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NFL Matchups: Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears Fantasy Football Preview

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NFL DFS lineup optimizer picks projections DraftKings FanDuel free expert 2021 fantasy football advice Monday Night Football Vikings vs. Bears Week 15 stacks rankings ownership optimal lineup

This a snippet of Adam Pfeifer’s NFL matchups column, previewing the Vikings vs. the Bears for Fantasy Football Lineups. Fantasy rosters needed protective spray because players were bit hard by the injury bug in Week 3. Multiple backup quarterbacks made starts, and running backs and wide receivers all suffered injuries this past weekend, with a handful of key offensive linemen also going down. As a result, we missed on plenty in this article, but we hit on plenty, as well. Back on the horse. With that in mind, let’s dig into some NFL matchups and NFL game breakdowns for your Week 4 Fantasy Football Lineups. Dalvin Cook vs. Allen Robinson.

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Minnesota Vikings @ Chicago Bears 

Total: 38

Line: CHI -2

Vikings passing game

Kirk Cousins is managing games extremely well right now. All jokes aside, there is just no fantasy upside with this guy, who is averaging an ugly 21 pass attempts per game. With such little volume, you will need Cousins to be ultra-efficient in the best of matchups, let alone a road meeting with the best defense in the NFL. The Bears are allowing just 1.22 points per drive, the fourth-fewest in football and when Cousins is under pressure, he’s a bottom-10 quarterback. Khalil Mack and company should get after Cousins here, making him an easy avoid. If you told me Cousins would drop back to pass 45 times in this game, I still probably wouldn’t play him. It just isn’t the spot.

The volume hasn’t been great for either Minnesota wideout but at least Adam Thielen has been productive from a fantasy perspective. He found the end zone twice last week, though one was on the ground, and has now scored three touchdowns this year. Of course, you can’t rely on rushing touchdowns from a wideout. Thielen is at least still top-12 in target share this season and with Chad Beebe hurt and Laquon Treadwell back with the Vikings, I like Thielen more than usual because it should move him back to the slot. Through the first three weeks of 2019, Thielen has been in the slot just over 30 percent of the time, compared to 57 percent a season ago. This could lead to bigger yardage performances from Thielen going forward.

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Stefon Diggs is a hard pass for me. The guy has 12 targets through three weeks, as the Vikings continue to establish the run. He has six catches for 101 yards and a score so far this season. I know McLaurin and Richardson got some against Chicago on Monday night but that was with Washington playing from behind and throwing the ball a ton. The Vikings have proven that they will still pound the rock even when they are chasing points. I’d start a lot of wideouts over Diggs this weekend.

Vikings running game 

The best back in fantasy football, Dalvin Cook became the first Vikings rusher to run for 100 yards in each of the first three games. He’s also found the end zone at least once in every game, while forcing an impressive 18 missed tackles on 66 touches. Minnesota is calling run 61.3 percent of the time, which is easily the highest rate in football, while their offensive line has been top-five in yards created before first contact. Cook is finally over $8,000 and while he is rarely a bad play, I find myself going to either McCaffrey or Ekeler in the high-end range, which is certainly lacking this week.

Bears passing game 

Mitchell Trubisky had himself a solid fantasy game on Monday night, tossing three touchdowns. However, outside of one touchdown throw, Trubisky was once again not very good. He sailed some throws too high and badly underthrew Allen Robinson on a sure touchdown in the corner of the end zone. Trubisky ranks 24th in pressured completion rate (30.8%) and 34th in red zone completion rate (33.3%), while his 69.1 percent true completion rate is 21st. If the first read isn’t there, Trubisky panics and I don’t see why you would want to start him most weeks, especially against a tough Vikings defense.

Taylor Gabriel scored three times last week but is now questionable to play with a concussion. It was obviously a fluky performance, as Gabriel was left uncovered on two broken coverage scores. Allen Robinson has given you a sound floor every week, seeing at least seven targets in each game. He looks really good, breaking off the line of scrimmage with ease but he should be shadowed by Xavier Rhodes here. Rhodes is obviously a good corner but he is even better when facing the bigger, slower receivers. That worries me a bit with Robinson, who is still a solid WR3/FLEX option but not someone I will be running to.

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Bears running game 

Nope.

Until Matt Nagy figures out what he’s doing with this backfield, I won’t be touching any Chicago running back. After handling 18 of the 25 running back carries in Week 2, Montgomery was back down to 13 carries last week, a handful of them coming on the final drive of the game. The Bears abandoned the run on Monday night, despite being comfortably ahead from the jump. Cordarrelle Patterson is legitimately taking 3-5 carries per game away from Montgomery, as the Bears continue to run the receiver up the gut for whatever reason. He’s nothing more than a low-end FLEX, while Tarik Cohen is legitimately someone you can drop. He’s playing under 50 percent of the snaps and is averaging just six touches per game over the last two weeks.

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