2014 Fantasy FootballFantasy Football

2014 Fantasy Football: Week 5 Thursday Night Football Preview

rodgers land
Source: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images North America

Minnesota Vikings @ Green Bay Packers

We have yet another Thursday night rivalry game. The Vikings fresh off a surprise blowout of the Falcons take on the very average looking Packers. There are a lot of questions surrounding this one. The Vikings rookie QB Teddy Bridgewater will likely be a game-time decision. While the Packers will see if they can manage to get their run game going or at least attempt to stop somebody else’s. It’s supposed to be a chilly night in Lambeau with an 80-percent chance of rain. Crazy things have been happening on TNF, so this game promises to be interesting.

Minnesota Vikings: Key Players

QB Teddy Bridgewater
Bridgewater looked great in his first career start, throwing for 317 yards and rushing for a TD. However, he may be a game-time decision for Thursday’s game. He was forced out Sunday with an ankle injury and the quick turnaround may prove to be too difficult to bounce back from so quickly.
Verdict: Sit Bridgewater. A rookie on a bum ankle, making his second career start on a Thursday night, on the road in Lambeau. Seems like he has a lot going against him.

RB Matt Asiata
Asiata had a monster game Week 4. He totaled more than 100 yards from scrimmage and scored three TDs. For as much of a plodder as he appears to be, he has actually been very effective so far this season. He has been a pleasant surprise for everyone that scrambled to pick him up at the first sound of a Peterson suspension.
Verdict: Start Asiata. This is the perfect storm for him. He is up against one of the worst rush defenses in the league. Coming off a shortened week, on a rainy night, with a limited QB. You can’t ask for anything more than that.

RB Jerick McKinnon
McKinnon finally got some much anticipated touches. He got 18 carries that he took for 135 yards and caught a 17 yard pass. That is an average of 7.5 YPC, and he’s averaging 6.2 on the season. Still, he is expected to be a change of pace back while Asiata takes the lead.
Verdict: Start McKinnon. You should only start him as a flex in deep leagues. If you are digging deep, he could be a nice find. He has all the advantages Asiata had, and he appears to be more explosive. His ability to do a lot with a little gives him value.

WR Cordarrelle Patterson
Patterson has been a huge disappointment this season. If not for a 67 yard run Week 1, he would not have even broken 60 yards from scrimmage in a game this year or have scored a TD. Everyone who jumped on that Patterson bandwagon this preseason is not very happy right now.
Verdict: Sit Patterson. He has given you no reason whatsoever to start him.

WR Greg Jennings
Jennings has been the Vikings’ best WR this year, which qualifies him as very average. He has over 70 receiving yards each of the last two weeks,but really can’t be depended on as a viable fantasy asset.
Verdict: Sit Jennings. He just isn’t that good. Trust him at your own risk.

Green Bay Packers: Key Players

QB Aaron Rodgers
Rodgers has been up-and-down this season. However, his ups are way up and his downs are only below average. He, like always, is an undeniable QB1.
Verdict: Start Rodgers. If you have him, you start him. Every week.

RB Eddie Lacy
Lacy is off to a subpar start to say the least. He is bound to bounce back eventually, and the Vikings are a middle of the pack defense. If it is a nasty night as expected, the Packers may lean heavily on the big back. This could be his 2014 coming out party.
Verdict: Start Lacy. You drafted him to be your RB1 and it’s not time to give up on him yet. Get him in your lineup and hope he bounces back.

WR Jordy Nelson
Nelson has been close to spectacular this season and there is no reason to believe he will be slowing down anytime soon.
Verdict: Start Nelson. He is pretty much as obvious a start as you can get. He is a surefire WR1 and has been as good as any WR in the league to this point.

WR Randall Cobb
Before last week, Cobb’s yardage total had been way down. Luckily TDs had kept his fantasy value up. He is a very good option despite being the second best option on his own team. His TD numbers have been nice, hopefully he can keep up his receptions and yardage.
Verdict: Start Cobb. He is a high-end WR2, low-end WR1 at this point. If you have Cobb it is very unlikely you have a better option. Play him and feel comfortable doing it.

TE Andrew Quarless
Quarless was not targeted at all in Week 4, but he caught four passes and a TD in Week 3. He is a longshot, nevertheless, he may be more relevant than Jarrett Boykins, Davante Adams and James Starks at this point.
Verdict: Sit Quarless. There are just too many good TEs to justify starting him.


Final Score
Minnesota: 24
Green Bay: 23

Best Play
Vikings: Matt Asiata
Packers: Jordy Nelson

Jerick McKinnon

**Bonus Sleeper**
Jarius Wright
In his first start, Bridgewater targeted Wright ten times. They connected eight times for 132 yards. Assuming Bridgewater is a go, Wright may emerge as his go-to-guy.

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