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Kirk Cousins - Fantasy Points Outlook

Basic Stats Basic Stats

Kirk Cousins
MIN

QB MIN

#16 Quarterback

357 Projected Points

ADP: Not Available
Bye: 7
Experience: 9 Yr(s)
Age: 33
Height: 6'3"
Weight: 214
40 Time: 4.84

Weekly Outlook

Week 21 Projections

This player does not have a weekly prediction

Rest Of Way Outlook

Week 14
Cousins’ first game of the season without WR Adam Thielen did not go well. He completed a season-low 45.2% of his passes and averaged a subpar 7.0 yards per attempt.

And it came against a Steelers defense that simply didn’t show up in the 1st half. Cousins missed WR Justin Jefferson for multiple big plays in the game’s first 30 minutes. His connection with Thielen replacement K.J. Osborn was also off. They hooked up for a beautiful 62-yard TD in the 4th quarter but connected on just 2 of their other 8 attempts.

Cousins gets another plus matchup in Week 15 vs. the Bears, but he’ll be tough to trust as a QB1 unless he gets Thielen back from that high-ankle sprain.
Week 13
Cousins completed 30 of 40 passes for 340 yards and 2 passing TDs in Week 13’s loss to the Lions.
Cousins once again put up good statistics as he completed 75% of his passes for over 300+ yards and 2 TDs.
Cousins has been solid all season, but the Vikings suffer from terrible defense and coaching as they allowed the Lions to drive the entire field for a game-winning TD with under 2 minutes left in the game.
Cousins has benefited from having one of the best WR duos in the league with Justin Jefferson and veteran Adam Thielen, but Thielen was injured in this one with a high-ankle sprain early in the 1st quarter.
Cousins should be used as a low-end QB1 or high-end QB2 in Week 14’s matchup against the Steelers on a short week and without Thielen.
Week 11
Cousins, like his counterpart Aaron Rodgers, had an incredible performance on Sunday. He completed 24 of 35 passes for 341 yards and 3 TDs. This was the 4th time this season that Cousins eclipsed 300 yards and threw for 3 TDs.

Despite coming into the season as an afterthought among QBs, Cousins has delivered an impressive season. He is QB10 thus far in points per game.

Going forward, he should be just fine for anyone who has been using him this season. Having two studs like Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen certainly does not hurt.
Week 10
Although the Chargers have been excellent against opposing passing attacks this year, they had no answer for dealing with Justin Jefferson. That led to Cousins taking heavy advantage of that mismatch, and the duo accounted for almost half of his passing yardage on the day. When throwing Adam Thielen into the mix, no Minnesota pass catcher posted more than 24 yards. And when the Vikings got deep in the red zone, Cousins took advantage of a Chargers defense that struggles against TEs, and 2 of Tyler Conklin’s 3 catches were short red-zone TDs.

He’ll likely continue to be a streaky and volatile fantasy option. Coming into this game, he threw just 1 TD pass 3 times over his last 5 games. However, he has 3 games this year in which he’s thrown 3 TDs, though only 1 of those took place after Week 3. In terms of yardage, he has 3 games with at least 300 yards, but he’s been held to 203 yards or fewer in 3 of his last 5. In terms of schedule, aside from Week 12, he has a tough schedule with all opponents in the top half of the league against QBs.
Week 9
You’d love to get more than 187 yards from Cousins in a 34-31 OT game, but don’t blame him. The Minnesota QB threw a season-low 28 passes in a game that saw the Vikings run only 52 offensive plays (compared with 89 for Baltimore).

Cousins completed 17 of his throws, with the most notable a 50-yard 1st-quarter TD to Justin Jefferson and a 1-yard 4th-quarter score to Adam Thielen. Cousins added a sneak for a TD early in the 2nd quarter. The total was enough to rank him 7th among fantasy QBs for Week 9.

Cousins now sits 10th among QBs in fantasy points per game for the year. He faces the 10th-toughest fantasy schedule at the position the rest of the way, though. Week 12 against the 49ers is the only positive matchup remaining, according to our adjusted fantasy points allowed.
Week 8
Cousins was at his worst when the Vikings needed him most. He came out throwing downfield to TE Tyler Conklin on 3rd and 2 for a 31-yard gain. That was Minnesota’s only 3rd-down conversion in the game – an NFL season-worst 1 for 13. That opening drive concluded with a 20-yard TD on a short pass to WR Adam Thielen. That was the Vikes’ last TD. On a tie-breaking 4th-quarter drive helped by 3 Dallas penalties, Minnesota had a 1st down at the Cowboys’ 4 yard line. 3 plays netted minus-1 yards, so that drive resulted in an FG instead of a TD, and Dallas was able to counter that drive with a TD for the win. The defense twice gave Cousins the ball twice with takeaways near midfield; both times the Vikings went 3 and out. Throwing mostly underneath against a defense that had allowed the 3rd-most passing yards in the league, Cousins was 23 for 35 for 184 yards and that lone TD. He carried 3 times for 18 yards.
Cousins is hardly the Vikings’ biggest problem. The entire organization, not to mention the media, is trying to determine whether coaching, game planning, in-game adjustments, play calling, player personnel or all the above are responsible for a 3-4 season heading south rapidly. The next 3 games, 2 on the road, are against 3 teams with a combined record of 16-6. After a game Sunday at Baltimore, Cousins will be going against 2 teams (Chargers and Packers) among the NFL’s top 10 in passing yards allowed.
Week 6
Cousins completed 33 of 48 passes for 373 yards and 3 TDs in Minnesota's 34-28 Week 6 overtime win against the Panthers.
Cousins wound up with a monster fantasy day and capped it off with a TD pass to K.J. Osborn in OT for a huge win against the Panthers.
Cousins had his flaws early, missing Justin Jefferson wide open downfield for a would-be long score, but he settled in nicely and had another strong performance.
Cousins has tremendous weapons in Minnesota and several of them are able to help his numbers with YAC. Cousins should remain a borderline QB1 after the Vikings’ Week 7 bye.
Week 5
Despite Dalvin Cook (ankle) sitting this one out and Cousins throwing 34 passes against a soft pass defense, he had a middling fantasy performance by throwing just a single TD pass. On that score, it was a simple screen to Alexander Mattison, who was able to navigate through the Detroit defense for the score. Otherwise, Cousins heavily targeted Mattison (7 times) and his top WR, Justin Jefferson (8 times), with Jefferson frequently picking up large chunks of yardage that helped get Cousins to 275 yards on the day.

After starting the year with 7 TDs over his first 3 games, Cousins has cooled off with a single TD in each of his last 2 games. And that’s the problem of being a QB on a Mike Zimmer coached team. Whenever they can play defense and run the ball, they will, which means that Cousins will have to be extremely efficient while making explosive plays to reach his ceiling games. Also, he may be a QB that’s difficult to predict on a week-to-week basis because he’s often reliant upon unexpected game script.
Week 4
Cousins finally had a down game in 2021 as he only completed 52% of his passes for 203 yards and 1 score. The biggest driver of this was the pressure the Browns got on him. In weeks 1-3 Cousins was only pressured on 27% of his drop-backs. That number doubled to 54% in week 4. Cousins only completed 32% of his passes and had a terrible 2.4 yards per attempt when under pressure. Even with all the pressure on him, Cousins still pushed the ball downfield, completing 3 deep passes.
This week things should open back up for the Vikings as they take on the Lions. The Lions have been league average in QB points allowed, but currently sit at 32nd with a ridiculous 10.6 yards per attempt allowed and 28th in TD% allowed so far in 2021.
Week 2
Cousins showed in Week 2 that he doesn’t need 49 pass attempts to deliver the fantasy goods. He connected on 22 of 32 throws in Sunday’s narrow loss at Arizona, accumulating 244 yards and 3 TDs.

The 1st score came fairly easily, with Cousins finding a wide-open K.J. Osborn for a 64-yard catch-and-run TD on the opening drive. Cousins then found Adam Thielen from 7 yards out and Justin Jefferson from 14 before halftime.

After leaning further toward the pass than usual in Week 1 neutral situations, Minnesota leaned back toward the run in Week 2. We’ll ultimately take a split in the range of 32 pass attempts vs. 27 rushes, though.

A Week 3 home date with the Seahawks looks like another starting spot for Cousins in fantasy.
Week 1
We won’t often see Cousins attempt 49 passes, but we’ll sure take it when he does.

Cousins was his usual efficient self. He completed 73.5% of throws for 351 yards and a pair of TDs -- both to Adam Thielen.

Falling behind by 14 points midway through the 3rd quarter plus limited rushing success for Dalvin Cook (3.1 yards per carry) likely helped drive Sunday’s volume. But the Vikings also increased their “early-down” pass rate vs. last year’s, according to RBSDM.com. They ranked 27th in that category for the 2020 season; 17th in the league for Week 1. The 6.2 percentage-point difference was 14th largest in the NFL for Week 1 vs. last year’s rates.

It’s just 1 game, of course, and that could go back to last year’s rate. But it also wouldn’t be a crazy shift going forward -- especially considering we’re in Year 2 of the Justin Jefferson Era.

We’ll keep an eye on that aspect. In the meantime, we’ll continue treating Cousins as a common low-end starting option.

Basic Stats Preseason Player Analysis

What You Need to Know:

  • Over his 3 seasons as Minnesota starter, Cousins ranks 9th among QBs in total fantasy points. He drops to 17th in points per game, however.
  • Cousins ranks 8th over that span in TD rate (5.8%), 13th in yards per pass attempt (7.77) and 17th in passing yards per game.
  • A decline in passing volume has factored into his total production over the past 2 years. Cousins ranked just 24th in pass attempts in 2019, and then 15th last season.
  • Minnesota still ranked 6th most run-heavy in the league last season. Over the past 2 years, the Vikings sported the league’s 3rd-lowest situation-neutral, early-down pass rate (46.8%). Only the Titans and Ravens checked in lower.
  • Cousins has made up for that with efficiency. Minnesota has ranked 8th in the league over that span in expected points added (EPA) per dropback, according to RBDSM.com.
  • Cousins ranked 6th in the NFL in TD rate in 2019 (5.9%) and 7th in yards per pass attempt (8.1). With Stefon Diggs swapped out for Justin Jefferson last season and Adam Thielen healthier (15 games vs. 10 in 2019), Cousins climbed to 5th (6.8%) and 2nd (8.3).
  • OC Gary Kubiak retired after the 2020 season. But his replacement is son Klint Kubiak, who spent the past 2 years as Minnesota’s QBs coach. He also previously worked under HC Mike Zimmer in 2014, Zimmer’s 1st year leading the Vikings.
  • Kevin Stefanski “brought [Klint] Kubiak back” to coach the QBs after becoming OC late in 2018, according to the team website.
  • Zimmer said back in February: "I'm happy to keep consistency of the scheme and the staff on the offensive side of the ball for 2021. I believe in the system and the coaches we have.” Kubiak added that the scheme will need to “evolve,” but it seems we should expect a similarly run-leaning approach.
  • The only significant change among Minnesota pass-catchers this offseason has been Kyle Rudolph’s release. The Vikings got a preview of that, though, when Rudolph missed last year’s final 4 games. Irv Smith and Tyler Conklin mean no downgrade in the TE talent available to Cousins -- and probably an upgrade, given the ages of the 3 players.

Draft Sharks Bottom Line:

Cousins has been wonderfully efficient in Minnesota, especially over the past 2 seasons. His TD rate is likely to come down from last year’s 6.8%, but scheme continuity and the team’s pass-catching talent should minimize any dip there. The main limitation comes in passing volume, which lowers Cousins’ fantasy ceiling. But he’s a solid buy in the middle of QB2 range, regardless of format.

Recent Shark Bites View All Shark Bites »

The Vikings have fired HC Mike Zimmer and GM Rick Spielman, NFL Network reports. It ends an 8-year run for Zimmer and a 16-year run for Spielman in Minnesota. Zimmer's tenure brought just 3 seasons of double-digit wins and 2 playoff victories. We'll see who the Vikings hire to run the show going forward.

View all Kirk Cousins Shark Bites »

Vikings QB Kirk Cousins has been activated from the COVID list. He's expected to start Sunday's finale vs. the Bears, despite Minnesota having nothing to play for. Cousins isn't an exciting fantasy option, but his return is excellent news for WR Justin Jefferson and the rest of the Vikings' skill-position players.

View all Kirk Cousins Shark Bites »

Vikings QB Kirk Cousins has tested positive for COVID and will miss Sunday night's game against the Packers. That leaves Kellen Mond and Kyle Sloter as the only 2 QBs available. Combine that with a forecast of 5 degrees at kickoff on Sunday night, and Minnesota's offense does not look like a good source for passing-game upside this week. Justin Jefferson will still belong in most lineups, but you should be able to find better options than players such as WR K.J. Osborn and TE Tyler Conklin.

Update: ESPN's Courtney Cronin reports that QB Sean Mannion is expected to be activated from the COVID list today and is expected to start against Green Bay.

View all Kirk Cousins Shark Bites »

Vikings QB Kirk Cousins has been activated from the COVID list. He was a close contact of QB Kellen Mond, who tested positive for the virus. As of now, Cousins is not vaccinated, which adds some risk to his 2021 fantasy profile.

View all Kirk Cousins Shark Bites »

The Vikings were hoping to land QB Justin Fields at pick 14 and even considered trading up for him, according to ESPN's Courtney Cronin. The Bears ended up making the move for Fields, while the Vikings added QB Kellen Mond with pick 66. Minnesota is clearly looking at their long-term QB situation, with Kirk Cousins turning 33 in August and, more importantly, set to count $45 million against the cap in 2022, the final year of his deal. Mond won't threaten Cousins' job this season. But if he shows well throughout the year, Minnesota might opt to roll with Mond the following year.

View all Kirk Cousins Shark Bites »

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