5 Minnesota Vikings players to watch vs. the New Orleans Saints

(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) Dalvin Cook
(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) Dalvin Cook /
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(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) Adam Thielen
(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) Adam Thielen /

Adam Thielen – WR

Adam Thielen hasn’t been right since he’s come back from that hamstring injury. If the Vikings are going to win in New Orleans, they are going to need the old Thielen back. Thielen was Kirk Cousins’s go-to target early in the season. On third downs, Cousins loves looking at No. 19, as Thielen will usually catch whatever is thrown at him no matter if it is a good pass or not.

Thielen is also a great weapon to have in the red zone. He has a knack for getting open in tight spaces and his sure hands rarely drop a would-be touchdown. He can also score off end-arounds and he has proven to be a tough runner, who doesn’t go down on first contact.

Thielen needs to be productive right from the start in this game. The Saints would be wise to double-team Stefon Diggs and leave Thielen one-on-one until he proves he is healthy. He’s been hurt and hasn’t had a big game since coming back to the lineup.

If Thielen can either make a big play early or have multiple catches that keep a drive alive, that could take a guy away from Diggs. Having both these guys singled up will benefit the Vikings passing attack and make life easier for Cousins.

Cousins and Thielen’s chemistry has been off since the receiver has been back. Hopefully, they’ve put some extra time in at practice this week to try and to get that groove back. If they have, it’ll be nothing but good news for the Purple and trouble for New Orleans.