Monday Night Football DFS Breakdown: Minnesota vs. Chicago

Monday Night Football DFS Breakdown: Minnesota vs. Chicago

This article is part of our Showdown/Single Game DFS Breakdown series.

The Josh Dobbs-led Vikings fell just short in their 21-20 road loss to Denver in Week 11, and the Bears came agonizingly close to an upset over the Lions but ultimately fell 31-26 after a late-game collapse. Both teams head into Week 12 feeling owed something after such narrow denial of their hopes the prior week, with the Vikings at a slight advantage as the home team. Avoiding the Midwest cold likely serves both passing games, which probably raises the point total from what it would have been in Chicago. Urgency is likely on the side of the Vikings, who at 6-5 have a real chance to make the playoffs despite the season-ending injury to Kirk Cousins. The over/under is 43.5 – down from a 45.5 opening – and Minnesota is favored by 3.0 points.

QUARTERBACK

Though it's rarely affordable to roster both starting quarterbacks in a showdown slate, the fact that both of these quarterbacks are prolific runners might enhance the case for a two-QB approach here. Justin Fields ($11200 DK, $16500 FD) in particular has the ability to completely take over a game, both in real life and on a fantasy slate. Field's Week 11 return from injury was mostly triumphant, though you'd like to see more than 169 yards and one touchdown passing to supplement the otherwise exceptional 104 yards rushing. Minnesota blitzes more than any team in the league, so Fields will need to operate more quickly than he might like, but the Minnesota defense

The Josh Dobbs-led Vikings fell just short in their 21-20 road loss to Denver in Week 11, and the Bears came agonizingly close to an upset over the Lions but ultimately fell 31-26 after a late-game collapse. Both teams head into Week 12 feeling owed something after such narrow denial of their hopes the prior week, with the Vikings at a slight advantage as the home team. Avoiding the Midwest cold likely serves both passing games, which probably raises the point total from what it would have been in Chicago. Urgency is likely on the side of the Vikings, who at 6-5 have a real chance to make the playoffs despite the season-ending injury to Kirk Cousins. The over/under is 43.5 – down from a 45.5 opening – and Minnesota is favored by 3.0 points.

QUARTERBACK

Though it's rarely affordable to roster both starting quarterbacks in a showdown slate, the fact that both of these quarterbacks are prolific runners might enhance the case for a two-QB approach here. Justin Fields ($11200 DK, $16500 FD) in particular has the ability to completely take over a game, both in real life and on a fantasy slate. Field's Week 11 return from injury was mostly triumphant, though you'd like to see more than 169 yards and one touchdown passing to supplement the otherwise exceptional 104 yards rushing. Minnesota blitzes more than any team in the league, so Fields will need to operate more quickly than he might like, but the Minnesota defense lacks coverage personnel and Fields is an accurate passer when he knows where the ball needs to go.

Josh Dobbs ($10000 DK, $15000 FD) is a tough fade himself, especially because he claims such a substantial share of the Minnesota rushing production. Although he is neither the passer nor runner that Fields is, Dobbs has a rushing touchdown in six straight games and plays for the team with the far superior offensive line, and likely the superior group of pass catchers also, even without Justin Jefferson. The Bears defense doesn't feature a pass rush half as effective as the Vikings, either.

RUNNING BACK

Khalil Herbert ($6800 DK, $11000 FD) and to a lesser extent Roschon Johnson ($3000 DK, $7500 FD) will need to lead the Chicago backfield with D'Onta Foreman out. Herbert is the better runner of the two and occasionally sees useful targets, but Johnson is the more trusted pass blocker of the two and figures to claim most of the passing-down snaps. The Vikings defense has been tough against the run this year, allowing just 3.6 yards per carry to running backs and holding the position to four rushing touchdowns in 11 games.

Alexander Mattison ($7400 DK, $10500 FD) and Ty Chandler ($5800 DK, $8500 FD) should find the running easier on the other side. Either player can stay on the field for passing downs, so the opportunities there don't split on an obvious basis, but Mattison generally seems to still have the lead in this backfield. It's worth noting that the Bears have been much tougher on the ground (3.4 YPC) to opposing running backs than through the air (8.4 YPT). Pass-catching opportunities should be there for the Minnesota backfield.

WIDE RECEIVER + TIGHT END

T.J. Hockenson ($9000 DK, $13000 FD) is a good bet to serve as the leading pass catcher for the Vikings, especially if wideout Jordan Addison ($8200 DK, $12500 FD) sees a lot of standout Bears corner Jaylon Johnson. Addison might be able to beat Johnson in the future or even now, but the simple fact is that whoever is not on Johnson is going to get open more easily. If not Addison then the next candidate to produce at wide receiver for Minnesota would be K.J. Osborn ($5600 DK, $8000 FD), though the Johnson condition certainly applies here as well. Any other Bears corner is a sitting duck, but Osborn is not beating Johnson. Brandon Powell ($2000 DK, $7500 FD) is your likely third wideout, and the punt returner if you're looking to pair that with the Minnesota DST. TE2 Josh Oliver ($2600 DK, $7000 FD) is mostly a blocker but is actually every bit the athlete that Hockenson is, as Oliver reminded us by four passes for 47 yards and a touchdown on four targets last week. Oliver is unlikely to see the same opportunity again, but he was known as a perfectly good pass catcher before he recently rebranded as a blocker.

DJ Moore ($10400 DK, $14000 FD) is the premier pass catcher in this game, and this could be a strong setup for him. The Vikings blitz incredibly aggressively but lack cover talent at corner. Leaving your corner on an island against Moore is a good way to cut him loose after the catch – remember that long touchdown against Kendall Fuller when the Bears played Washington? – so as long as Fields is basically competent there could be big-play opportunities for Moore. Darnell Mooney ($4800 DK, $8000 FD) and Cole Kmet ($6200 DK, $10000 FD) tend to split the scraps after Moore, with Kmet getting the better side of the deal lately. In theory the Vikings' blitzing could lead the Bears to call for more blocking snaps than usual for Kmet, but it's not obvious if that will actually be the case. With that said, Mooney can definitely beat these mediocre Vikings corners. Tyler Scott ($1200 DK, $7000 FD) and Equanimeous St. Brown ($1600 DK, $6500 FD) are likely to split the remaining snaps at wide receiver, to no obvious effect.

KICKER

Greg Joseph ($5000 DK, $9000 FD) might not be the most accurate kicker but he definitely has range, and those long-range field goals are what really drive upside in showdown kickers. While he's liable to miss a handful of short kicks and even PATs, Joseph's total of 16 field goal attempts from beyond 50 yards in his last 28 games is one of the highest figures in the league across that time span. The Vikings are favored at home, so this should be a conventionally opportune spot for Joseph.

Cairo Santos ($4600 DK, $9000 FD) on the other side lacks Joseph's range, but Santos is much more accurate and has even gotten popping as a long-range kicker the last two years. After making just three kicks from 50 or more over the prior six years, in the last two Santos has gone 9 of 10 from beyond 50 yards. If the Bears keep this game competitive then Santos might get a chance to show what he can do.

DEFENSE/SPECIAL TEAMS

The Bears ($3800 DK, $8500 FD) don't seem to have a whole lot going for them here. They have no pass rush, and their pass defense is undone when anyone other than Jaylon Johnson is targeted. Josh Dobbs has done a good job of limiting turnovers, so the Bears DST would probably need to come through by holding the Vikings to a low point total without the aid of sacks or interceptions. A narrow path, if there's one at all.

The Vikings ($4400 DK, $9500 FD) defense projects much better, though not without risk. If the Vikings' blitzing doesn't get home then Justin Fields and DJ Moore can do big damage in a hurry. On the other hand, as long as the Vikings handle their blitzing business correctly they could pile up sacks against Fields, who plays with one of the league's worst offensive lines. Sacks and forced fumbles are the key for the Vikings defense here, and there seems to be a real lane for it.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mario Puig
Mario is a Senior Writer at RotoWire who primarily writes and projects for the NFL and college football sections.
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