Sunday, July 22, 2007

Fantasy Preview: the Minnesota Vikings

The premise is simple: I'll tell you what players you can confidently start the season with, and what players should cause your stomach to wobble if you have to start them.

Minnesota Vikings
2006 stats at and

Defense: It's been a long time since the Vikings had a competent pass rush that put up a quality number of sacks. Last season they totaled 30. In 2005 they had 34, and in 2004 they had 39. But it's also a defense that recently has been giving up few points and few yards, and forces quite a few interceptions (21, 5th in the league in 2006; 24, 2nd in the league in 2005). They play good defense and they score some TDs; it's a defense you can start in fantasy football.

Now, what do we do about Adrian Peterson and Chester Taylor? Football Outsiders/Fox Sports ranks the Viking RBs 6th in the league, and the Viking Offensive Line 5th in the league (via Daily Norseman). Such a ranking suggests the Vikings are going to have great success running the ball this season (which is why we should be optimistic about the offense, even if the passing game is so questionable). But how will the carries be spread around, and who will get the bulk of the yards and touchdowns? One is tempted to lean toward A.P., but rookie status, injury status, and possible holdout status taint his fantasy value as of right now. One or both will be effective fantasy starters this season--we just don't know which one will be effective by week one. If you are going to draft one, you may as well draft the other. This will either end up pleasing you at some point during the season, or drive you crazy as Brad Childress imitates Shanahanigans.

Look at the Viking roster for other skill position players you even want on your fantasy roster going into the season. The only one I'd consider taking (for perhaps a late dollar bid) would be Troy Williamson, on the chance that he improves (if you wanted the Vikes in '06, you know he was capable of getting open, just not capable of adjusting to the ball or catching it). We of course have high hopes for our hero, Tarvaris Jackson, and if your fantasy league takes place in Minnesota, there's a chance he could be drafted. But you can definitely find better fantasy QBs during the draft.

Once upon a time Blue Viking Devil and I negotiated bidding truces involving the likes of Daunte Culpepper and Randy Moss. Those days are long past. I think as a Viking fan that the team is moving in a better direction: rather than having a great passing game and atrocious defense, the team is now building on strong defense and a good running game. And as a fantasy participant the lack of Viking prospects relieves me of the homer burden; no longer does everybody assume they can screw me over by bidding up Randy Moss.

Adrian Peterson is a twitching jack-in-the-box of potential. But right now, you shouldn't be terribly excited about any Vikings on your fantasy roster.


  1. Anonymous8:11 PM

    PV - You are an idiot just like Childress... The guy is a temple of idiot.... The Vikes will completely BLOW as long as this jellyfished personality who has not a clue how to lead or coach is in charge. BUT by all means keeo trying to fool yourself with your idiotic analysis...


  2. Anonymous10:32 AM

    adrian peterson is so good that the other running back will be relegated to third down duty early on. i don't even remember the other guys name anymore. great runningbacks always prove their value eventually. adrian peterson is a great runningback. the other guy is a decent player.


  3. Anonymous12:25 PM

    I think you've got this one pegged. I see Peterson taking over as the season wears on as well as getting the majority of goal line carries. If AD is available late, I'll grab him.

    If we get any sort of improvement in the pass rush whatsoever our corners will have more success, and teams will no longer be able to move in between the twenties at will against us.

    I'm going to take a flier on butterfingers late, he's operating in his magical 3rd year, and the fluff pieces are all commenting on mighty Nike curing his vision ailments.

  4. I love Adrian Peterson this year.