Kirk Cousins bit the dust this week which complicates things for all Vikings players. With the Vikings pulling themselves back to .500 in a weaker NFC, they’re not ready to throw in the towel, but rumors of them trading for quarterbacks are unrealistic. Quarterbacks need familiarity with the offensive scheme they are going into. That usually means coaches want players they have relationships with. If the Vikings to outside the building for a starter, I see two possibilities. One is Matt Ryan, who is currently a TV analyst. He had his best season with Kyle Shanahan, a similar offensive scheme. A more likely scenario in my view is Colt McCoy who head coach O’Connell has had personal experience with back in Washington. Most likely, the Vikings will go with one of the three QBs they have under contract already.
You can definitely find TE and RB health this week. WRs are a bit harder to come by, but there are decent options out there.
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Top Overall Players Available to most of you:
- Quarterback: Kyler Murray, Will Levis
- Running Back: Chuba Hubbard, Emari Demercado
- Wide Receiver: Quentin Johnston
- Tight End: Dalton Kincaid and Trey McBride
- Defense: Jacksonville Jaguars
Should Be Gone (available between 15-30% of leagues):
- Jared Goff – we’ll see what he does against the Raiders on MNF, but he should have a nice game and should be rostered everywhere.
- C.J. Stroud – I’d like to have seen a better game coming off a bye week, but credit Carolina. The receivers weren’t separating well and I don’t think Stroud played poorly. Bad games happen.
- Javonte Williams – he’s still more attainable than I’d think.
- Zack Moss – Jonathan Taylor is in playing shape, but Zack Moss continues to split carries. He should be rostered everywhere especially thanks to his goal line responsibilities for the Colts.
- Diontae Johnson – the Jags were intent on bottling up Pickens and Johnson ran free. That won’t happen every week, but the Steelers passing game is ok (pending the Pickett/Trubisky situation)
- Ravens – there’s no reason for them to be dropped in any format, even for bye weeks.
- Chiefs – slightly more available than Baltimore and you can argue that the defense is the strength of the Chiefs this year.
Could Be Available (available between 31-50% of leagues):
- Russell Wilson – he’s still putting up top-10 numbers. That win over the Chiefs will ease a lot of the criticism on the press for a few weeks. I maintain that Wilson will continue to start throughout the season.
- Kareem Hunt – he’ll be a year-long impact player for Cleveland. Ford will get more touches when he’s healthier, but Hunt does well on the goal line.
- Darrell Henderson Jr. – he’ll continue to start for the Rams while Kyren Williams is on IR. He’ll also split snaps with Royce Freeman.
- Khalil Herbert – I was worried Foreman would start to run away with the job, but the workshare situation in Chicago combined with an early deficit helped Herbert to maintain the de facto #1 position. He’s on the IR for two more weeks.
- Josh Downs – Minshew is slinging and Downs is catching
- Joshua Palmer – assuming he can be healthy, he’s still a nice add
- Jahan Dotson – he catches a lot of TDs, but I things will be tougher for Washington moving forward
- Tank Dell – things will pick up soon for him
- Dalton Schultz – he had a stinker vs the Panthers, but should bounce back next week.
- Steelers – their per-game average is fantastic thanks to their extremely consistent pass rush.
- Seahawks – I’m a believer. Week after week, this group shows up and plays well.
Probably Available (available between 51% and 70% of leagues):
- Kyler Murray – I don’t care if you have a QB or not. Pick up Murray.
- Chuba Hubbard – he’s definitely the starter, so I’d snap him up. It’s not often you can find a primary back this late into the season.
- Emari Demercado – he’s not wowing me, so James Conner should get his starting role back, but Demarcado will have an impact for the rest of the season and should be rostered.
- Cam Akers – I’m thinking that the Vikings will run more than usual with the transition at QB. That means Mattison and Akers should see more value.
- Tyjae Spears – Henry will remain on the Titans, so Spears will have more value for dynasty leagues, but he’s still worth an add.
- Jaleel McLaughlin – he’s the #2 back for the Broncos and does more with the ball with his hands than starter Javonte Williams. At some point, I think we’ll see McLaughlin get volume and do well with it. Maybe he can be this team’s version of Alvin Kamara.
- Quentin Johnston – if Palmer ends up missing time, Johnston can definitely emerge. He is a great pickup option for dynasty players.
- Romeo Doubs – he led the Packers in targets. This is a bad offense, but Doubs can get into the end zone. He’s worthy of a roster spot, though is really only a flex rotational players.
- Dalton Kincaid – the breakout game vs the Bucs wasn’t a fluke. When Dawson Knox comes back in a few weeks, he will find that Kincaid has officially won the #1 TE job.
- Logan Thomas – another week and another solid performance for the Washington Tight End. And somehow, he trended down significantly last week in terms of roster percentage.
- Jaguars – their per game scoring average is also great. They’re further down in the rankings because fantasy publications are taking total points scored, but that inflates teams without the bye week taken. The Jaguars are your best bang-for-buck pickup this week.
Sleeper Grabs (available in more than 70% of leagues):
- Will Levis – Tennessee is a patient organization and Vrabel is a patient coach. In most situations, after a monster NFL debut, the rookie would have the starting job the rest of the way. Because Tennessee is a unique organization, it’s possible Tannehill walks back into a starting job when he’s healthy. I think it’s a 50/50 proposition for the next month, but I suspect Levis will be the guy to close out 2023.
- Gardner Minshew – I’ve always respected Minshew’s ability to complete passes downfield. He had juice even as a rookie. He’ll be starting for Indianapolis for the rest of the year and he can put up big games for you here and there.
- Royce Freeman – he’ll give you two weeks of production while Williams is out on IR. Freeman is likely the goal line back, not Darrell Henderson.
- Justice Hill – he plays a decent percentage of snaps and is involved in the passing game. If Edwards gets hurt, Hill will run away with the job. Unfortunately, he was injured before he had a chance to win the job earlier in the season.
- Pierre Strong – he ran well, but Ford played too. I think we’re seeing a workshare battle shake out here.
- Devin Singletary – he was outplayed by Dameon Pierce, but there’s still a workshare watch in place. Keep an eye on this backfield.
- Leonard Fournette – Buffalo isn’t happy with their running game and I think Fournette is better than Murray in terms of power running and receiving so it’ll be interesting to see what happens there.
- Rashid Shaheed – he continues to score well. I would like to see his target totals higher, but he’s still finding the end zone with consistency.
- Jameson Williams – I’m eager to see his target totals during MNF tonight.
- Demario Douglas – Bourne went down with injury and Douglas is probably the only player on the Patriots who can separate from defenders. He could end up being a weekly flex play.
- Trey McBride – with Ertz sidelined, workshare consolidated for McBride. McBride had a lot of receptions and yards while Baltimore was in prevent defense at the end of the game, but the statline certainly jumps out. McBride should benefit with Murray’s return and like Kincaid, has 3 more weeks at least to wrestle the TE1 job away from a veteran teammate.
- Taysom Hill – like I said last week, Hill is for real at TE. He had fewer targets in the passing game, but 9 carries and a TD will work quite well for Hill.
- Michael Mayer – we’ll see how he fares on MNF, but I’m expecting 5ish catches and 50-60 yards as he continues to flash his potential.
- Vikings – they’ve been getting better and better under Flores this season. The team has been great, but I do worry a bit about how Kirk Cousins’ injury will impact the defense. If the offense has problems converting first downs, that’ll fatigue the defect.