December 13, 2017

December 13, 2017

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Unexpected Teams I Want to Avoid This Year: Vikings Edition

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Unexpected Teams I Want to Avoid This Year: Vikings Edition

 

 

By the very nature of the name itself, fantasy football is imbued with the idea of projection. During the pre-draft process, the season itself, and even the playoffs, owners are constantly projecting in their minds how well their respective players will perform.

 

Between the new additions through free agency and the draft, there are certain teams that just ooze waves of hype going into a year that prompt owners to want to get a piece of the action.

 

Sometimes its not that easy.

 

There are instances where a team has generated so much hype that the ADP of certain players rises to levels that owners should think twice about. For myself, there are a few teams that come to mind this year that fit right into that mold, and that make me want to keep my distance. First up on that list the Minnesota Vikings.

 

Allow me to preface this by saying that I like many of the players on this team, but their current ADP doesn't match what I how I think they will actually perform.  

 

*All ADP data was taking from FantasyPros.com*

 

Minnesota Vikings

 

The Vikings offense was a welcome surprise for the 2017 fantasy season. Throughout the year, there were various periods of time when the majority of their offensive players had a great deal of fantasy relevance. Dalvin Cook looked prime to be an RB1 before his injury while Latavius Murray and Jerrick McKinnon had multiple RB1 finishes as they filled in. Furthermore,  Adam Thielen and Steffon Diggs became well known fantasy commodities as they both finished in the top 20 at the WR position. Add in Pro Bowl QB Kirk Cousins to the mix and the potent Vikings' offense should explode right?

 

Not exactly.

 

It seems that everyone has seemingly forgotten the heavy influence that new Giants head coach Pat Shurmur had on that offense. While the idea of his offensive scheme may remain, keep in mind the possible regression that comes when changing offensive coordinators like in Atlanta last season. I'm not saying it will happen, but it is a possibility especially considering that Kirk Cousins is new to the system and will need time to get acclimated. Thus, it's not going to be as simple as plugging QB X into offense Y which then equals a top 5 offense. Even last year, they were only the 11th ranked offense.

 

 I believe that the Vikings will be good there's no doubt about that, but there's too much uncertainty for me to feel particular comfortable drafting some of the players at their current ADP.

 

Adam Thilien stands as the biggest red flag for this season. Despite his finish as WR10 in .5 PPR formats, it was his late season performance that really drove his ranking forward. The most concerning aspect about his 2017 totals was his lack of touchdowns (4). Currently, his ADP in .5 PPR formats is the 30th pick (3.06) which puts him ahead of players like Joe Mixon, T.Y Hilton, and Larry Fitzgerald. All are players that I know will have much higher touchdown potential which is a key aspect I look into for my top players. 

 

Thielen is a talented WR, but I don't know how Kirk Cousin's style of spreading the ball around will fit with him. The key to Thielen's 2017 success came with his position as the 8th most targeted WR. I have a lot of apprehension of that occurring once more with a new QB in a new system.

 

Steffon Diggs doesn't suffer from the same circumstances as his teammate as he scored 8 touchdowns on fewer targets (95). On paper he looks to be the player that the arrival of Kirk Cousins helps the most, but the sole issue with him outside injury is his ridiculous current ADP. While Thielen being the 30th pick makes sense based off his previous numbers, Diggs is only four spots behind him at the 34th spot (3.10). That's just too high for a WR that's never had a 1000 yard season and that has averaged about 5 TDs a year. That's pure hype that is pushing him forward that much.

 

I like all the talent that Diggs possess but there's just no way I could see him as being the first WR I could draft in the third round depending on my strategy.

 

As for Dalvin Cook, I've been on record about my apprehensions about him. I love the talent and believe he has what it takes to be a superior talent in the NFL, but the existence of Latavious Murray continues to give me pause. All first round or high second round backs should have a core theme in common: being the undisputed back. When it comes to Cook, I don't know if Murray is going to come in and snag some goal line carries and that uncertainty makes me a little wary. Granted, he still is a starting back in the NFL on a potentially potent offense, so I believe he's more of a high second round back instead.

 

Overall, the Vikings offense has the potential to be a top force in the NFL, but I don't currently see that transferring into the realm of fantasy in the same way the current ADPs are outlining.

 

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