We're getting closer to the beginning of football season, which means we're getting closer to the start of fantasy football. Whether you're in one league with your co-workers or you have a bit of an addiction, there's a good chance you might be looking at potential draft prospects.
In recent years, the Minnesota Vikings haven't exactly been a hotbed of fantasy football production. The offense has had their share of struggles, and there haven't been a whole lot of players on the team worthy of week-in/week-out starting status in fantasy football. Is that going to change this season? Well, here's one man's opinion on who the top three Minnesota Vikings' fantasy football prospects are for the upcoming season.
1) Adrian Peterson, RB - This one is a no-doubter. Prior to last year's lost season, Peterson had scored 10 touchdowns in every one of his NFL seasons, and had rushed for at least 1,200 yards in every season except his injury-plagued 2011 campaign. He has been the one relatively consistent fantasy producer that the Vikings have had in their recent history, and all signs point to him being that same producer this year.
Where should he be drafted? Seriously? There's no reason for Peterson to fall out of the first round of your league's draft, and probably no real reason for him to drop out of the top five. He might be worth a little less in PPR leagues than a guy like Jamaal Charles, but if the team expects Peterson to play more of a role in the passing game, there might not be any difference at all. If you have the chance to draft Peterson in your league, you should do so without hesitation.
2) Mike Wallace, WR - Wallace's reputation has taken a bit of a hit over the past couple of seasons, but he remains a fairly big fantasy producer. Despite a down season in Miami in 2014, Wallace still tied his career high with ten touchdowns. He already appears to be developing a chemistry with Teddy Bridgewater, and if the two of them can connect on more deep passes than Wallace did with Ryan Tannehill in Miami, he could see numbers that more resemble his heyday in Pittsburgh than he had in his two seasons with the Dolphins. As it stands right now, he's probably more of a WR2/WR3 type, but that could easily change as the season progresses.
3) Teddy Bridgewater, QB - Bridgewater keeps getting more and more hype as we get closer to camp, and with good reason. Not only did he look very good towards the end of the 2014 season, the return of Peterson and the addition of Wallace are likely going to make things significantly easier for him on the field this coming season. We already know about his accuracy and how good he is under pressure, and with teams being forced to devote attention to Peterson, things will probably open up on longer range passes as well. Sure, Bridgewater isn't at the Tom Brady/Peyton Manning level of production. . .yet. . .but he's probably a top-level QB2, if not a low-end QB1.
4) Charles Johnson, WR - While Wallace is still developing chemistry with Bridgewater, Johnson did plenty of that last season. Norv Turner went so far as to call Johnson "easily" the team's best receiver towards the end of last year, and it doesn't appear that there's any reason to have soured on him. Going into the season with high expectations being placed on him, Johnson appears to be ready to meet those expectations. He's definitely a guy worth taking a late-round flier on, and could be a guy that you lean on more frequently as the season progresses.
5) Vikings defense - I know that many people are of the school of thought that you use your last two draft picks on a defense and a kicker, preferably in that order. The logic behind that being that both are relatively expendable and you can drop and pick up those positions based on matchups. However, the Vikings' defense is on the verge of being one of those units that you can rely on every week regardless of their matchup. The defense made huge strides in 2014 under Mike Zimmer and George Edwards, and there isn't any reason to think that the team is going to take a step backward defensively this season.
There are a couple of other Vikings to consider, obviously, but they really aren't reliable options for a number of reasons. Those reasons could be the injury bug (Kyle Rudolph) or inconsistency (Cordarrelle Patterson), but those are the five players/groups you should definitely be considering in your fantasy league if you're a fan of the Minnesota Vikings.