Week 15 of the 2021 NFL season wraps up with Monday Night Football as the Chicago Bears play host to the Minnesota Vikings. Here is my fantasy football preview to the game, offering up my starts and sits and DFS plays for Monday night action.
Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears
Over/Under Points Scored: 43.5
QB Kirk Cousins – Cousins has had efficient bouts with Chicago over the last two years and that should remain the case this evening. Chicago’s defense is missing starters on every level, from EDGE Khalil Mack to LB Danny Trevathan to S Tashaun Gipson. The team also recently demoted CB Kindle Vindor to a part-time role due to poor play. Cousins is a top-12 QB for Week 15.
Update 12/20/21: Per Adam Schefter, “All four of Chicago’s starting DBs – CB Artie Burns, CB Jaylon Johnson, S Eddie Jackson, S Tashaun Gipson – are out tonight vs Vikings.” Great news for the Minnesota passing game.
WR Justin Jefferson – MIN is saying Adam Thielen (high-ankle sprain) is a game-time decision but he hasn’t been able to practice in weeks. It’ll be a target-hog outing for JJ. Elite fantasy WR1.
WR K.J. Osborn – Locked-in WR3 with weekly WR2 upside.
WR Ihmir Smith-Marsette – ISM will be the No. 3 WR but he’s only a contrarian DFS option.
TE Tyler Conklin – Conklin flopped last week which could signify low DFS rostership for Conklin this week. He’s a top-15 TE this week with a tough matchup vs. coverage LB Roquan Smith. It’s worth noting that Smith is currently nursing a hamstring strain though.
RB Dalvin Cook – Cook is a snap-hoarder on the regular but that should be especially true this week with No. 2 back Alexander Mattison on the COVID-19/Reserve List. Cook’s an elite RB1.
RB Kene Nwangwu – Should be rostered in 12-team leagues while Mattison is on the COVID-19/Reserve List.
QB Justin Fields – Fields returned to action as a starter last week, completing 18-of-33 attempts for 224 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 2 interceptions. He carried the ball 9 times for 74 yards, 8 of which rushes were scrambles, and lost 1 fumble. More designed runs would be better but scrambles are still productive–especially against a Minnesota defensive-front that will be missing both of their starting defensive ends, Danielle Hunter (Injured Reserve) and Everson Griffen (Reserve/Non-Football Illness). Starting CB Bashaud Breeland played so poorly this year that they cut him this week. Fields is a high-floor/high-ceiling QB1.
WR Darnell Mooney – Mooney has not been able to consistently get on the same page as Fields this year but Allen Robinson, one of two Bears to beat Mooney in the target column last week, landed on the COVID-19/Reserve List on Thursday. Mooney is a boom/bust WR3 with long-touchdown upside.
WR Jakeem Grant – Grant’s special teams play is noteworthy for formats that reward ST yardage but Minnesota’s kickoff/punt coverage unit is very good. Fantasy WR6.
WR Damiere Byrd – Fantasy WR7.
TE Cole Kmet – Minnesota’s been very bad against tight ends, peculiarly in the touchdown column. Usually we watch to chase yardage but with underwhelming players like Green Bay’s Josiah Deguara and Brock Wright scoring on them over the last four weeks (as well as T.J. Hockenson and Pat Freiermuth), Kmet’s TE1 prospects remain strong this week.
RB David Montgomery – The last time Montgomery faced the Vikings was Week 15 of 2020. He took 32 carries for 146 yards and 2 touchdowns and caught 1-of-2 targets for 16 yards. Montgomery hasn’t smashed many box scores as of late but his dual threat workloads remain intact. The do-it-all back was given 10 carries and 7 targets in Week 14’s loss to the Green Bay Packers–a good reminder that he won’t get game-scripted out of it this week if the Vikings, -4 point favorites, pull ahead early. He’s an RB1.
RB Khalil Herbert – Must-stash across all formats.