Start or Sit: Vikings Week Two Fantasy Football Preview

Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen. Syndication: The Enquirer.

After Minnesota’s week one debacle in Cincinnati, the Purple and Gold now travel to Arizona to take on the Cardinals. It was also a rough week in terms of fantasy predictions. Especially during the first half, the Vikings offense was largely held in check outside of Adam Thielen’s touchdown reception. In fact, other than Thielen, it was not a great day for Vikings players in fantasy leagues. Kirk Cousins was the 12th ranked QB, Dalvin Cook fumbled away the game, and Justin Jefferson caught just five of nine targets.

Things look somewhat bleak for the Vikings this week as well. Chandle Jones and Co. terrorized Ryan Tannehill all afternoon in their season opener. Based off week one, Vikings offensive line does not look ready to handle that pressure, either. Then on top of that, Kyler Murray belongs in Hogwarts for the wizardly plays he made last week. It could be a long day for the Vikings, but here are the Vikings players to start and sit ahead of week two.

Kirk Cousins (Sit)

The Vikings will need to find a better balance of running and throwing if they want to have success this week. I’m not quite convinced the Cardinals run defense is as good as it seemed last week, and Dalvin Cook is in need of a bounce back game. As aforementioned, the Vikings protection was not great even against the Bengals pass rush. Cousins historically has not responded well to a ton of pressure, which could be a factor in this one. With Rashod Hill likely still at left tackle, the Vikings QB could be on the run early and often. Additionally, Cousins threw 49 times in week one and was just the 12th best QB in terms of fantasy points. There are likely going to be better options out there.

Dalvin Cook (Start)

Again, Mr. Cook is due for a bounce back after the Cincinnati game. Arizona’s run defense is certainly not suddenly worlds better than it was in 2020 just because of last week, either. Cook got a serviceable amount of volume last week on the ground, and he could be due for an even bigger sample size this week, assuming penalties aren’t as big an issue. The veteran is also a known threat as a receiver, and new OC Klint Kubiak certainly played to that strength in week one, getting him seven targets in the passing game. If running the ball continues to be an issue, Minnesota can at least give him these touches. Cook is a solid RB1 option.

Adam Thielen (Start)

Adam Thielen is clearly still WR1 of this team after last week. He led the receiving crew with 10 targets, and he caught nine of them for 92 yards. Thielen picked up right where he left off in 2020 as one of the league’s biggest red zone threats, too. Even without Kyle Rudolph or Irv Smith taking the defense’s attention, he caught two touchdown passes. The Cardinals defense is talented but still young, and the wily veteran should take advantage of that. Thielen remains a WR1-high end WR2 option this week.

Justin Jefferson (Sit)

The sophomore receiver had a difficult day in his season opener. Jefferson was targeted nine times, but he caught just five of them. K.J. Osborn has also thrown his hat into the receiver ring, and it should earn the WR3 some more chances this week. While that is great for the Vikings, it forces Jefferson’s fantasy stock to take a hit. Throughout his rookie season, Jefferson was not a big red zone target, and as long as Thielen is around, those throws will continue to go his way. If you feel confident in Jefferson’s deep ball ability, he’s worth playing at flex, but given Arizona’s talent at safety I wouldn’t put too much stock in him this week.