News & Analysis

Jahnke: Fantasy football reactions from the Vikings’ MNF win over the Bears

Nov 16, 2020; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen (19) scores a touchdown in the first quarter against Chicago Bears cornerback Buster Skrine (24) at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports

Week 10's iteration of Monday Night Football gave us a battle between two NFC North rivals. The Minnesota Vikings put up significantly more yards and all of the offensive touchdowns, and yet, with a minute to go, the Chicago Bears were a touchdown away from victory.

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As always, this collection of fantasy reactions will include snap counts for skill players on each team, along with notes on players who saw their fantasy stocks rise or fall during the action.

Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears

Minnesota Vikings Chicago Bears
WR WR
Adam Thielen – 72 snaps Darnell Mooney – 46 snaps
Justin Jefferson – 61 snaps Allen Robinson II – 45 snaps
Chad Beebe – 22 snaps Anthony Miller – 24 snaps
Olabisi Johnson – 2 snaps Riley Ridley – 9 snaps
TE TE
Kyle Rudolph – 57 snaps Cole Kmet – 35 snaps
Tyler Conklin – 46 snaps Jimmy Graham – 29 snaps
Brandon Dillon – 2 snaps J.P. Holtz – 6 snaps
Demetrius Harris – 3 snaps
HB HB
Dalvin Cook – 59 snaps Cordarrelle Patterson – 25 snaps
Alexander Mattison – 5 snaps Ryan Nall – 17 snaps
Ameer Abdullah – 3 snaps Artavis Pierce – 6 snaps
Lamar Miller – 5 snaps
Total – 73 snaps Total – 50 snaps

Winner: WR Adam Thielen, Minnesota Vikings

Both Vikings wide receivers put up big fantasy numbers, but Thielen has the advantage because he scored both touchdowns in the game. Rookie Justin Jefferson led the team in targets (9), receptions (8) and yards (135) and deserves the award just as much as Thielen does. Both players have been WR2s this season, but they have the talent to be WR1s if they were on a more pass-heavy team.

Loser: RB Dalvin Cook, Minnesota Vikings

As usual, the Vikings made Cook the centerpiece of the offense. The previous two weeks, it made Cook the most popular man in fantasy football. Today, he wasn’t nearly as effective, averaging 2.0 yards per carry over the first three quarters.

Cook's yards per carry average went up a bit in the fourth quarter once Akiem Hicks left with an injury, and he ultimately ended up with 96 yards on 30 carries. This was the first time since 2016 that a player ran 30 or more times and failed to hit 100 rushing yards.

Cook added four catches for 16 yards as a receiver out of the backfield. He will be just fine in future weeks, but plenty of fantasy managers were hoping for a better night out of him.

Injury Replacement: RB Cordarrelle Patterson, Chicago Bears

The Bears were without their every-down back, David Montgomery, leaving them with a few different options at running back. Patterson ended up leading the Bears in carries, with 12, but that only netted them 30 yards.

Patterson made much more of an impact as a returner, where his 104-yard kick return gave the Bears the lead and tied the all-time record for kick-return touchdowns in a career.

Ryan Nall was the next man up despite mostly playing fullback this season. He was the primary third-down back, although all four backs played a little bit in all situations. Veteran Lamar Miller was elevated off the practice squad today but barely made an impact.

Injury Replacement: TE Kyle Rudolph, Minnesota Vikings

The Vikings were without Irv Smith Jr. for this one, which theoretically opened the door for Rudolph to see an every-down role.

It resulted in a slight uptick in snaps and routes for Rudolph. He caught 4-of-5 passes for a season-high 63 yards, making him one of the better fantasy tight ends of the week. Tyler Conklin took the rest of Smith’s snaps, primarily as a blocker. If Smith misses more time, Rudolph will maintain TE1 potential.

Injury: QB Nick Foles, Chicago Bears

Foles was carted off the field in the last two minutes of the game, and Tyler Bray ended up replacing him. If Foles ends up missing significant time, then Mitchell Trubisky — his own health permitting — should end up as the starter once again.

Trubisky has graded slightly better than Foles this season, so having Trubisky back might be a slight boost for the Bears skill players who underperformed today. Foles ended up with just 106 yards and an interception on 26 attempts.

Dynasty Watch: TE Cole Kmet, Chicago Bears

Kmet has slowly but surely worked his way up the Bears' tight end depth chart as the season has gone on. In each of the first six weeks, Kmet was third in line for snaps at Chicago's tight end position. He moved up to second in Week 7 but was still seeing less than half the snaps Jimmy Graham was playing.

Kmet has now cut that down to a 14-snap gap between the two in each of the last two weeks. Tonight, the rookie tight end out of Notre Dame ended up with more snaps, targets, receptions and yards. It wouldn’t be surprising to see Kmet surpass Graham on the depth chart in the near future, paving the way for him to be an every-down tight end for Chicago next year.

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