Packers fantasy football outlook: Davante Adams primed for another big game
For the second time this season, the Green Bay Packers will play the rival Minnesota Vikings.
There were plenty of fantasy football points to go around in the first meeting, as Aaron Rodgers, Davante Adams and the Packers defeated Minnesota 43-34 to open the 2020 season.
But which Packers players have a chance to do the most damage against the Vikings this week? And are there Minnesota players worth taking a chance on? We are here to help.
Each week during the regular season we’ll give our fantasy advice for the Packers and their opponent. Players are graded on a 1-5 scale of football emojis, from “don’t even think about starting him” (🏈) to “you’re a fool if you bench this guy” (🏈🏈🏈🏈🏈).
Here’s how Week 8 lines up:
GREEN BAY PACKERS
QB Aaron Rodgers: 🏈🏈🏈🏈🏈
It’s likely going to be another long day for the young Vikings secondary. Minnesota is surrendering the fourth-most passing yards (286.7) per game and the third-highest yards per attempt (8.5). In Week 1, Rodgers threw for 364 yards with four touchdowns and no picks. The MVP candidate has tossed 3+ touchdowns with no interceptions in four of six contests this season. Easy money.
RB Aaron Jones: 🏈🏈🏈🏈🏈 (INJURY WATCH)
Jones missed last week’s game against Houston due to a calf injury and did not practice Wednesday. Be sure to monitor his status throughout the week. If he plays, he’s an obvious start. Jones tallied 76 total yards and a touchdown on 20 touches (16 rushes, four receptions) vs. Minnesota in Week 1.
RB Jamaal Williams: 🏈🏈🏈🏈🏈 (IF JONES IS OUT)
If Jones suits up, Williams will likely land on your bench. When Jones is healthy, Williams is demoted to a change-of-pace back who is most effective in the passing game, but Minnesota has allowed the seventh-fewest receiving yards to running backs. But if Jones misses the game, Williams is a great start — and even a better one in daily fantasy as a cheap option. In his first contest as a starter last week, Williams logged 114 total yards and a touchdown on 23 touches.
WR Davante Adams: 🏈🏈🏈🏈🏈
Last week, we told you Adams would feast against Houston. He did, collecting 13 receptions for a career-high 196 yards and two scores. Expect more of the same against Minnesota. In Week 1, Adams hauled in 14 catches for 156 yards and two touchdowns against the Vikings. He’s posted 100+ yards or scored in his last seven meetings with Minnesota — and most of those stat lines came against a top-10 Vikings defense. This year’s edition is, uh, not.
WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling: 🏈
If you haven’t done it yet, it’s time to send Valdes-Scantling to the waiver wire. MVS hasn’t surpassed 45 receiving yards since Week 2. Last week, Valdes-Scantling saw the third-most targets on Green Bay (4) but did not record a single catch. He’s caught 44.1% of his targets in 2020, which is only slightly lower than his career clip of 48.5%. For reference, Adams has grabbed 63.1% of his career targets. Although Valdes-Scantling had his best game of the season against Minnesota — 96 yards and a score — he’s too unreliable.
TE Robert Tonyan: 🏈🏈
In two contests without Adams on the field, Tonyan averaged 5.5 catches for 78 yards and two scores. In four games with a healthy Adams on the field, Tonyan is averaging 1.8 catches for 20.5 yards. Coincidence? Not at all. Adams is playing this week, so be cautious starting Tonyan.
Packers D/ST: 🏈🏈
Only five teams have coughed up the ball more than the Vikings, mostly thanks to a league-high 10 interceptions from quarterback Kirk Cousins. Minnesota has also been comically tagged for two safeties in six contests. But Green Bay isn’t known to force many turnovers with just two picks and two fumble recoveries through six contests. And the Packers have surrendered 30+ points in half of their games this year, including 34 to Minnesota in Week 1.
QB Kirk Cousins: 🏈🏈
Unless Cousins had a Eureka! moment during the Vikings bye week, he’s not a quality fantasy option. He’s thrown at least one interception in five of six games and has passed for more than 260 yards just once. Don’t let his weapons on offense (Dalvin Cook, Adam Thielen, Justin Jefferson) convince you to start Cousins.
RB Dalvin Cook: 🏈🏈🏈🏈🏈
Cook missed Week 6 against Atlanta due to a groin injury, but he was a limited participant in practice on Wednesday. If he plays, start him. Only Houston has allowed more fantasy points to running backs than the Packers, who have surrendered multiple touchdowns to four different tailbacks. That list includes Cook, who posted 50 rushing yards and a pair of scores in Week 1. Cook should be utilized in the passing game as well, as Green Bay has coughed up the second-most receiving yards to running backs.
WR Adam Thielen: 🏈🏈🏈🏈
While Cousins isn’t a reliable fantasy option, his two top receivers are. Thielen ranks third in the NFL with a 42.95% share of the Vikings’ air yards. In Week 1 against Green Bay, Thielen was a beneficiary of garbage time and collected six catches for 110 yards and two scores. You can expect a similar storyline this week — Minnesota gets behind and starts throwing, throwing throwing. Advantage Thielen. We’re knocking off one football here, though, because Green Bay has held No. 1 receivers like Tampa Bay’s Chris Godwin and Atlanta’s Julio Jones to under 50 yards.
WR Justin Jefferson: 🏈🏈🏈🏈🏈
Cousins tends to zone in on one receiver during games. Jefferson was that guy in Week 6 before the bye, seeing a career-high 11 targets and turning them into 166 yards and two scores. Why would Cousins stop throwing his way now? Jefferson owns 27.37% of the Vikings’ air yards, and that number is only going to increase from here. In Week 1 against Green Bay, Jefferson caught two passes for 26 yards, but he played just 69% of the snaps and ran most of his routes from the slot. Now running most routes on the outside, Jefferson’s role in the Vikings offense has increased immensely. Offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak probably can’t wait to unleash Minnesota’s newfound weapon against rival Green Bay.
TE Kyle Rudolph/Irv Smith Jr.: 🏈
With Thielen and Jefferson combining for 70.32% of Minnesota’s air yards, that leaves less than a third of the production to the Vikings’ other members of the offense. Like Rudolph and Smith. It’s an easy bench. Plus, the Packers are allowing the fifth-fewest fantasy points to tight ends and have surrendered just one score to the position.
Vikings D/ST: 🏈
As a unit, the Vikings have allowed the third-most yards per pass attempt (8.5) and fourth-most passing yards per game (286.7). Only Atlanta, Houston and New Orleans have surrendered a higher passer rating to quarterbacks than the Vikings (110.4). Minnesota’s defense should never be rostered, much less when the NFL’s second-highest scoring offense (32.8 points per game) comes to town.