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Report: Adam Thielen not expected to play, but optimism for Week 15

Vikings WR Adam Thielen is not expected to play in Week 14. We break down the fantasy football start/sit implications for Olabisi Johnson and Kyle Rudolph this week, and for Thielen moving forward.

Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen looks on before the start of a game against the Denver Broncos at U.S. Bank Stadium. David Berding-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Vikings designated wide receiver Adam Thielen as doubtful for Week 14, so it is no surprise Ian Rapoport and Adam Schefter are reporting he is not expected to play on Sunday. However, Rapoport said there is optimism about his chances to get on the field next week against the Los Angeles Chargers.

I’m not quite sure “no extended absence expected” is the best choice of words given that today’s game will mark his fourth straight game missed and fifth in six weeks. But, I suppose that simply means he could return this season, so it’s not “extended.”

Fantasy football analysis: Vikings receivers

In Week 14, Olabisi Johnson will start opposite Stefon Diggs against the Detroit Lions. However, the big beneficiary will likely continue to be Kyle Rudolph. Since Thielen got injured in Week 7, Rudolph has scored a touchdown in five of six games and has reached double digit fantasy points in four of those games. He’s a strong start against the Lions in Week 14.

Looking ahead, Thielen would be a dicey start if he returned in Week 15. Given how he aggravated the hamstring when he returned in Week 9, you might be best suited seeing him in a game and then starting him the following week if healthy. It’s a risk to start him in his first game back considering he could very well aggravate the injury again before the first quarter is even done.