NFL Thursday Night Week 3: Fantasy Football Written Prescription success


By Dr. Vasu Vaddiparty

Week 4 of the NFL Season is the quarter-point of the 2018 season. How are we all doing in our leagues? 3-0 and living large, 2-1 and feeling pretty good, 1-2 and feeling okay that nothing like a 2-week win streak would help out a rough start, or are you 0-3 and reaching for the Malox right now?

Week 4 starts out with Bye weeks and the first two contestants are the Carolina Panthers and the Washington Redskins. Fantasy Football Doctors will give you our thoughts on the podcast but for right now we break into Thursday Night’s extravaganza–Minnesota Vikings visiting the Los Angeles Rams.

Minnesota was a major player coming into the season with Kirk Cousins as the big Free Agent prize at QB and that stifling defense vs. the hottest team on the planet in the Rams. Here is the breakdown for tonight as it relates to Thursday night.

The Vikings have gotten off to an okay start. Everyone still feeling each other out on offense, the defense has played pretty well and then last Sunday happened. Vikes at home no less get thumped by the Buffalo Bills. TO’s, bad defense, bad tackling, everything that could go wrong went wrong right from the start. Did they overlook Buffalo in preparation for the huge matchup with the Rams? More importantly are there fantasy options still available for the Vikings this Thursday?

Kirk Cousins was the big free-agent prize for Minnesota for 3 years. He’s had a pretty good career with the Redskins but has gotten off to a shaky start in some respects for his new team. A mediocre home opening win vs. SF, a roughing the passer penalty that shouldn’t have been enabled them to tie GB in Week 2 and the drubbing vs. Buffalo last Sunday. The Rams defense has been extremely tough this year. The only bad stretch they had was opening night in Oakland where they actually trailed going into the 4th quarter. Cousins is still a really good passer, very accurate and has the ability with the players around him to be effective. This Rams defense is tough and might be tough on him Thursday. If you have a better option than Cousins, I would go the other way, even if that means going with a lesser QB who is playing a very bad defense (ie. Mariotta). IF you go with Kirk then be assured if they are behind they will be passing the ball a ton and that is where he excels in the 4th quarters of games.

There are few options here to choose from but are they even good enough options to use. The major one is Dalvin Cook. It seems he will be healthy enough to play after coming back from injury. He would be a good RB2 if you need one. Other options for Minnesota are Matt Boone and Latavius Murray. These are not stellar options as neither one has established himself in a way that would have fantasy owners salivating. Murray gained 1000 yards last year but worked out because Cook got hurt in preseason and had to sit out the whole year. Vikings RB are not a good option unless you can flex someone like Cook but certainly no #1’s here.

Minnesota has 3 solid receivers and with Cousins at QB. They are all viable targets and should be highly considered. Definitely look at Diggs and Theilen as WR 1 or 2 on your rosters and possibly a starter. If they fall behind these guys will be valuable as WR in the later stages throwing the ball. A red zone master the last few years even with other QB’s has been TE Kyle Rudolph. He is a very good receiver and more importantly a great receiver in and around the goal line. He is a high consideration for anyone in FFL who doesn’t have Ertz, Kelce or Gronk.

The highly anticipated matchup and what a lot seem to believe is the first real test for the Rams and QB Jared Goff comes tonight. Goff has had a bevy of weapons to go to and has come up pretty big in those situations. He will probably have a couple of scores and some yards but if they are ahead or have a comfortable lead they might run the ball more so it’s kind of an iffy situation with Goff. But he would be one I would seriously consider starting. He would be a good solid QB1 or QB2 on anyone’s roster.

The Rams RB’s are a collection of great RB but on everyone’s wish lists and thoughts Todd Gurley is the premier back everyone on the field would love to have and FFL owners number 1 pick on their collective wish lists as well. Not a lot of analysis needed here. START, START, START Gurley. Oh and he catches the ball too very well. He will have his usual 100 and 60 receiving even against a tough Vikings defense.

Rams WR are very underrated pieces to this machine that is rolling on all cylinders. The collection of WR are very good, but individually they may lack a little based on how much the ball is spread out. Robert Woods is the leader of the pack, the go-to guy, could be high on people’s list. A speed guy who can catch the long ones and go the distance. Brandin Cooks was brought in from the Patriots. He is also a speed guy whose hands were questionable in the past but has improved a great deal in the ability to make the catch. He can score as well too. Cooper Kupp is the guy to get the ball in the middle of the field. Typical WR3 that is in the slot a lot and looked upon to move the chains. Tyler Higbee is the TE. He is more the blocking type but he will catch his 3-4 and maybe get a score. But wouldn’t use him as TE2 even because of others available.

Special Teams/Defense
Both team’s defenses have played pretty well but the Rams are outstanding defensively. They have turned the opponents over been diligent in coverage. Only part of defense that might hurt is Talib is out for sure and Peters the other CB is questionable. Might be susceptible to the passing game tonight. But they do have a pass rush and can cause fumbling problems which the Vikings had a lot of fun vs. Buffalo. The Vikings play a great scheme defensively and their main meal money is the TO and have scored some TD’s off fumbles but mostly interceptions. Rams don’t turn the ball over very much so this might be a little shakier than taking the Rams’ defense. The Rams special teams are very good and are certainly a good play as Defense/Special Teams position. I would take them again as I have the last 3 weeks.

Overall Matchup
The Rams are -7 in the pointspread with an over/under of 49. Seems pretty high with two great defenses. The Rams defense might be a little greater. The Rams have scored 30+ points in all 3 games but have given up a few points in 2 of 3 sandwiching a week 2 shutout of Arizona. All that being said, I find myself leaning towards the Rams

LA Rams 34

Minnesota 13

Don’t forget to listen to our Fantasy Football Doctors podcast with Dr. Charlie O. Mallonee and myself Dr. Vasu Vaddiparty on for the rest of the NFL as it relates to Fantasy Football.

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