Sunday Night Football brings some intrigue as the Minnesota Vikings and their five-game winning streak head into Denver to take on the Broncos and a much-improved defense. In this issue of Stokastic’s NFL DFS picks series, we’ll be providing our Vikings-Broncos DFS picks for the Sunday Night Football Showdown slate.
Stokastic is bringing plenty of NFL DFS tools and information for all the different slates, game formats and sites. This column will provide a free analysis of the single-slate action on DraftKings and FanDuel. It includes team capsules, player rankings, comments and NFL DFS picks. There are loads of information and NFL DFS Showdown analysis to get into for both DraftKings and FanDuel on this Sunday Night slate, so check out these Vikings-Broncos DFS picks.
NFL DFS Showdown Picks: Vikings-Broncos DFS Picks
The Stokastic NFL DFS projections have Joshua Dobbs as the QB15 on FanDuel and the QB16 on DraftKings. This week that is a little misleading as the projections are incredibly tight and Dobbs is just two fantasy points away from being ranked second and third, respectively.
It has been a winding road for the soon-to-be 29-year-old, who was a fourth-round selection from the University of Tennessee in the 2017 NFL Draft. He was a backup with the Steelers until they dealt him to the Jacksonville Jaguars for a fifth-round pick at the start of the 2019 season. The Jags waived him one year later, and he was scooped back up by Pittsburgh the very next day. He ended his second tour with the Steelers on injured reserve.
Cleveland signed him for depth in the spring of 2022, though he was waived in late November when Deshaun Watson was eligible to play. The next stop was with Detroit for not even three weeks, when the Titans signed him off the practice squad after Ryan Tannehill was out for the season. We all remember the Week 18 game that Dobbs started against Jacksonville, with Tennessee ultimately losing and missing the playoffs. The next spring he was back with the Browns, who traded him to Arizona, who in turn traded him to Minnesota three weeks ago, which brings us to Sunday Night Football. It would seem that both the Browns and Steelers sure could use Dobbs right about now, but that is the road not taken.
Dobbs has proven to be an adequate passer, though he is more than just a game-manager and his 368 rushing yards are behind only the 535 of Lamar Jackson. The NFL nomad has a rushing touchdown in four consecutive games and he has four games with multiple aerial scores as well.
Denver still has the worst rushing and passing DVOAs, though they have been much improved over the last month, holding Kansas City to just 28 points in two meetings and knocking off the Bills in Buffalo on Monday Night Football 24-22. Dobbs is still a strong play and is worthy of the multiplier slot, though this matchup is going to be more difficult than it is on paper when including the full-season performance.
Alexander Mattison was in the concussion protocol this week but is on track to play tonight. He has not stepped up to replace Dalvin Cook as many gamers had hoped and in retrospect, he has not panned out in the season long and best ball formats. Of course tonight he is still the lead back against a shaky defense, who can contribute in the rushing and passing games.
Cam Akers was lost for the season after being brought over from the Rams, so rookie Ty Chandler is the other option in the backfield. He had a solid game last week after Mattison was sidelined, rushing for 45 yards and a score on 15 carries against a tough Saints squad. The fifth-rounder has not had many opportunities this season, but he should be in the mix for around one-third of the snaps tonight and a chance for a little upside if he performs well, or if Mattison falters.
Special-teamer Kene Nwangwu is likely to be relegated to his return role, though he could always get a snap or two with the team trying to get him the ball in space. We can leave no stone unturned in the single-game format.
Fullback C.J. Ham has had offensive opportunities in only three games, seeing five targets for four receptions and 16 yards. In seven seasons with the Vikings, he has 36 carries and 98 targets. Last year he had two rushing touchdowns on just four carries. Typically he plays on around a quarter of the offensive snaps, but he has the longest odds of the viable longshots to produce anything meaningful tonight.
Jordan Addison has stepped up in the absence of his all-world counterpart Justin Jefferson, who is close to a return, though it does not seem that he will be suiting up tonight. Addison has averaged eight targets per game in the four tilts without Jefferson and that seems like a reasonable expectation tonight. Though he has not scored in the last two games, he does have seven touchdowns this season.
K.J. Osborn missed last week with a concussion, but he was a full-go in practice and should resume his role as the WR2. Brandon Powell should see the field when the Vikings roll out their three-wideout sets and there is a chance he could take some opportunities away from Osborn as well. Trishton Jackson is headed back to the bench and it would be a surprise to see him for more than 10 or so snaps. he has just four targets on the season.
T.J. Hockenson leads the team with 80 targets and he has had at least eight looks in all but one game this season. DraftKings did a nice job of boosting his salary above all the wideouts in this matchup and FanDuel has him $500 more than Addison. Hockenson should be a mainstay of most lineups as he has 27 targets in the last two games, including 15 for 11 receptions, 134 yards and a score. Clearly, Dobbs has a favorite.
Josh Oliver is an option for those building 50 or more lineups and he has four targets over the last three games, though just 14 on the season. Johnny Mundt is in the same category as Ham, though he does have one target in each of the last two games.
Denver has ceded four or more sacks in five of the last six games, though the Broncos have been decent at limiting turnovers. Minnesota has multiple sacks in five of the last seven games, including four with three or more. The Vikings have eight interceptions in the last four games, along with a trio of fumble recoveries.
Russell Wilson has finally moved beyond his disastrous first season in Denver and actually been a difference-maker. He holds on to the ball far too long, as evidenced by 19 sacks in the last five games, but he does have at least 20-plus rushing yards in each of these appearances. Passing yards are a different story as he has not reached the 200 yard milestone in this five-game stretch, though he does make the opportunities count with his 18 touchdowns ranking second in the league. Over the last four games, Denver has averaged just 24.8 passing attempts and the team is likely to continue the ground-based attack tonight against a top-tier Vikings secondary.
Javonte Williams should be on the field around 60% of the time tonight and while that is not as much as we would like to see, he has looked good after suffering a season-ending knee injury last year. Over the last three games, he has seen 15, 27 and 21 carries, along with 11 total targets. While he does need a touchdown to be a difference-maker tonight, the volume will be there for that to come to fruition.
Undrafted rookie Jaleel McLaughlin has carved out a decent role for himself as the RB2 and he should continue to get a handful of carries as well as a couple of targets. Veteran Samaje Perine is the passing-down back when Williams is off the field, as he provides much-needed pass protection. He is likely to get a couple of dump-off passes and has the chance for a carry or two.
Cortland Sutton has a team leading 57 targets, but that is just over six per game. He has been outstanding with 13 red zone looks and seven touchdowns. Over the last six games, he has more than 54 yards on one occasion, but with touchdowns in five of these matchups, his fantasy game logs are still appealing, but the floor could drop out at any time.
Jerry Jeudy is the clear WR2, but somehow DraftKings has him with only a $400 discount to Sutton. There is a $3,000 gap on FanDuel, which is much more indicative of how the limited receiving workload has been shared on the season. Rookie Marvin Mims Jr. had a season-high 52 snaps on Monday Night Football, though he saw only one target. That was more time on the field than in the three games heading into the Week 9 bye, so perhaps the team is finally going to work him into the offense, since it is clear he has open field skills.
Lil’Jordan Humphrey had his first target in five games on Monday, bringing it in for a 14-yard gain. He has six targets, five receptions, 40 yards and a touchdown on the season and of course is a former Saint, which keeps him around as one of coach Sean Payton’s guys.
Adam Trautman and Chris Manhertz are mostly used as blockers, but we know that Wilson has gone to this position in the red zone for years. This is backed up by the six red zone opportunities for Trautman, which is more than any pass-catcher, aside from Sutton. The tight ends did not see any targets in Week 8, but Trautman had two on Monday and Manhertz had one. Undrafted rookie Lucas Krull is a deep cut, who saw his only target of the season last week, getting his first on-field action of the season.
Dobbs has been sacked four times in his two games with Minnesota, with no interceptions. He had only five interceptions in his time with Arizona, so he seems to do a good job of limiting turnovers. Denver has only three sacks in the last three games and the Broncos have also had zero sacks three ties this season. The team has racked up four interceptions and five fumble recoveries over the last two games and they have an interception in six straight.
Sunday Night Football Single-Game NFL DFS Strategy
The rankings below are best utilized for building out single-entry and three-max lineups and for head-to-head and three-man formats. They provide a nice barometer for player value. However, those taking the MME approach should remember that correlation is key. This means matching a receiver or two with a quarterback in the Captain/MVP slot. That also works conversely, pairing a Captain/MVP pass catcher with his quarterback.
Vikings-Broncos DFS Picks Rankings
Top 10 NFL DFS Showdown Picks for Vikings-Broncos
- Javonte Williams: Would like to see a few more targets, but otherwise there are no holes.
- Joshua Dobbs: Damn, did not see this coming prior to the start of the season.
- T.J. Hockenson: No salary break, but looks like he has already made a great connection with Dobbs.
- Russell Wilson: Let’s Ride! Yeah, a year later than the team hoped, but at least it is happening now.
- Jordan Addison: More volume than any Denver pass-catcher.
- Alexander Mattison: Far from exciting, but he will get the first crack at a beatable run defense.
- Cortland Sutton and Jerry Jeudy: The former on DraftKings, the latter on FanDuel.
- Wil Lutz: First season out of the Superdome, he has missed only two field goal attempts. He was the goat turned hero last week after the Bills miscue rescued him and granted second life for a game-winning kick and his fourth field goal of the game.
- Greg Joseph: Perfectly league average, just 7 of 16 from 50-plus over the last two seasons.
- Brandon Powell: Take the savings over Osborn, also returns punts.
Secondary NFL DFS Showdown Picks for Vikings-Broncos
- Jaleel McLaughlin: Will get looks, but they are harder to come by with Williams back to full health.
- Minnesota D/ST: Wilson should all but guarantee them a baseline of four sacks+turnovers, with potential upside.
- K.J. Osborn: Meh.
- Marvin Mims Jr.: Get this kid the $#*! ball, he also returns punts and kickoffs.
- Ty Chandler: Needs Mattison to be ineffective.
Lottery Ticket NFL DFS Showdown Picks for Vikings-Broncos
- Denver D/ST: Team of Destiny vibes over the last month, how long with the Cinderella story last?
- Samaje Perine: Best path to volume is Denver falling behind by two scores and even then there is no guarantee.
- Adam Trautman: Nowhere near as fun as his $200 DraftKings salary on Monday, $3,600 for two targets is spendy.
- Lucas Krull: Cool name, it will be a marvel if he gets his second target of the season tonight.
- Josh Oliver, Lil’Jordan Humphry, Jalen Nailor, Chris Manhertz, Johnny Mundt and Trishton Jackson: Over/under for this motley crew is 3.5 targets. They should all see the field, but good luck with this grab bag.
- Kene Nwangwu and Myles Gaskin: Nwangwu returns kickoffs, and could get a special designed play, but not likely with Mattison back. Gaskin likely inactive. Go Huskies!
- C.J. Ham: Just enough to stay above the next group.
- N’Keal Harry, Jarrett Stidham, Nate Adkins, Michael Burton and David Sills V: Thanks, but no thanks.
Stokastic NFL DFS Tools & Tips
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