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Fantasy Football: Vikings at Saints picks for Week 16

Minnesota Vikings WR Adam Thielen
Minnesota Vikings WR Adam Thielen
ANALYST
Modified 25 Dec 2020, 11:57 IST
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With two weeks (or less) of fantasy football left in the calendar for most leagues, aspirational managers the world over will be looking to gain first-leg advantage on their opponents -- starting on Christmas Day when the New Orleans Saints face the Minnesota Vikings.

Here are five fantasy football tips for what should be an absolute barnstormer of a game down in Louisiana.


1. Start Saints RB Alvin Kamara

New Orleans Saints
New Orleans Saints' Alvin Kamara looks poised for big returns vs the Vikings in wk-16

It's not exactly rocket science to select Alvin Kamara as the top-pick for fantasy points in this one: he is, after all, the nu1 ranked running back in the league in terms of points scored. It's not just that though: the Vikings defense is ranked a lowly 26th place on ESPN, Drew Brees has returned to the starting fold, and with the Saints heading into this grudge match with issues at wideout, Kamara looks set to see a LOT of the dingus.

If for some reason you relieved him of starting responsibilities during Taysom Hills' stint at QB, make sure to reinstate him right now: he is in store for a huge afternoon.


2. Start Vikings RB Dalvin Cook

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The Saints may well have one of the most formidable defensive units in the entire NFL, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't start Dalvin Cook in wk-16.

The Chef tore the Saints apart during the first 30 minutes of last year's wildcard game and finished up with 2 touchdowns and 94-yards to his name.

With the Viking's playoff hopes on the line, it's imperative that Cook performs, and, given that he's the league's 2nd most productive back in terms of points scored, it's more than likely he will.


3. Start Vikings WR Adam Thielen

Vikings' wide receiver, Adam Thielen is one of the most productive players in the fantasy league (ranked 12th among wideouts).

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Thielen might be coming into this pivotal game vs the Saints on the back of a couple of below-par performances vs Jaguars and Bears in recent weeks (by his own, exceptional standards), but he's still one to watch in our book: not least since the last time the Vikings met the Saints, Thielen finished up with 139-yards to his name.

New Orleans might have rarely allowed big yardage to wideouts this campaign, but Thielen is an exceptional talent, just as capable of 'tuddies' (13) as he is big numbers. It's likely he'll do well -- keep the faith.


4. Keep the New Orleans Saints' Defense

Saints' defense was excellent against the Chiefs last weekend. That may sound odd given they shipped 32 points and lost, but it is true. Mahomes did things in that game that no other quarterback playing in the NFL today can do; he was superb. Sometimes you just have to take your hat off to a player. But Mahomes won't forget the Saints' D in a hurry either. They sacked him 4 times; hit 8 TFLs on his supporting cast, and forced 3 fumbles, recovering 1.

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Minnesota will score points against the Saints, but QB, Kirk Cousins has thrown 13 interceptions already this year and fumbled the ball in 4 of his last 5 games, so if the Saints D can apply the same kind of pressure they did vs the Chiefs, expect turnovers and (more importantly for some) fantasy points.


5. Bench Vikings WR Justin Jefferson

Jacksonville Jaguars v Minnesota Vikings
Jacksonville Jaguars v Minnesota Vikings

Rookie sensation, Justin Jefferson is now clearly the Vikings' WR1. He can expect to be targeted and put into double coverage by the Saints -- exactly like he was against the Buccaneers a fortnight ago. Jefferson struggled to contend with Tampa's elite coverage and only reeled in 50% of his targets, picking up just 39-yards.

The Saints pass coverage has been tier-1 all season, allowing just 211-yards per game, so fantasy managers be warned -- the Rookie of the Year contender could be in for a tough afternoon down in New Orleans. 

Published 25 Dec 2020, 11:57 IST
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