Sun Oct 13 4:30pm ET
By DAVE CAMPBELL
AP Sports Writer
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.
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.
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.
Cleveland Browns tight end David Njoku is tentatively expected to suit up for his team's Week 12 matchup against the Miami Dolphins. Njoku has been on injured reserve since he broke his wrist against the New York Jets back in Week 2. If he does end up playing, Njoku can be treated as a low-end TE1 for fantasy purposes on a weekend where many of the top tight end options are on bye, including Travis Kelce and Hunter Henry. Miami's pass defense has been average against tight ends this season, allowing the 15th-most fantasy points per game to the position. That being said, the Browns should spend plenty of time in the red zone in this contest, a part of the field where Njoku excels.
The Cleveland Browns Defense draws a fantastic home matchup against the Miami Dolphins in Week 12. Cleveland enters this weekend installed as 10.5-point home favorites against a Miami offense that is allowing the third-most fantasy points per game to fantasy defenses. Even though Cleveland will be without Myles Garrett, they should still have little trouble limiting a turnover-prone Dolphins offense led by Ryan Fitzpatrick. Fire up the Browns defense in all fantasy formats for Week 12.
San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders (ribs) was a limited practice participant on Thursday and is currently listed as questionable for Week 12. It's looking like he could end up being a game-time decision and, unfortunately, the team has a Sunday night game against the Packers, so owners might need to make a decision on him earlier than they'd like. The Packers have ranked amongst the bottom third of the league in pass defense, so there will be solid opportunities for whichever 49ers receivers are available. Sanders has the upside to deliver around six catches and between 80 and 100 yards with solid touchdown potential if he goes in Week 12.
Cleveland Browns wide receiver Jarvis Landry brings a three-game touchdown streak into a Week 12 matchup against the Miami Dolphins. While teammate Odell Beckham Jr. gets most of the headlines, Landry has quietly been the more consistent fantasy producer this season. He will take on a Miami pass defense that has struggled to contain opposing wideouts, ranking last in the league in DVOA and having allowed the ninth-most fantasy points per game to the position. Treat Landry as a solid WR2 in all fantasy formats for Week 12.
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo has thrown four touchdown passes in two of his past three games. This week, Garoppolo and the 49ers face the Packers and there's a chance he'll have the team's top receiver Emmanuel Sanders (ribs) and tight end George Kittle (knee) back for the game. Both players are currently questionable and could end up being game-time decisions. The Packers rank amongst the ten worst passing defenses in the league, allowing around 258 passing yards per game. The 49ers have struggled to run the ball lately, so Garoppolo could be tasked with throwing a good amount. His upside is compromised if Sanders or Kittle or both are out, but he's a viable low-end QB1 start this week regardless.
Cleveland Browns running back Kareem Hunt draws a beautiful Week 12 matchup against a weak Miami Dolphins run defense. Miami ranks 29th in the league in run defense DVOA and is allowing the sixth-most fantasy points per game to the running back position. Hunt has been busy in the passing game in his two contests with the Browns, hauling in 13 of 17 targets for 90 yards. There is some concern that the Browns jump out to a big lead and lean run-heavy in the second half but Hunt could see a sizable workload on the ground if the team decides to give starter Nick Chubb a break. Treat Hunt as an RB2 in PPR leagues and a solid flex option in standard formats for Week 12.
Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. has only one touchdown in his first season with his new team, although he came close to scoring on a few occasions in Week 11. He draws a fantastic Week 12 matchup against a leaky Miami Dolphins secondary that ranks last in the league in pass defense DVOA. Beckham is primed to break out in Week 12, making him a projected WR1 in fantasy for the first time in a few months. Start Beckham in all formats in what could very well be his best performance of the entire season.
Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield has been trending up in recent weeks after a brutal start to the season. He finds himself in a fantastic spot in Week 12 as the Browns welcome the Miami Dolphins to Cleveland. Miami's defense has struggled to stop the pass this season, ranking dead last in the league in pass defense DVOA while allowing the fifth-most fantasy points per game to the quarterback position. Mayfield can be trusted as a mid-range QB1 in fantasy for Week 12.
Green Bay Packers tight end Jimmy Graham will square off with the San Francisco 49ers in Week 12. Graham was given veteran's rest again this week so that coupled with the Week 11 bye should have him feeling well-rested ahead of a clash with the league's best pass defense. The 32-year-old has gone over 50 receiving yards three times this year and has caught three touchdowns in 10 games. Graham will find it difficult to accomplish either feat this week. San Francisco has allowed the fewest receiving yards to tight ends and have only surrendered two touchdowns to tight ends in 10 games. Graham is a TE2 at best this week.
Cleveland Browns running back Nick Chubb draws a dream matchup against the Miami Dolphins in Week 12. Chubb will take on a Miami run defense that ranks 29th in the league in DVOA and is allowing the sixth-most fantasy points per game to the position. While Chubb has lost some passing game work since Kareem Hunt returned from suspension, the Browns should jump out to a big lead, thus giving Chubb a positive game script in the second half. Treat Chubb as a top-five fantasy running back in Week 12.
Green Bay Packers wide receiver Geronimo Allison isn't a recommended option against the San Francisco 49ers in Week 12. Allison has topped 50 receiving yards once this year and has just two receiving touchdowns in 10 games. The silver lining is the fact that the 25-year-old has been on the field for at least 63 percent of the snaps in the last three games, so he hasn't lost any playing time. Considering the 49ers allow the fewest passing yards in the league, this doesn't feel like a game where Allison will get going.
Green Bay Packers wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling can't be trusted for fantasy purposes right now ahead of a Week 12 matchup with the San Francisco 49ers' number-one pass defense. In Week 10 against the Carolina Panthers, the 25-year-old was held without a catch and played a season-low 17 percent of the snaps. Valdes-Scantling put up 6-99-1 and 2-133-1 receiving lines this year, but those games feel very far away at the moment. He should be on fantasy benches until he gives us a reason to trust him again.
Green Bay Packers wide receiver Davante Adams will square off with the San Francisco 49ers' number-one pass defense in Week 12. Green Bay isn't taking any chances with their star wide receiver's health, as they've limited Adams' practice reps in both sessions this week. With practice and bye week rest, Adams will be good to go for Week 12 and has averaged 9.5 targets per game in six games played. The 49ers rank seventh in fantasy points allowed to wide receivers. Even in a matchup like this, Adams is too involved in the offense to be concerned. Start him as a WR1.
Green Bay Packers running back Jamaal Williams will take on the San Francisco 49ers in Week 12. Despite fellow back Aaron Jones emerging as a fantasy star, there's still been room for Williams to operate most weeks. The 24-year-old has averaged 10 touches per game in nine games played and has a team-leading five receiving touchdowns. San Francisco's defense ranks first against the pass but just 20th against the run. Through Week 12, opposing backs have averaged 22 touches per game against the 49ers. Williams may get less rushing attempts than Jones, but he could operate as a safety valve for Aaron Rodgers out of the backfield. It's risky, but Williams can be used in the flex spot this week.
Green Bay Packers running back Aaron Jones will face the San Francisco 49ers in Week 12. Fantasy's RB4 through 12 weeks is rested coming off the Week 11 bye. On paper, the 49ers seem like the toughest test of the year for Jones. They are elite, but their number-one pass defense has been the tough shell to the soft underbelly of their 20th-ranked rushing defense. In the 49ers' past five games, each opposing back tallied at least 15 touches and all but one eclipsed 80 scrimmage yards. Green Bay will look to establish the run early and often, rather than throwing into the teeth of a stingy defense. There is some risk, but Jones should be started as an RB1 this week.
Houston Texans wide receiver Kenny Stills recorded just one catch for six yards during the Thursday night win over the Indianapolis Colts. Stills logged his worst performance of the year and was a victim from a production standpoint by the return of Will Fuller (hamstring), who missed the team's previous three games. He likely has a few more decent performances left in the tank between now and the end of the season, but his potential will continue to be relegated by Fuller's presence in the lineup moving ahead.
Houston Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins played well against the Colts on Thursday night, finishing things up with six catches for 94 yards and two touchdowns. After recording just two scores during the first six games of the year, the 27-year-old has turned it up as of late by visiting the end zone in three of his last five games. Hopkins continues to get his looks from quarterback Deshaun Watson, and besides Michael Thomas, he remains the most efficient fantasy wide receiver in the league. He will look to keep things going against a rough Patriots Defense in Week 13.
Houston Texans wide receiver Will Fuller was targeted 11 times during the win over the Colts, finishing with seven catches for 140 yards. After accumulating 217 yards and three touchdowns against the Falcons in Week 5, Fuller fizzled in his previous two contests coming into Thursday night, so this performance was a step in the right direction. Fantasy managers shouldn't expect this type of production consistently moving ahead, especially in Week 13 against a tough Patriots Defense, but the ceiling is always high when the matchup is in his favor, as long as he can stay healthy and on the field.
Houston Texans running back Duke Johnson finished with 22 yards on five carries to go along with one catch for eight yards during the win over the Colts on Thursday night. This was yet another disappointing performance from the 26-year-old, who has now recorded just three receptions over the last two games. While he may have a few more games where he catches four or five passes, his ability to get it done on the ground will continue to be relegated by Carlos Hyde, who is averaging 16 touches per outing on the year. For those who are desperate, Johnson does have the potential to score from a week-to-week basis but don't hold your breath waiting for consistent production.
Houston Texans running back Carlos Hyde Ran for 67 yards on 16 carries during the win over the Colts on Thursday night. This was a routine performance from the 29-year-old, who is averaging 76 yards on 16 touches per game this season, and while he has only four touchdowns on the year, he is well on his way to the first 1,000-yard rushing season of his career. With this game in the books, Hyde will have a tough matchup in Week 13 against the top-ranked Patriots Defense.