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Football Daily Dose

Minnesota grinds out ugly MNF win over Chicago

by Kyle Dvorchak
Updated On: November 17, 2020, 9:26 am ET

The Vikings and Bears continued going in opposite directions on Monday night with the Bears dropping their fourth consecutive game. On the heels of a 19-13 victory, Minnesota now has three wins in a row. All three of those games were against divisional opponents making the Vikings a sleeper to make the playoffs. The Bears have a Week 12 bye which couldn't come at a better time. Nick Foles was carted off the field with less than a minute left, putting any hopes of a late-season resurgence from Chicago in doubt.

The Bears' Slide Continues

Bears coach Matt Nagy stated after the game that Foles may be able to play in Week 12 but in a lot of pain. Mitchell Trubisky is dealing with a shoulder injury so Tyler Bray stepped in for Foles on the final drive. He completed one of his five passes. Although the backup situation looks bleak for the Bears, their starter didn't offer much hope before getting injured. Foles entered the night averaging 6.1 yards per attempt and seemingly hit rock bottom with 4.1 yards per attempt and an interception. He also missed Anthony Miller on a deep ball in the fourth quarter that could have kept his team in the game. Foles is the best option for the Bears this season but they will likely be going back to the drawing board at quarterback in 2021.

David Montgomery was out with a concussion but his rushing woes carried on in spirit as the Bears backs combined for 2.4 yards per carry on 16 attempts. Cordarrelle Patterson led the team with 12 carries but his largest contribution came on a 104-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. Allen Robinson was unable to weather the Foles storm and managed 43 receiving yards on nine targets. No other Chicago player topped 30 yards. A stout defense is only able to get the Bears so far. Even when holding their opponents under 20 points, Chicago is not guaranteed to win. 

Justin Jefferson will be a Star Sooner Rather than Later

After logging 135 receiving yards on 10 targets, Jefferson now has four games with over 100 yards through the air. The NFL record for 100-yard games by a rookie since the merger is seven, set by Odell Beckham in 2014. Jefferson is only halfway through his rookie campaign. The most impressive part of his early-career breakout is the fact that he is doing it within the Minnesota offense. The Vikings entered Week 10 with the third-lowest passing percentage in the league. When adding in the context of the old-school offense that surrounds him, Jefferson's rookie season is even more impressive.

Had the Vikings faced a competent offense, their philosophical flaw of establishing the run on all downs may have been exposed. They ran Dalvin Cook 30 times at 3.2 yards per carry while Kirk Cousins averaged over eight yards per attempt. He threw two touchdowns and his only interceptions came on a throw that Adam Thielen bobbled into a defender's hands. Even though the Bears didn't look like a threat to find the end zone in the second half, the Vikings wasting drives trying to get Cook going remains a concern for them going forward. Luckily for Minnesota, their next three opponents have a combined record of 6-22. 

Fantasy Slant: The Bears were already a questionable fantasy offense with Foles in the lineup. If Trubisky or Bray is the starter in Week 12, all pass-catchers outside of Robinson can be benched. Montgomery should be back for Week 12 but if he isn't or misses any more time, Patterson is the only player worth starting in fantasy lineups. Ryan Nall and Lamar Miller each saw just two touches on Monday night. Jefferson and Adam Thielen remain every-week starters even in weeks that the Vikings project to grind out a low-scoring game versus a lesser opponent. Despite the Vikings using Cousins as a hand-off specialist this year, he has been one of the most efficient passers in the league. He leads all quarterbacks in yards per attempt (8.7) and has a top-five touchdown rate (6.9 percent). The Vikings get one of the best matchups imaginable for an offense next week with Dallas traveling to visit them. Cousins is a viable streaming option while the rest of the big names in Minnesota are obvious fantasy starters.

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Daily Slants

Christian McCaffrey (shoulder) is expected to be out in Week 11. Mike Davis would normally take over most of his role but he suffered a hand injury in Week 10. Curtis Samuel could get more work as a runner with Trenton Cannon also seeing some carries. No Carolina back is worth making any massive waiver wire moves on until the situation becomes more clear.

Drew Brees was diagnosed with multiple rib fractures and a collapsed lung. He is expected to miss Week 11 but Brees not landing on injured reserve likely indicates that the Saints expect to have him back within three weeks. Jameis Winston should serve as the team's quarterback until he returns with Taysom Hill getting more work in unique packages. However, Saints coach Sean Payton has left the door open for Hill to be the starter by not giving either quarterback that title yet. Hill is eligible as a TE on ESPN and is a great waiver wire add on any fantasy sites that allow him to be played at non-quarterback positions.

Teddy Bridgewater suffered a "somewhat mild" MCL sprain. Somewhat mild? The combination of equally ambiguous words points toward a potential absence from Week 11 for Bridgewater. Former XFL star Phillip Walker would take his place in a solid matchup versus the Lions' weak secondary. Walker would be worth a look in Superflex and 2QB leagues if Bridgewater does miss time.