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Cousins, Diggs fly past Eagles in Vikings' 38-20 win

Sun Oct 13 4:30pm ET
By DAVE CAMPBELL
AP Sports Writer

Players: Kirk Cousins, Zach Ertz, Carson Wentz, Stefon Diggs, Adam Thielen, Jake Elliott, Dallas Goedert, Miles Sanders

Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs, left, celebrates with teammate Bisi Johnson, right, after catching a 51-yard touchdown pass during the first half of an NFL football game against the Philadelphia Eagles, Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Bruce Kluckhohn)


Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs catches a 51-yard touchdown pass during the first half of an NFL football game against the Philadelphia Eagles, Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Bruce Kluckhohn)


Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz, left, runs form Minnesota Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen, right, during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Bruce Kluckhohn)


Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs, left, runs from Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Sidney Jones, right, after catching a pass during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Bruce Kluckhohn)


Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins, center, throws a pass during the first half of an NFL football game against the Philadelphia Eagles, Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Bruce Kluckhohn)


MINNEAPOLIS (AP) Kirk Cousins threw to Stefon Diggs for three of his four touchdowns, racking up a season-high 333 passing yards as the Minnesota Vikings ravaged the Philadelphia Eagles secondary in a 38-20 victory Sunday.

Diggs scored on plays in the first half that covered 51 and 62 yards, becoming the first player since Randy Moss in 2000 to post two touchdown receptions of 50-plus yards in one game for the Vikings (4-2).

His most important catch came late in the third quarter, a double toe tap in the back of the end zone from 11 yards out that pushed the lead to 11 points after Carson Wentz and the Eagles (3-3) had pulled within 24-20 with 17 straight points.

Cousins went 22 for 29 with one sack and one interception that was, oddly enough, Diggs' fault when a sideline throw hit him in the hands, bounced off his helmet and into the air behind him for former Vikings safety Andrew Sendejo to pick off late in the second quarter.

The sure sign that this was not the Eagles' day came right after that, when coach Doug Pederson called a fake field goal from the 21 with 20 seconds left in the half. The snap to Jake Elliott left the kicker with only one receiver, well-covered tight end Dallas Goedert, and the desperation throw was tipped by Anthony Harris and intercepted by Everson Griffen.

The Eagles have been badly missing starting cornerbacks Ronald Darby and Avonte Maddox, and Cousins took full advantage with a first half that looked at times like passing drills against the scout team.

Adam Thielen made a slick double move to beat Sidney Jones for a textbook fade throw by Cousins for a 7-yard touchdown to cap the opening drive. After Diggs blew by Rasul Douglas on a post route in the second quarter to put the Vikings up 17-3, he gave Cousins a hearty hug on an all-smiles sideline.

Diggs beat Douglas again on a corner route on the first play of their next possession for the second of his career-best three scores. Even with a 32-yard touchdown pass by Wentz to running back Miles Sanders before the break, the Vikings pushed their first-half scoring advantage in three home games this year to 66-17.

Following an ugly performance two weeks ago in defeat at Chicago that had the passing game out of sorts, Diggs skipped some team activities, drew more than $200,000 in fines and acknowledged unspecified dissatisfaction with the direction of the offense while speaking cryptically about his desire to be with the Vikings.

The Vikings became the first team to hit the 100-yard rushing mark in the last nine games against the Eagles, who surrendered 300-plus passing yards for the fourth time in six games.

Wentz finished 26 for 40 for 306 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. After the last score by Diggs, the Eagles wilted under the weight of the Vikings pass rush and the crowd noise at U.S. Bank Stadium, where they left as first-time Super Bowl champions following their last visit two seasons ago.

Eric Kendricks and Mackensie Alexander shared a third-down sack after an all-out blitz called by Vikings coach Mike Zimmer forced a punt. Anthony Barr recovered a fumble by Zach Ertz to end the next drive at midfield. Alexander picked off Wentz on the following possession.

INJURY REPORT

Eagles: LT Jason Peters hurt his knee in the second quarter, returned briefly after an initial absence and then was pulled for good. Andre Dillard took over. ... LB Nigel Bradham (ankle) was also injured in the second quarter and did not return. ... DT Tim Jernigan (foot) was out for the fourth straight game, Darby (hamstring) for the third game in a row and Maddox (concussion/neck) for the second consecutive game.

Vikings: Dakota Dozier started at RG for Josh Kline, who sat out with a foot injury. ... LT Riley Reiff (ankle) left in the first quarter, returned briefly, then was sidelined in the second half and replaced by Rashod Hill.

UP NEXT

Eagles: Play at Dallas next Sunday. Three of their last four visits to the Cowboys have gone to overtime, with a win in 2015 and losses in 2016 and 2018.

Vikings: Play at Detroit next Sunday. They lost their first two NFC North road games to Green Bay and Chicago.

Player Notes
D.J. Chark Dec 7 1:50pm ET

Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver D.J. Chark has seen his role in the Jaguars offense fade some lately, but with rookie Gardner Minshew back at quarterback, Chark's in a good spot to get back to the level he was at early in the season. Chark averages more yards per reception with Minshew at quarterback and caught five touchdowns from the first-year passer. This week's meeting with the Chargers isn't a great one for Jacksonville's passing game, but if you're going to trust one of these receivers, it should be Chark.

From RotoBaller

Chris Conley Dec 7 1:50pm ET

Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Chris Conley has been incredibly consistent over the past three games, so if you need a fantasy wide receiver who'll catch four passes for 50 yards, Conley's the guy for you. He doesn't have tremendous upside and has just two touchdown receptions on the year, but his current role with the Jaguars does give him a solid floor. Sometimes, that's what you need.

From RotoBaller

Minnesota Vikings Dec 7 1:40pm ET

The Minnesota Vikings Defense is one of the top plays at the position in Week 14. They will square off with undrafted rookie quarterback David Blough and the Detroit Lions at home in an important divisional battle. Blough played well in a narrow loss to the Bears in his debut in Week 13, but he did throw an interception and took two sacks in the game. The Vikings average 2.8 sacks per game and have a chance to get after the rookie with the Lions offensive line struggling. The Vikings secondary has been atrocious lately and the Lions have some deep-threat weapons, but it's safe to count on Mike Zimmer's defense to rebound at home after last week's brutal effort against the Seattle Seahawks. Start them with confidence in Week 14 as they have a great chance at picking up sacks and turnovers for your fantasy squad.

From RotoBaller

Stefon Diggs Dec 7 1:30pm ET

Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs is a WR2 with a wide range of outcomes in Week 14. It's been up-and-down for Diggs since Adam Thielen (hamstring) has been out as he has registered three monster fantasy outputs while also mixing in three very modest efforts. Detroit has struggled to defend the pass this year as they rank 26th in pass DVOA and are in the bottom-five in fantasy points allowed to the position. Though Diggs will likely see a lot of Darius Slay in coverage, the Vikings will find ways to scheme him open as their top receiving option. It should be noted that the passing game volume could take a slight hit with the Vikings favored by 13 points at home. Keep Diggs locked in as a solid WR2 with elite upside and a lower floor than most receivers in his range.

From RotoBaller

Dede Westbrook Dec 7 1:20pm ET

Don't let his touchdown reception last week fool you; Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Dede Westbrook has had limited upside all season and while he's unlikely to bottom out like he did in Gardner Minshew's first game as quarterback for the Jags, he's not a great option in Minshew's return to the starting role. Westbrook's targets and yardage have been smaller than most expected coming into this season, which makes it difficult to trust him, especially in shallower leagues.

From RotoBaller

Leonard Fournette Dec 7 1:00pm ET

Jacksonville Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette should be in line for a solid performance in Sunday's meeting with the Los Angeles Chargers. The Chargers allow the ninth-most PPR points to opposing running backs, and while in years past that PPR part of the equation wouldn't mean much to Fournette, he's been targeted 23 times in the passing game over the last two weeks. He's going to get a lot of touches on Sunday, and the Chargers are a team that he can exploit. Feel confident using Fournette as an RB1.

From RotoBaller

Olabisi Johnson Dec 7 12:50pm ET

Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Olabisi Johnson remains in the mix as the Vikings No. 2 receiver with Adam Thielen (hamstring) out. Johnson had been playing at least 70% of snaps every week Thielen has missed, but he put up a 56% snap count in Week 13 as Laquon Treadwell carved out an increased role. Johnson finished with one catch for one yard in a loss to the Seahawks. "Bisi" has a much better chance to produce this week as the Lions Defense has gotten torched all season and shutdown corner Darius Slay will likely stick with Stefon Diggs all game long. As a reminder, Johnson is one game removed from catching six of nine targets for 35 yards in a comeback win over the Broncos in Week 11. There could be some volume concerns this week with the Vikings favored by 13 points, but Johnson is the Vikings backup receiver to take a chance on if you're in desperate need.

From RotoBaller

Philip Rivers Dec 7 12:50pm ET

Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers had his best game in a month last week when he completed 69% of his passes, but the Chargers still found a way to lose at the last second. This week, he'll face a porous Jacksonville defense that has been sliding recently. Though mediocre for the season, the Jaguars have fallen apart recently, allowing 26 or more points in four straight games. They've been ripped by opposing quarterbacks, allowing the ninth-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks in the last month. With LA desperately looking to nail down a win after so many close losses, expect Rivers to have the opportunity for a big game.

From RotoBaller

Evan Engram Dec 7 12:30pm ET

The New York Giants ruled out both tight ends Evan Engram (foot) and Rhett Ellison (concussion) for Monday night. That means Kaden Smith will get another start. He could be put into DFS Showdown slates, but he's not a recommended option in season-long playoffs given the Giants' full complement of healthy wide receivers.

From RotoBaller

Daniel Jones Dec 7 12:30pm ET

New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones will miss Monday night's game with an ankle injury. As has been expected all week, Eli Manning will get the start and becomes a low-end QB2 option in season-long leagues. This improves Saquon Barkley's value a little since Manning dumps off to running backs more than he runs, but it doesn't do much to the value of the Giants' wide receivers. Perhaps a slight bump down for Golden Tate since the two have never played together.

From RotoBaller

Laquon Treadwell Dec 7 12:30pm ET

Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Laquon Treadwell will likely see extended playing time again this week in the absence of top wideout Adam Thielen (hamstring). Treadwell caught one of his two targets for a wide-open 58-yard score last week, but he should not be considered as a starting option in Week 14. The fourth-year wideout has seen one or zero targets in five of his seven games played - that fact alone should have you looking elsewhere for desperation streaming options. He'll compete with Olabisi Johnson, Kyle Rudolph, and Dalvin Cook for (likely) limited targets behind Stefon Diggs this week. If you must have a backup receiver from this game, look to Johnson with his higher snap count and target-share.

From RotoBaller

Gardner Minshew II Dec 7 12:20pm ET

Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew is the starter again, but his first start since reclaiming that role comes in a bad situation. The Jags play the Chargers, who've allowed the sixth-fewest fantasy points to opposing passers this season. The safest bet for you in a season-long fantasy league is to do what you can to avoid playing Minshew this week, though he's not the worst option in a two-quarterback league. He threw for 147 yards and a touchdown in one half of play against Tampa.

From RotoBaller

Kirk Cousins Dec 7 12:20pm ET

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins is in line for a big game in Week 14 against the Detroit Lions. Cousins has become a model of consistency, tossing multiple touchdowns in seven of his last eight games played and completing 69.3% of his passes to this point in the season (at 8.5 yards per attempt). The Detroit Lions Defense has been getting demolished by opposing fantasy quarterbacks all season, including in Week 7 when Cousins exploded for 338 yards and four touchdowns. The only possible concern for his outlook this week is volume as the Vikings are favored by 13 points and may look to lean on the run. He'll need David Blough and the Lions offense to put up some points in order to approach his ceiling this week, which shouldn't be counted on. Still, start Cousins as a low-end QB1 in this extremely favorable matchup at home.

From RotoBaller

Will Fuller Dec 7 12:10pm ET

Houston Texans wide receiver Will Fuller (hamstring) isn't even a guarantee to suit up against Denver in Week 14, but if he does, he faces a Broncos Defense that's allowing the fifth-fewest fantasy points to opposing wide receivers. Fuller played 75 percent of Houston's snaps last week, but had just one catch for eight yards. His other target was an end zone one that was initially ruled a touchdown, but two targets for the speedster isn't great. I'd expect we see a little more usage if he plays this week, but if he's not at 100 percent, it'll be tough to trust him in your lineups in shallower leagues.

From RotoBaller

Kenny Stills Dec 7 12:10pm ET

Houston Texans wide receiver Kenny Stills caught his first touchdown since Week 1 in last week's meeting with New England, but his inconsistent role means you're unlikely to get much out of him in Week 14 against Denver. If Will Fuller (hamstring) misses the game, Stills has value, but it's worth noting that Stills has 50 or more receiving yards in just four games this year and has major fantasy downside.

From RotoBaller

Darren Fells Dec 7 12:10pm ET

Houston Texans tight end Darren Fells caught another touchdown last week. He also finished with two catches for 23 yards, his fourth game in a row with two or fewer catches. It's clear that Fells has a very defined role in this offense: quarterback Deshaun Watson will look for him near the goal line or in short yardage situations, and that's about it. Of his 28 catches, nine were in the red zone, and seven of those went for touchdowns. If you need a prayer, Fells is as likely as any non-elite tight end to score, but he won't put up huge yardage totals, so you're assuming a lot of risk.

From RotoBaller

Duke Johnson Dec 7 12:00pm ET

Houston Texans running back Duke Johnson saw his most targets and tied for his most carries of the season against the Patriots in Week 13 while playing a season-high 67 percent of offensive snaps, a sign that the pass-catching back might be moving towards a larger role in this offense. That gives him some intriguing upside in Week 14 against a Denver team that's done better against running backs on the ground than through the air. This could be a game that favors Johnson over teammate Carlos Hyde, though Johnson's still no more than a PPR RB3 because of the downside he presents, like the fact that in Weeks 11 and 12 he combined for just 12 receiving yards.

From RotoBaller

DeAndre Hopkins Dec 7 12:00pm ET

Houston Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins faces a tough one on Sunday, as Houston faces a Broncos team that allows the fifth-fewest fantasy points per game to opposing wide receivers. Add in that Hopkins has been targeted eight times in each of the last two games after a five-game stretch with double-digit targets and you get some reason for concern. Not enough concern to even think about benching Hopkins, as his upside is just too big. Maybe you don't play him in your DFS lineup this week because of the matchup, but you have to play him in season-long leagues and hope his talent and his usage help him to a strong day.

From RotoBaller

Deshaun Watson Dec 7 11:50am ET

Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson is currently the fantasy QB4, and while his opponent this Sunday -- the Denver Broncos -- are allowing the fourth-fewest fantasy points to opposing passers this season, you've still got to trust Watson and deploy him as your starting fantasy quarterback. He's coming off a strong performance against New England's league-best defense in which he threw for three touchdowns and also caught one on an option play, so we've definitely seen Watson succeed in tough spots.

From RotoBaller

Carlos Hyde Dec 7 11:50am ET

Houston Texans running back Carlos Hyde is coming his worst performance of the season, a 10-carry, 17-yard outing against a strong Patriots Defense. Now, he's about to face a Broncos Defense that's allowing the eighth-fewest yards per carry to opposing running backs, which is bad news for Hyde, who's shown a tendency to struggle at times this season. His volume should give him a chance to produce something, but he still shouldn't be considered more than a low-end RB3 this week.

From RotoBaller