The Minnesota Vikings said goodbye to Adrian Peterson during the offseason, which wasn’t a surprise since he hadn’t played the majority of the previous 3 seasons due to injury or suspension. The Vikings also had to give up a first-round draft pick to replace their quarterback Teddy Bridgewater after he went out with a devastating leg injury in the preseason last year. The Vikings not only improved their offense, but also improved their defense dramatically, which could lead to the Vikings making some serious noise this season in the NFL, and with Fantasy Football teams!
Must Draft Players
- Stephon Diggs – Wide Receiver
- Kyle Rudolph – Tight End
Stephon Diggs has taken steps to become a great wide receiver. From his rookie to sophomore seasons, he increased his receptions by 32 and yards 123. Not huge for yards, but if you’re playing in a PPR league you love seeing 32 more receptions! Diggs has averaged about 4 touchdowns a year, which needs to improve. Everyone is clamoring that he is going to be amazing because it’s his third year in the league. They may just be right.
Kyle Rudolph and Sam Bradford made a connection during the season last year. Prior to Bradford’s arrival, Rudolph never had more than 53 receptions and 495 yards. With Bradford last year, Rudolph had 83 receptions for 840 yards and 7 touchdowns. Their connection didn’t strengthen until the end of last season, showing that they needed to build the right chemistry to be make Rudolph a top choice tight end coming into 2017.
Players You Should Probably Draft
- Dalvin Cook – Running Back
- Latavius Murray – Running Back
- Adam Thielen – Wide Receiver
Dalvin Cook was drafted in the 2nd round by the Vikings when a lot of people projected him to be a 1st round pick. At FSU he averaged 1,728 rushing yards and 19 touchdowns. He is unproven in the NFL, but given the 2nd round capital the Vikings gave him in the draft, you have to assume he is the heir apparent to Adrian Peterson in Minnesota, right?
Well, if Latavius Murray has his way he will want to prove that it was a waste to take Cook this year because he is going to be their starter. Murray signed in the offseason from the Raiders where he averaged 900 yards and 9 touchdowns in the last two seasons. Almost immediately after signing with the Vikings he needed to have ankle surgery, something the Vikings said they were aware of. It will be an interesting preseason to see who emerges as the top running back in Minnesota.
Adam Thielen emerged as a great number two receiver for Sam Bradford last year, and at times was playing like the number one! Thielen had 69 receptions for 967 yards and 5 touchdowns. He only outperformed Stephon Diggs because Diggs missed 3 games last year. In either case, Thielen has the tools to be a flex option for your team this season.
Players You Could Draft If Your Rosters are Deep
- Sam Bradford – Quarterback
- Jerick McKinnon – Running Back
By draft time, I could have a change of heart for Sam Bradford and put him in the players you should probably draft category. He did have a career high in passing yards and was a touchdown away from matching his career high in touchdowns. He has 3 solid options to pass to, and he should have a good running game this season. He has all the makings of a good quarterback, but there are so many quarterbacks I like more than him.
Jerick McKinnon has been given all the chances in the world to succeed Peterson, but has not been able to grasp the brass ring. With Cook and Murray ahead of him he probably won’t get a lot of playing time, but if either gets hurt he could see enough snaps to make him a flex consideration if you’re desperate in a deep league.
Follow Me on Twitter @hardknoxffb