After the Jets decided to give Mark Sanchez some added confidence in his job security by letting go of the aging Brett Favre, the Vikings pounced and signed Favre off his Mississippi tractor. The rather Favre-like result of a trip to the NFC title game was one of the best storylines in the league last year.
For years, the Vikings have been led by a dominant defensive unit, and seemed to be a quarterback away from being a true Super Bowl contender. The addition of Favre transformed a predictable, run-oriented offense led by perennial fantasy star Adrian Peterson into a total fantasy juggernaut. What does the future hold for this team, though? Let’s take a look at the long and short term fantasy potential from the Twin Cities.
Players who will return for Week #3 of the Preseason
Brett Favre QB
He’s truly in a category by himself. He’s not in his prime, that’s for sure. However, his incredible season that featured 4,202 yards, 33 touchdown passes, and just seven interceptions shows that there’s still some gas in that tank of his. His value is the same as it has been for the past six years. He’s a veteran player who can win you a fantasy football championship in any given year, then walk away forever.
Players in their Prime
Adrian Peterson RB
His ball security issues are well chronicled, but he’s a threat for 2,000 rushing yards and 20 touchdowns every year, regardless of who may be the quarterback. He’s right in the middle of his best fantasy years and nobody would really argue if you valued him as the No. 1 player in all of fantasy. Last year’s totals of 1,383 yards and 18 touchdowns are likely the minimum of expectations from Peterson.
Sidney Rice WR
Rice showed some glimpses of his superb talent when he was playing collegiately at South Carolina, but few thought he could blossom into the player he is today. Rice’s breakout year of 1,312 yards, and eight touchdowns on 83 catches moved him just under the top tier of fantasy wide receivers. His long-term value hinges on the Vikings developing or finding a new signal caller eventually, but he has established himself as a dominant fantasy force.
Visanthe Shiancoe TE
Most people remember Shiancoe for his 11 touchdowns last year, tops for the TE position. Let’s not forget he also had 56 catches for 566 yards as well. He’s a No. 1 TE right now and even if there’s a dropoff at quarterback soon, he’s entrenched as a solid fantasy option.
Percy Harvin WR
There were lots of questions about Harvin around this time last year. His rushing ability (135 yards on 15 carries), receiving ability (790 yards, and 6 touchdowns on 60 catches), and return ability (1,156 yards and two more touchdowns) answered most of those questions and earned him Offensive Rookie of the Year honors. The constant battle with migraines is a bit of a concern, but there’s no doubt Harvin is an emerging fantasy star.
Toby Gerhart RB
Dynasty league owners were hoping Gerhart would end up with a realistic chance at a starting job in a place like San Diego or Houston. Instead, he’ll be the understudy to Peterson and could find himself with some short yardage opportunities. If anything ever happened to Peterson, Gerhart would be immediate fantasy gold.
Players with Falling Values
Bernard Berrian WR
The hopes were very high for Berrian going into last season. His 618 yards and four touchdowns were a massive disappointment. After all, if you can’t re-emerge with Brett Favre at the helm, your best days are behind you.
Tarvaris Jackson QB
Does anyone really still believe Jackson is the quarterback of the future? Some say the fact the Vikings haven’t brought in someone else while waiting for Favre shows they’re committed to him. I think it just shows they know Favre is coming back.
Albert Young RB
The drafting of Gerhart to play behind Peterson clouds his future a bit, but he’s a guy to keep tabs on. If he’s somehow let go, he could really emerge on another team. Favre himself has been gushing about how talented he is.
Jaymar Johnson WR
He’s shown flashes on the practice field the past year or so. He has a lot of players to pass on the depth chart, but he has some talent for sure.
Lions and Packers and Bears, oh my! The Vikings have lots of competition for bragging rights in the NFC North. The offense will most certainly have to score lots of points if the Vikings are to repeat as division champions and make another run at the Super Bowl. I expect Brett Favre to return for another chance at immortality and the fantasy values of the Vikings should benefit. In the long-term, there are serious questions at quarterback, but the talent of the skill position players is undeniable.