Most everyone expected the Minnesota Vikings to struggle this season, but the struggles of the Vikings' division-mates, the Chicago Bears, have been much more surprising. In fact, by virtue of Minnesota's back-to-back wins and the Bears' three losses in a row, Minnesota has pulled ahead of Chicago and into third place in the NFC North. The Bears will look to break their losing skid and pull back even with the Vikings Sunday.
The Vikings will likely get tight end Kyle Rudolph back on the field for the first time since Week 3, as Rudolph had been sidelined with a groin injury. Running back Jerick McKinnon, meanwhile, hit the team's injury report late in the week with a lower-back problem, but it sounds like he'll play. The Bears have questions about both wide receiver Brandon Marshall (ankle) and tight end Martellus Bennett (ribs), but both are expected to play.
The Bears will host Sunday's game at 1 p.m. ET. In a matchup of below-.500 teams. Let's look at what fantasy action there might be:
Start 'em: That old getting-his-touchdowns-vultured thing just won't continue for Jerick McKinnon. He'll start finding the end zone. I'm totally comfortable using him as a No. 2 running back.
Start 'em?: Normally, I am loathe to use a guy off of a long injury, and this week isn't very different, but with so many struggling tight ends, you'd be forgiven if you rode with Kyle Rudolph. ... The Vikings' defense has really turned things around the last month, and the Chicago offense isn't as scary as it has been in the past.
Sit 'em: He's improved for four straight games, but Teddy Bridgewater is still a little too risky to use in anything but the deepest of leagues. ... If he's not vulturuing a billion touchdowns in a game, Matt Asiata just doesn't have value, and that's far too fluky to count on. ... We all saw how poorly the Bears defended the Packers' wide receivers a week ago, which could mean good things for Cordarrelle Patterson and Greg Jennings this week, but those guys aren't Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb. Tread lightly. ... There have been far more unproductive games for Blair Walsh this season than productive ones.
Start 'em: Even in last week's disaster game, Matt Forte managed seven fantasy points, and he hasn't put up worse than that since Week 2. He's fine. ... With his running mate banged up, I'm calling Alshon Jeffery the better Chicago receiver play, though he's down to WR2 range, not WR1.
Start 'em?: Ultimately, there's still a decent chance that you're using Jay Cutler if you have him, and I still basically trust him. But man, has he looked rough in some of those recent games. ... Assuming he plays, you're probably using Brandon Marshall, but his ankle injury definitely scares you. ... Even more than Marshall, if Martellus Bennett plays, he'll be in your lineup, but his best days of 2014 are definitely behind him.
Sit 'em: The 2014 season for Robbie Gould has been startlingly unproductive. He's averaging barely five fantasy points a game. ... The Bears' defense has been unconscionably bad of late.
Start in every league: Jerick McKinnon, Matt Forte, Alshon Jeffery
Start if you're desperate: Kyle Rudolph, Minnesota defense, Jay Cutler, Brandon Marshall, Martellus Bennett
Bench: Teddy Bridgewater, Matt Asiata, Cordarrelle Patterson, Greg Jennings, Blair Walsh, Robbie Gould, Chicago defense