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  1. #21
    Prophet Guest

    Re: Vikings/Saints Series

    From KFFL (a fantasy FF perspective on the game)


    What is going on? That question is undoubtedly on the lips of most Minnesota Vikings fans after the first two weeks. Vikings QB Daunte Culpepper has put in his worst two-game stretch of his career and the Vikings are reeling after two ugly losses. After an emotional win in Week 1 over the Carolina Panthers, the New Orleans Saints were defeated handily in Week 2 by the New York Giants. The Vikings fantasy stars look to rebound at home this week. Can they do it? Let's take a look.


    After putting in an abysmal first week performance, Culpepper was able to top it with an even worse performance in Week 2. In his first two weeks of the season, Culpepper has averaged 235 passing yards, 4.0 INTs, and 0.5 rushing TDs per game. Although Culpepper has completed over 61 percent of his passes, he has yet to complete a touchdown pass. It is difficult to pinpoint what has caused Culpepper early season struggles, but owners who drafted him early are hoping for a quick turn around. Until we see that Culpepper can survive without the departed WR Randy Moss, it is difficult to argue to start him. Even returning to home field, Culpepper must face a New Orleans defense that has had some success against opposing quarterbacks so far this season. You can take the risk that he may turn things around, but he is currently projected as a bench quarterback and a weak play in Week 2.

    The Saints have done well in stopping opposing quarterbacks so far this season. Opposing quarterbacks are currently averaging just 189 passing yards and one TD per game. The Saints are creating more turnovers (1 INT and 0.5 fumbles) than allowing TDs (1 passing TD) for opposing quarterbacks per game. For a struggling quarterback, that does not bode well.


    After looking stellar in his first three runs, it appeared that Vikings RB Michael Bennett had legitimately established himself as the feature back on the team. That was before Bennett took it in his own hands to fumble twice on subsequent drives. Vikings head coach Mike Tice benched Bennett in favor of RB Mewelde Moore, but even Moore received few carries while the Vikings attempted to play catch up.

    Bennett looked to redeem himself in Week 2 after totaling just 20 offensive yards in Week 1. On his first three carries, Bennett was able to rack up 36 rushing yards and was looking stellar. Instead that was his total yards for the game and he remained on the bench after two subsequent fumbles. He is currently averaging 18 rushing yards and 10 receiving yards per game. Bennett looks to turn things around against the Saints this week. It is unsure whether he is out of Tice's doghouse, but he has still been the most utilized running back on the team with 14 touches through the first two games (12.5 percent of the offense). He is a decent injury or Bye week replacement and a strong play in Week 3.

    Moore could be the benefactor of Bennett's fumbling problems. While Tice has not declared him the starter this week, if Bennett struggles, expect Moore's numbers to increase. Through the first two games, Moore has been utilized 11 times (9.8 percent of the offense) and was targeted once in the red zone. Moore has converted those plays into an average of 15 rushing yards and 3.5 receiving yards per game. If his carries increase, you can expect his performance to do the same. In the meantime, Moore is viewed as a deep injury or Bye week replacement but also a strong play.

    Veteran RB Moe Williams was utilized nine times in Week 1, but used just once in Week 2 (8.9 percent). Williams converted his ten plays into an average of 8.5 rushing yards and 16 receiving yards per game. While Williams will continue to be a favorite on short-yardage situations, it is difficult to predict that he will ever become the primary back. He is viewed as an injury or Bye week replacement and a strong play against the Saints' defense.

    RB Ciatrick Fason has yet to see the ball this season and it is unsure if he will see the field this week. He should not be on your fantasy team at this point in the season.

    The New Orleans defense has struggled against opposing running backs, who are averaging a league best two rushing touchdowns a game. They are also averaging 106 yards rushing and 24 receiving yards per game. At home against the Saints, the Vikings' running game looks to turn things around in the right direction.


    With Culpepper struggling to get the passing game going, the wide receivers have struggled to put up strong fantasy numbers. To compound the issue, the team's No. 1 WR, Nate Burleson (knee) is nursing a knee injury and is doubtful for Sunday's game. New Vikings WR Travis Taylor has supplanted Burleson as the most targeted receiver through the first two games of the season. Taylor has seen 17 balls (15.1 percent) thrown his way including three in the red zone (30.0 percent). Taylor has turned those plays into 113 receiving yards (56.5 yards per game) on 10 receptions. However, like the rest of the Vikings' receivers, Taylor has not found the end zone. Taylor is viewed as an injury or Bye week replacement against the Saints. Make sure to watch for news on Burleson's condition. If Burleson is out this week, Taylor's value will increase.

    Burleson has been targeted on 15 plays through the first two games (13.4 percent of the offense), but he has yet to see a target in the red zone. He has yet to reach the end zone as well, but is averaging three receptions for 47 yards per game currently. While Burleson would benefit from a Culpepper revival, it will be difficult to rebound on a bum knee. Due to the knee injury, he should not be considered this weekend as it's unlikely that he'll be available.

    WR Marcus Robinson is the only Vikings WR that has been targeted inside the 5-yard line. He has been targeted 10 times (8.9 percent) and three times in the red zone (30 percent). Through two games, Robinson is averaging 2.5 receptions and 31 receiving yards per game. Robinson would also benefit from Burleson's injury, but at the moment he is viewed as an injury or Bye week replacement against the Saints.

    Rookie WR Troy Williamson saw his first targets of his young career in Week 2. Williamson turned his four targets into two receptions for 44 yards. His four targets account for 3.6 percent of the offense thus far in the season. Williamson looks like he will eventually be a solid NFL wide receiver, but it is doubtful he will be one this week. He is viewed as a deep bench and a weak play this week, but he should see extra action with Burleson out of the picture.

    The signing and re-signing of WR Koren Robinson has been purely a paperwork move and the Vikings are hoping for big things from the new wide receiver. Robinson will be a wait-and-see player this week. He is a bench player this weekend, but if he puts up big numbers in the next two weeks, he could be a solid mid-season fantasy pickup. He should see extra playing time due to Burleson's injury, but how well does he know the offense? Does he have any chemistry with Culpepper yet? Those questions make it difficult to play him at this time, as does the poor play of the Vikings' passing game.

    The Saints have done well against opposing wide receivers, primarily because offenses have had such success with the run. Opposing WRs are currently averaging 0.5 TDs and 122 receiving yards per game. While the Saints' defense has struggled against the run, they will make it difficult for the Vikings' wide receivers.


    Both TE Jermaine Wiggins and TE Jim Kleinsasser have been used as Culpepper's safety valves. While neither has put up amazing numbers in the first two weeks, even with a struggling performance by Culpepper, they both have shown promise.

    Wiggins has been targeted 13 times for 11.6 percent of the total offense. Wiggins has been able to turn those targets into seven receptions for 50 yards (3.5 receptions for 25 yards per game average). Wiggins also had two TD passes called back in Week 1, so it is evident that Wiggins remains in important piece of the Vikings offense. He is viewed as a decent play as a No. 1 tight end this week and a weak play.

    Kleinsasser has primarily been used as a blocking tight end and an occasional full back. With that said, when he is thrown the ball, he produces. Kleinsasser has been targeted five times (4.5 percent) and he has caught every ball. He turned his five receptions into 48 receiving yards resulting in a 24 yards per game average. While these are not stellar numbers, if he continues to perform, expect the Vikings to try and target him more frequently. He is a solid injury or Bye week replacement but also a weak play against the Saints.

    The Saints are among the half of the league that has not given up a touchdown to an opposing tight end this season. They have also given up an average of 43 receiving yards per game to opposing tight ends. Hopefully the Vikings' tight ends can capitalize on the Saints' defense.


    While PK Paul Edinger is perfect on the season, his kicking attempts are some of the lowest in the league. Edinger is 2-for-2 on FGAs and 1-for-1 on XPAs. Edinger has so far redeemed his below average performances the last two years with the Chicago Bears. With that said, until the team can put him in a position to make attempts, he will struggle to be a solid fantasy kicker. He is viewed as a bench PK and a weak play against the Saints.

    The Saints have allowed opposing place kickers to be perfect on the season thus far. Opposing place kickers are averaging 2.0 FGs and 2.5 XPs per game. If Edinger and the Vikings' offense can get him in the position to make these kicks he should do well, but it is still up in the air on whether the Vikings' offense can turn things around.


    The Vikings' defense struggled to stop the Cincinnati Bengals' offense in Week 2. While it is debatable on whether this was due to the poor performance of the offense or not, it was evident that they struggled in their second performance of the season. There have been some promising performances from FS Darren Sharper and DT Pat Williams, but overall, the defensive unit has struggled. Over the first two games of the season they are averaging 1.5 INTs, 0.5 defensive TDs, no fumbles and 1 sack per game. They are also giving up an ugly 2.5 passing TDs and 1 rushing TD per game. The Vikings hope to turn things around against the Saints' defense.

    The Saints' offense has not only struggled to produce offensive touchdowns but has also turned the ball over quite a few times. The Saints are averaging just 0.5 passing TDs and 1 rushing TD per game while giving up 2.5 sacks, 1.5 INTs and an astonishing 2.5 fumbles per game. While the Vikings' defense has struggled in recent weeks, the Saints' offense may be just what the doctor ordered. The Vikings are viewed as a decent No. 1 or Bye week defense and a weak play.

  2. #22
    ShanePurpleBlood's Avatar
    ShanePurpleBlood is offline Coordinator
    Join Date
    Dec 1969

    Re: Vikings/Saints Series

    Here is some articles on this weekend's game. It looks like T Will and K Rob will get more touches.

    Saints Seek to Continue Vikings' Misery

    (Sports Network) - If the Minnesota Vikings fail to play up to expectations when they host the New Orleans Saints on Sunday, don't be surprised to see the crowd at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome adopt more the tone of an angry mob than a jubilant home crowd.

    Vikings ready to get rookie Williamson more involved

    Associated Press

    EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. - Throughout training camp, the preseason and the early stages of the regular season, Vikings rookie wide receiver Troy Williamson has been brought along slowly by the coaching staff.

    But with No. 1 receiver Nate Burleson likely out for Sunday's game against New Orleans because of a sprained knee, it's time for the seventh overall pick in the draft to accelerate his development

    Pressure's on Vikings

    Vikes hopes to tighten their defense, get to the quarterback


    Pioneer Press

    If the Vikings' defense is trying to keep the New Orleans Saints guessing this week, it's doing a good job.

    Depending on who's talking, the Vikings will play either their usual defense Sunday or blitz more in an effort to put some heat on the quarterback.

    Another great sig by PPE!
    Vikings #1
    Raiders #2
    Hawkeyes #1
    Longhorns #2

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