2021 Dynasty/Fantasy Game Analysis Week 10: Vikings 27, Chargers 20


I walk away from this game with a BAD-BAD-BAD feeling about the Chargers. I got some bad vibes about the Chargers off this game, and it’s been building off their last few games.

Brandon Staley is not going to be the Coach of the Year, that’s for sure. The offense flashed early and has been figured out as they’ve gone on…it’s the only explanation I can give for the fact that Justin Herbert is looking worse than I’ve ever seen him – and he worked in an Anthony Lynn offense last year and was better in that mess than he is now. You have to do quite the coaching job to make Herbert look human. Protection is an issue (but it was worse last year), but more so it’s things like -- Jared Cook does nothing for this offense and when they hand it to Tugboat Larry Rountree…it’s like a wasted down. A bad offensive plan and the players are not moving with any real spark/juice…they look bored with the offense. It could change against a wounded Steelers defense this week…I hope it does, but I’m getting nervous. More on the players in the next section. The good news is – it’s a tweak, or change away…they have talent to work with…and it was just a couple weeks ago they were rolling hot.

The Chargers had several chances to win this game…chances to extend their lead midgame, but they just played comatose and let the Vikings be the ones with the spark…and when the Vikings took a two-score (27-17) lead with 9:29 remaining…the Chargers couldn’t find offense to answer back against an injured, not-great Vikings defense. Embarrassing.

Minnesota earned the win to crawl back to (4-5)/near .500. I can’t figure this team out – I thought they were a top 10 NFL team weeks ago, but then they went on a bye and lost two games in a row and looked to be on life support coming into this one as an underdog…but got a BIG win here. They miss Patrick Peterson and Harrison Smith, who should both be back for the GB game this week. We project the Vikings to 10 wins and a wild card…a nice schedule, mostly, ahead. If they can go beat Green Bay twice, they have NFC North title hopes.

The Chargers fall to (5-4) and are in danger of being the last place team in the AFC West if they’re not careful. We still project them to 10 wins and a wild card, but they could scrape to just 9 wins and be in danger of missing out…but they could also get their S--- together and get to 12+ wins and take the AFC West.



Fantasy Player Notes…


 -- I do not like what I see of Mike Williams (4-33-0/6) right now. It’s been growing…I’ve been hoping a turn was coming…but this is getting to be too much of a reality on tape – that Justin Herbert (20-34 for 195 yards, 1 TD/1 INT) just isn’t looking for Williams anymore, not like he used to.

And I mean that – his head/eyes are not in that direction. Williams will be open on the same side of the field as Keenan sometimes, and the tight window throw goes to Allen. Herbert is everything to Keenan Allen (8-98-0/11) like normal, but he’s lost his love for Big Mike. Look at these splits…

6.2 rec. (10.2 targets), 94.2 yards, 1.2 TDs per game = Williams Weeks 1-5

2.5 rec. (5.3 targets), 34.3 yards, 0.0 TDs per game = Williams Weeks 6-10

It’s one of the greatest drop-offs I’ve ever seen in my NFL study time of QB-WR relationships.


6.8 rec. (10.6 targets), 73.8 yards, 0.20 TDs per game = Keenan Weeks 1-5

7.8 rec. (10.0 targets), 82.3 yards, 0.25 TDs per game = Keenan Weeks 6-10

Keenan is keeping his numbers/targets up, but Mike’s have fallen off a cliff…and they aren’t going anywhere else…the drop-off coincides with a general drop-off for Herbert, for the most part.


Jared Cook (1-10-0/3) is doing Herbert no favors either. I think a switch to Donald Parham (1-17-0/2) as playing more snaps at TE is coming on…if LAC had half a brain, they’d ditch Cook and go all Parham in the passing game…and then Parham would be a TE1 in non-PPR, and possibly for PPR.

Jalen Guyton (0-0-0/1) is an absolute waste of space as the #3 WR, and I think the Chargers coaches are starting to figure that out and the Josh Palmer (3-22-0/4) era is about to start…him as a #3 WR. This would help the offense for sure.


It’s possible, LAC changes things up having lost two of their last 3 and struggling on offense. If we see a push for Parham and Palmer, and a recommitment to Mike Williams…they can juice this offense back to it’s early season days.

They have to do something, because more of the same is getting them nowhere. The good news is there’s a way out. The question is – is Brandon Staley smart enough to figure it out. So far, I’m not impressed with Staley’s choices and (non)adjustments on offense…but maybe he’s about to make the change.


 -- Am I worried about the possible/pending legal ramifications for Dalvin Cook (24-94-1, 3-24-0/5) and his domestic abuse case?

Not likely to worry in redraft 2021. There’s probably not enough time for the NFL to conduct a thorough investigation. So, unless video tape surfaces, etc., Cook is likely clear for the rest of 2021.

In 2022, who knows? In Dynasty, you want to be sure to have Alexander Mattison at almost all costs ‘just in case’.


 -- MIN rookie RB Kene Nwangwu is an offensive threat waiting to happen…as a 2-5 touch a game guy, but he got no touches here. They ran another fake punt for him here but just as it got direct-snapped to him, the refs blew the whistle for some nonsense play stoppage and the play/surprise was ruined…then they punted away after that.

I don’t know when the Vikings coaches will not be morons and let Nwangwu see some touches as a homerun hitter, but it shouldn’t be too far off. Likely nothing here for redraft 2021 even if Cook goes down – it’s just something to monitor, because if he ever gets a chance, I will be beside myself/unbearable to listen to/read when it happens…my excitement will be bananas.  

I can hardly think of a comp for what Kene could be. Our CFM scouting models tried to profile him but couldn’t find a great fit. Ty Johnson was the top profile. Young Tevin Coleman was an effort. But none of those really fit as a comp, to my eyes. He’s got real high-end speed but at a size to go-with like I’ve hardly seen (he has the speed of 170-180 pound blazers, but he’s 210 solid pounds)…and never really been given a chance in college.


 -- The Chargers have been horrible against the run all season…the #32 run defense by yards allowed in 2021. But they had their best game in weeks against Dalvin/the Vikings here, holding MIN to 103 yards on the ground…a big accomplishment for the LAC run D. Getting Kenneth Murray (4 tackles, 1 TFL) is helping improve things. There’s a good chance they hold the Steelers under 100 yards rushing this week…given the Steelers O-Line.



Snap Counts of Interest:


56 = Mike Williams

55 = Keenan

18 = Palmer

18 = Guyton 


34 = J Cook

27 = Parham

19 = McKitty

07 = Stv Anderson