 17.1 passing yards per possession, the fewest of all full-season starting quarterbacks.
  • 47.9% of the yardage gained by Minnesota has come from rushing, the highest rate in the league.
  • In the two games the Vikings have been favored this season, they have the two highest games in terms of run play percentage (77.6% in Week 1 and 64.4% in Week 3) for any teams in a game this season.
  • The Giants have converted 58.3% of their third downs (fourth) over the past two weeks after converting 21.7% over the opening two weeks of the season (30th).
  • Eight rookie quarterbacks have made starts against Minnesota since they hired Mike Zimmer in 2014. Those passers have combined to complete 55.5% of their passes for eight touchdowns and seven interceptions while averaging 175.5 passing yards and 12.0 fantasy points per game. No quarterback threw multiple touchdowns in any of those games.

Trust (spike production for that player)

  • Dalvin Cook: He still found the end zone and totaled 20 touches in a brutal matchup a week ago. This week is much softer against a Giants defense that is 20th in rushing points allowed (13.6) per game to backfields. 

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

  • Evan Engram: There’s going to be some volatility to the Giants passing game week-to-week under Jones. Golden Tate’s return from suspension doesn’t make things better in that regard, either. But Engram is the most talented option, plays the softest position, and has a more favorable draw than the Giants’ wideouts here. The Vikings are 29th in receptions allowed to opposing tight ends, with Austin Hooper (9-77) and Darren Waller (13-134) having high-reception totals in games against them to open the season. 
  • Adam Thielen: This is another great matchup for the Minnesota wideouts. Even in getting a free pass last week versus Washington, the Giants are still 29th in the league in points allowed to opposing wideouts. Sadly, we just don’t know how much faith to place in volume coming their way as favorites. Thielen has five and three targets in the two Minnesota wins this season, but he at least has found the end zone in each of those games. In the four Minnesota wins under Stefanski, Thielen has lines of 2-19-0, 5-80-0, 3-43-1, and 3-55-1 with a rushing touchdown. 
  • Stefon Diggs: Echo all of that for Diggs, who got going last week (7-108). In those same games mentioned above, Diggs has lines of 4-49-1, 2-10-1, 2-37-0, and 3-15-0. There’s a wide range of outcomes for both Minnesota receivers, but you have to play both of them here. 
  • Wayne Gallman: He had 24 of the 37 backfield touches, which he turned into 118 total yards. The important part was that he had seven targets in the passing game and has run 44 pass routes the past two weeks compared to 10 total for all other New York backs. He’ll need that receiving floor here in a tougher run matchup against a Vikings defense that sits at eighth in rushing points allowed (9.9) per game to backfields, but 18th in receiving points allowed (10.3). 

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

  • Daniel Jones: He still has a wide range of outcomes and is not a stable source for a floor. He still has the wildcard of using his legs, but chasing points from a rookie quarterback facing a Mike Zimmer-coached defense is something we can leave on the table. 
  • Kyle Rudolph: With just five catches for 32 yards on the season, Rudolph has run a pass route on just 33.3% of his snaps, which makes him a touchdown-or-bust option at best. 
  • Sterling Shepard: He has six or more receptions in each of his games this season, but looking at his 20-218-1 line to begin the season, 17-195-1 of that has come from the slot, where he’s run 79.5% of his routes this season. With Tate returning, Shepard could be forced outside, where the Giants moved him a year ago to mixed results. All 15 of Shepard’s career receiving touchdowns have come from the slot. 
  • Golden Tate: We don’t really know how he fits in yet or how many viable fantasy options Jones can support on a given week. Tate is no stranger to the Minnesota defense. In 10 games against the Vikings, Tate has been the average WR42.

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

  • Kirk Cousins: Here we go again. On one hand, there’s no way the Vikings are going to sustain an 8:3 rushing to passing touchdown ratio over the course of the season. The Giants are also 25th in passing points allowed (17.3) per game and allowed the QB2, QB7, and QB5 prior to last week’s shut down of Washington. On the other hand, Cousins and the Vikings had two similar matchups versus the Falcons and Raiders and they ran the ball at the highest rates we’ve seen in the league this season. Do last week’s postgame comments mean the Vikings try to get Cousins and this passing game going in an objectively strong matchup? Or do they continue to do what they’ve done as favorites under Kevin Stefanski and ride the running game?

More Week 5 Fantasy breakdowns from The Worksheet:

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