Last Updated: September 11th at 10:08pm ET.
Team Totals: Packers 24, Vikings 21
Dalvin Cook was among the NFL’s most-dynamic players in Week 1, trucking the Falcons for 120 yards and two scores on 23 touches. With Minnesota’s Gary Kubiak-infused run game dominating as an entity, rookie complement Alexander Mattison pitched in 49 yards on nine carries on a day where the Vikings ran for 172 yards and three scores. Although similar results are unlikely at Lambeau facing an improved Packers defense that held Bears backs to 11/37/0 rushing last week, Cook has more than earned elite RB1 treatment with averages of 107 total yards and 5.60 yards per carry over his last six games. Cook’s injury-riddled history does render Mattison a must-stash in season-long leagues. … As Kubiak and OC Kevin Stefanski successfully implemented their establish-the-run game plan and Minnesota spent all of Week 1 in positive script, Kirk Cousins attempted a measly ten throws in a picturesque game-manager role on Mike Zimmer’s anti-passing scorecard. Although the ten attempts will almost certainly go down as Cousins’ season low, they further confirm his low ceiling based on Minnesota’s offensive philosophy. For Week 2, Cousins is an unexciting two-quarterback-league option after the Packers allowed zero Week 1 touchdowns while hanging 11 hits and five sacks on Mitchell Trubisky. Green Bay pressured Trubisky on 40% of his dropbacks last week; he was pressured that often in just 1-of-14 starts last year.
Cousins’ Week 1 target distribution: Adam Thielen 3; Cook and Stefon Diggs 2; Chad Beebe 1; Kyle Rudolph and Irv Smith 0. … Cousins is likely to finish much closer to 30 attempts than last week’s 10, so I’d suggest not overreacting to Thielen and Diggs’ near-nonexistent target volume. Thielen played 89% of Minnesota’s Week 1 snaps, pocketed the team’s lone passing-game score, and has historically had Green Bay’s number with receiving lines of 8/125/1 > 12/131/1 > 2/24/0 > 9/96/0 > 12/202/2 in these clubs’ last five meetings. The Packers allowed the NFL’s fourth-most fantasy points to wide receivers last year, then coughed up 102 yards to Allen Robinson last Thursday night despite abominable play from Mitchell Trubisky. … Diggs played only 60% of the Vikings’ Week 1 snaps while gutting out a hamstring strain. While I’m still willing to trust Thielen as a fringe WR1 at Lambeau, Diggs should be downgraded into WR2 territory until he proves full health. In seven career games playing through an injury designation, Diggs has never once cleared 60 yards. Good news: Diggs is off this week’s injury report. … Rudolph played 100% of the Vikings’ Week 1 snaps and blocked on 83% of them. Smith ran five routes among 49% of Minnesota’s offensive plays.
Albeit against Chicago’s league-best defense on the road, the Packers’ Opening Day offense was so discombobulated and poorly orchestrated by Matt LaFleur that Aaron Rodgers drafters should continue to seek out streamer replacements until his schedule eases up. Week 2 opponent Minnesota hit Matt Ryan seven times among four Week 1 sacks, and Ryan saved face only via two garbage-time touchdowns after the Vikings opened up a 28-0 lead. Rodgers has failed to clear 300 yards in three straight meetings with Mike Zimmer, throwing one or fewer touchdown passes in all three. … After ranking 11th and 6th in run-defense DVOA the past two seasons, Zimmer’s stout front stymied Falcons backs for 14/50/0 rushing with a Devonta Freeman lost fumble in Week 1. Aaron Jones was as disappointing as any member of Green Bay’s opener, out-snapping Jamaal Williams by only a 61% to 39% margin and out-touching him 14 to 7. Despite LaFleur’s offseason promises to involve running backs in the passing game more, Jones and Williams drew just three targets combined. I am standing by Jones as a low-end RB2 but lowering floor and ceiling expectations until he earns more work. Despite vastly-superior talent, Jones has frustratingly failed to distance himself from Williams since entering the NFL.
Rodgers’ Week 1 target distribution: Davante Adams 8; Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Jimmy Graham 6; Marcedes Lewis 3; Williams 2; Jones, Geronimo Allison, Trevor Davis, and Robert Tonyan 1. … Adams is among fantasy’s easiest buy-low targets after his scoreless, 46-yard opener. He still led Green Bay in targets, has hit pay dirt in four straight meetings with the Vikings, and is an excellent fade-recency-bias DFS-tournament play, checking in as Week 2’s No. 7 wideout in Josh Hermsmeyer’s predictive Air Yards Model… MVS was responsible for the Packers’ lone big Week 1 gain on a 47-yard catch off play action in Bears CB Prince Amukamara’s coverage. MVS managed five yards on his other five targets. He did draw more Air Yards (81) than Adams (63) and maintains boom-bust WR4/flex viability in this probable matchup with Vikings No. 2 CB Trae Waynes. Although Xavier Rhodes struggled last year and this preseason, he put clamps on Julio Jones (6/31/1) for most of Week 1. Valdes-Scantling is also Hermsmeyer’s No. 8 buy-low receiver for Week 2, right behind teammate Adams. … Graham looked spry against Chicago, surprisingly leading his team in Air Yards (117) and catching Rodgers’ lone touchdown. Mostly an August afterthought, Graham should be upgraded into low-end TE1 territory versus a Vikings defense that coughed up a perfect 9/77/0 receiving line on nine targets to Austin Hooper last week. … Although Allison’s Week 2 matchup is enhanced by Vikings slot CB Mackensie Alexander’s dislocated elbow, Allison is difficult to buy into after drawing zero Air Yards on one target in Green Bay’s opener. Allison played fewer than 50% of the Packers’ offensive snaps and looks like a drop in season-long leagues.
Score Prediction: Vikings 21, Packers 20