Tuesday, May 22, 2012

32 in 32: Minnesota Vikings

The Vikings don't look very improved from last season. Sure, Matt Kalil is a long term help at the tackle position, but we'll just have to wait and see if any of their other draft picks prove to be special. It is amazing that a team with Adrian Peterson can perform so poorly in this league. This is less a statement on how the league has turned into a passing league and more of a statement on how terrible the rest of this team really is. That being said, there are a few fantasy jewels if you can get them at the right price, starting with the receiving corps.

Let's start with Percy Harvin. This 23-year-old playmaker struggled with migraines during his season in the league, but really stepped up last year. Harvin quietly caught 87 passes for 967 yards, while also rushing for over 300 yards. Considering how absolutely terrible this team was with Donovan McNabb (if you don't remember, they had trouble breaking the 100-passing-yard mark), that is quite impressive. I would consider Harvin as a solid WR2 this season. Michael Jenkins was the second leading receiver for the Vikings, but only accumulated 38 catches on the season. The Vikings did add Greg Childs, who's birthday happens to be three days before mine on the same year, at wide out, so we will have to see if he can gel with Ponder this offseason. There is really nothing to talk about when it comes to TE on this team. Visanthe Shaincoe was one of Favre's favorite targets, but did not get many looks from Ponder last season.

Speaking of Christian Ponder, I don't feel like there is a whole lot to love about his game coming in to this season. He is a very mobile quarterback, but I don't see him going over 3500 yards and 22 touchdowns this season. He is still learning the pro game and does not have any strong receivers to throw to. He really needs to work on not getting injured this season. If he gets hurt, Joe Webb is an intriguing QB prospect, but he has more value as a running back than as a quarterback.

Adrian Peterson is only 27 years old. Adrian Peterson only had 208 carries last season. Adrian Peterson is coming off a serious injury. Peterson has proven that he can come back from minor injuries at various points in his career, and if he is available for Week 1, I don't think he should fall past the 3rd round. He is just too good at the goal line. Of those 208 touches, 12 were finished in the end zone. Unfortunately, Peterson is not incorporated into the passing game as frequently as some of the top running backs of this fantasy season, and Toby Gerhart proved to be very good when giving the opportunity last season. Unlike Peterson, Gerhart had 109 rushes but only scored one touchdown. If anything, Gerhart will steal touches from Peterson outside of the red-zone, with Peterson coming on as a goal line back. I really think Peterson is being undervalued this season, but that is assuming he does not miss any time in the regular season.

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