It's getting to be fantasy football time, folks, and we're going to be taking a look at various fantasy football issues in conjunction with our sponsors from FanDuel.
In past years, Vikings fans didn't have a whole lot of inner conflict to deal with when it came to getting players from their favorite team on their fantasy team. In most fantasy drafts, Adrian Peterson would go in the first two or three picks, and then the Vikings could be safely ignored for an hour or two until you got to the latter portion of the draft. However, that might not be the case this year, as there are going to be a few members of the team that will be highly coveted.
Obviously, the Vikings' fantasy football discussion starts with Peterson, and if you're not picking in the top three of your draft, you're probably not going to get him. If you do have an opportunity to draft him, because he's really about as consistent as it gets. You know he's going to run for at least 1,200 yards (as he's done in six of his seven NFL seasons), he's going to score double-digit touchdowns (as he's done every year he's been in the league), and if Norv Turner can make good on his promise to get Peterson out in space more frequently and get teams to stop keying on him all the time, he could see significantly more than both of those figures in 2014.
As far as other positions are concerned. . .well, let's go with a trivia question. (If you've been reading the site for a while, you probably know the answer to this already.) Which wide receiver was the biggest fantasy point producer for the final four weeks of the 2013 season?
-No, not Calvin Johnson.
-No, not Brandon Marshall.
-No, not Demariyus Thomas.
-No, not A.J. Green.
The correct answer is Cordarrelle Patterson. After spending the first half of the bench for everything except kick returns (seemingly), he finally got a chance to produce in the season's second half. In those final four weeks, Patterson hauled in 15 receptions for 215 yards, carried the ball as a rusher 8 times for 129 yards and two scores, and returned 11 kicks for 305 yards. His role on special teams may decrease slightly as his role in the offense increases under Turner, but I don't know if I'd worry too much about that. Turner said that the first thing he did after getting the Vikings' offensive coordinator job was design ten plays for Patterson, so I'm guessing that getting him the ball is going to be a significant focus for the purple and gold in 2014.
One more guy that might have some significant value is tight end Kyle Rudolph. After having a pretty impressive fantasy season in 2012 that saw him haul in 9 touchdown passes, he was on pace to set career highs in receptions and yardage before injuring his foot on a touchdown catch against the Dallas Cowboys last year. In the world of fantasy football, the tight end position is a bit of an afterthought. . .it's sort of "Jimmy Graham and everyone else." However. . .and we're back to Norv Turner again. . .the tight end position has always been prominent in offenses that Turner has coached, and whether it's Matt Cassel or Teddy Bridgewater at the quarterback position, a target like Rudolph is going to have an opportunity to produce.
So, who do you think will be the most effective Vikings' fantasy football producer this year? Is it Peterson, the running back that you have to grab right away? Could it be Patterson, a receiver that you can probably get in the middle rounds? Or Rudolph, a tight end that you can probably get a little later on?
SB Nation's partner FanDuel is hosting a $100,000 Fantasy Football Contest for Week 1's NFL games. It's only $10 to join and first prize is $10,000. Starts Sunday, September 7th at 1pm ET. Here's the link.