Last updated: December 5th at 9:30pm ET
Team Totals: Vikings 28, Lions 15
Poised and decisive in his Thanksgiving NFL debut versus Chicago, David Blough earned two-QB-league starter consideration against Minnesota’s increasingly unimposing defense, which ranks a middling 15th in sacks (33), 14th in QB Hit Rate (16%), and bottom five in fantasy points allowed to wide receivers, which is where Detroit’s offense butters its bread. … While Bo Scarbrough deserves recognition for three straight impressive tackle-breaking rushing lines of 14/55/1 (Dallas), 18/98/0 (Washington), and 21/83/0 (Chicago), Scarbrough’s complete lack of passing-game involvement renders him one of the lowest-floor RB2/flex considerations on Week 14’s slate. Scarbrough hasn’t so much as drawn a 2019 passing-game target and maintains low-scoring probability without a single carry inside an opponent’s five-yard line. As Scarbrough is a near-entirely touchdown-or-bust play and neither Ty Johnson nor J.D. McKissic has topped six touches in a game since Scarbrough’s emergence, this has become a backfield to avoid at almost all costs, especially with Detroit installed as nearly two-TD road dogs at Minnesota.
Blough’s Week 13 target distribution: T.J. Hockenson 11; Danny Amendola 8; Marvin Jones 6; Kenny Golladay 5; Johnson and McKissic 3; Scarbrough 0. … Hockenson’s placement on I.R. frees up quite a bit of projected opportunity after Blough targeted Hockenson relentlessly on Thanksgiving. But reserve TEs Logan Thomas and Jesse James are tough streamer sells as probable rotational partners facing a Vikings defense permitting the NFL’s eighth-fewest fantasy points to tight ends. … Held below 50 yards in five straight games with one end-zone trip since Week 1, Amendola is always a low-ceiling, PPR-specific WR4 option without a safe floor. … Jones and Golladay warrant more optimism against Minnesota’s beatable secondary, which hemorrhaged stat lines of 11/147/1 (Amari Cooper), 6/140/1 (Tyreek Hill), 5/113/0 (Courtland Sutton), 6/106/1 (Randall Cobb), 4/77/0 (Tim Patrick), 4/76/1 (Michael Gallup), 6/75/0 (D.K. Metcalf), 2/65/1 (David Moore), and 7/63/0 (Sammy Watkins) over its last four games. Despite seeing only five targets on Thanksgiving, Golladay commanded the ninth-most Air Yards in the league (141) in Week 13 as Blough showed a willingness to throw the football up and let Golladay run under it. … Jones has been a boom-bust WR2/3 option all season, but he is tied for the NFL lead in touchdown catches (9).
The Vikings return home on a short week following last Monday night’s one-score loss in Seattle to face a pathetic Lions defense Kirk Cousins should pummel, even if Adam Thielen (hamstring) sits out again. Lit up by Mitchell Trubisky twice in the last month, Detroit has surrendered top-12 fantasy scores to 10-of-12 quarterbacks faced, donating comfortable pockets via the NFL’s fourth-lowest sack rate (5.1%) and second-lowest QB Hit Rate (11.8%). Per Sports Info Solutions, Cousins’ TD-to-INT ratio versus Cover-1 man defenses is 18:2 over the last two seasons. Matt Patricia’s Lions team plays Cover 1 at the NFL’s highest rate. … Mike Zimmer insists Dalvin Cook will face the Lions despite aggravating a Week 11 chest injury against the Seahawks. Cook has also publicly insisted he’s “fine.” The injury still adds risk of Minnesota dialing back Cook’s workload in favor of hard-charging rookie Alexander Mattison, who delivered 73 yards on eight touches against the Seahawks and is very flex-play viable based on Sunday’s cupcake draw, Cook’s injury, and this spot with the run-committed Vikings favored by nearly two touchdowns at home. If Cook is active, he’ll nevertheless be a near-impossible RB1 fade. Enemy backs have steamrolled the hapless Lions for a 154.4 total-yards average and 18 touchdowns in 12 games.
Stefon Diggs hasn’t quite capitalized on Thielen’s extended absence with fewer than 50 yards in three of the Vikings’ last four games and is very likely to draw Darius Slay’s shadow coverage here. Diggs set the Lions on fire in these clubs’ Week 7 date (7/142/0), though, and Allen Robinson showed on Thanksgiving (8/86/1) that Slay isn’t quite an impenetrable foe, especially with minimal up-front pass rush to support him. I’m confidently standing by Diggs as a Week 14 fringe WR1. Diggs’ last three at-home receiving lines are 5/121/1 > 7/143/0 > 7/167/3. … Although Laquon Treadwell scored a wide-open 58-yard TD on a severe coverage bust in last Monday night’s loss to Seattle, he continued to play behind Diggs and Olabisi Johnson as the Vikings’ lightly-used No. 3 receiver. Kyle Rudolph is the vastly superior fantasy bet should Thielen sit again with five-plus targets in four straight games and five TDs during that span. The Lions have yielded the league’s eighth-most fantasy points to tight ends. Rudolph will be a legit top-ten TE1 play sans Thielen. … Deeper ancillary pass catchers like Johnson, Irv Smith, and Tyler Conklin are not seeing enough volume for fantasy viability in Thielen’s absence, and this game could easily settle in as a low-volume affair for Cousins with the Vikings at home facing the Lions’ third-string quarterback.
Score Prediction: Vikings 28, Lions 13