Minnesota Vikings Helmet

Fantasy Football Projections: Minnesota Vikings

2017 was the latest addition to the Vikings long list of seasons that came close to a Super Bowl win but failed to go the full distance. Perhaps last season was uniquely painful in that it would have been a home field Super Bowl in the Vikings brand new stadium. Whatever the case, Minnesota decided to go all in on 2018 and dropped the NFL’s first $84m, fully guaranteed contract in the lap of free agent gunslinger Kirk Cousins.

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Cousins managed to deliver more than adequate fantasy stats for his owners at the helm of the anemic Washington Redskins group of skill position players and steps into one of the most desirable fantasy QB positions in the league. Cousins inherits a terrific group of skill players at WR, RB, and TE and should see career numbers running the Vikings offense. He is a Top 10 fantasy QB, draft with confidence.

Dalvin Cook represents the first upgrade for Cousins on offense as he returns from a season-ending injury that limited him to only 4 games in 2017. Cook took the league by storm in those games piling up over 400 total yards from scrimmage and 2 TD and should be poised to pick up right where he left off as the featured workhorse on what could be one of the more explosive offenses in the NFL. Latavius Murray took over for Cook when he went down and did a yeoman’s job with 900+ yards from scrimmage and 8 TD in 11 starts. The reality for Murray is that he is only serviceable as a backup in the NFL lacking any kind of explosive ability. With Cousins likely looking to air the ball out and a lockdown defense, the Vikings should be playing with a lead looking to grind down the clock and Cook should be gobbling up all those carries. Draft Cook as an RB1 and let the good times roll.

Among the other shiny new toys for Cousins are one of the more exciting WR duos in the league in Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs. Thielen has been a revelation as a premium possession man who always seems to be open whenever the Vikings need a first down or a key grab. His 160 catches for 2243 yards over the past two seasons are tops on the team and he will provide a key safety net for the new QB. Not to be out-done, Diggs mans the role of big playmaker who’s 16 game averages over his first three season check in at 80 catches for 989 yards and 6 TD. Cousins turned Desean Jackson and Pierre Garcon into a pair of 1000 yard receivers in 2016 and it’s fair to expect similar results for Diggs and Thielen. They’ll be joined by third-year breakout candidate Laquon Treadwell. Treadwell was the Vikings 1st round selection in 2016 and has failed to blossom to this point, but perhaps a new regime at QB will be the key. Fighting for some targets of his own will be another slot man in Kendall Wright who has flashed his skills at both Tennessee and Chicago over the past few seasons. Wright is great depth who can be used interchangeably at every position if Treadwell fails to seize the opportunity. Draft Thielen and Diggs as WR2’s, monitor Treadwell and Wright as potential waiver ads.

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Rounding out this skill group is the big man, Kyle Rudolph. When Rudolph is healthy, he finds the end zone, it’s that simple. He has 15 TD over 140 catches in the last two seasons and he’ll be in a great spot to continue that trend. Target Rudolph as a solid fantasy starter at tight end in the middle to late rounds.

2018 Projections

NAME POSITION CMP ATT PASS YD PASS TD INT RU YD RU TD
Kirk Cousins QB 354 540 4200 29 12 125 3

 

NAME POSITION CARRIES RU YD RU TD REC  REC YD REC TD FUM
Dalvin Cook RB 280 1260 10 35 315 3 2
Latavius Murray RB 100 395 2 15 100 1

 

NAME POSITION CARRIES RU YD RU TD REC  REC YD REC TD FUM
Adam Thielen WR 90 1170 6
Stefon Diggs WR 5 20 75 940 7
Laquon Treadwell WR 40 510 2
Kendall Wright WR 35 360 1
Kyle Rudolph TE 65 750 8
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Ben Stecker

Ben Stecker

Author SportsTalkLine.com at SportsTalkLine
Writer, sports connoisseur, Pacific Northwesterner. Rarely met a sport I couldn't be great friends with. Follow me on twitter @Softball_Guy
Ben Stecker