Fantasy football game of the week? The Wise Guys are suggesting that this will be the highest-scoring game of the week, and the stars should shine bright. Can a game like this provide value to the secondary pieces?
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Los Angeles Chargers at Minnesota Vikings
- Spread: Chargers -1
- Total: 54
- Chargers implied points: 27.5
- Vikings implied points: 26.5
I’m not selling any Herbert shares at the moment, but I will admit that my eyebrow is raised. Yes, he threw for 305 yards and two touchdowns against the Titans last week. Dig a little deeper.
His aDOT remains lower than I had hoped with Kellen Moore joining this coaching staff, and those short targets just don’t carry the upside that we put on Herbert’s shoulders.
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Consider this: Since Week 7 of last season, just 3.1% of Herbert’s passes have resulted in scores, down quite a bit from the 5.9% rate he sustained over his previous 20 games.
This is a great spot for him to take those shots downfield and come through on the potential that we all think he has. Herbert is my QB4 this week and is a strong DFS target in a triple-stack lineup structure.
With 44 pass attempts in both games this season and over 30 completions in six of his past eight games overall, the volume floor for Cousins is simply impossible to ignore. You can nitpick the skill set (no rushing upside) or the stat padding that came late last week, but Cousins simply churns out quality fantasy weeks consistently.
Could his pace slow when the Vikings play teams that aren’t interested in getting into a shootout? Yeah, it’s possible, but with Justin Herbert and Patrick Mahomes on the other sideline in two of the next three games, Cousins’ fantasy value is stable in the short term.
In the season-opening loss to the Dolphins, Ekeler did what Ekeler does: 20 touches for 164 yards and a touchdown. An ankle injury resulted in Ekeler sitting out last week, just his second DNP in his past 41 regular season games, and without a timetable, fantasy managers should be making alternative plans.
It’s almost like you can’t plug in a running back and expect him to assume 100% of the void left by Austin Ekeler. Go figure. Kelley’s Week 2 performance (13 carries for 39 yards with zero receptions) let fantasy managers down in a big way.
He had over 81% of the rushing yards by Charger running backs last weekend, and that is what you were betting on. Your process was right, and that is what matters. The Vikings are fresh off of giving up a career night to D’Andre Swift and are vulnerable all over the field.
Kelley’s profile holds value, no matter the result from last week. He’s a solid Flex player in a much more advantageous matchup for his specific skill set than the position he was in last week.
Mattison was scripted out of last week’s loss to the Eagles with Minnesota trailing for the majority of their offensive snaps. While the Vikings’ willingness to abandon the run game, Mattison’s floor is lower than fantasy managers would like, but with 10 targets through two weeks, there are some signs of hope.
I remain bullish on the value that this role in this offense presents, and this week could be proof positive of that. The Vikings could well look to lean on the ground game more than normal due to the opponent. The Chargers not only boast an elite offense that Minnesota will want to keep sidelined, but they also have a leaky run defense that gives up plenty of chunk plays.
Mattison has yet to impress (25 touches this season, just one of which gained 10+ yards), but that has a decent chance of changing with the extended week to prepare for this matchup.
Age is nothing but a number. You know what? 37.7 is also a number, and that is how many fantasy points the 31-year-old Allen has through two weeks, hauling in 14 of 19 targets in the process.
The veteran receiver has a reception of 35+ yards in consecutive games for the first time since December of 2019 and seems to be loving life in this Kellen Moore offense. We knew he’d have a stable value, but the upside is found money and has him pushing the top 10 at the position until otherwise noted.
You could certainly argue that Herbert’s best football is ahead of him this season, and if that’s the case, Allen could well be a league winner given his ADP this summer. You’re locking him in weekly and loving the foundation he provides.
We’ve yet to see Williams get loose for a big gain (yet to have a 25-yard catch) in this Kellen Moore offense, but seeing one-third of the targets against the Titans (83 yards) is what we love to see. In this setup, all you can ask for is a volume of opportunities, and he certainly got that last weekend.
WR Average YAC Leaders in Week 2 per @FTNData (min 5 recs):
Mike Evans 13.2
Deebo Samuel 8.7
Nico Collins 7.7 👀
Kadarius Toney 7.4
D.J. Moore 7.2
Mike Williams 5.8
DeVante Parker 5.8
CeeDee Lamb 5.7
Gabriel Davis 5.2
Ja'Marr Chase 5.0https://t.co/wWrzC8u1Xv
— Scott Spratt (@Scott_Spratt) September 21, 2023
Is Williams the WR1 in Los Angeles? Not at the moment, and he doesn’t have to be. In this system, Herbert is going to thrive with time, and Week 2 certainly won’t be the last time both Allen and Williams clear 12 fantasy points. I expect the floor (when healthy) to be higher than in years past, making Big Mike a weekly lineup lock.
The WR1 in fantasy delivered an 11-catch, 159-yard performance against the stingy Eagles that shut him down last season — and he left points on the field! He was an inch away from a touchdown before fumbling over the pylon, a 6.1-point swing.
Jefferson crossed 5,000 receiving yards last week in his 52nd career game, tying Lance Alworth for the fewest number of games needed to reach that milestone. Opponents know what is coming, and they simply cannot stop him. We are looking at the top player in our game moving forward and for the foreseeable future.
It’s not sustainable, but 2.6 fantasy points per target is a hell of a start to a career. The rookie has scored from distance in both games, including a 62-yarder in Week 2 against the Eagles, and he simply looks like he belongs. He won’t be a lineup lock for me until he starts earning more targets than K.J. Osborn, but if you drafted Addison, you have to like the direction this is headed.
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You can consider Addison a weekly Flex candidate right now, and it wouldn’t shock me in the least if we are talking about him as a top-25 option during a favorable stretch over the final month of the regular season.
The sheer volume of this passing attack (88 attempts) has resulted in Osborn earning six targets (three catches) in consecutive games, but don’t read too much into that. Very few offenses can sustain four pass catchers on any sort of regular basis, and with Addison looking good, Osborn’s path to mattering in standard-sized leagues isn’t there, barring an injury.
Everett is on the Week 3 TE streamers radar, and it’s not because of his 47-yard Week 2 performance. The Vikings allowed Dallas Goedert to catch six of seven targets last week, and that level of efficiency in a high-scoring environment is viable at the tight end position.
Everett is a cheap way to bet on Herbert. I bet Herbert to lead the league in passing yards this summer, so you know I have faith in his ability to air it out. With the Vikings and Raiders coming up over the next two weeks, Everett should be considered a top-10 tight end in the short term.
Jefferson is the unquestioned alpha on this Vikings offense, but the trust Cousins has in Hockenson is valuable. He scored twice in the loss to Philly last week, and while the touchdown potential was nice to see, it’s the high percentage targets (15 catches on 17 targets) that elevate his floor to the level of elite.
Of course, we’d like to see a higher yardage total (101 yards), but there’s little complaining you can do about a tight end that is going to give you a positional edge over most of your league.
Who Should You Start in Week 3?
Should You Start Alexander Mattison or D’Andre Swift?
The addition of Cam Akers is going to mean something to Mattison’s fantasy value with time, but can we project much of a role following a mid-week trade?
Kenneth Gainwell should be back this week, and while I have Swift as my preferred Eagle RB, the exact touch distribution is very much a moving target. The volume and matchup favor Mattison, and that is the direction I’d go in this spot.
Should You Start Kirk Cousins or Joe Burrow?
At less than full strength, Burrow is nearing “prove it” territory to me. I’m not sure he and Cousins are that different in the first place (pocket passers with two strong pass catchers in a potent offense when everything is going right), and with Cousins in this high-scoring environment, he gets the nod for me.
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