Christian Ponder: Emerging Vikings' QB Worth Picking Up in Fantasy Leagues

Steven CookFeatured Columnist IVSeptember 24, 2012

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - SEPTEMBER 23: Christian Ponder #7 of the Minnesota Vikings runs the ball during the second quarter of the game against the San Francisco 49ers on September 23, 2012 at Mall of America Field at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder may not be even close to a solid starter in fantasy football, but he's undoubtedly worth picking up on your bench and has the potential to be a productive backup fantasy QB.

Ponder played arguably his best game as an NFL starting quarterback on Sunday, when his Vikings stood tall at home and beat one of the league's best teams, the San Francisco 49ers, 24-13. His fingerprints were all over the game.

While a total of 198 passing yards is far from dominant, it's his other stats that stood out as he went 21-for-35 with two passing touchdowns, and most importantly, no interceptions against that stingy 49ers D.

He also added 33 rushing yards, including a 23-yard touchdown scamper. We've seen what sort of impact a solid dual-threat quarterback can make in fantasy, and that makes Ponder all the more valuable.

The Vikings got out to an early lead off a Ponder touchdown pass, and their defense hung on to a small lead throughout the first half. It was one of two impressive TD tosses by Ponder on the day, both coming near the goal line to cap long drives.

If there's one plus from a quarterback as far as fantasy value, other than, obviously, touchdowns and yards, it's the ability to sustain long drives. It opens things up as the defense gets worn down, and allows for more opportunities to mix the run and pass.

Ponder orchestrated the Vikings' long drives to perfection on Sunday, and it paid off for both his team and his fantasy value. Winning the battle for time of possession isn't easy against a team like San Francisco that likes to sustain their own long drives and boasts a defense that usually gets off the field quickly.

It's evident that most fantasy owners don't agree with me, as Ponder is only owned in just more than five percent of ESPN leagues and started in less than one percent. But that number is sure to spike after his solid performance against the NFL's best defense. 

Not many people expect the Vikings to win many games if Adrian Peterson rushes for less than 100 yards and fails to score, but both of those happened and Minnesota still won fairly easily.


- Steven Cook is a Breaking News team writer for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter.