The Stock Watch

Upgrades

Kyle Rudolph (TE, Min) – Rudolph has always been a player who tantalized with his potential, but ultimately frustrated because of injuries, mistakes, or simply a lack of involvement in the offense. Well, apparently all he needed to reach that potential was Sam Bradford. Against the Giants on Monday night, Rudolph posted 5/55/1 receiving on 7 targets, and another one of his targets was a fade pattern in the end zone. He now has a TD in three straight games, which also coincides with Bradford’s timeline as Minnesota’s starter. In other words, we’re witnessing the triumphant return of “Rudolph the Red-Zone Reindeer.” The scary part is that Rudolph can actually improve in this area – while his 6 targets inside the 20 are tied for 4th among TEs, He has only 1 target inside the 5, which was the fade pattern that fell incomplete prior to a Matt Asiata TD early against the Giants. We know he’s been tough to trust, but it’s hard to deny that Bradford looks for Rudolph in critical situations. He’s an every-week starter at TE.

Jerick McKinnon (RB, Min) – Yes, Matt Asiata will remain an annoying vulture, but make no mistake about who the Vikings’ top back is with Adrian Peterson down. Against the Giants on Monday night, McKinnon played 62.2% of the Vikings’ offensive snaps, compared to only 39.2% for Asiata, and handled 21 offensive touches. He posted 18/85/1 rushing and 3/10 receiving, and looked downright explosive on multiple touches. It was a huge positive for the Vikings, who had seemed incapable of running to this point. The offensive line played its best game of the year, and it came against one of the most improved defensive fronts in all of football. It makes the Vikings a lot more dangerous if McKinnon looks this good constantly, and also keep in mind they schemed the ball into his hands – OC Norv Turner ran some Wildcat with the former option QB. McKinnon is currently a solid flex play, but has the athleticism to be more than that.

 

Downgrades

Rashad Jennings (RB, NYG) – Jennings missed Week 4 with his thumb injury, the second consecutive game he missed, and in his stead, Orleans Darkwa and Paul Perkins each proved to be more than capable of making plays. Darkwa got a short TD, and Perkins set the TD up with a 67-yard reception. What’s more, neither Darkwa nor Perkins played the most snaps in the Giant backfield – that was Bobby Rainey. Ultimately, this downgrade is more of an acknowledgement that we don’t think the Giants will be capable of taking Perkins off the field in a very short time. He’s their most explosive back with Shane Vereen injured.

 

Holding Steady

Odell Beckham (WE, NYG) – Look, we completely understand that Beckham has not done what you “paid” for him to do in your drafts, and the spotlight is on that fact after he disappointed on Monday night against the Vikings, as CB Xavier Rhodes and company held him to 3/23 receiving on 9 targets. We also understand that he’s drawing unneeded attention to himself with his on-field tantrums, and that defensive backs are clearly being coached to get in his head (it’s working, by the way). But we are simply not concerned about his usage. As our Graham Barfield notes, Beckham is on pace for virtually the same target share as last year – he had 158 in 2015, and is on pace for 156 in 2016. In fact, if OBJ had 2 TDs with the same exact catches and receptions as he does this year – 22 catches, 303 yards – his stats would look remarkably similar to his line through four games a season ago. The point is, while OBJ has been disappointing, if you’re selling on him because you’re frustrated, you’re almost certain to regret it in due time, perhaps as early as next week when OBJ takes on Green Bay.

Stefon Diggs (WR, Min) – The issue with Diggs the last two weeks? The Vikings simply haven’t needed to throw the ball downfield a ton. He posted 5/47 receiving on 7 targets against the Giants on Monday night, in a game the Vikings controlled virtually from start to finish. All in all, QB Sam Bradford played well against the Giants, but took the more conservative route en route to a 262-yard game against New York, and the deep shots actually went to Charles Johnson. This may continue to be an issue for Diggs, because through four weeks, the Vikings’ suffocating defense may well be the best in football. There is nothing wrong with Diggs, who is climbing the list of the best route runners in football, but the offense’s methodical nature will limit his upside.

 

Watch List

None of note.

 

Inside the Boxscore

New York Giants at Minnesota Vikings

Final Score: NYG - 10 | MIN - 24

Targets/Carries/Red-Zone Info:

New York Giants

  • WR Odell Beckham had 9 targets and 3 receptions for 23 yards. He also had 4 deep balls. Yds/Tgt: 2.6, Catch Rate: 33.3%.
  • RB Bobby Rainey had 9 targets and 7 receptions for 43 yards. Yds/Tgt: 4.8, Catch Rate: 77.8%.
  • WR Victor Cruz had 9 targets and 5 receptions for 50 yards. Additionally 1 red zone target. Yds/Tgt: 5.6, Catch Rate: 55.6%.
  • WR Sterling Shepard had 7 targets and 4 receptions for 30 yards. He also had 1 deep ball. Yds/Tgt: 4.3, Catch Rate: 57.1%.
  • TE Will Tye had 6 targets and 4 receptions for 43 yards. He also had 1 deep ball. His long was 18 yards. Yds/Tgt: 7.2, Catch Rate: 66.7%.
  • RB Paul Perkins had 3 targets and 2 receptions for 72 yards. His long was 67 yards. Yds/Tgt: 24, Catch Rate: 66.7%.
  • RB Orleans Darkwa had 2 targets and 0 reception for 0 yards, and 1 TD (rushing). Yds/Tgt: 0, Catch Rate: 0%.

Minnesota Vikings

  • TE Kyle Rudolph had 7 targets and 5 receptions for 55 yards, and 1 TD . Additionally 2 red zone targets, including 1 goal line target. His long was 16 yards. Yds/Tgt: 7.9, Catch Rate: 71.4%.
  • WR Stefon Diggs had 7 targets and 5 receptions for 47 yards. He also had 1 deep ball. His long was 21 yards. Yds/Tgt: 6.7, Catch Rate: 71.4%.
  • WR Cordarrelle Patterson had 6 targets and 5 receptions for 38 yards. His long was 21 yards. Yds/Tgt: 6.3, Catch Rate: 83.3%.
  • RB Jerick McKinnon had 5 targets and 3 receptions for 10 yards, and 1 TD (rushing). Additionally 2 red zone targets. Yds/Tgt: 2, Catch Rate: 60%.
  • WR Charles Johnson had 4 targets and 2 receptions for 70 yards. He also had 4 deep balls. His long was 40 yards. Yds/Tgt: 17.5, Catch Rate: 50%.
  • WR Adam Thielen had 3 targets and 2 receptions for 21 yards. He also had 1 deep ball. Additionally 1 red zone target. His long was 18 yards. Yds/Tgt: 7, Catch Rate: 66.7%.
  • RB Matt Asiata had 2 targets and 2 receptions for 12 yards, and 1 TD (rushing). Yds/Tgt: 6, Catch Rate: 100%.
  • TE Rhett Ellison had 1 target and 1 reception for 2 yards. Yds/Tgt: 2, Catch Rate: 100%.
  • TE MyCole Pruitt had 1 target and 1 reception for 7 yards. Yds/Tgt: 7, Catch Rate: 100%.

Other Notes:

New York Giants

  • The Giants were just 2/12 on 3rd downs.
  • Orleans Darkwa got the vast majority of the work in the first half, carrying it 8 times compared to Paul Perkins’ 2 and Bobby Rainey’s 2.

V. Cruz

WR

66

100%

O. Beckham

WR

66

100%

S. Shepard

WR

62

94%

W. Tye

TE

52

79%

B. Rainey

RB

28

42%

O. Darkwa

RB

23

35%

P. Perkins

RB

15

23%

L. Donnell

TE

9

14%

J. Adams

TE

7

11%

D. Harris

WR

1

2%

T. King

WR

1

2%

Minnesota Vikings

  • Blair Walsh missed a 46-yard FG at the beginning of the third quarter.
  • Charles Johnson was responsible for the two longest plays from scrimmage (receptions of 40 and 30 yards.

K. Rudolph

TE

72

97%

S. Diggs

WR

69

93%

J. McKinnon

RB

46

62%

A. Thielen

WR

39

53%

C. Patterson

WR

36

49%

M. Asiata

RB

29

39%

Z. Line

FB

24

32%

C. Johnson

WR

22

30%

R. Ellison

TE

16

22%

M. Pruitt

TE

13

18%