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The Script to Fantasy Success – Week 2: TNF

The Script to Fantasy Success in Week 2 starts tonight! Check out the game script for Thursday Night Football.

Minnesota Vikings vs Philadelphia Eagles – TNF

Details of the Script

  • TNF – 8:15pm @ Lincoln Financial Field
  • Weather – Clear Evening
  • What Vegas is saying – Line (PHI -7.0) & Over/Under 49

Identifying the Game Script 

We have a rematch of last year’s week two game with the Vikings and Eagles. The Eagles destroyed the Vikings 24-7 as the Vikings committed three turnovers in that game. The Vikings looked lost on offense outside of throwing the ball to Justin Jefferson. There were turnovers that the Vikings couldn’t overcome in week one. The good news is that they are playing an Eagles team that didn’t come out of the gates strong. The Eagles allowed a close game with the New England Patriots (which I called), and the offense didn’t impress. Off a short week, we’ll see how these teams can respond to the call.


Kirk Cousins, on TNF over his career, has averaged 300 yards, two touchdowns, and an interception per game. The Eagles created some turnovers in week one but allowed Mac Jones to pass for 300 yards and three touchdowns. Taking week one seriously is hard, but making many adjustments in a short week is tough. We’ll have to see if the Eagles can make some adjustments because they were a dominant team in 2022 vs. fantasy quarterbacks. If Cousins can get the deep ball going, that is where the Eagles were exposed on the defense. In week one, Cousins threw nine passes 20 plus yards, which he’ll need to do again vs. the Eagles. This is a typical Kirk Cousins game, as it always seems complicated to trust him on a primetime game, so you should look at him as a high-end QB2, but there is some risk in his game.  

Jalen Hurts did not have the QB1 week we all wanted in week one. One game doesn’t change my mind that he is still an elite fantasy quarterback. New England always seems to play up to their better opponents, which seems to happen often. The Vikings were a defense that was poor vs. fantasy quarterbacks in 2022. They didn’t look too sharp vs. a bad Bucs offense led by Baker Mayfield. Hurts has an elite offense surrounding him that he should bounce back. I’d like to see more rushing plays called for him, as I didn’t see enough. Hurts is locked into a QB1 week for week two. 

Running Backs

Alexander Mattison was saved with a week one touchdown, or his fantasy day would have been bad. It was a tough match-up vs. a strong Bucs defense. Mattison still has control of this backfield as he has 14 touches compared with Ty Chandler’s four. Mattison also had a 74% snap share compared to Ty Chanlder’s 17%. The usage that Mattison received was good enough that he could still have a good year.

Unfortunately, his week two matchup is another tough one. The Eagles have a solid run defense that is fast and young. They held the Patriots duo to only 54 rushing yards. I expect the Eagles to be ahead in this game so that it could limit his carries, just like in week one. At the same time, Mattison could see more work since TNF teams tend to run the ball more. Mattison is likely a borderline RB2 in week two for fantasy. He’ll need a touchdown to get to RB2 unless he can be more efficient with his receiving work. Mattison is flex-worthy based on his volume in the offense.

The Eagles backfield seems to have cleared up, or has it? Kenny Gainwell was the primary back for the Eagles. He has 18 touches and played most of the snaps in the offense. Gainwell had all three red zone carries and played 62% of the snaps. He looks to be their main guy. Gainwell knows the offense and has been with the team the longest. Gainwell is dealing with a rib injury and is out for week two. This leaves the backfield with D’Andre Swift, Rashaad Penny, and Boston Scott.

D’Andre Swift saw only two touches in the first half vs. the Patriots for the whole game. I think we forget the Eagles only traded a fourth-round pick to Swift, so they don’t owe him any real playing time. In the same sense, he is an outstanding player; why not allow him to show it in a game? The Vikings were a decent team last year vs. running backs and showed it in week one. Now that Gainwell is out, look for Swift to be the lead back in this Eagles backfield. We’ll have to see how the touches will work since I’m not sure Swift gets to 65% of the teams’ snaps. If Swift can get 18 touches as Gainwell did in week one, he can be a low-end RB2 for us in fantasy.

Rashaad Penny was a healthy scratch for week one. He’ll likely be active on Thursday with Gainwell out. It’s hard to trust a player who was a healthy scratch to play in your fantasy lineups in week two. He is likely still a sit. Penny’s upside is intriguing, but I’m not risking that in week two. For all we know, this is a Boston Scott game as the trusted veteran for this Eagles offense. Don’t be surprised if that happens on Thursday night.

Pass Catchers

For the Vikings’ pass catches, the team ran through Justin Jefferson, who saw double the amount of targets than the second pass catcher in week one. He is a locked WR1, even against a supposed good Eagles’ secondary. The Eagles were a strong team vs. fantasy wide receivers last year but were torched against the Patriots in week one. TJ Hockenson should still be locked for a TE1 week in week two. He saw nine targets in week one and should continue as the Eagles did not have answers over the middle of the field vs. the Patriots’ tight ends. 

Based on his snap count on the field, KJ Osborn looks like the WR2 in the Vkings’ offense, beating out rookie Jordan Addison from 91% to 56%. While I’d like to see Osborn step up, he could fade if the rookie continues to shine in the offense. Osborn likely won’t be a starting option in week two, but his opportunity remains high. In week one, Jordan Addison showed what he could do with a limited snap count. He didn’t play on a snap outside of 11 personnel. Addison’s upside could be limited, but he is in a good position for week two. He is playing the slot, and the Eagles’ were weak underneath and over the middle of the field. Addison should be a flex option in week two with some upside.

The Eagles should continue to run through AJ Brown and Devonta Smith. They both had ten targets in week one and should remain that way in week two. The Vikings secondary played better than last year but still aren’t a strong unit. In terms of targets, snaps, routes run, and production, they are the only receivers on the Eagles you want anything to do with. They are both upside WR1 options for week two.

AJ Brown1030.30%Dallas Goedert13.03%
DeVonta Smith1030.30%Jack Stoll00.00%
Quez Watkins26.06%RBs Targets618.18%
Eagles Targets in week one

Dallas Goedert gave us a stink egg in week one. The Patriots have always done well against tight ends, and it showed again this past week. It’s just the second time in four years that Goedert didn’t record a reception. He should be able to bounce back in week two vs. a Vikings team that was weak against tight ends in 2022. He should be mid-range TE1 in week two. 

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