Welcome to a Purple Jesus Diaries series called "View Looking In." This is a series where we'll feature blog posts from guest authors who may or may not be hard core, insider Vikings fans, but have unique takes on the team regardless. We'll take that opportunity to gauge ourselves – the crazed fans too close to the team in most cases – against the general public opinion and see just how loopy we are. Today, we welcome Greg from Fantasy Knuckleheads to give us his perspective. We'll jump in with our own thoughts on HIS thoughts, and try to get to the bottom of the Vikings' fantasy options this season …
When owners and experts bring up the topic of Vikings and fantasy football, it’s easy to see why Adrian Peterson is the first guy talked up in every conversation. Peterson IS fantasy football. That hasn’t changed heading into 2013. In PPR and non-PPR leagues, Peterson’s ADP (Average Draft Pick) is ranked No. 1 overall across the board, with a mixture of Arian Foster and Doug Martin right behind him. From the beginning of the offseason to now, that ranking has yet to come unglued. Unless an injury pops up in training camp, I don’t expect that to change. Peterson might not catch many passes in the Vikings offense. But because he is such a huge part of the offensive game-plan, his rushing yards and scoring opportunities make up for his lack of catches. In leagues that reward points for receptions, I’d still take Peterson regardless. Yes it will be hard to match the 2,097 rushing yards from 2012. But if anyone can attempt a repeat, it’s Peterson.
PJD's Take: Think about this; Arian Foster and Doug Martin are right behind Adrian Peterson when it comes to rankings by fantasy football nerds (No offense, Greg!). That kind of makes me sick to my stomach, because in the real world, there's no chance that either of those guys are anywhere near the level of Peterson. I mean, Foster is good, Martin had a nice rookie campaign, but come on. Get out. It should be Peterson, then shut your mouth everyone, then maybe those two clowns.
In regards to fantasy value, it gets more questionable as we dig deeper into the offense. Christian Ponder is currently ranked as the 30th quarterback off the board. What’s even worse is he’s being taken behind rookies like Geno Smith and E.J. Manuel. This is clearly a make-or-break year for Ponder, which is why the team wasted no time in finding a backup in Matt Cassel. I don’t see Cassel as much of an upgrade given his own up and down history, but the team won’t hesitate to turn to him if need be. Neither quarterback is worth drafting before the season. If one of them finally breaks through and shows some consistency, they can be plucked off the waiver wire during the season.
PJD's Take: Ouch. That's pretty damming. Geno Smith and E.J. Manuel, both who are going to be awful NFL quarterbacks by the way, have more value to fantasy owners than a third year starting quarterback like Christian Ponder. Probably time to start over, dudes.
Because of the question marks that surround the quarterback position, ranking the team’s pass catchers isn’t easy. While there is talent, the combination of Ponder/Cassel could cause more harm than good. Former long-time Packer Greg Jennings is the team’s answer for the departed Percy Harvin, but he isn’t as valuable as he used to be. Age and injuries have taken their toll. Couple that with the quarterback problems and Jennings’ upside is as nothing more than a WR3. He’s currently going in the 7th round, which is about right since he is the new No. 1. However, it would shock me if he outplayed his current ADP.
PJD's Take: If we're strictly talking receivers, yeah, I guess Jennings is probably the best options, although from a fantasy perspective (and a general team perspective? I guess? What are we talking about?) Jennings is certainly your safest bet. Although here's some Vikings fantasy speculation that will explode your face! Take a flyer on Jarius Wright and Cordarrelle Patterson. Wright is emerging into something solid during camp this year, and Patterson's value is exponential with his kick return potential. SO SMART!
Kyle Rudolph was off to a hot start at the beginning of the 2012 season, catching three touchdowns in the first three games. But it got to a point where owners had to depend too much on his red zone scores throughout the rest of the year. He had good games sprinkled throughout the season, but he was too inconsistent to start every week. So far, owners seem to think Rudolph can make a comeback as he’s currently ranked 8th amongst his fellow fantasy tight ends. That might be high to some, but the one thing that Rudolph has that Jennings doesn’t have is a higher ceiling and plenty of upside. Rudolph clearly has to be a bigger part of the passing game this year to make up for the loss of Harvin. If the Vikings can figure out a way to get him more involved every week, something they couldn’t seem to do in 2012, he has TE1 value written all over him. See where Rudolph ranks in your league by using our new Customizable Fantasy Football Draft Guide for 2013.
PJD's Take: Except, of course, most fantasy drafters seem to think the guy that can get Rudolph the ball is worse than crappy rookie starters, so we can only conclude that most fantasy football players have no god damn idea what they're doing.
Lastly, many owners have their eye on Cordarrelle Patterson as a possible sleeper candidate going into the regular season. While it’s tempting, Patterson is simply too raw of a prospect to count on early. That’s not to say he won’t potentially have some value at one point this year. Patterson has more to offer than incumbent Jerome Simpson, but he has yet to prove it in training camp. Patterson is currently a better option in dynasty/keeper leagues since he will start, just not now. I’d only count on him as a redraft option if you have the ability to draft him and stash him for when he finally does push Simpson for more playing time during the season.
PJD's Take: Naw, take a flyer on Patterson. You're 16th round pick is just going to get dropped by Week 3 anyway.
PJD's Take: You do or you don't, I don't particularly care. But what do you think? Greg know his Vikings shit?