When it comes to Fantasy Football RBs, you know who it is: “ALL DAY” Adrian Peterson! Hard to believe AP is going into his 5th season, but Fantasy Footballers have enjoyed every minute of his career! Infamously, his flaw used to be the FUUUUMMMMMMLLLLEE practically every week. Last year however, AP only fumbled the ball ONCE all season long–What an improvement! Let me tell you why Peterson will be a MUST DRAFT again this year on Fantasy Football draft day:
THE VIKINGS WILL HAVE TO RUN THE BALL…A LOT! Going into this season, the Vikings have 2 new keys that are essential to any offense: 1) A new offensive coordinator and 2) a new QB. As you know, the Vikings shocked the 2011 draft world (I guess such a thing exists, right?) by drafting rookie Christian Ponder. Ponder is dubbed by “experts” for having a weak, but accurate arm. With that being said, I don’t see the Vikings lighting it up down field, if Ponder is their starting QB this season. Peterson has proved his reliability! Last year, Peterson rushed for 1,298 yards and had 13 TDs. I’m sure in an effort to not over work Peterson, Toby Gerhart will get more carries this season. However, Adrian Peterson still owns the Minnesota back field.
I imagine that the most asked question in Minnesota has to be, “Who is going to start at QB?” Good question!! My answer: I have no idea! I’m willing to bet Coach Leslie Fraizer knows. Last year the Vikes had horrible QB play. I won’t even bother to bring up #4 and the paltry fantasy numbers that he produced in 2009. Well that’s a lie…Farve had 2509 yards, 11 TDs, 19 INTs, and 5 fumble losses. On the flip side, he was also sacked 22 times! Tavaris Jackson and Joe Webb combined for 818 yards, 5 total TDs, and INTs in 8 games! HORRIBLE. So with Farve gone for good and questions about Jackson, the Vikings are in limbo when it comes to their signal caller. Insert Boy Wonder, Christian Ponder from Florida State. Ponder is a big presence standing at 6’3, 227lbs. No doubt he is the Vikings QB of the future, but will he take snaps this year? There’s been a lot of buzz about the possibility of disrespected QB Donovan McNabb coming to the Twin Cities…Who knows? McNabb would actually be a good fit if that happened, but again….who knows? There are too many unanswered questions surrounding the Vikings QB situation, so when you have your Fantasy Football draft: DON’T EVEN THINK ABOUT IT!
THIS I know for sure: You won’t see Randy Moss as a Minnesota WR this year! The rest of the Viking WR core is a bit more questionable. The star of this crew is Percy Harvin. Going into his 3rd season as a professional, the 2009/2010 Offensive Rookie of the Year has some work to do in order to overcome his sophomore slump. Harvin had a stellar rookie year, making him a MUST DRAFT last season for Fantasy Footballers. However, last year several factors contributed to Harvin having a mediocre season. Between the issues with recurring migraines and the inconsistency of Brett Farve, it wasn’t Harvin’s best season. Last year he did manage 868 receiving yards and 7 total TDs. What made Harvin great his rookie year was his return game, while this past season he only returned 1 TD. Next up is Sidney Rice. Rice also had a breakout season in 2009, but Fantasy Owners didn’t get to see much in 2010. Rice had hip surgery, then when he came back…the love was gone. No chemistry between him and Farve. (Did anyone have chemistry with Farve?) Then Rice’s season officially ended with a concussion. Dis-AAAAHHHHH-Pointing! The rest of the Vikings WRs ( Bernard Berrian, Greg Camarillo, Greg Lewis, Hank Baskett, Jaymar Johnson, and Juaquin Iglesias) were not a factor for any Fantasy Roster last season and my best is they will not be much of a factor this coming season either.
There maybe some surprises this year at TE. Visanthe Shiancoe had a breakout season a couple of years ago, but came back down to earth last year, though it was not totally his fault. I look for him to rebound to Fantasy prominence, especially with the addition of rookie TE Kyle Rudolph out of Notre Dame. He’s a big target at 6’6″, 265lbs. I expect the Vikings to use those two TE sets that will help open up that offense. It’s ok to draft Shiancoe. Rudolph will be a sleeper this year, and a future Fantasy stud.
The Vikings Defense has been great for Fantasy players in the past. They had Jared Allen and Ray Edwards killing QBs, the Williams brothers (not really brothers) clogging up the middle and stuffing ball carriers, EJ Henderson wreaking havoc in the offensive backfield, and Antoine Winfield covering #1 receivers without always getting torched. Now, Edwards is off living his Evander Holyfield fantasy, one half of the Williams brothers is a free agent and both facing suspension, and Winfield past his prime. Even Allen is starting to show signs of slowing down. However, the Vikes were able to get some young talent in this years draft. No big names but we’ll see what they will be able to put together on the field. Keep in mind, Coach Frazier is a brilliant defensive architect, so they should be ok. Special Teams is not all that special. Percy Harvin has shown flashes of DeSean Jackson/Devin Hester, but not enough flash. He’s always a game-time decision. Keep the Vikes Def/ST in your back pocket when your draft comes around. Don’t draft them too high, they still have a chance of being a bust.
Motor City…we are talking about your LIONS next!