With the Vikings traveling across the pond to help the NFL showcase its product in London on Sunday, they’ll do everything to put their best foot forward.
Minnesota, at 5-2, has a one-game lead – plus the tiebreaker – on the Green Bay Packers in the NFC North.
But it also has its bye lurking around the corner.
And it also has the NFL’s worst team in its immediate future.
What does that add up to?
Barring word that Stefon Diggs has a zero percent fear – so you’re telling Jim Carrey there’s not a chance – of reaggravating his groin, the Vikings shouldn’t think about overexerting their star receiver in what should be an easy win over the Cleveland Browns.
On Wednesday, Star Tribune Vikings reporter Andrew Krammer wrote: “Receiver Stefon Diggs donned his helmet and ran through drills with his fellow receivers Wednesday, a step forward for the injured Vikings star before the team travels to London later tonight.
“Before Wednesday [Diggs] had not done that much in practice since suffering the injury Oct. 9 in Chicago.”
That certainly doesn’t sound like a player who’s in tip-top shape, let alone being on a good track to play.
If Minnesota holds him out (or he’s unable to play), that would give the third-year pro out of Maryland four-plus weeks off to recover by the time the Vikings next take the field Nov. 12 at Washington in Week 10.
Combine all that with the fact that the Vikings play at 8:30 a.m. local time Sunday – so unless you want to awake early to follow injury reports – and planning on Diggs for your fantasy football starting lineup Sunday sounds like a self-induced headache.
If you’ve got another option, employ it.
If you’ve got no other option and need to shop the waiver wire, here are three wide receivers owned in less than 60 percent of ESPN leagues (at the time of this publication) that you should consider picking up (in standard or PPR leagues):
- Tedd Ginn Jr., New Orleans: The speedster is coming off season-high numbers across the board: 141 receiving yards, seven targets and seven receptions. He seems to be finding a rapport with Drew Brees, who we know loves to sling the ball around, with two touchdown receptions in his last four games. The Saints draw the Bears, who as we saw with their seven pass attempts in Week 7 aren’t likely to turn things into a shootout. But the Saints could go up big early and quickly, with Ginn being a beneficiary.
- Kenny Stills, Miami: Last week he feasted with 85 yards on nine targets with two touchdown catches. That came with Matt Moore under center, and he will start again this week. DeVante Parker’s status could limit Stills’ upside, and with the game Thursday, you’ll have to move quickly on him. It also removes the possibility of sliding Diggs into your lineup last minute, should he play. As has been the case for most of his career: He’s a boom or bust play, with five of his six games this season featuring 51 or fewer receiving yards.
- Robby Anderson, New York Jets: With 46 receptions, he leads the Jets in targets this season. He’s got the eye of Josh McCown – who’s either thrown for three touchdowns or 350-plus yards in each of the last two weeks – and has posted double-digit points in PPR in consecutive games. He may draw the attention of Atlanta’s top corner Desmond Trufant this week, though, which could limit his upside. He also was limited in practice by an ankle injury, so that’s worth monitoring.
Want to talk more fantasy football? E-mail Mike at firstname.lastname@example.org or heckle him on Twitter @mike_e_nelson.