The Minnesota Vikings extended its winning streak to four games after defeating the Washington Redskins 19-9 on Thursday Night at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minnesota.
While it wasn’t a high scoring affair or a route like most predicted, there were still plenty of fantasy winners and losers from this game. Let’s take a look to see who helped and hurt their draft stock after playing on a short week.
Vikings RB Dalvin Cook
As he’s done all season, Cook continued to impress with another strong performance on Thursday night. He finished with 23 carries for 98 yards and a rushing touchdown while also adding five catches for 73 yards, totaling 171 yards in the victory. While his longest run of the night was only 11 yards, it was more about the Vikings constantly giving Cook the ball and pounding it down the Redskins chest while also mixing a few successful screen plays throughout the evening. Cook has now scored a TD in every game except against the Giants (of all teams) in Week 5 and has 100 plus rushing yards in five of eight games this season. It seems as though the only thing that’s gonna slow Cook down is the bye week which is a month away. Barring injury, Cook has a legitimate chance of challenging Panthers RB Christian McCaffrey as being the top-ranked RB in all of fantasy this season.
Vikings WR Stefon Diggs
What a turn around it’s been for Diggs. After recording less than 50 yards receiving in the first four weeks of the season, Diggs has been a new man the past three weeks. With top WR Adam Thielen ruled out of this game before it started with a hamstring injury, Diggs stepped up yet again. The fifth year receiver out of Maryland recorded his second straight week of seven catches and 143 yards receiving. Over the past three weeks, Diggs has caught 21 passes for 453 yards, a complete 180 from the previous three games where he had 13 catches for 167 yards. If Thielen were to miss an extended period of time, expect Diggs to continue to thrive in the number one receiver role especially with matchups against Kansas City, Dallas, and Denver on slate before the team’s bye week.
Redskins RB Adrian Peterson
What a homecoming/revenge game it was for AP. The former Viking, who spent the first nine seasons in Minnesota, looked like his old self finishing with 76 rushing yards and added 26 yards receiving. Even though it was reported he was dealing with multiple ankle sprains after last week’s loss against the 49ers, it sure didn’t show on Thursday night. Peterson had more than one occasion where he made multiple defenders miss en route to gaining a big chunk of yardage. In the game, AP passed legendary NFL running backs Jerome Bettis and LaDainian Tomlinson for 6th most rushing yards in NFL history with 13,701 in his career. Curtis Martin is the next RB in his path with 14,101 rushing yards. Even though RB Derrius Guice is set to come off injured reserve sooner rather than later, Peterson will remain the bell cow in Washington’s backfield for the foreseeable future with RB Chris Thompson also sidelined with a toe injury.
Vikings kicker Dan Bailey
Aside from the rushing touchdown from Cook, the offense ran through Bailey in this matchup. With Minnesota failing to convert in the red zone due to penalties or sacks, it set up Bailey in a brilliant position to succeed. Bailey finished with four made field goals on four attempts (Including a 50 yard make) and finishing with 16 fantasy points, tied for his season high which he also earned in week five against the New York Giants. After only converting on three field goal attempts in the first four weeks, Bailey had come alive the past month with nine field goals made.
Vikings TE Kyle Rudolph
After having more catches the previous two weeks than he did the rest of the season, it seemed as though Rudolph was trending in the right direction. Last week he recorded season highs in catches (5), yards (58) and scored his first touchdown of the season. Playing at home without Thielen and against a porous Redskins defense on a short week seemed like a match made in heaven. Until it wasn’t. Rudolph caught all three of his targets for a lackluster 17 yards. When Cousins did look his way, it was no more than a few yards beyond the line of scrimmage. In fact, Rudolph’s longest gain of the night was only seven yards. Yikes. When the offense is healthy and clicking, Rudolph just doesn’t play a big role with Thielen, Diggs, and Cook all ahead of him in terms of targets from Cousins. It also didn’t help that rookie TE Irv Smith Jr. saw a role in the offense as he caught three passes for 21 yards. Rudolph seems as of now completely touchdown dependent in order for him to have any type of fantasy relevancy.
WR Terry McLaurin
Figured to be trailing early and often against Minnesota, it’d figure to be a bright spot for McLaurin. Unfortunately for him, it would be anything but that. While having a successful first half of four catches and 39 yards with QB Case Keenum, things would drastically change in the second half. Coming out of the break, Keenum was ruled out the rest of the game with a concussion suffered late in the first half. Even though rookie Dwayne Haskins and McLaurin were teammates at Ohio State, they’ve had their struggles finding a connection so far in the NFL. McLaurin put up a goose egg in the second half and the only time Haskins targeted him it was extremely overthrown and intercepted by Vikings Anthony Harris. While the two will get on the same page at some point, it most likely will be sooner rather than later, especially with a visit to Buffalo next week before the team’s bye in week 10.
QB Case Keenum
While this might seem odd considering Keenum finished the first half going 12-of-16 with 130 yards passing, it might mark the end of Keenum’s time as Washington’s starting QB. Even though he was forced to exit the game due to a concussion, Keenum was already on borrowed time. There had been reports that earlier in the week the team planned to turn to Haskins after the bye week regardless of the next two outcomes. It also doesn’t help that Keenum was benched already earlier in the season in favor of Haskins in week four against the Giants. Keenum, who’s on his third team in as many years, might have just started his last game in the NFL with Washington now 1-7 after Thursday night’s loss and going nowhere fast. While he’d be one of the better backups in the league right now, that’s probably what he’d be viewed going forward as he turns 32 next February.
No Shenanigans, Just Football.