Christmas Day DFS/DraftKings lineup advice for Minnesota Vikings vs. New Orleans Saints

Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson (18) celebrates his touchdown with wide receiver Bisi Johnson (81) in the fourth quarter against the Carolina Panthers at U.S. Bank Stadium.
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Ricky Dimon

NFL · 1 year ago

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Since graduating from Davidson (The College That Stephen Curry Built), I have been writing about sports--just about any and all you can think of!--and coaching tennis in Atlanta, Ga. Beyond the four major sports, I am an avid tennis fan and cover the ATP Tour on a daily basis. If I'm not busy writing, you can generally find me on a tennis court or traveling the world wherever a sporting event takes me.

Christmas Day is often reserved for the NBA and the occasional college football bowl game, but the NFL will be making its presence felt on Dec. 25 this time around—albeit in a limited capacity. In addition to the typically packed NBA slate and the Camellia Bowl between Buffalo and Marshall, the Minnesota Vikings and New Orleans Saints will go head-to-head for their penultimate game of the regular season.

If Vikings-Saints does not have implications in your fantasy football playoffs, there is always daily fantasy to try. Let’s take a look at our six-man lineup for this showdown, and be sure to check out our full game preview prediction on the side and total.

Captain: Justin Jefferson, WR, Vikings ($9,200, or $13,800 as captain)

Sure it may be nice to have a running back like Alvin Kamara or Dalvin Cook as your captain, but for the sake of enjoying some salary cap left for later picks we aren’t going to go in that direction. Plus it’s hard to absolutely love Cook in this spot due to the strength of New Orleans’ defense. The Saints are especially stout against the run (fourth overall, second in yards per carry allowed, and first in rushing touchdowns allowed). That means Minnesota may have to take to the air, putting Jefferson in line for a big day at the office. In three of the past four weeks, the rookie out of LSU has made at least seven receptions and has been targeted at least 11 times. He has scored four touchdowns in the last six games.

Flex: Alvin Kamara, RB, Saints ($11,400)

In his first game back from a month off due to injury, Brees at least made some progress in the second half of a loss to Kansas City. Still, he does not look 100 percent. Launching the ball downfield is not in New Orleans’ repertoire at the moment, so handoffs and dump passes to Kamara will remain in style. The Vikings are decent against the run, but they rank 27th in the league in yards per pass attempt allowed (11.5). Kamara, who has scored eight TDs in the last seven contests, should be able to capitalize.

Alvin Kamara of the New Orleans Saints

Flex: Kirk Cousins, QB, Vikings ($9,600)

As mentioned earlier, Minnesota will have to move the ball through the air if it wants to be competitive on Friday. Cousins will be able to do just that, having thrown for more than 270 yards in five of the last six weeks while tossing multiple touchdown passes in six of the last seven weeks. He has thrown three TDs in five of the past nine outings.

Flex: Adam Thielen, WR, Vikings ($8,600)

If Cousins remains on a roll, there will be more than enough wealth to go around for both Jefferson and Thielen to rack up some impressive numbers. Although Jefferson appears to have emerged as WR1 in terms of usage, Thielen remains an absolute redzone hound. The 30-year-old has scored 13 touchdowns this season, ranking him third among receivers (trailing only Tyreek Hill and Davante Adams). Six of those have come in the past five games.

Flex: Irv Smith Jr., TE, Vikings ($5,200)

We are digging a lot deeper than Jefferson and Thielen when it comes to this pick, but Smith has good value since fellow tight end Kyle Rudolph is expected to remain sidelined. As cousins’ primary TE target, the second-year man out of Alabama has found the endzone three times in the last four contests. Smith also went for 63 yards during Week 14 action against Tampa Bay—another stellar NFC South defense.

Flex: Tommylee Lewis, WR, Saints ($1,400)

There isn’t much change left over on the heels of what we think are five strong picks, but it’s enough to take a shot with Lewis. WR Michael Thomas is hurt and TE Jared Cook hasn’t done much of late, so at times against the Chiefs it looked like Brees had no one to throw the ball to other than Kamara. New Orleans just recently put Lewis back on the roster and he could be thrust into playing time for the chance to bear some surprising gifts on Christmas.

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