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GSOFFL Est. 2010
FFL: Week 3 | NFL: Week 3

Vikings-Lions Preview

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Players: Matt Ryan, Matt Prater, Matthew Stafford, Kirk Cousins, Dalvin Cook

Detroit Lions cornerback Justin Coleman (27) celebrates an interception against the Green Bay Packers with teammates Darius Slay (23) and Will Harris (25) during the second half of an NFL football game Monday, Oct. 14, 2019, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Mike Roemer)


Detroit Lions wide receiver Kenny Golladay (19) makes a leaping catch while covered by Green Bay Packers cornerback Kevin King, right, during the second half of an NFL football game Monday, Oct. 14, 2019, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps)


Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford throws a pass during the first half of an NFL football game against the Green Bay Packers, Monday, Oct. 14, 2019, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps)


Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz, left, throws a pass as he is pressured by Minnesota Vikings defensive end Danielle Hunter (99) during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Bruce Kluckhohn)


Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook scores on a 1-yard touchdown run ahead of Philadelphia Eagles inside linebacker Zach Brown, left, during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Bruce Kluckhohn)


Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs (14) runs from Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Rasul Douglas (32) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)


DETROIT (AP) The Detroit Lions are thankful they have a short week to prepare to play Minnesota in a possibly pivotal NFC North matchup.

A quick turnaround gave the Lions less time to lament critical calls that didn't go their way on Monday night in a loss at Green Bay.

''It's kind of a blessing in disguise because we don't have time to think about anything but Minnesota,'' Lions center Frank Ragnow said. ''And, the Vikings are really good - especially on defense.''

The Vikings (4-2) have won two in a row, leaning on one of the NFL's best defenses and an offense that is starting to perform up to its potential.

Minnesota has averaged 33 points the past two weeks with a grinding running game led by Dalvin Cook that helps Kirk Cousins make big plays through the air. After a slow start, Cousins had six touchdown passes and one interception in wins over Philadelphia and the New York Giants.

''That team is on fire right now,'' Lions coach Matt Patricia said.

Detroit (2-2-1) has dropped two straight after an unbeaten, three-game start because it failed to keep double-digit leads against the Packers and Kansas City Chiefs.

''You can't let it stick around in your head because there's a long season left,'' Flowers said.

If the Lions don't win Sunday at home, though, their chances to contend in the competitive division will take a hit.

Minnesota, meanwhile, wants to avoid starting 0-3 in the NFC North after playing its first three division games as visitors.

''We get them all at home at the end, so it all evens out,'' Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said.

Here are some things to watch when the Lions face the Vikings:

STACKS OF SACKS

Vikings defensive end Danielle Hunter leads the league with eight tackles for losses. He set an NFL record with a sack against the Eagles that gave him 46 for his career, the most in history by a player younger than 25. Hunter has two more games before his birthday, and the Lions have provided him plenty of pass-rushing opportunities in the past. Hunter has seven sacks in six games against them, plus three fumble recoveries and one he returned for a 32-yard touchdown.

STALLING OUT

The Lions lost to the Packers at least in part because they scored only one touchdown and had to settle for Matt Prater's five field goals. That followed a trend.

In goal-to-go situations, Detroit ranks 30th in the NFL with four touchdowns in nine chances.

''That's not good enough,'' quarterback Matthew Stafford acknowledged.

Inside the 20, Detroit has gotten into the end zone on half of its 16 opportunities to rank among the bottom third of the league.

The problem may be ominous for the Lions because they were relegated to scoring only on field goals in two losses to Minnesota last year.

MILESTONE MARKER

Stafford is 87 yards passing from setting a record for the fewest games to reach the 40,000-yard mark. Matt Ryan reached that number in 151 games, five more than Stafford has played.

''When you step back and look at stuff like that, I think it's just pretty amazing,'' Patricia said.

Stafford has bounced back from a lackluster year with a solid season so far as the league's ninth-ranked passer. He has thrown nine touchdown passes and two interceptions, both coming in a Week 2 win over the Los Angeles Chargers.

''Stafford is playing outstanding, maybe the best I've ever seen him,'' Zimmer said. ''He's throwing the ball into a lot of tight windows. He's pulling the trigger. He's still scrambling.''

FLYING FLAGS

Though Minnesota hasn't been stung by questionable late-game calls quite like Detroit was at Green Bay, penalties have been an uncharacteristic problem for the team.

The Vikings had four penalties for 30 yards against them in their win over the Eagles last week, both season lows for a team that has been charged with the third-most penalty yardage in the league (456) and irritated its discipline-driven coach in the process.

Player Notes
Darius Leonard Sep 27 11:43pm ET

Indianapolis Colts LB Darius Leonard posted a total of 11 stops with a tackle for loss and a pass defensed in Week 3 against the New York Jets.

From TheHuddle

Travis Carrie Sep 27 11:43pm ET

Indianapolis Colts CB T.J. Carrie finished with four tackles, a pass defensed and a 47-yard interception return for touchdown in Week 3 against the New York Jets.

From TheHuddle

Xavier Rhodes Sep 27 11:43pm ET

Indianapolis Colts CB Xavier Rhodes finished with a solo tackle, two passes defensed and a 44-yard interception return for touchdown in Week 3 against the New York Jets.

From TheHuddle

Justin Houston Sep 27 11:43pm ET

Indianapolis Colts DE Justin Houston finished with a solo tackle, a sack, a tackle for loss, a quarterback hit and a safety in Week 3 against the New York Jets.

From TheHuddle

Chris Godwin Sep 27 11:33pm ET

Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Chris Godwin (hamstring) caught five of his six targets for 64 yards and a touchdown before exiting with a hamstring injury in a 28-10 win over the Denver Broncos in Week 3.

Fantasy Spin: A week after being sidelined with a concussion, Godwin now has another injury to deal with. If he misses more time going forward, Scott Miller could vault into flex territory.

From TheHuddle

Mike Evans Sep 27 11:33pm ET

Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Mike Evans caught a pair of one-yard touchdowns in a 28-10 win over the Denver Broncos in Week 3.

Fantasy Spin: It has been a strange season for Evans, who has sandwiched a pair of two-yard performances between a 100-yard game. He has scored in all three games, but Evans will need to see an increase in volume if he is going to finish as a WR1.

From TheHuddle

Braxton Berrios Sep 27 11:33pm ET

New York Jets WR Braxton Berrios registered four receptions for 64 yards and a touchdown on his six targets in Week 3 against the Indianapolis Colts.

Fantasy Spin: Berrios helped pick up some of the slack with Jamison Crowder inactive due to an injury. That's two games and two scores for Berrios, who is likely to be a hot add off the waiver wire this season. He is worth grabbing as a WR5 in fantasy leagues of 12 or more teams.

From TheHuddle

Christopher Herndon IV Sep 27 11:33pm ET

New York Jets TE Chris Herndon posted three catches for 21 yards on five targets in Week 3 against the Indianapolis Colts.

Fantasy Spin: Herndon opened with six grabs in Week 1, but he has managed just four catches for 26 yards on nine targets in his past two outings. That type of production isn't good for anyone in fantasy.

From TheHuddle

Bradley McDougald Sep 27 11:33pm ET

New York Jets S Bradley McDougald registered 10 total stops with five solo tackles in Week 3 against the Indianapolis Colts.

From TheHuddle

Sam Darnold Sep 27 11:23pm ET

New York Jets QB Sam Darnold completed 17-of-29 passes for 168 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions in Week 3 against the Indianapolis Colts. He also ran five times for 20 yards.

Fantasy Spin: Darnold was without Jamison Crowder, and he was also without Le'Veon Bell for the second straight game. It didn't help not having two of his best offensive weapons, but he simply made too many mistakes. The Jets have a quick turnaround, facing the Denver Broncos on Thursday in Week 4. Darnold cannot be trusted for fantasy purposes.

From TheHuddle

Frank Gore Sep 27 11:23pm ET

New York Jets RB Frank Gore ran 15 times for 57 yards in Week 3 against the Indianapolis Colts and he added one reception for five yards on his only target.

Fantasy Spin: Gore has been picking up the slack with Le'Veon Bell inactive for a second straight game due to a hamstring injury. While Gore is getting a majority of the backfield touches ahead of La'Mical Perine and Kalen Ballage, it might only be a matter of time before Adam Gase elects to try the younger players. Fantasy buyer beware.

From TheHuddle

Ronald Jones II Sep 27 11:13pm ET

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Ronald Jones rushed 13 times for 53 yards and caught two of his four targets for 20 yards in a 28-10 win over the Denver Broncos in Week 3.

Fantasy Spin: While it wasn't an overwhelming stat line, but after Leonard Fournette had a big Week 2, Jones resumed the lead role, leading all backs in carries and touches. The chances of Jones breaking into the RB2 ranks this year seem slim, but he should have value as a flex option.

From TheHuddle

Dallas Goedert Sep 27 11:13pm ET

Updating a previous report, Philadelphia Eagles TE Dallas Goedert (ankle) is expected to miss some time after leaving the Week 3 game against the Cincinnati Bengals due to an ankle injury. He will have an MRI Monday, Sept. 28.

Fantasy Spin: With Goedert likely to miss time, Zach Ertz will once again suck up all of the tight end targets, and might re-emerge as a bona fide TE1 in fantasy after having to share the wealth in the first three games this season.

From TheHuddle

Tom Brady Sep 27 11:03pm ET

Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Tom Brady completed 25 of his 38 passes for 297 yards and three touchdowns in a 28-10 win over the Denver Broncos in Week 3.

Fantasy Spin: Brady had his best performance as a Buccaneer, but until he strings together a few strong outings, the veteran should still be treated as a matchup-based streaming option.

From TheHuddle

Mike Williams Sep 27 11:03pm ET

Los Angeles Chargers WR Mike Williams (hamstring) suffered a hamstring injury in Week 3 against the Carolina Panthers and he was unable to return.

Fantasy Spin: That explains his lack of usage in the home loss to the Panthers. He managed just one catch for 17 yards on one target We'll know more about his status for Week 4 once practice resumes on Wednesday.

From TheHuddle

Donte Jackson Sep 27 11:03pm ET

Carolina Panthers CB Donte Jackson (toe) left the Week 3 game against the Los Angeles Chargers due to a toe injury.

From TheHuddle

Jared Cook Sep 27 10:53pm ET

New Orleans Saints TE Jared Cook (ankle) left the Week 3 game against the Green Bay Packers. He headed for the medical tent initially, then was taken to the locker room.

Fantasy Spin: If Cook is unable to return, it will be Josh Hill likely handling Cook's workload. We'll update his injury status as soon as possible.

From TheHuddle

Carolina Panthers Sep 27 10:50pm ET

The Carolina Panthers Defense capitalized in Week 3 against a team starting a rookie quarterback on the Chargers. Carolina notched two sacks, eight quarterback hits, one pick, and three fumble recoveries. While this was an encouraging performance for a team that gave up over 30 points in the first two games, this type of performance should not be expected each week. The Panthers' defense is still a very young and inexperienced unit, and they face a tough test in a rising Cardinals team next week.

From RotoBaller

Adam Thielen Sep 27 10:43pm ET

Minnesota Vikings WR Adam Thielen caught three of his five targets for 29 yards and a touchdown in a 31-30 loss to the Tennessee Titans in Week 3.

Fantasy Spin: The touchdown salvaged an otherwise quiet afternoon, and since a monster performance in Week 1, Thielen has just six catches for 60 yards in the last two games. He still has WR2 upside, but with Kirk Cousins struggling, boom-or-bust production could become the norm.

From TheHuddle

Kyle Rudolph Sep 27 10:43pm ET

Minnesota Vikings TE Kyle Rudolph caught two of his three targets for 11 yards and a touchdown in a 31-30 loss to the Tennessee Titans in Week 3.

Fantasy Spin: It has been a quiet season for Rudolph, and he is sitting on four catches for 39 yards and a score after three games. He is a touchdown-dependent TE2.

From TheHuddle