Even though it’s possible that the Vikings won’t have a winning record this season, it’s definitely possible to get your fantasy team above .500. Of course, it’s always fun to have a Vikings player or two on your fantasy team to cheer for. That way even if they are losing you can still cheer for Peterson to get more yards or for Harvin to get another touchdown. Having a few decent fantasy teams certainly made last season more bearable for me at least.
Early in the offseason, it looked like Peterson could possibly be the only Viking worth drafting. With the addition of McNabb, the fantasy football value of quite a few Vikings players has risen rapidly. I’m going to look at the fantasy prospects of most of the Vikings’ players.
• Super Star
Yes, it’s possible that another player might get more points, but of course they may not. The top three runningbacks are a toss-up to most people, but it’s pretty clear to Vikings fans that we should take Peterson. He is a close to a sure thing as you can get. He has placed in the top 5 in points the last 3 years. And yes, I practice what I preach. I’ve had 1st overall picks in 2008, 2010, and 2011. Each time I took Peterson. Though I will admit I considered Vick for half a second in my last draft.
• Solid Starter
With the addition of McNabb and the possibility that his migraine issues may finally be behind him, Harvin looks like he will be having a solid third season. Last season, playing with three different QBs, and lining up with a lot of different receivers, Harvin was still able to put up a respectable total of 60 receptions for 790 yards and 6 touchdowns. With Rice gone, Harvin is now our number one guy and should see a nice increase in his numbers. He should be a borderline 2-3 receiver on most fantasy teams.
He hasn’t put up good numbers the last two years, but I would attribute that more to the fact that he never clicked with Favre rather than him just being bad. He was good the first year we had him and he appears to be connecting well with McNabb so he could be the big surprise in our offense. The best thing about Berrian is that he most likely won’t get drafted so getting him will be easy even if your league has started early and has already had its draft.
Last year was a down year for him, but with our offense running more two tight end sets this might be good comeback year. Shiancoe was one of the few players to go down to practice with Ponder when he set up the practice sessions. If he fits in well with our QBs I could see him being worth picking up. From the drafts I’ve been in he appears to be being taken rather late (if at all) so he should be available at the back end of most drafts.
In his time as the number two guy in Atlanta he never put up enough points to be a starting fantasy receiver. Not saying that he is a bad receiver, but he just isn’t going to put up enough points to be worth having as a starter. Once you also factor in that Berrian may be a lot better this season, it’s clear that he isn’t going to be a viable starter, but he is someone you could pick up late in the draft as a backup.
Though Peterson has had a good record of not missing many games due to injury, if you do have Peterson, keeping Gerhart on your bench is a good backup measure. This works better for leagues that allow more bench room.Having insurance on your best player in case he goes down is a good idea. Gerhart played decently in relief of Peterson last season, and if Peterson were to miss any significant playing time, he would be a solid starter.
Unless you have a massive roster, there isn’t much need to carry more than one defense. Why do I point this out? It would not be difficult to find 15 defenses that will get you more points than the Vikings. I hate to say it, but our pass defense isn’t looking good. Our d-line play might decrease some as well since we will have two new starters. Also, since the NFC North looks to possibly be the toughest division in the NFL, you definitely want to avoid the Vikings defense this season in fantasy football.
I’m sure Ponder has a decent chance at being a good QB in the NFL. However, rookie quarterbacks really shouldn’t be anything but a last option backup for your fantasy team. He may not start till midseason at earliest and there are over 25 quarterbacks that will be getting more points than him. There is really no need to draft him unless you are in a keeper league with a roster spot to spare. Even then, it would be best to avoid him.
There is no denying that Longwell is one of the most accurate kickers in the NFL. However, fantasy football rewards kickers based on their output, not their accuracy. Longwell converted all but one of his field goal attempts last season. However he only made 17 field goals and our offense didn’t score a lot of touchdowns. While our offense has improved, it’s certainly not in the top 15 at this point. Longwell won’t be attempting enough field goals or extra points to be valuable in fantasy football.
Even though he has raised the prospects of our receivers, there are still easily 15-20 quarterbacks who will put up better numbers than McNabb. Plus, there is always the possibility that he gets benched for Ponder sometime in the midseason. Don’t draft him, the Vikings will be relying more on Peterson than their passing game, and even if our passing improves there are still many better QBs out there to choose from.
The fantasy football outlook for the Vikings is a lot better than what is was a month ago. Even if the Vikings don't make the Superbowl this year, I bet some of their players will play key roles in winning some fantasy championships.