The Minnesota Vikings are set to do battle with the Chicago Bears in just a few hours, and there are many factors playing into this game. The Bears will most likely have nothing to play for as the Rams can clinch the #2 seed with a win against the 49ers. The Vikings have everything to play for as they are in a “win and in” scenario. While most fantasy leagues have crowned their champion by now, some people are still playing for their chance at a championship. As always, millions of dollars have been bet on this game. The betting line has fluctuated all week and still hasn’t settled down. Let’s look ahead to who you should start and who you should bet on.
FANTASY FOOTBALL: WHO TO START? WHO TO SIT? WHO ARE SOME SLEEPER PICKS?
START: STEFON DIGGS
The Vikings head into the game needing a win to make the playoffs. This team will pull out every trick play in their book, and every player should be giving 200%. The Bears are currently the #3 seed, and need a major upset to happen in the Rams’ game for them to snag the #2. The Bears will be missing one of their safeties in this game, Eddie Jackson. The matchup for Stefon Diggs seems too good to not start him if you have him, even though he is going up against a fierce defense.
SIT: ALL OF THE BEARS PLAYERS
This should come as no surprise. The Bears will most likely only play their starters for a quarter or two, unless a catastrophic upset occurs in L.A. This defense could still be a potential start, but I would search free agency this week. The Bears second string defense could be elite for all we know, but because a lot of this game could be the Vikings 1st string offense versus the Bears 2nd string defense, I don’t love that matchup. However, if you believe the stigma about Cousins is true and he is going to throw many picks in this high pressure game, maybe start that Bears’ defense.
SLEEPER PICKS: KYLE RUDOLPH AND DAN BAILEY
Kyle Rudolph is coming off of the best game of his entire career. 2 touchdowns, 122 yards and 9 catches? That is a great game out of a tight end. Rudolph’s lack of production has found him sitting in the free agent pool in a lot of leagues, so if you can snag him this week I would consider it. The Bears will attempt to make anyone not named Adam Thielen or Stefon Diggs beat them. Rudolph could find himself snagging 10 catches for 100+ yards, and a touchdown or two as well. On the other hand, Dan Bailey could end up kicking five or six field goals by the end of this game, and hopefully a few point-afters. The Vikings kicker should have an eventful first quarter, as that is when the Bears’ starters will be playing, and the defense will be at its “stingiest.”
GAMBLING: THE SPREAD AND OVER/UNDER
THE SPREAD: IT DEPENDS ON WHERE YOU BET
This spread makes my head hurt. I have seen some places peak at Vikings -5. I have also seen the Vikings at +2.5. So, allow me to give my opinion on both of these. The -5 number intrigues me, a lot. Kirk Cousins has been known to choke in these types of games. The Bears will have something to play for, at least for the first half, so they could build up a lead. The Vikings could come back against the Bears’ backups, but I don’t know if they would go on to win by 5. I would not take the Vikings as a 5 point favorite in this game. I would take the Vikings as a 2.5 point underdog though. The Vikings should be in the game until the end, and they could very well win.
OVER/UNDER: BET THE OVER
The over/under is 40.5, and with the Bears’ benching players I think the Vikings could score 27+. The Bears should be able to score 14 on their own, and that alone is hitting the over. I don’t think this game will be as low scoring as everyone else does. The Rams should destroy the 49ers and the Bears should bench their players in anticipation of the rematch with the Vikings next week. The Vikings offense should take advantage of the Bears’ backups.