Steelers, Vikings have lot to prove this week

Can surprise QB stars of Week 1 keep it going? Expectations for Sam Bradford, Alex Smith, more

Minnesota Vikings vs. Pittsburgh Steelers Preview and Prediction

Maybe it's the four Super Bowl losses (with no wins), or the near-misses (1998, 2009) that leave Vikings fans a tad pessimistic, always waiting for the other shoe to drop.

It should be noted that the Vikings also struggled at home late last season, going 2-3 at U.S. Bank Stadium during a 3-8 finish. They'll try to get that turned around in Pennsylvania when they face Pittsburgh at Heinz Field.

The Vikings during that period outscored foes by an average of 7.9 points. Diggs had seven receptions for 93 yards and a pair of touchdowns on Monday night.

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Tight end Kyle Rudolph is also another high-quality fantasy player. He amassed just 47 total yards from scrimmage, which, from a guy who ripped it up for 337 yards rushing in two playoff wins a year ago, is a weak total. But the Steelers were able to hold onto the ball for the remainder of the game for the win.

Showing it against Pittsburgh will add to the credibility. Last week it was Antonio Brown and T.J. Watt. Bryant was targeted by Ben Roethlisberger six times; the 33 percent catch rate tied for the second worst of his career. Meanwhile the Steelers line has something to prove after the team managed just two offensive touchdowns in Cleveland, in part because of an anemic running game. Running back Jerick McKinnon brings 4.36 speed in the 40-yard dash to kickoff returns and isn't shy about bringing it out from deep in the end zone.

Needless to say, the Vikings defense doesn't look like a favorable matchup for the Steelers' All-Pro runner.

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"I've heard that it's a tough place to play", wide receiver Adam Thielen said. Minnesota is one of those teams. Fantasy players will want to watch Bradford's status ahead of kickoff, though, just to be safe. He already has questionable mobility at the quarterback position due to the two ACL surgeries he had earlier in his National Football League career. For Pittsburgh, that performance was against the Browns; this will be a much loftier test for the Steeler defense. However, given Bradford's past injury history - on the left knee specifically, too - it's hard not to worry. Settling back into the normal routine of a game week surrounded by the camaraderie of his peers ranks highly on that list.

But at the same time, Minnesota's offense was kind of ridiculous last week.

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