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Fantasy Football: Game of the Week Preview
It was a heartbreaking loss for Tony Romo and the Dallas Cowboys last Sunday. With 1:02 remaining and down by six, Matthew Stafford drove down the field and ultimately won the game with a one-yard TD plunge, dropping Dallas to 4-4.
But, enough about the Cowboys’ haunting past, even though they are now 132-132 since 1997. This week, Jason Garrett and Co. hosts the Vikings. Last Sunday night, Aaron Rodgers torched Minnesota’s secondary for 285 yards and two TDs.
Christian Ponder didn’t improve the offense much either. The box score will show that the Vikings scored 31 points, but the first touchdown came on a 109-yard return on the opening kickoff. Two more scores were in the fourth quarter when the game was well in hand.
It’s unclear who will be Minnesota’s quarterback in the future, but for now Ponder is the guy and the 1-6 Vikings have a difficult schedule ahead of them. Their remaining nine opponents have a combined record of 39-29.
Players to start:
Quarterback – Tony Romo
Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, and Matthew Stafford. No, this isn’t a list of quarterbacks that beat the Cowboys this season (Dallas doesn’t play the Saints until Week 10). Those three QBs are the only guys ahead of Romo on the fantasy points list. The Vikings have also allowed the second-most passing TDs to their opponents (16 touchdowns) and are the 29th worst defense in passing yards allowed per game (288 yards).
Running back – Adrian Peterson and TBD
AP was the unanimous first overall fantasy draft pick this season and he’s currently eighth in the running back points list. Even with the horrendous quarterback situation in Minnesota, Peterson is still a must-start in every league.
Last Sunday, DeMarco Murray was a game-time decision and didn’t suit up for the contest against Detroit. This week, it looks as if he’ll play for the first time since Week 6. With six teams on bye, starting running backs are at a premium and need to be inserted into your lineup. In case Murray sits again, Joseph Randle would be the replacement to insert.
Wide receiver – Dez Bryant and Terrance Williams
Even with Bryant double-covered for most of the game in Detroit, he still managed to score twice. On the season, Bryant is second in fantasy points among wide receivers in standard leagues (behind Megatron) and third in PPR leagues (behind Wes Welker). With Miles Austin nursing a hamstring injury, Williams has filled in nicely. The rookie from Baylor has caught a touchdown in four-straight games.
As for Minnesota’s receivers, though Dallas has allowed the most passing yards per game this season (315 yards), Ponder is still the quarterback. In the four games that he’s taken snaps in 2013, Ponder has thrown two touchdowns and averaged 209 passing yards per game. Last week, his most targeted teammated was…
…Rudolph. He caught four passes for 51 yards against Green Bay. Over the last three games, Rudolph has been targeted on 24 passes, more than any other receiver on his team.
Witten is riding a three-game poor performance streak. In that time span, he’s averaged 30 yards on three catches and zero touchdowns. However, prior to that, Witten was targeted 10 times each against Denver and San Diego. Minnesota has allowed 8.9 fantasy points per game to opposing tight ends and seven targets.