Week 7 Recap:
Vikings at Eagles
Vikings: You have to give the Eagles defense credit, but this offensive line played so bad. They were unable to generate any push, and the defensive line was constantly collapsing the pocket. The numbers speak for themselves on this one. Jake Long was “knocking off the rust” this Sunday, but I’m not quite sure he got any knocked off yet. If he continues to play this badly, it may be time to scrap him.
Minnesota Vikings offensive line ProFootballFocus player grades.
|Alex Boone, LG||46/79||71.9||79.8||51.2|
|Joe Berger, C||9/35||82.6||79.7||76.0|
|Brandon Fusco, RG||56/79||67.2||77.3||48.3|
|Jeremiah Sirles, RT||51/75||56.9||41.2||81.2|
|Jake Long, LT||NR/75||41.0||37.9||62.3|
Quarterback: I’m not going to spend much time talking about Bradford here. He barely had any time to throw the ball. There was nearly constant pressure and he did not handle it well. Most of his success came from check downs and screen passes to Patterson. He was generally unaware of the pocket moving around him. It was a forgettable game for Bradford. If the line continues to play this poorly, I don’t know that he will survive the season. So I guess there’s that. He hasn’t gotten hurt. Yet.
Running Back: Asiata was the best running back in this game, but I think most of that had to do with McKinnon not playing a good chunk of this game due to injury. If you want to know about Asiata, watch the play at 12:20 in the 2nd quarter. The play is designed to go to the right edge, but there’s a huge lane that opens to the left. He sees it, but it took him what seemed like forever to turn and hit the hole. He does well in pass protection, he can catch the ball, and he runs hard. Whether or not we like it he’s going to get work in the Vikings offense, and that gives him value.
McKinnon was in and out of this game with injury. When he was in his quickness on full display. The Vikings tried to get him the ball in space, and he lined up out wide on a few occasions to help accomplish that goal. He is almost the exact opposite of Asiata on film. He is very quick and has excellent top-end speed while Asiata appears to plod around on the field. I have to believe if McKinnon did not get injured during this game that he would have been much more productive.
I value both Asiata and McKinnon as low-end RB2/flex plays. I value Asiata slightly more than McKinnon because of his usage on the goal line, and McKinnon is dealing with an injury. If you need depth at running back and either one is available on waivers, then try to get them. If one of them gets injured, then the other has immense value. Hillman’s stats were shown simply to exemplify how bad he looked on film.
Minnesota Vikings running back touch breakdown against Philadelphia Eagles Week 7.
Wide Receiver: The Eagles are 2nd against #1 WRs, 24 against #2 WRs, and 9th against other WRs.** This trend continued against Stefon Diggs. Honestly, it seemed like the majority of issues were caused by how little time Bradford had to throw than poor play from Diggs. Before Bradford threw his awful pick in the end zone he overthrew Diggs for what would have been a relatively easy touchdown which would have changed his entire day. Diggs got separation like this on several plays, but Bradford could not connect with him. Thielen was fine in this game, but he’s not a big bodied receiver that has a huge catch radius. As a result he had a relatively quiet day. Charles Johnson’s lone target came when he had beaten his man, and Bradford overthrew him. I like Diggs moving forward as a WR2 because of sheer talent alone, and you have to think that the Vikings defense will keep them in mostly comfortable game scripts. My only worry for Diggs is that this offensive line continues to play this poorly. Thielen could serve as a bye week fill in but I don’t know that there will consistently be something there.
I want to hit on Patterson a bit more here, because I’ve seen a lot of questions about him. Bradford was highly inaccurate targeting anyone but Patterson, but I think that had a lot to do with all of his “routes” being short, high-percentage throws. Patterson’s average depth of target (aDOT) was 3.7 yards. Stefon Diggs had the second lowest aDOT with 14 yards. The Vikings strategy with Patterson was to get him the ball and hope that he breaks off a long run. This reminds me an awful lot of what the Bears were doing with Cameron Meredith over the past few weeks. It’s not something I would really want to rely on. If you feel like you need a hope and a prayer, then Patterson is certainly a candidate.
Minnesota Vikings receiver target distribution against Philadelphia Eagles Week 7.
Tight End: Kyle Rudolph maintains enormous value in PPR leagues. He was by far the most targeted Vikings pass catcher, snagging 5 of his 10 targets for 55 yards. It was mostly underneath stuff to keep the chains moving. Along with the running backs, Rudolph remains Bradford’s safety blanket. Rudolph didn’t do anything in this game to make me feel like you have to keep rolling him out there, but with the amount of targets he sees I find it tough to bench him.
Eagles: I was curious to see how this line did against the vaunted Vikings defense with Lane Johnson now serving his suspension. Overall, I thought they did reasonably well. I did notice that Vaitai was incredibly jumpy early in the game but he settled down. Not enough though. When the Vikings got pressure, it was almost always from a defender coming off of the edge. They do really well in coverage, and as a result they were able to generate pressure later in plays.
Philadelphia Eagles offensive line ProFootballFocus player grades.
|Jason Peters, LT||31/75||76.0||82.1||47.9|
|Allen Barbre, LG||19/79||80.2||76.0||83.3|
|Jason Kelce, C||33/35||57.3||50.1||69.7|
|Brandon Brooks, RG||11/79||83.4||85.6||81.0|
|Halapoulivaati Vaitai, RT||NR/75||39.9||38.6||45.8|
Quarterback: I have been greatly impressed with Wentz this season, but he definitely had some ball security issues in this one. His inexperience showed on his two picks. His first one came on a throw to Celek in the flat. Celek was well covered on the play, and he just made an ill-advised throw that also wound up a little high. His second came on an Agholor seam route. Right into triple coverage. He shows great pocket awareness on the play, but he tries to fit it into a window that was barely open.
Even with the picks, he made some really nice big boy throws as well. He showed good poise, good pocket awareness, and, most importantly, he knows how to protect himself. He didn’t take unnecessary hits, and he generally made good decisions. There will be some bad games, but with the defense and running game (or short passing game) going the way they are I think Wentz will continue to play well. For fantasy purposes, I value him as a QB2 with upside. Particularly in the right match up.
Running Back: I thought this would have been a much bigger Sproles game than it turned out to be. Primarily because I have seen the Vikings defense give up big plays to running backs catching passes out of the back field. Mathews was the most impressive back in this one, however. He ran through people on a few occasions, and a few other times he ran around defenders. He’s definitely got loads of talent, but you’re constantly holding your breath every time he takes a hit. If you drafted him you might as well play him, because the talent is most definitely there. Players with talent and opportunity tend to have fantasy success.
Sproles looked great when he did run the ball, but his number wasn’t called that often when he was on the field. He shows his acceleration, and a couple of times showed a little bit of power. There was one play where Wentz fumbled the snap in the shotgun, and he took off running to the right. The linebacker covering Sproles started looking at Wentz, and then Sproles cuts up field to give Wentz an outlet. This was a really nice heads-up play by Sproles. For fantasy he has definite PPR value, but I won’t pretend to know when his big games will be.
Philadelphia Eagles running back touch breakdown against Minnesota Vikings Week 7.
Wide Receiver: Similar to the Vikings’ receivers, there really wasn’t much to say here. Minnesota is 15th against WR #1, 1st against WR #2, and 6th against other WRs.** Watching the film, none of the receivers really stood out in any way. It was obvious the game plan was to minimize the amount of risky plays Wentz had to deal with. I guess one thing you can say is that DGB is big. He was force-fed some bubble screens early, but this had very limited success. The special teams score really made it even less likely that the Eagles wanted to put the game in Wentz’s hands. When I looked back at the weekly receiver target distribution over the last three weeks, there did not seem to be any clear pattern that emerged from it. I value them all as flex plays until one of them establishes themselves as the clear-cut #1 WR.
Philadelphia Eagles receiver target distribution in Week 7.
Tight End: The tight ends really didn’t do much in this match up. I am willing to chalk this up to a poor match up, as the Vikings rank 6th overall against TEs.** That being said, their production as of late has not been all that impressive.
All statistics are from www.profootballfocus.com and www.pro-football-reference.com.
** Per FootballOutsiders DVOA rankings.
Written By: Adam Drewery – Follow Adam on the Fantasy Life App @ad87 or on Twitter @adrewery87