Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen (19) celebrates a third quarter touchdown during an NFL Week 1 football game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Sunday, September 12, 2021, at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati. The Cincinnati Bengals won 27-24. Minnesota Vikings on September 12 in Cincinnati Bengals
The Vikings moved into the victory column last week after a huge win over the Seattle Seahawks. This week they get an even bigger test when the Cleveland Browns come to Minneapolis. An important game usually means you need big appearances from the stars, so let’s see which Vikings stars should be in your fantasy lineup this week.
Kirk Cousin To sit
Until now, Captain Kirk has been almost unstoppable in the passing game. He completes passes at a nearly 74% clip and has eight touchdowns versus zero interceptions. Against Seattle, he was a major reason Minnesota finished on top.
However, this Cleveland team is no joke. This game can turn into a defensive battle where the two teams try to run the ball down each other’s throats. Myles Garrett is a horror of the fringe, and he’ll probably have a day to see how this game plays out. Keep Cousins on the bench this week in a low-scoring affair.
Dalvin Cook – Start
The veteran RB sat out with an ankle injury last week but looks set to be ready to go this weekend. Cook is back in practice and should get plenty of chances to run against Cleveland.
The Browns defense was admittedly very good against the run this season. However, they have yet to face a hasty attack like Dalvin Cook. Last week they bumped into David Montgomery, but he also got very few chances in the blowout. As long as Minnesota keeps this close, Cook should be closely involved.
Adam Thielen – Sit
It can be risky to imagine someone who has scored 18 touchdowns in their last 18 games. However, there I am this week with Adam Thielen.
It just doesn’t feel like a great matchup for the experienced recipient. Justin Jefferson, KJ Osborn and Tyler Conklin eat a lot of targets in the open field.
Moreover, if the Vikings continue to use RBs in the passing game, that only takes away more. Thielen’s bread and butter is in the red zone, and I’m just not sure how often the Vikings will get there against Cleveland’s defenses.
Justin Jefferson – Start
The Vikings’ sophomore receiver was very quiet during most of the two games, but he seems to be back to his old self. If he continues to get double-digit target loads, he should be very prolific no matter who plays Minnesota.
In addition, his great playing ability is always a threat. The Browns may be able to generate enough pressure that Cousins won’t get much of a chance to throw to a deep route, but Jefferson will still be his go-to guy in the open field.