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Week 15 DFS: Dalvin Cook, Justin Jefferson in smash spot vs. Bears

·6 min read
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  • Chicago Bears
    Chicago Bears
    LiveTodayTomorrowvs--|
  • Dalvin Cook
    Dalvin Cook
    American football player
  • Justin Jefferson
    Justin Jefferson
    LiveTodayTomorrowvs--|
  • Justin Fields
    Justin Fields
    American football quarterback
  • Kirk Cousins
    Kirk Cousins
    LiveTodayTomorrowvs--|
  • David Montgomery
    David Montgomery
    LiveTodayTomorrowvs--|

By Jeff Hicks, 4for4

Special to Yahoo Sports

Yahoo is expanding its daily fantasy football options in 2021 with a single-game offering. Yahoo has a roster construction of one "Superstar" that scores at a 1.5 multiplier, while the remaining four FLEX roster spots accumulate points at the normal rate. This is half-point PPR scoring and the "Superstar" salary does not change from the Utility. All scoring and rules can be found here.

It is vital to remember that single-game slates are not simply a “max salary, play as many big names as possible, and submit” format, especially in larger tournament fields. We need to identify players who can be pieces in their offense’s success, whether in the lead or trailing, as well as the players who can be focal points in a neutral game script. The ability to then take those players and identify which will succeed in the single-game format will put us in a better position to thrive as daily fantasy players.

The Minnesota Vikings look to keep their offensive surge and playoff aspirations alive when they travel to Chicago to take on the collaboration known as the Chicago Bears.

Vegas Total and Spread

Minnesota is a 6.5-point favorite with an Over/Under of 45.5 points. The Vikings have an implied team total of 26 points, while the Bears have an implied team total of 19.5 points.

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Potential Game Flow Scenarios

The Chicago Bears will be without their starting secondary (as of Monday morning) due to COVID-19 health and safety protocols. Chicago’s defense ($10) will also be without Khalil Mack (IR) and have depth concerns on the defensive line. If Kirk Cousins ($30), Dalvin Cook ($34), and Justin Jefferson ($32) cannot beat this skeleton crew then there may be greater questions in Minnesota. It feels like that is an annual question in Minnesota.

Adam Thielen (ankle, $24) is questionable to play but unlikely to suit up. K.J. Osborn ($18) is an admirable WR2 in spot duty and has a touchdown in each of the past two games without Thielen. A once-tops Bears defense against tight ends has slipped some. Despite being fourth in schedule-adjusted fantasy points allowed (aFPA) to the position, Chicago allowed ageless Marcedes Lewis and Josiah Deguara to combine for 95 yards on seven catches in Week 14. Since Week 12, the Bears are allowing 11.32 yards per catch to tight ends. Tyler Conklin is younger and faster than Green Bay’s tight end duo and needs to be incorporated more in Week 15. WR Dede Westbrook and RB Alexander Mattison are out because of COVID-19 health and safety protocols.

Justin Fields ($27) has shown flashes of potential despite mixed signals coming from Matt Nagy about who is calling plays. Fields has also played behind an inconsistent offensive line and will be without his starting tackles. The Minnesota defense ($17) led the NFL in sacks prior to Week 15 and should get to Fields at least a few times.

GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN - DECEMBER 12: Justin Fields #1 of the Chicago Bears runs for yards during a game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field on December 12, 2021 in Green Bay, Wisconsin.  The Packers defeated the Bears 45-30. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Justin Fields could be in for a rough night with Chicago missing several players against Minnesota. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

Despite not finding chemistry with Allen Robinson (COVID-19) in the games he has played, losing a legitimate target while facing the worst secondary in the NFL (according to aFPA) is important. Behind Darnell Mooney ($20), the Bears will send out Damiere Byrd ($10) and Jakeem Grant ($14) in three-wide sets. Byrd does not and should not get DFS players excited, but Grant showed last week what happens when he runs with confidence on offense and special teams.

The Bears offense centers around David Montgomery ($25) and should once again tonight. His role in the passing game continues to keep his fantasy floor high because Nagy and company tend to script him out of the offensive plan without reason (10 carries in Week 14).

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Here's a brief rundown of which players would likely benefit the most from various game-flow scenarios.

Close, low-scoring game

Justin Fields

David Montgomery

Bears defense

Kirk Cousins

Dalvin Cook

Justin Jefferson

Vikings defense

Close, high-scoring game

Justin Fields

David Montgomery

Darnell Mooney

Jakeem Grant

Cole Kmet

Kirk Cousins

Dalvin Cook

Justin Jefferson

K.J. Osborn

Tyler Conklin

Blowout for home team

Justin Fields

David Montgomery

Darnell Mooney

Jakeem Grant

Cole Kmet

Jimmy Graham

Bears defense

Kirk Cousins

Dalvin Cook

Justin Jefferson

Blowout for road team

Kirk Cousins

Dalvin Cook

Justin Jefferson

K.J. Osborn

Tyler Conklin

Vikings defense

Justin Fields

David Montgomery

Cole Kmet

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Cheap/Unique Stacking Option

Traditional stacks such as QB/WR1 or WR2, QB/TE, and RB/DEF are stacks seen used in winning lineups. The obvious choice is not always the winning choice. Below is a low-salary stack with at least one unique quality that could break the slate.

Tyler Conklin ($15) and Cole Kmet ($12)

Minnesota is equally tough against the tight end position, but like the Bears have fallen victim to the position recently. The Vikings have allowed three tight end touchdowns to three different tight ends the past two weeks. In a concentrated offense, Conklin was underutilized Week 14 against a Steelers defense that allowed Kmet to go for 6-87-0 Week 9.

Low-Salary Volatile Plays

Kene Nwangwu ($10)

Dalvin Cook is the clear bell cow for Minnesota, but if Nwangwu gets one or two series, he could break a long touchdown. He is excellent with space.

Jimmy Graham ($10)

After being the Bears’ most overpaid player to not play weekly, Graham has at least three targets in four of his last five games. He also has his two touchdown catches over that same span. TE Jesse James will not suit up because of COVID-19 health and safety protocols, leaving Graham to run more routes.

Khalil Herbert ($10)

Herbert needs to play more if Matt Nagy wants to get another head coaching job after 2021. There is no excuse for Herbert to scratch and claw for one touch per game when he was the bell-cow back while David Montgomery was injured.

Superstar Picks

Dalvin Cook ($34)

Cook has received at least 20 total touches in eight of 10 games played this season and has four touchdowns the past four games after having two the previous six.

Justin Jefferson ($32)

With you and me starting for the Bears at corner and safety tonight, Jefferson should have whatever he wants downfield.

David Montgomery ($25)

This requires competent coaching, but if the Bears want any chance to win, Nagy has to commit to Montgomery and keep the Bears defense off the field. Unless the Vikings are up 14 points after the first quarter, Montgomery needs to be fed and soften the Vikings' defense.

Justin Fields ($27)

The commitment to Montgomery would give a rosier outlook for DFS players who roster Fields. His rushing ability has become a threat and he has the arm talent to beat the porous Vikings secondary.

K.J. Osborn ($18)

Why Osborn? He’s a great secondary downfield threat that opens salary. Osborn makes more sense if you are building lineups without Dalvin Cook.

This article originally appeared in its full form on 4for4.com

Jeff has played fantasy sports since 2001. He has covered fantasy and traditional sports at the pro, semi-pro, and amateur level for the better part of a decade. Born in Illinois and currently living where James Robinson made a name for himself in college, Jeff enjoys running (establish it), followed by doing absolutely nothing.

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