Sunday Night Football NFL DFS Breakdown For DraftKings – Minnesota @ Green Bay

Sunday Night Football NFL DFS Breakdown For DraftKings - Minnesota @ Green Bay

MIN (15) @ GB (27.50)

We have a matchup between the Minnesota Vikings and the Green Bay Packers for Sunday’s end cap. Under different circumstances, this may have been a closer affair. Still, Minnesota will be without quarterback Kirk Cousins, who was placed on the COVID-19 list and is ineligible to suit up. This will be the coldest game of the week, as it will be around five degrees Fahrenheit. This can have a severe impact on the passing and kicking games. Let’s look at both teams and how we might approach this one from a DFS perspective.

Minnesota Overview

In Kirk Cousins’ stead, Sean Mannion is slated to draw the start at QB. This should have a significant negative impact on Minnesota’s offensive potential in this game. Their paltry team total of a meager 15 should evidence how difficult this one is likely to be for them. Add in the frigid temperature, and it is tough to imagine the Vikings getting much going here.

Much of the field will likely comply with this thought process, and Minnesota pieces should go low-owned. Mannion will start at quarterback and is very cheap at just $6,000. DraftKings will sometimes price up a backup that will be starting, but the news came too late, and he is still priced at the default backup QB price for showdown contests. Even if you are playing a Green Bay-heavy build, it could make sense to use Mannion as your Minnesota player. Simply considering just how cheap he is and that he will have the ball in his hands.

Outside of tight-end Tyler Conklin (questionable), Adam Thielen (out), and of course Cousins, Minnesota is healthy at the skill positions. You would have to assume that they rely heavily on running back Dalvin Cook, considering their quarterback situation and the weather. You would think he may be reasonably popular considering this. Yet, he is expensive, and I could envision some of the field hesitating to pay up for a Minnesota player here. Star wide receiver Justin Jefferson is even more costly. With Mannion under center, I assume that he goes low-owned for his ceiling potential.

K.J. Osborn has now stepped into a WR2 role with Thielen missing and comes at a reasonable $7,800 price tag. Anyone in the Minnesota passing game outside of Jefferson/Osborn/Conklin (if he is active) would be a pure GPP punt.

It would be hard to recommend the Minnesota defense considering Green Bay’s team total is nearing 30. Still, the weather will be rough, and there is really little to like here. As mentioned, the kicking game may be affected by the weather. This is worth considering if considering Minnesota kicker Greg Joseph. Due to the weather, we may also see lower ownership than usual on kickers, so there could be some merit in going there in large-field GPPs.

Green Bay Overview

It would appear that this should be a straightforward game for Green Bay to win. With the playoffs on the horizon, they don’t have much reason to put the pedal to the metal in this one if they can easily win it with defense and the running game.

Aaron Rodgers is always an extremely high-upside option. He likely has the highest ceiling of any player on this slate. He is also the highest-priced, and for him to reach that ceiling, he would need to throw for a few touchdowns and tons of yardage. That game script seems unlikely, and I could see the merit in fading depending on what we see with ownership projections closer to lock. If he goes lower-owned for this very reason, I’d be more inclined to play him, and vice versa.

Davante Adams is the second most expensive player on the slate, and the same concerns apply to him depending on how the game script shakes out. We also need to consider the weather and its impact on the passing game. Adams may be safer than Rodgers, considering that he can easier pay off with 100+ yards receiving and a touchdown or two. Allen Lazard and Marquez Valdes-Scantling are healthy, digging into either’s upside. Still, they should likely carry relatively low ownership.

The most logical place to go here is with the ground game and Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon. They’ve been sharing work to the extent that you can even play both and feel pretty good about it. There is also enough involvement in the passing game to pair one or both with Rodgers. Dillon is very cheap at just $5,200, and I would expect him to be one of the higher-owned players on the slate. While Jones is $9,000, he does offer significant savings over Adams.

The Green Bay defense is a logical place to go here, and they will probably be pretty high-owned. It can be a decent rule of thumb in large-field NFL showdown GPPs to avoid high-owned defenses. Still, their upside is pretty high in this situation. Mason Crosby is generally quite viable, but weather concerns are definitely in play with the kicking game. I’d keep an eye on ownership, as he could be a decent GPP play if the field hesitates to roster him due to these concerns.


The overwhelming chalk build will be to load up on Green Bay pieces, likely including the defense. I would expect Mannion to be a reasonably popular piece due to his price and the need to play at least one Viking. Dalvin Cook would be the next logical choice, yet I think his ownership will be somewhat tempered by his price and the Vikings’ scarce offensive outlook.

The most contrarian way to play this game would be to stack up the Vikings, yet I would not do this as my first choice. My favorite approach is to focus on the Green Bay running game with both running backs, possibly even paired with Rodgers, and avoid the pass-catchers for the most part. This plays into the likely game script that Green Bay dominates and has little need to push the envelope. Jones and Dillon can exceed their value, and Rodgers could even get there with a passing touchdown or two to these RBs. Although they may be chalky, I still like playing the Packers’ defense as they are unlikely to give up many points, meaning they won’t kill you. Yet, they have the upside to be the highest scoring piece on the slate if things go right.

Leaving salary on the table is always a good idea in these large-field showdown GPPs. Still, it could be even more beneficial considering the likely nature of this game. Suppose the Vikings can’t do anything offensively, and Green Bay lays back and controls the pace. In that case, we may not see a ton of offensive fireworks. A build leaving lots of salary on the table and eschewing some of the higher-priced pieces could be the winning ticket.

Sports Analyst at | + posts

I'm a DFS player (JackG1111), DFS content provider, and musician.