Last updated: December 20th at 8:15am ET
Team Totals: Vikings 25.5, Packers 20
At the helm of Green Bay’s humdrum offense, Aaron Rodgers enters Week 16 with top-12 fantasy scores in just 5-of-14 starts facing a Vikings defense that has allowed enemy passers to exceed that threshold in 5-of-14 games. Especially on the road, Rodgers is a fade beyond one-game DFS slates. His yards per attempt plummet from 8.0 at Lambeau Field to 6.3 in away games, and 15 of Rodgers’ 25 accounted-for TDs have been scored at home. Minnesota permits the NFL’s tenth-fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks. … This is a risky spot for Aaron Jones, who continues to function as Green Bay’s mere 1a back to Jamaal Williams’ 1b, helpfully reaching pay dirt twice in last week’s win over Chicago but only out-touching Williams 13 to 9, out-snapping him 35 to 24, and running just 15 pass routes, Jones’ fewest since Week 3. Jones has scored an otherworldly 17 touchdowns, but just six of them have come in road contests, and Jones could easily dud with RB3-caliber production if that end-zone luck runs out. The Vikings have surrendered just nine all-purpose running back touchdowns through 14 games. In a likely low-scoring environment, Jones sets up as a touchdown-or-bust RB2 play and Williams a low-ceiling flex.
Rodgers’ Weeks 10-15 target distribution: Davante Adams 51; Allen Lazard 16; Williams, Geronimo Allison, and Jimmy Graham 15; Jones 14; Marquez Valdes-Scantling 7; Robert Tonyan 6; Jake Kumerow 3. … The one driving force for any possible Rodgers positivity, Adams has cleared 100 yards and/or scored a touchdown against Mike Zimmer’s defense in five straight Vikings-Packers games, while Zimmer’s secondary is worse than ever this year, over the last six weeks having allowed WR stat lines of 11/147/1 (Amari Cooper), 6/140/1 (Tyreek Hill), 5/113/0 (Courtland Sutton), 6/106/1 (Randall Cobb), 9/99/0 (Keenan Allen), 4/77/0 (Tim Patrick), 4/76/1 (Michael Gallup), 6/75/0 (D.K. Metcalf), 4/71/1 (Mike Williams), 2/65/1 (David Moore), 7/63/0 (Sammy Watkins), and 6/58/1 (Kenny Golladay). … All other Packers pass catchers have appeal only on one-game DFS slates. Lazard has fewer than 50 yards in seven of Green Bay’s last eight games. Allison hasn’t cleared 25 yards since Week 7. Valdes-Scantling dropped a first-quarter 70-yard touchdown bomb in last week’s win and wasn’t heard from again. There have been whispers of Kumerow’s Week 16 usage increasing, making him somewhat one-game DFS-tournament viable. … Graham’s route total has dropped in four straight weeks (32 > 21 > 19 > 18) as the Packers are incorporating Tonyan and Marcedes Lewis more. Still, Graham is at least mildly intriguing on one-game DFS slates against a Vikings defense allowing the NFL’s sixth-most catches (81) to tight ends.
Adam Thielen’s return combined with Minnesota’s running back depletion give Kirk Cousins QB1 life following three straight sub-par fantasy scores caused mainly by blowout wins and pass-game-offsetting run-game dominance. Although nine straight quarterbacks have managed fantasy results of QB12 or worse against Green Bay, six finished inside the top 16, and Cousins’ yards per attempt fly from 7.74 on the road to 9.61 beneath the Vikings’ U.S. Bank Stadium dome along with a 101.1 to 126.0 improvement in passer rating. I’m valuing Cousins as a high-floor QB1 play. … As neither Dalvin Cook (shoulder, chest) nor Alexander Mattison (ankle) looks likely to face Green Bay, annual August superstar Mike Boone, passing-down niche player Ameer Abdullah, and FB C.J. Ham project to handle Monday night’s backfield. Boone blew up each of the last two preseasons for a combined 90/392/3 (4.4 YPC) rushing line and, just as importantly, demonstrated strong pass-catching skills with 13 receptions for 145 yards. He played wide receiver in high school. At 5-foot-10, 206 with 4.44 speed, Boone went undrafted out of Cincinnati due to an injury-plagued college career despite turning in 2018’s No. 2 SPARQ-athleticism rating behind only Saquon Barkley in that year’s running back class. Not only have enemy backs creamed the Packers for 4.76 yards per carry and 15 TDs, but Green Bay surrenders the NFL’s tenth-most running back catches per game (5.7). Boone will be an upside RB2 play if Cook and Mattison sit.
The nature of Thielen’s hamstring injury, his continued setbacks, and basic rust factor having played just 40 snaps of football since Week 7 are all causes for Week 16 alarm, even against Green Bay’s overrated secondary. He’s a low-floor, high-risk WR3 option after managing three targets on 51% of last week’s offensive snaps. … Stefon Diggs has torn the cover off at home this year, banking stat lines of 6/92/0 > 5/121/1 > 7/143/0 > 7/167/3 over his last four games at U.S. Bank. The Packers were ethered by fellow WRs Allen Robinson (7/125/0), D.J. Moore (9/120/0), Anthony Miller (9/118/1), Mike Williams (3/111/0), Terry McLaurin (4/57/1), Deebo Samuel (2/50/1), Darius Slayton (6/44/0), Steven Sims (4/40/0), Sterling Shepard (3/40/1), and Curtis Samuel (5/35/1) over their last six games. Green Bay has coughed up the NFL’s seventh-most 20-plus-yard completions (53) and second-most 40-plus-yard catches (14), playing directly into Diggs’ big-play hands. … Kyle Rudolph is the one Vikings ancillary pass catcher for whom I’d leave on the Week 16 light, especially on one-game DFS slates based on his touchdown potential. Only five teams have allowed more fantasy points to tight ends than Green Bay.
Score Prediction: Vikings 27, Packers 20