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Frigga's Fantasy Football: Vikings Draft Preview v2.0

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If you missed the first version of this article, check it out here. It's been over three weeks since then, and most of the information I gleaned from the interwebs has been updated. And so, I figured I would update the projections and information contained in this article too. I'm not going to recap the general fantasy drafting advice from the first version, so if you're interested in that, go read version one! As always these projections and commentary assume a standard 10-team league, such as those at ESPN or Yahoo! Sports. It appears that ESPN and NFL.com have not updated any of their projections in the past three weeks, but the other three sources have, and all have updated average draft position rankings. So let's take another look at which Vikings players should be drafted in fantasy leagues this year!

Quarterback: Christian Ponder

First up is Christian Ponder. In short, his 2012 fantasy season left a LOT to be desired. Sure, he had a couple of amazing weeks where he put up over 20 points, but he also had some really, really bad weeks where he was in the single digits (and even had three games of 2 or less fantasy points). It was maddeningly inconsistent. His projections over the past three weeks haven't changed much. The table below outlines where Ponder's projections sit as of today:

Christian Ponder Season Projections

ESPN

Yahoo!

CBS Sports

NFL.com

Fantasy Pros

2012 Stats

Passing Yards

2679

2417

3469

2865

2868

2935

Passing TDs

17

12.6

21

15

17

18

INT

13

10.7

14.7

15

13.1

12

Rushing Yards

204

223

209.7

211

196.1

253

Rushing TDs

1

0.5

1

0

0.8

2

Avg. Draft Position

170+

170+

160.9

150.25

250

-

Total Fantasy Points

165

154.22

238.6

151.7

171.1

180

Yahoo! and Fantasy Pros downgraded Ponder's projections even more since the last article. As I mentioned before, aside from the projections being all over the place, the first thing that jumps out at me is that 4 out of 5 sources predict that Ponder will score less fantasy points in 2013 than he did in 2012, which is pretty remarkable considering he was already pretty bad last year. Last season, Ponder was ranked 30th among all quarterbacks averaging a measly 11.3 points per game, and it doesn't really get any better this year. Even the best projection on the table has Ponder averaging only 14.9 points per week (the worst has him averaging 9.5).

But what does Frigga think? Well, I see Ponder as a high upside player with a lot of potential, at least for one more year. He's been on a slight upward trajectory the past 2 seasons in his average fantasy points per game, and there's no reason to believe that trajectory won't continue. He has arguably no worse a situation at receiver in 2013 than he did in 2012, and if anything it might be a little better assuming Jerome Simpson is healthy and Jarius Wright takes a big step forward in his development. It may take a few weeks for Ponder to get on the same page as his new receivers, but most of the other pieces on offense are the same as last year, so how can he not improve? He was near the bottom of the league last year and really has nowhere to go but up. I do think he'll improve upon his 11.3 average per week, but only slightly.

Round to Target for Ponder: not draft-able in standard leagues (or last few rounds of a deep league)

Frigga's Bold Prediction: Matt Cassel will ride the pine all year, so don't even consider drafting him.

Running Back: Adrian Peterson

Next up is the reigning MVP Adrian Peterson. Again, I was tempted to leave this section completely empty, except for a single sentence: "Draft Adrian Peterson #1 overall." But, numbers are still fun so here are his updated projections:

Adrian Peterson Season Projection

ESPN

Yahoo!

CBS Sports

NFL.com

Fantasy Pros

2012 Stats

Rushing Yards

1692

1681

1612.3

1874

1653

2097

Rushing TDs

13

11.8

13.3

11

12.7

12

Receiving Yards

308

317

259.7

284

280

217

Receiving TDs

1

0.8

1.7

2

1.4

1

Avg. Draft Position

1.5

1.1

1.10

1.44

1

-

Total Fantasy Points

279

269.91

258.4

287.8

273.5

297

There wasn't a lot of change in the past 3 weeks, although Yahoo, CBS and Fantasy Pros all downgraded Peterson's projection just a little. He was the best RB in fantasy last year averaging an insane 18.6 points per game, and it wasn't close. So, don't overthink it. Even the worst projection has him averaging 16.2 points per game in 2013, which is still very, very good. If you're looking for a safe, elite pick in the 1st round, Peterson is your guy.

Round to Target for Peterson: 1st round (nay, 1st overall pick!)

Frigga's Bold Prediction: Peterson leads all fantasy rushers in 2013 once again, but fails to top 2,000 yards

Wide Receivers: Greg Jennings and Cordarrelle Patterson

Three weeks ago during training camp, we all assumed that Cordarrelle Patterson would jump Jerome Simpson on the depth chart, maybe not by week 1, but surely by the mid-point in the season. So far, Simpson is still listed as the starter, and we have no more clarity now than we did then. I have a feeling there is a lot riding on this weekend's game against the 49ers for all of the Vikings starters (including Jerome Simpson). In any case, Patterson is still projected for more fantasy points than Simpson in every single source, so he will still be included here. If you want to read my thoughts on the other Vikings receivers, check out this article. Starting with Greg Jennings, he's been a fantasy stud in the past when healthy, but what about 2013? Help us to make sense of the receiver position Frigga!

Greg Jennings Season Projection

ESPN

Yahoo!

CBS Sports

NFL.com

Fantasy Pros

2012 Stats

Receiving Yards

806

852

841.3

1,008

811.6

366

Receiving TDs

7

4.4

6.3

7

6

4

Rushing Yards

0

0

0

0

0

0

Rushing TDs

0

0

0

0

0

0

Avg. Draft Position

81.8

91.0

95.46

87.3

82

-

Total Fantasy Points

122

111.03

113.8

140.8

120.8

57

The other three sources that have updated all downgraded Greg Jennings just a bit over the past 3 weeks. And I don't blame them. Jennings hasn't had over 1,000 receiving yards since 2010, and Ponder hasn't been able to quiet his critics so far in training camp or the Preseason. And that in turn reflects negatively on Greg Jennings. Jennings dealt with injuries the past 2 seasons and had a particularly bad year in 2012 where he really wasn't effective until the final 3 games of the year, so it's understandable to lack some confidence in the Vikings new #1 receiver.

Based on these projections, and how receivers have fared with Ponder in the past, I don't think Greg Jennings can be counted on as a #1 WR on a fantasy team, as his best projection only has him averaging 8.8 points per game. But he would make for a decent #2 or FLEX option as even his worst projection still has him averaging a respectable 6.9 points per game. His average draft position has slipped in every single source, so Jennings is becoming a good buy low candidate.

Round to Target for Greg Jennings: 8th-9th (maybe 7th if you really want him and you're in a league with a bunch of Viking fans)

Frigga's Bold Prediction: Greg Jennings plays all 16 games in 2013, the first time that's happened since 2010.

Cordarrelle Patterson Season Projection

ESPN

Yahoo!

CBS Sports

NFL.com

Fantasy Pros

Receiving Yards

388

426

657.7

424

536.7

Receiving TDs

3

2.2

4.7

4

3.9

Rushing Yards

25

0

76

57

8.3

Rushing TDs

0

0

0

0

0

Avg. Draft Position

138

124.7

144.35

148.33

139

Total Fantasy Points

58

70.4

88.8

70.1

76.3

CP-84's projections are still all over the place, and it's very difficult to project what a rookie will do in their first year in the NFL. But he has gotten a bump in his projections, probably due to his positive impression in training camp and the Preseason thus far. While I still see Patterson maybe getting some rushing duties in the regular season, he has yet to do it in the Preseason, and some sources still are not projecting him for any rushing yardage.

Patterson's average draft position has been on the rise too. In version 1, his cumulative average draft position from all 5 sources was 146.7. In the past three weeks his draft position has gone up almost an entire round to 138.9.

Round to Target Patterson: Late round flier (13-15), especially in custom leagues that count return yards.

Frigga's Bold Prediction: Patterson breaks 80 fantasy points this season, but still isn't draft-able.

Tight End: Kyle Rudolph

John Carlson has looked a little improved during this training camp and Preseason, but still won't unseat Kyle Rudolph as the established starter, and it doesn't look like we'll ever see a version of Musgrave's "Two-TE Set" as we haven't seen much of it this Preseason either. But Kyle Rudolph is a bonafide starter at TE this year and should roughly equal his output from last year where he ranked as the 9th best tight end in fantasy by season's end.

Kyle Rudolph Season Projection

ESPN

Yahoo!

CBS Sports

NFL.com

Fantasy Pros

2012 Stats

Receiving Yards

503

594

643.7

589

628.5

493

Receiving TDs

9.7

4.8

6.7

6

6.6

9

Rushing Yards

0

0

0

0

0

0

Rushing TDs

0

0

0

0

0

0

Avg. Draft Position

78.8

70.0

90.95

72.48

84

-

Total Fantasy Points

98

87.76

96.6

94.9

101.9

99

There's not a lot of change for Kyle Rudolph in the past 3 weeks, aside from a few small tweaks up and down across the sources. That said, there is almost a unanimous downgrade by one or two spots in average draft position.

What does Frigga think? I think these projections are spot on. My hope is that Rudolph is more dependable and consistent this year than last and is able to raise his weekly average, but his yardage last year was low. The reason he even approached 100 fantasy points was because of his elevated TD total, and those are the most variable stat year to year. If I had to pick one projection I like, it would still be NFL.com: a slight uptick in yardage, and a slight downgrade in TDs, but essentially the same overall point total. Kyle Rudolph is a low end starter in a 10-team league, or a really good backup.

Round to Target: 7th-9th (or maybe 6th if you're in a league with a bunch of Viking fans)

Frigga's Bold Prediction: John Carlson will catch less than 20 passes this year, so draft Rudolph with confidence knowing he's the clear go-to option at TE for the Vikings.

Defense/Special Teams and Blair Walsh

You shouldn't draft the Vikings D/ST or kicker Blair Walsh before the last two rounds of your draft, and then you should feel lucky if one of them falls into your lap. So, don't reach for them!

And it is here at the end the article that we thank Frigga for her inspiration. If you take my advice, and it doesn't work out...don't blame me. Blame Frigga, and feel free to use her moniker in your swearing and curse word arsenal...it's kinda fun. FRIGGA!!!!!!!

This FanPost was created by a registered user of The Daily Norseman, and does not necessarily reflect the views of the staff of the site. However, since this is a community, that view is no less important.

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