Drew Brees via Keith Allison [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)] for NFC Wild Card

NFC Wild Card: Playoffs Preview, MIN at NO

Kicking off the NFC Wild Card are the Vikings and Saints. The Vikings were able to stumble into the playoffs while the Saints are disappointed they couldn’t earn a Bye Week.

NFC Wild Card

Minnesota Vikings at New Orleans Saints

Mercedes-Benz Superdome

New Orleans, LA

Betting

I think the Saints (-440) are going to win this game but it’s a matter of by how much. I think the Vikings +8.0 (-115) is the bet here but I actually prefer a -6.0 point teaser with the Bills. Getting the Bills +9.0 and the Saints -2.0 at -120 odds crosses key numbers. The Bills should keep their game within single digits and the Saints should win by at least a field goal.

Injuries

The Saints are only listing CB Eli Apple on the injury report at time of writing. With the Vikings starting WR’s at full health, the Saints will need their #2 CB at full strength to prevent a big game from the Vikings air raid.

The Vikings have ruled out CB Mike Hughes and CB Mackensie Alexander but it looks as though everyone else is good to go. Even with a healthy team, the Vikings are missing 2 guys that they will desperately miss in the secondary. To limit the impact, the team resigned CB/KR Marcus Sherels.

Saints Offense vs. Vikings Defense

All year long the Saints passing game has been one of the best in the NFL. This starts with Drew Brees not allowing Father Time to catch him. Brees has continued to set records and it’s because Michael Thomas, a record-breaker in his own right, has been untouchable this season.

With the Vikings down CB Mike Hughes and CB Mackensie Alexander, the Saints passing attack will most likely continue to thrive. Not only that, but Alvin Kamara has seemingly bounced back into his form from last season. Scoring multiple touchdowns in the last couple weeks has allowed the Saints to go back to being a 2-dimensional offense. Kamara shouldn’t have to leave the field, unless Latavius Murray comes in for short-yardage situations. The Vikings defense is in a lot of trouble for this game and personally, their only hope of winning will be determined by their offense.

Vikings Offense vs. Saints Defense

Dalvin Cook is back at full force and he’ll be the saving grace for this Vikings offense. Cook is a top-10 rusher in the NFL despite missing 2 games due to injury. He is the vital part of this offense because teams want to take him out of the equation, but, that opens up Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen in the passing game. Kirk Cousins hasn’t been the most reliable QB this season and Theilen has struggled to stay on the field. That leaves Diggs as the most consistent threat through the air and the Saints defense is notorious for struggling against the pass.

Predictions

Vikings: 21

Saints: 28

Guaranteed Touchdown Scorer: Michael Thomas

Dart Throw Touchdown Scorer: Taysom Hill

Best Fantasy QB: Drew Brees, give me the greatest passing QB of all-time at home.

Better Fantasy RB: Dalvin Cook, even though Kamara has been dominating as of late.

Better Fantasy WR: Michael Thomas, he broke records this year and faces a poor secondary.

Best Fantasy TE: Taysom Hill, okay look, FanDuel lists him as a TE so it counts!

Better Fantasy D/ST: Saints, I think Cousins will throw a pick in this game.

Conclusion

Who do you think wins today in this NFC Wild Card game? Depending on the winner of the other NFC Wild Card game, who plays the 49ers and Packers next week? Let me know in the comments below! Also, check out the shop and other content by clicking here.

-Mitchell Seefeldt

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