Minnesota Vikings

Season W/L ATS O/U Pass Yds Rush Yds Pass% Run% 3rd D
2016-17 8-8 9-7 7-9 3,327 1,711 62.23% 37.77% 38%
2015-16 11-5 13-3 4-11-1 2,928 2,211 51.28% 48.72% 38%
2014-15 7-9 10-6 6-10 3,244 1,804 57.90% 42.10% 39%
2013-14 5-11 8-8 12-4 3,427 2,081 58.24% 41.76% 36%
2012-13 10-6 9-7 7-9 2,758 2,627 51.55% 48.45% 36%

Season Outlook

Key Additions: WR Laquon Treadwell, LG Alex Boone

Key Departures: WR Mike Wallace

In a league fully focused on innovative offenses determined to win shootouts, the Vikings made the playoffs playing great defense and running the ball effectively behind franchise RB Adrian Peterson.  The Vikings narrowly missed beating the Seattle Seahawks on a botched field goal in the playoffs.  Now they are back into a covered arena after a year in the great northern outdoors.  They signed LG Alex Boone to play guard which is good for giving Peterson 25-30 carries a game. Heading into 2016 expect more of the same, with the exception that teams will be gunning for them.  The Vikings need more passing from QB Teddy Bridgewater, who's averaged 14 passing scores annually.  Not that there isn't talent in receiving core, mind you.  They just are set up to throw the ball less than 30 times a game. They've added WR Laquon Treadwell who gives them the big-bodied red zone threat they've sorely lacked and the Vikes will pair him with WR Stefon Diggs, who broke out in a big way in his rookie season.  On defense, the Purple People Eaters have an embarrassment of riches, particularly on the defensive line with big uglies Everson Griffen, Bryan Robison and Linval Joseph.  The linebackers are rangy and athletic led by 6'5" Anthony Barr and speedy Eric Kendricks.  Moving the ball consistently against this bunch is a tall order.  The secondary is led by FS Harrison Smith and CB Xavier Rhodes has the ideal size to turn into the league's next shutdown corner.   They added CB Mackensie Alexander in the draft, arguably the top corner available out of college.  In their division, their chief concern is a rejuvenated Green Bay Packer team and the schedule doesn't do them any favors.  Bridgewater and the passing game's continual development will be critical if they hope to make it to the postseason again.

Predicted Record:  9-7

Player Outlooks & Draft Analysis

Quarterbacks

Sam Bradford

Coming off a disappointing season, Bradford will likely fall down draft boards this year and for good reason. Injury concerns aside, he failed to take advantage of a great situation in 2015 and now finds himself battling rookie Carson Wentz for the starting job. While he is the favorite to start the season, he'll be on a very tight leash. Bradford has all the tools to be successful but has major durability issues. We expect Jordan Matthews to bounce back this season and Zach Ertz is among the most athletic and explosive tight ends in football. Nelson Agholor will provide a versatile weapon and now has a year in the pros under his belt. There are weapons here for Bradford or Wentz to take advantage of.

Teddy Bridgewater Injury Update

While poor offensive line play in 2015 limited him from taking a big step forward after a promising rookie season, it's also becoming apparent that Bridgewater is far from a gunslinger. While a strong game manager who is conservative in his decision-making, Bridgewater also seems to lack the arm strength to drive the ball downfield. It will be interesting to see if the shift back indoors after two seasons playing half his games outdoors in Minnesota, makes a significant difference. View Bridgewater as a low QB2 this season without tons of upside. He managed to surpass 20 fantasy points in just two games last season while failing to hit double-digit points in five games.

Case Keenum

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Running Backs

Latavius Murray Injury Update

In 2015 Murray got his shot to be "the guy" in the Oakland backfield as the Raiders looked to utilize him as their every-down back. And while second year quarterback Derek Carr and the receiving corps took a big step forward, that wasn't the case for Murray. Success came in fits and starts throughout the season, as Murray would play extremely well in short stretches, only to struggle in others. In Weeks 8 and 9 he averaged better than 5.5 YPC against both the Jets and Steelers, two of the best run defenses in the league, on the way to piling up more than a combined 200 yards on the ground against the two teams. In the following three weeks he averaged less than 2.9 YPC against the middling run defenses of the Vikings, Lions and Titans. And although he did post 41 receptions, there were also costly mistakes at times in the passing game. Murray failed to hit double-digit fantasy points in 8 games last season. Fortunately for Murray's playing time, even when he struggled he was the best option in a weak Oakland backfield. The Raiders have added DeAndre Washington to the mix but the job of lead back is still Murray's to lose. Prospective owners should keep in mind that if Murray can't improve in the passing downs role, it'll severely hinder his numbers as the Raiders project to be trailing in many games. The other concern for prospective owners should be Murray's upright running style, which can tend to lead to injuries.

Jerick McKinnon

While this backfield clearly belongs to Adrian Peterson, McKinnon still has a role in the return game and as a pass catcher. He is a talented back, especially in space and we expect the Vikings to continue to get him involved. He won't see many inside runs or scoring opportunities but he's a capable ball carrier and he projects to remain a weapon in this offense. He's an extremely talented athlete on a offense on the rise making him a decent late round flier in PPR leagues.

Bishop Sankey

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Wide Receivers

Stefon Diggs

Diggs broke out in the second month of his rookie season and put together a good run of games before tailing off later in the year. The second year receiver is a good fit with Teddy Bridgewater, as he's a space player that can take short passes and turn them into longer gains with the speed to go the distance. As long as Adrian Peterson is in Minnesota the upside of any pass catchers is a bit limited but with Mike Wallace gone Diggs is currently the top receiver on the depth chart, though rookie Laquon Treadwell will make it a battle in 2016.

Laquon Treadwell

Concerns about his slow forty time certainly scared some teams off of Treadwell but he lands in a nice spot with Minnesota. He has great ball skills and is a good route runner but there are concerns he'll be too easy a cover for quicker defensive backs. His frame suggests he can excel despite a lack of vertical speed and he's fantastic at winning in the air as well as shielding defenders and working back to passes. Don't be surprised if you see him spending a significant amount of time in the slot early on as he'd be a nightmare matchup for most nickel corners and could help create space for Diggs to operate as well. He also has a very high football IQ and isn't afraid to throw a block. He certainly doesn't find himself in a potent passing game and Teddy Bridgewater's arm strength is sort of suspect so his long-term value is going to be heavily tied to how the Vikings choose to utilize him. Still, pay close attention to training camp and preseason reports out of Minnesota as well as how the Vikings look to use him in the red zone.

Jarius Wright

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Michael Floyd

After frustrating fantasy owners in the first half, Floyd really hit his stride in the second half of last season, posting five 100-yard receiving games after Week 7. Prior to that point he had yet to record one. That was because Larry Fitzgerald dominated the Arizona receiving game early in the season but as the veteran settled more firmly into his new slot receiver role and teams tried to take him away, things really started to open up downfield for Floyd. He is a big bodied receiver with top end speed, precise route running and tons of big play ability. His issue is consistency. Currently being drafted as a low-WR2, owners will likely be frustrated with Floyd again this season.

Cayleb Jones

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Moritz Boehringer

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Tight Ends

Kyle Rudolph

Rudolph is a steady player who unfortunately is a much better NFL player than fantasy talent. On the run-first Vikings, Rudolph blocks more than most as the Vikings offensive line is still quite average. His quarterback, Teddy Bridgewater can't connect consistently on deeper to intermediate routes which allows defenders to play Rudolph tighter when he does go out on routes. He does possess nice end zone chops (22 scores on 182 career catches- compare that to Zach Ertz) but then they added a legit number one big-bodied wideout in Laquon Treadwell. There is hope that Rudolph can put together a double-digit TD season but he's well off the radar in PPR leagues and will go undrafted in most standard leagues. TE MyCole Pruitt, drafted a couple years ago, has far more athleticism and speed and may take looks away as well from Rudolph. He's a top twenty tight end with a limited ceiling as the Vikings are currently constructed.

Kickers

Kai Forbath

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Defenses

Minnesota Defense

The Vikings have one of the best young defensive nuclei in all of professional football. Their front seven is stout led by the defensive line and some freaks of nature at linebacker, namely Anthony Barr and Eric Kendricks. Their corners are long and lanky, with CB Xavier Rhodes alongside All-Pro free safety Harrison Smith. There is room for improvement however. With a front seven that includes Linval Joseph, Sharrif Floyd and Everson Griffen, they weren't as dominant as they should have been against the run. Their 'backers are long on agility but short on experience, so another year in Mike Zimmer's defense should have them gelling. For those leaguers with certain points allowed settings, this team allowed 24 points or more just twice all year last year. They averaged 26.7 per kick return and WR Cordarelle Patterson is always a threat to break one. Looking around their division, they'll get the Lions twice sans Megatron and Matt Forte bolted the Bears for the Jets. They could easily be a top five unit before all is said and done.

Player Updates

Player Update Michael Floyd, WR - Michael Floyd hit with four-game suspension
14 Jul 2017 - 5:05pm

NFL suspended Vikings WR Michael Floyd four games for violating the league's substance abuse policy. - From RotoWorld.

Player Update Teddy Bridgewater, QB - Teddy Bridgewater working out without brace
13 Jul 2017 - 5:04pm

Teddy Bridgewater posted pictures on Instagram showing him working out without a brace on his surgically-repaired left knee. - From RotoWorld.

Player Update Michael Floyd, WR - Michael Floyd sentenced to one day in jail
27 Jun 2017 - 3:06pm

Vikings WR Michael Floyd has been sentenced to one day in jail for violating the terms of his house arrest. - From RotoWorld.

Injury Update Latavius Murray, RB - Zimmer: Murray ready around start of camp
15 Jun 2017 - 2:08pm

Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said he thinks Latavius Murray (ankle surgery) will be ready around the start of camp. - From RotoWorld.

Player Update Teddy Bridgewater, QB - Zimmer impressed with Bridgewater's progress
26 May 2017 - 4:36pm

Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said Teddy Bridgewater (knee) is "progressing as well as anybody could expect." - From RotoWorld.

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