Draft season is in full swing! Some of you have completed drafts, others have drafts coming up. Nonetheless, many of us will make the homer picks out of respect for the Vikings, along with the fact that they could be quite good. This is where the main guys have been going so far based on my 3 drafted teams so far, and over 50 mocks. The format here is 12 team, .5 PPR. QB, RB, RB, WR, WR, TE, Flex, D/St, K
Dalvin Cook: Round 1, pick 11.
I’ve seen him go as high as 6, and as low as 18. He’s going top 10 because many view him as a special talent, and running backs are very much a premium asset. He also is a very good pass catcher, pushing him higher up many people’s boards. The other side of the equation presents three different things. First, many fantasy owners are not fully convinced he will be good as new or better following his ACL injury. Second, the Vikings offensive line presents the team’s largest question mark, with inexperience, and a straight up lack of talent. Finally, Latavius Murray looked very good in the preseason minus the two fumbles vs. Jacksonville.
Projection: 1,833 total yards from scrimmage, 60 catches, 12 total touchdowns.
Adam Thielen: Round 3, pick 4
Stefon Diggs: Round 3, pick 5
The only reason he is above Diggs in most drafts is because his overall stats were higher in 2017, even though they were very similar in FPPG. The interesting bit here is that Diggs has seemingly had better chemistry with Cousins in preseason than Thielen. However, Thielen has proven to be a bit more durable, as Diggs has yet to complete a 16 game regular season in his career. Both wide receivers were among the best in the league in contested catch rate according to Pro Football Focus, with Diggs at the top for the 2017 season. What’s interesting as well is how often opposing team’s lined up their top corner’s on Thielen as much, if not more than Diggs. Marshon Lattimore matched up with Thielen almost the entire NFC Divisional Playoff Game. Will that be the case all season? Not likely, but double covering both players is not a feasible option, so one or the other will get better looks each week. Both are relatively safe picks, and if both are available upon an owner’s pick, decide between the following: Diggs play ability vs. Thielen’s volume.
Projection for Thielen: 73 catches, 1,151 yards, 7 touchdowns
Projection for Diggs: 89 catches, 1,392 yards, 9 touchdowns
Kyle Rudolph: Round 7, pick 8
As I’ve stated before, Rudolph is very touchdown dependent. The upside to him for 2018 is that Kirk Cousins has fared well throwing to tight ends over the duration of his career. The downside is that Jordan Reed and Vernon Davis do a lot more running with the ball in the open field than Rudolph, at least in the last few season anyway. Rudolph’s size will gives him a big edge over defenders in the red zone, an area of the field Cousins has had his issues with in the past. Expect Rudolph to put him stats that match up well relative to his ADP.
Projection: 61 catches, 803 yards, 7 touchdowns
Kirk Cousins: Round 8, pick 2
I’ve seen Cousins go as high as the start of the 5th round, and as low as the end of the 12th round. It’s really dependent on how each league and owner values quarterbacks. Dalvin Cook will play a huge role here, as Cousins is considered arguably the top play-action quarterback in the NFL. Even Jalen Ramsey said so! Cousins has all the skills position players he could ever need, the question will be how the offensive line protects him. If they are competent, don’t be shocked if his season is one of the five best among all quarterbacks in the 2018 campaign.
Projection: 3,850 yards, 31 passing touchdowns, 3 rushing touchdowns, 9 intercetions
Latavius Murray: Round 12, pick 3
Many Dalvin Cook owners will draft him as a spell. What’s interesting hear though is the notion that Murray could put up solid numbers, particularly early in the season if the Vikings decide to ease Cook back into action. Murray also could get a lot of looks deep in the red zone, stealing some touchdowns from Cook as well. He’s proven he can be a capable back when asked to have a heavier workload, but most signs point to Minnesota wanting to have him simply be a spell option. Still, don’t be shocked if he is someone who has a year that’s slightly better than where he is being drafted.
Projection: 691 total yards from scrimmage, 7 total touchdowns,