The Minnesota Vikings and Seattle Seahawks headline Sunday Night Football in Week 5. The Vikings are coming off a 31-23 win over the Texans in Houston. That promoted the firing of Bill O’Brien. Texans’ fans had enough of O’Brien long ago, so the loss might have been worth it for them. The last straw was when he traded DeAndre Hopkins to the Arizona Cardinals. He wasn’t popular in Houston prior to that deal, and certainly didn’t make any new fans after sending Hopkins off to the desert.
The Vikings were able to get their first win of the season against the Texans. They were in danger of falling to 0-4 with a loss. A record of 1-3 sure doesn’t look nice, but it’s a whole lot better than no wins at 0-4. The Vikings unleashed Dalvin Cook on the Texans for 130 yards and 2 touchdowns. He gained 4.8 yards per carry on the ground. And that’s essentially the different in the game. If Kirk Cousins was asked to win the game with his arm alone, then we would have had a different outcome.
The Seahawks might be beatable through the air, but can be tough against the run. I don’t know if Cook is going to find enough room to duplicate that performance. He’ll be good, though Cousins is going to need to do more. Just feeding Cook likely isn’t going to work as well as it did last week against the inept Texans. Russell Wilson is likely going to make sure that Cousins must make many clutch plays. Tough ask to keep up with Wilson on Sunday night. Head below for our free Minnesota Vikings vs. Seattle Seahawks props pick for October 11, 2020.
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DK Metcalf Receiving Yards
The Vikings absolutely need to limit Russell Wilson if they’re going to get a win in Seattle. It’s likely going to be easier said than done with their secondary. The Vikings are allowing 291.8 yards per game through the air. Receivers have been feasting against their secondary.
If you’ve played your fantasy receivers against the Vikings, you are probably familiar with that. The Vikings have given up the fourth most fantasy points to wide receivers in the league. That doesn’t bode well for them against DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett on Sunday night.
Metcalf has developed into one of the most dangerous receivers in the NFL. He reminds me somewhat of Calvin Johnson who was just a massive athletic freak on the field. Metcalf has work left to do before he gets on Megatron’s level, but if there is any former receiver he reminds me of it has to be him.
They both look like just a massive target for the red zone, though do a lot more than that. He’s been a deep threat favorite for Wilson and has done well against every defense thus far in 2020. His most impressive performance was for 92 yards and a touchdown against the New England Patriots. He burnt Stephon Gilmore, one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL, for a deep score in that contest.
Double teaming Metcalf makes sense, but then that would leave Lockett free to do damage. Throwing two bodies on Metcalf isn’t a simple solution. And even then, the Vikings’ secondary is banged up and they could be down multiple starters tonight. Note that Metcalf has had 95, 92, 110, and 106 yards receiving through four weeks.
He’s one of two wide receivers, Amari Cooper being the other, to have at least 80 yards receiving in each game. I got this number at 68.5, but Metcalf should still eclipse 73 yards on Sunday night. The OVER on the Metcalf receiving prop looks good.
Russell Wilson Passing Yards
Again, the Vikings have had plenty of issues defending the pass. They’ve gotten touched up for 291.8 yards per game across the air. There are only three teams that have been worse in that regard, and the Vikings are dealing with what should be a depleted secondary on Sunday night in Seattle.
Russell Wilson has been cooking this season and is on pace to win the MVP award. Wilson has passed for 1,825 yards with 16 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. Wilson has passed for an average of 321.25 passing yards per game through four games. He’s coming off a 360-yard performance against the Miami Dolphins in Week 4.
Even against a tricky secondary like the Patriots, Wilson managed to pass for 288 yards with 5 touchdowns and an interception. He was one step ahead of Stephon Gilmore in that matchup. Now, Wilson gets to feast on a less than 100% Vikings’ secondary. Expect him to rack up some big numbers under the lights on Sunday night in Seattle.
Adam Thielen Receptions
The Vikings are going to have to air the ball out in this game. I think it’s going to be pretty simple. If Kirk Cousins can have a big game, then things are going to get interesting. I don’t know if I fully trust Cousins to save the day on Sunday night, but he’s going to have to throw the ball around the yard plenty. With Stefon Diggs in Buffalo, the No. 1 job in Minnesota is Thielan’s. Rookie Justin Jefferson is going to unseat Thielan in the future. Jefferson is already making a case as a rookie, but Thielen is still the most reliable option for Cousins.
Thielen was the primary weapon last week against the Texans. He hauled in 8 receptions for 114 yards and a touchdown in Houston. Thielen is playing well for the Vikings in his expanded role this season. In total, Thielen has 20 receptions for 284 yards and 4 touchdowns. In a game where we’ll see a lot of the passing game, expect Thielen to see plenty of opportunities. He’s made more than 5 receptions in two out of four games this season. The Hawks are dead last in the NFL with 401 yards allowed per game through the air. Getting plus money on him to do it three times in five games looks like good value.