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Fantasy Football: Which Vikings Are Worth Starting?

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Bruce Kluckhohn-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

If you're like many Vikings fans, you made an effort to get some members of our favorite football team onto your fantasy football roster. Through the first three weeks of the season, some of those players have actually been fruitful selections for people that have had them in their lineup. So, which members of the Beloved Purple are worth starting this week?

Starting with the quarterback position. . .while Christian Ponder has been money from a "real life" perspective thus far, he wasn't really killing it as far as fantasy football goes until last week, when he was responsible for all three Minnesota touchdowns in a win over the San Francisco 49ers. Ponder might be approaching "fantasy starter" status, but I'm not 100% sure if he's there yet. Obviously you're not benching Tom Brady or anyone in that echelon in order to start Ponder. . .at least, I hope you're not. . .but if you don't have a markedly better option this week with Ponder going against what looks to be a bad Detroit secondary, he might be worth a look.

At running back, Adrian Peterson is back to "must start" status. Yes, the yards/carry numbers haven't been terribly impressive over the past couple of weeks, but fantasy football doesn't care how many carries it takes to get yardage, just that the yardage is there. Peterson's averaging almost 80 yards a game through the first three weeks, and we all know he has the ability to go off at any time. I don't see any justification for benching Peterson if you have him. Avoid Toby Gerhart at this point, obviously.

Looking at wide receiver, if you have Percy Harvin and you're not starting him every week, I'd love to know who your receivers are. Harvin has been all over the place in the first three weeks of the season, leading the NFL in receptions with 27 and sitting in eighth in the league in receiving yards with 277. The Vikings get him the ball in such a myriad of ways that you know he's going to get his touches, and that he's going to do something with him. Yes, Harvin doesn't have a touchdown through the first three games, but you have to think it's only a matter of time before it happens.

As far as Jerome Simpson, I know you've probably been chomping at the bit to start him, but I'd be inclined to hold off for a week to see how the Vikings use him. After not playing much in the Vikings' last two pre-season games and missing the first three weeks of the 2012 season, he's probably going to have a little rust to shake off. He's someone to keep stashed on your bench, but you've probably got better options for the starting lineup this week. None of the Vikings' other receivers are worth serious consideration.

Moving to the tight end spot, Kyle Rudolph is quickly moving into "must start" territory. He's one of Christian Ponder's favorite targets, and he's becoming money in the red zone, having grabbed three of Ponder's four touchdown passes on the year (and he was the target on the fourth one as well). It also helps that his hands are approximately the size of the little puppet from the Hamburger Helper commercials. Unless you have a Rob Gronkowski or Jimmy Graham or Tony Gonzalez to start at tight end at this point, Rudolph needs to be in your starting lineup.

For the Vikings' defense, I'm not sure if this is the week to start them. The Detroit offense has the ability to go off for bunches of points, and if Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson get going early, this one could turn into a shootout. If you have a better option than the Minnesota defense, you should use them.

And that's a look at the Minnesota Vikings from a fantasy football perspective for this week. Any thoughts on players from our favorite team or anything you're thinking about with your fantasy team this weekend?