The Duel

3 Minnesota Vikings Bold Predictions for Week 1

Larry Rupp
Bold Predictions for the Vikings in Week 1.
Bold Predictions for the Vikings in Week 1. / Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

The Minnesota Vikings open up the NFL season with a Week 1 home game against the division rival Green Bay Packers. The Vikings are favored by a field goal in this one, according to FanDuel Sportsbook, and are expected to start the season 1-0.

After going 0-2 against the Packers last season, the Vikings will need a solid overall performance and, perhaps, a few surprises to get the win. With that in mind, here are three bold predictions for Vikings against the Packers.

3. Adam Thielen has 10+ Receptions and Scores a Touchdown

Adam Thielen has been a catching machine against the Packers in the recent past, hauling in 8+ receptions and scoring a touchdown in four of the past five games he has played against them. In fact, Thielen hauled in a combined 21 receptions for 298 yards and reached the endzone twice in the two meetings against the Packers last season. With Stefon Diggs being traded to the Buffalo Bills this offseason, Thielen should become quarterback Kirk Cousins' favorite target, especially in close games such as this one is projected to be. Look for Thielen to rack up the receptions and yards against a team that tied for 26th in the league last year in yards per completion allowed (11.5).

2. The Vikings Let Aaron Jones Run Wild Yet Again

Another huge matchup in this game is Packers running back Aaron Jones against the Vikings run defense, which ranked No. 17 in the NFL last season after giving up 111.7 rushing yards per game. In the two games against the Vikings last season, Jones had at 100+ yards from scrimmage and scored three rushing touchdowns in each one. The Vikings' starting defensive tackles Shamar Stephen and Jaleel Johnson rank No. 96 and No. 169 in run defender grade among all NFL defensive tackles, respectively, which could cause big trouble for the Vikings. If the middle of the field opens up for Jones, it could be a long day for a Vikings defensive front that gave up 4.3 yards per rush last season.

1. The Vikings Sack Aaron Rodgers 5 Times

Danielle Hunter has been a massive bright spot for the Vikings, posting 14.5 sacks each of the past two seasons and helping the team tie for the No. 5 ranking in the NFL for sacks with a total of 48.0 last season. Even though the team lost Everson Griffen and Linval Joseph, the Vikes made a big splash in the offseason by trading for Pro-Bowl defensive end Yannick Ngakoue from the Jacksonville Jaguars. Ngakoue has had at least 8.0 sacks in each of his four NFL seasons and gives the Vikings one of the better defensive end combinations in the league. The Packers gave up more than two sacks per game last season and will need a huge performance to stop a Vikings defensive front looking to wreak havoc on Rodgers in the backfield.

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Larry rupp is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Larry Rupp also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username phillyfan424. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.