Start or Sit: Fantasy Preview of Minnesota Vikings vs Detroit Lions

Sep 26, 2021; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson (18) catches a pass against the Seattle Seahawks in the fourth quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

There were very few positives to take away from the Vikings week four game with the Browns, fantasy or otherwise. In a 14-7 defensive battle, Minnesota scored on their opening drive of 7+ minutes, and then never touched the scoreboard again. However, this week against a banged up Lions squad should bring much better results. Here’s the forecast for the Minnesota Vikings fantasy producers heading into week five.

Kirk Cousins- Start

The Lions have not given up a ton of passing yards so far this season, but that has more to do with the fact that they have been thrown on just 101 times through four games. In those 101 attempts, they’ve allowed 994 yards, for a net nine yards per attempt. That’s second worst in the NFL and bodes well for Cousins to continue his early season success, especially if Dalvin Cook is unable to go.

Dalvin Cook/Alexander Mattison- Start

As long as Dalvin Cook and Mike Zimmer are stubborn, and Cook continues playing through this ankle injury, it feels like he must be started simply for his potential to break off a few big runs. Especially in this matchup, Cook could find some production against a Lions defense that has allowed 116 or more rushing yards in three of their first four games. Definitely keep an eye on him through the weekend though. If he is unable to play, it would be smart to plug in Alexander Mattison for the same reason.

Adam Thielen- Start

Unlike last week, this feels like a matchup for Thielen to thrive in. The Lions and Browns are a night and day difference in terms of team ability. Last week, I suggested sitting Thielen for the first time this season as Cleveland’s defense was likely to hold Minnesota out of the red zone for much of the day. They did just that. Contrarily, the Vikings should see the red zone three to four times this week, and Thielen should get multiple targets in the red zone.

Justin Jefferson- Start

Yes, for the first time all year, I am suggesting that you start all four of the Vikings offensive heavy hitters. If you happen to have them all, this is certainly the matchup to do it because at least two or three will go off for big points. After a somewhat quiet season opener, Jefferson has been on a tear the past three weeks. He’s recorded a slash line of 21/267/3, and he even had a big game against Cincinnati, scoring the only touchdown of the day. With no Jeff Okudah in the secondary, Minnesota should feast on Detroit’s defense.