The Minnesota Vikings will host the Atlanta Falcons in Week 6 as both teams look to regroup from an eventful weekend. The Vikings lost on a last-minute touchdown to the Seahawks on Sunday Night Football and now sit at 1-4, the worst record in the NFC North. The Falcons fired head coach Dan Quinn after falling to 0-5 in a 23-16 loss to the Carolina Panthers. Raheem Morris will coach the team in the interim.
Neither the Vikings nor the Falcons are playoff contenders at this point, but both squads have some elite talent and are probably better than record indicates. We break down how to watch the game, odds for the matchup, key injuries, and notable fantasy football start/sit considerations.
Date: Sunday, Oct. 18
Time: 1:00 p.m. ET
Notable Statistical rankings (Football Outsiders)
Falcons: #25 Overall — #22 offense, #28 defense, #24 special teams
Vikings: #11 Overall — #8 offense, #15 defense, #21 special teams
Falcons: +3.5, +163
Vikings: -3.5, -186
OUT: DT John Cominsky (illness)*, S Jaylinn Hawkins (concussion), DE Takkarist McKinley (groin)
OUT: CB Kris Boyd (hamstring), RB Dalvin Cook (groin), WR K.J. Osborn (hamstring), G Dru Samia (wrist)
DOUBTFUL: CB Holton Hill (foot)
Fantasy football start/sit advice
Ridley is coming off his best game of the season, hauling in eight passes for 136 yards against Carolina. It was a sigh of relief after a head-scratching Week 4 against Green Bay in which Ridley did not make a single catch. Otherwise, he’s been incredibly consistent, tallying 100+ yards every week. Julio Jones nursing a hamstring injury only means more targets for his counterpart.
Gurley is another guy trending in the right direction. He ran for a season-high 121 yards against the Panthers on just 14 carries. He also found scored his longest touchdown since 2017 (35 yards) and had a season-high four catches for 29 yards. If Julio Jones is out for a second straight week, Atlanta might want to lean more on its ground game, which would be a great development for Gurley.
Alexander Mattison, RB, $7,200
Dalvin Cook suffered a groin injury against the Seahawks on Sunday night, paving the way for a career night for Alexander Mattison, who logged 20 carries for 112 yards against a Seattle defense that had been stout against the run. The Vikings love to run the ball—they are sixth in the league in rush attempts—so if Cook cannot give it a go, Mattison is a great option against a Falcons defense that is near the bottom of the NFL in points and yards allowed.
Rookie Justin Jefferson is actually Minnesota’s leading receiver this season, but Thielen is still the guy you want to start. Of the eight touchdown passes Kirk Cousins has thrown, six have gone Thielen’s way. His size, hands and ability to get separation in tight spaces makes him a prime red-zone target. And we know the Falcons are bound to give up a lot of points.