This is a breakdown of one-game DFS contests for the Week 13 Monday Night Football matchup featuring the Minnesota Vikings at Seattle Seahawks at 8:15 p.m. ET on ESPN. Be sure to check our Models up until kickoff for up-to-date projections that reflect the latest breaking news.
Cash Game Strategy
Neither Russell Wilson nor Dalvin Cook has fallen below double-digit DraftKings points this season, and both are tied for the top spot in our DraftKings Showdown Models for tonight’s matchup. Wilson is $1,000 cheaper, though, giving him a decisive edge over Cook in Projected Plus/Minus.
With Wilson in the Captain spot, you can squeeze in Cook, Kirk Cousins and Chris Carson if you go with Olabisi Johnson — who is averaging 5.2 targets per game over his last five and has the top Projected Plus/Minus after Wilson — and either Malik Turner or David Moore. Turner is trending up with a long touchdown catch last game and 27 routes run to Moore’s 19 over the last two games (though they both were in for an even 25% of the routes last week). It’s a toss-up, so I’d either split exposure or go with the hotter player in Turner.
Carson’s role is reportedly safe despite struggling with fumbles (again), but even with his role not as secure as usual, he’s a better cash play than Rashaad Penny because Penny provides nothing in the passing game, posting only one multi-catch game all season while Carson has posted at least two grabs in 8-of-11 games.
On FanDuel things set up a bit different: Cook projects to outscore Cousins at a cheaper salary and Stefon Diggs is nearly a full point ahead of Carson for only $500, so rather than fade value, it makes sense to roll with Cook over Cousins then slot in Diggs as a means of getting exposure to the Vikings passing game in lieu of Cousins, which is an acceptable risk given that Diggs essentially takes the salary of Carson. That also leaves enough salary for more of the Vikings pass game, as the optimal combo alongside Wilson-Cook-Diggs is Johnson and Irv Smith. The two rookies are averaging a combined 10 targets per game over the last five and should stay heavily involved with Adam Thielen (hamstring) already ruled out.
Core GPP Plays
Note: These are in addition to the players already mentioned in the cash write-up and generally has a focus on pass-catchers, though sometimes players from the cash section will be re-highlighted as appropriate. On FanDuel, QBs generally make for the top plays in the 1.5x slot because the half PPR format creates a wider gap in scoring between QB and RB/WR/TE; on DraftKings, a RB/WR/TE who hits the 100-yard bonus is the ideal play.
RB Dalvin Cook, Vikings: Cook’s smash rate this season has been downright stupid: He’s hung at least 27 DraftKings points on seven of his team’s 11 opponents and has been kept out of the end zone in only two games all season. He’s looking good yet again for a big night, as the Seahawks have given up monster games — whether on the ground, through the air or both — to the dual-threat stud backs they’ve faced: 16-69-1 rushing and 9-92-1 receiving to Alvin Kamara; 11-40-0 rushing and 8-99-0 receiving to David Johnson; 15-51-2 rushing and 3-6-0 receiving to Todd Gurley; and 20-122-2 rushing and 5-17-0 receiving to Nick Chubb.
WR Tyler Lockett, Seahawks: Xavier Rhodes used to be a cornerback who took away the opponent’s No.1 target, but lately he’s become the opponent’s No. 1 target. Rhodes’ play this season has earned him a dismal Pro Football Focus grade of 49.1, which places him 113th among 122 qualified cornerbacks. Per Football Outsiders, the Vikings rank 25th in schedule-adjusted efficiency against opposing No. 1 wideouts.
WR Stefon Diggs, Vikings: With Thielen sidelined over the last six games, Diggs has become the quintessential boom-or-bust play, erupting for 23-plus DraftKings points in four of the six but failing to crack eight in the other two. Seattle ranks 23rd in Football Outsiders’ DVOA vs. WR1s, so the odds are in Diggs’ favor tonight.
TE Jacob Hollister, Seahawks: Though the Vikings are the NFL’s second-best defense against tight ends, according to DVOA, they also entered Week 13 pacing the league in target volume allowed to the position (9.8 per game). In a matchup against San Francisco’s top-ranked unit against the position in Week 10, Hollister went for 8-62-1 on 10 targets, which came on the heels of a multi-TD game the week prior. On last night’s Patriots-Texans showdown slate, we saw winning GPP lineups feature Duke Johnson (a value option) in the Captain slot, and with high-upside studs like Wilson, Cook, Diggs and Lockett, Hollister could be end up being that crucial piece tonight.
TE Kyle Rudolph, Vikings: Rudolph is essentially a more expensive version of Hollister with more competition for targets, even with Thielen out, but Rudolph still warrants 1.5x consideration after finding the paint a combined five times over his past four games, including at least one in each of the past three. The Seahawks are ranked 18th in DVOA vs. tight ends and are allowing the second-most schedule-adjusted targets per game to the position (8.7), trailing only the Vikings (8.8), interestingly enough.
Note: Individual player correlations can be found in the player cards in our NFL Player Models. Team positional correlations can be found in our NFL Correlations Dashboard. Unless otherwise noted, all player correlation data is from the past 12 months and team correlation data is from the start of 2019.
- Wilson-Lockett +0.76
- Wilson-Hollister +0.68
- Lockett-Metcalf +0.66
- Wilson-Metcalf +0.52
- QB-Opposing WR1 +0.51
- Carson-Myers +0.21
- Myers-Seahawks DST +0.21
- Carson-Seahawks DST +0.12
- QB-Opposing QB (+0.12)
- Wilson-Carson -0.12
- Wilson-Myers -0.36
- Carson-Lockett -0.37
- Carson-Penny -0.41
- Wilson-Seahawks DST -0.60
When the Seattle pass game is rolling, it has meant good things for the opposing team’s WR1, so this is a spot for Wilson stacks that run it back with Diggs. In general, Seattle tends to be a straightforward team to stack, with the top passing game options correlated negatively with the run game, kicker, and defense.
- QB-Opposing QB +0.64
- Cousins-Johnson +0.51
- Cousins-Rudolph +0.48
- Cousins-Smith +0.48
- Cousins-Diggs +0.45
- Cook-Vikings DST +0.44
- Cook-Bailey +0.40
- RB1-Opposing QB1 +0.25
- Cousins-Cook -0.03
- Cook-Smith -0.17
- Cook-Rudolph -0.26
- Cook-Diggs -0.29
- Cousins-Mattison -0.35
The Vikings have also been pretty straightforward from a stacking perspective in regard to the negative pass vs. run/kicker/DST correlations. What stands out here, though, is that there are three receivers with whom Cousins has stronger correlations with than Diggs. With at least one of Cooks/Diggs all but guaranteed to go off, and with Diggs a good bet to either go completely bonkers or or post a dud, it’s a good time to use the barbell approach and create lineups for both scenarios. Particularly if fading Diggs, the Cousins correlations to Johnson/Rudolph/Smith are key.
Players whose production would benefit owners more than expensive or highly-owned players. Kickers and D/STs generally make for strong leverage plays, but those who stand out will be highlighted below.
RB Rashaad Penny, Seahawks: As I alluded to earlier, we’re back here again, having to take the Seahawks coaching staff’s word regarding their trust level in Carson. After fumbling in each of his first three games, Carson had a clean five weeks in that department before putting the ball on the ground in each of the past three, culminating with him getting out-carried and outproduced by Rashaad Penny last week. As I discussed in our Seahawks-Vikings betting guide, Seattle’s offensive line will be overmatched against Minnesota whether or not Vikings defensive tackle Linval Joseph (knee, questionable) suits up, so I’m wary of investing too heavily in their run game, but Carson’s ball-security issues put Penny in position to potentially affect the slate. Penny and Carson have a -0.41 correlation this season.
Vikings DST: The aforementioned edge in the trenches for Minnesota’s defense sets up nicely as a leverage play as well. History also tells us there’s some value here, as the Seahawks are just 5-11-1 against the spread as favorites in their own building, according to our Bet Labs data. Also per Bet Labs, Mike Zimmer has led his troops to a 27-18-1 ‘under’ record on the road since becoming head coach in 2014.
Dart Throw Rankings
Ranking the low-cost, complementary players not already discussed in the leverage section by likelihood of having a worthwhile fantasy stat line.
- TE Irv Smith, Vikings: As mentioned, only Smith’s own team allows more schedule-adjusted targets per game to opposing tight ends than Seattle. Also, as more general DFS note that also happens to pertain to Smith, we’re now at the point in the season where rookies are at an increased likelihood to post breakout performances, and the rookie second-round pick out of Alabama represents a low-cost, high-upside means of investing in that type of potential tonight.
- WR Olabisi Johnson, Vikings: Though less heralded than Smith as a seventh-rounder out of Colorado State, the same applies to Johnson. With Thielen out, Johnson has been a high-floor play (relative to his salary), but two games with eight-plus targets over his last five hint at untapped ceiling potential. Johnson has the top Projected Plus/Minus on the slate after Wilson.
- WR Josh Gordon, Seahawks: To watch Gordon play in 2019 is to watch a dismaying shell the player who piled up 1,646 receiving yards in 2014, or even the one that was at times a difference-maker down the stretch last season for New England. That said, Russell Wilson is capable of feats such as making street free agents with 10 prior snaps like Chris Matthews into Super Bowl stars, so Gordon will probably get in at least one big game in his Seattle tenure. If the Vikings sell out to stop Lockett, Gordon and Wilson should be able to produce, as Minnesota’s other perimeter corners, Mike Hughes and Trae Waynes, have been almost as bad as Rhodes, both ranking outside the top80 in PFF’s grades.
- WR Malik Turner, Seahawks: According to data from PFF, Turner has been in on 27 pass plays to David Moore’s 19 over the last two games. He’s caught 10-of-13 targets at 18.6 yards a pop this season.
- WR David Moore, Seahawks: Sinking the the pecking order but still see’s just enough time for he and Wilson to potentially pay off against a Vikings defense ranked 24th in deep passing DVOA.
- RB Alexander Mattison, Vikings: Has a path to value if the Vikings jump out to a big lead, as he’s seen 12-plus carries on three occasions, all of which came in double-digit Minnesota victories.
- FB C.J. Ham, Vikings: Plays more snaps than you’d think (23.1 per game) and has 15 targets, three carries and a receiving score on the season.
- RB Ameer Abdullah, Vikings: Seldom-used third-string RB/kick-returner who represents the start of a tier drop-off.
- TE Luke Willson/Tyrone Swoopes, Seahawks: Whoever gets the nod as the Seahawks’ No. 2 tight end escapes the basement of these rankings solely on the basis of catching passes from Wilson.
- TE Tyler Conklin, Vikings: Third-stringer tight end but did see three targets on nine snaps last game.
- WR Laquon Treadwell, Vikings: What fullbacks are to halfbacks, Treadwell is to WRs. He’s spent more snaps run-blocking (54%) than running routes (46%).
- RB Mike Boone, Vikings: Special teamer with three carries on the year.
- RB Travis Homer, Seahawks: Has been active every week for special teams but is still looking for his first touch on offense.
Pictured above: Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3)
Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.