NFL Soup|Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Monday Night Football Fantasy Versus: Time for Adrian Peterson to Go Off? 

Record-wise, tonight’s Monday Night Football matchup featuring the Minnesota Vikings and the New York Giants is the worst in the history of MNF. We’re in Week Seven, and these two teams have a grand total of one victory between them. Fantastic!

The Vikings will be trotting Josh Freeman out there to start, and he’ll be the third different guy to start at QB for Minnesota this season already. On the other side, Eli Manning will continue his anti-Peyton season, as he’s already got 15 interceptions through New York’s first six games. Riveting stuff, for sure.

If you’re in a fantasy bind, let’s see if we can help you out. Because, let’s be honest: Unless you have fantasy implications, there’s no reason you’d be watching this game.


Josh Freeman (Vikings) vs. Eli Manning (Giants)

Freeman was benched as the starter in Tampa Bay after just three games, albeit three miserable games. He was completing just 45 percent of his throws with two touchdowns and three interceptions, though he was far from the Bucs’ only problem, of course. I mentioned in the open how awful Eli has been this season, as well. So, if you’re deciding between which of these guys to start for your fantasy team (for some reason), which do you choose?

Well, both opposing defenses are absolutely atrocious, but the Vikings’ unit against the pass is extra absolutely atrocious. They were absolutely shredded by Cam Newton and the Panthers a week ago, and now they’ll be without safety Harrison Smith, who was placed on short-term IR with turf toe.

It’s tough to trust Freeman in his first start with a new team, so I’d hope Manning with his superior weapons would exploit the advantage and put up decent numbers at home.

Running Backs

Adrian Peterson (Vikings) vs. Who Cares (Giants)

Adrian Peterson is with the Vikings. With Brandon Jacobs suddenly out of the lineup for the Giants, they’re turning to Peyton Hillis. I don’t know what more there is to say. The Giants’ backfield is a mess. By the way, I’d advise going and scooping up Andre Brown, who is due to come off short-term IR in a couple of weeks.

Brandon Jacobs did come out of nowhere to top 100 yards and score two touchdowns last week, so perhaps Hillis may be able to do something. It’s quite the unpredictable situation. We’re also likely to see seventh-round rookie Michael Cox get a shot.

Peterson. Duh.

Wide Receivers

 Greg Jennings/Jerome Simpson/Cordarrelle Patterson (Vikings) vs. Victor Cruz/Hakeem Nicks/Reuben Randle (Giants)

Greg Jennings was Minnesota’s big free agency splash, but Jerome Simpson is actually the team’s leading receiver at this point, as he’s caught 23 passes for 372 yards. Jennings has 20 for 286 and a couple of scores, while rookie Cordarrelle Patterson spends most of his times on the sidelines…for some reason.

Victor Cruz and Reuben Randle have combined for seven touchdowns this season, while Hakeem Nicks is still looking to find the end zone for the first time. Cruz has about 100 yards more than Nicks, while Nicks has about 100 yards more than Randle on the year.

All things considered, this has potential for a shootout, so there’s reason for optimism on both sides.

I’ll rank them this way: Cruz, Nicks, Jennings, Randle, Simpson…Patterson.

Tight Ends

Kyle Rudolph (Vikings) vs. Brandon Myers (Giants)

Kyle Rudolph isn’t on the touchdown-scoring parade he was on a year ago, but he did set season-highs with nine catches for 97 yards and a touchdown last week. Of course, that was with Matt Cassel at quarterback.

Myers has failed to even be targeted in two of the last three games, so you can’t really be trusting him. There’s no telling how Freeman and Rudolph will play together, but the upside with him is substantially higher than that of Myers.

About the author: Taylor Smith

Taylor Smith has been with NFL Soup since its inception, and is a jack of all trades, helping with breaking news, fantasy football advice and NFL Draft coverage. Smith also heads NFL Soup’s live chats and radio shows. Taylor also contributes content to our sister sites, MLB Soup, NBA Soup and NBA Water Cooler. He lives in San Diego, where he also is a writer for the L.A. Clippers. Follow him on Twitter @NFLSoupTaylor.

Add a Comment