The roller coaster ride that is the typical Brett Favre offseason appears to be over.
After some of his teammates flew to Hattiesberg, Mississippi, to talk to the gunslinger, Favre is on his way to Minnesota. Barring an unexpected outcome, it is all but certain he will be suiting back up for the Vikings.
With the drama approaching its climax, many Vikings have to be breathing a sigh of relief. The decision will take a huge amount of pressure of Adrian Peterson and the offensive line in the running game. Sidney Rice has to be happy the quarterback that helped him shine is back.
Favre's decision undoubtedly affects the Vikings and their playoff chances. It also affects every fantasy football player as they plan towards their drafts. The fantasy outlook for guys like Rice and Peterson will change once Favre returns.
With that said, here's the full outlook of how Favre's return will affect the fantasy world.
Adrian Peterson will be happy about Favre's return, but fantasy players won't like how it will affect the fantasy runner.
As was seen last season, Peterson's productivity took a hit once Favre took the helm. With a star quarterback, the Vikings didn't need to rely on the star running back like they had in the past.
Peterson saw his rushing yards dip from 1,760 in 2008 to 1,383 in 2009 with the more balanced attack taking form.
"All-Day" did see his scoring go up substantially, as he ran for 19 touchdowns as opposed to 10 the year before. The more open offense led to more chances for Peterson in the red zone.
Fantasy players should expect more of the same from him this season. Expect 1,400 to 1,500 rushing yards with 15+ touchdowns. If he fixes his fumbling problem, Peterson could overtake Chris Johnson as the top fantasy rusher.
Rice has to be smiling about Favre's return.
The quarterback's style fit Rice perfectly as the two meshed into a deadly combination. Rice's best routes are slants and other intermediate routes, which happen to be Favre's favorites to target.
With the chemistry clicking, Rice brought in 1,312 receiving yards and shook the bust title he had received in his first two years. As Favre's favorite target, he emerged from the depths of the Viking depth chart.
Had the quarterback retired, the same numbers wouldn't have been expected from Rice. He and Tarvaris Jackson don't have the same connection he and Favre have.
His numbers definitely would have taken a hit. It would be reasonable to say he'd top out at around 900-1,000 receiving yards with five or six touchdowns.
Now, 1,000 yards is expected. Although no one should expect him to accumulate the same numbers as last year, another big year should be assumed. Rice could be considered a top 10 fantasy receiver with Favre back.
Rice isn't the only pass catcher who should be celebrating Favre's return.
With Favre at the helm last season, Shiancoe quickly became the Vikings' best threat in the red zone.
He finished the season with 11 touchdowns, most of which happened with Shiancoe vying for position from close range.
Favre's return means Shiancoe will return to the top echelon of tight ends and will also continue to progress. The pair looked more comfortable as the season progressed.
Like Rice, Shiancoe's production also would have dropped. He likely wouldn't have had the same red zone opportunities with the Vikings' offense lacking the same potency as last season.
Now, Shiancoe is a top 10, maybe even a top five, fantasy tight end.
All Minnesota receivers should expect an increase in production with Favre back.
That includes Bernard Berrian and Percy Harvin, two other guys who would see their catches lessen with Tarvaris Jackson or Sage Rosenfels at the helm.
The Vikings expected Berrian to develop into their top receiver last season, but a hamstring injury stagnated his production throughout the year.
If he can stay healthy, Berrian can regain his position as a factor in the Viking offense like he was after garnering 964 yards in 2008.
But something could stand in his way toward coming back, and that obstacle is Percy Harvin.
The dynamic second-year receiver burst into the Vikings' offense as a rookie last season en route to 790 receiving yards.
If he doesn't let his migraine headaches affect him, Harvin will be a major factor in the Viking offense.
With that said, expect both Berrian and Harvin to be quality fantasy receivers that can be acquired later in drafts.
The Viking offense would have been predictable without Favre, which would have allowed top fantasy defenses like Chicago and Green Bay to draw favorable matchups against Minnesota.
Don't expect that to happen now.
The Vikings fourth in the league in points (28 points a game) and second in yardage (414.0 yards a game). Although such a season like that isn't expected again, the offense is still dangerous.
That means it'd be wise to start another defense when the Vikings come to town. The amount of points they can score would definitely take a hit on any fantasy team's performance.
One hope for NFC North defense owners is that Favre resorts to his old interception ways. If he struggles, Favre will throw 15 to 20 interceptions this season.
Favre's career 2009 season cannot be expected again as he continues to age. His stat line of 4,202 passing yards, 33 touchdowns, and only seven interceptions bolstered him into a top five fantasy quarterback.
Owners shouldn't believe the same to happen this upcoming season, but he's still a top 10 fantasy QB.
If he can still chuck the ball like he proved last year, 3,500+ yards are possible, along with 25+ touchdowns. Knowing Favre, those interceptions will increase, probably to around 10 to 15.
Overall, no one should hesitate to make Favre their fantasy starter. He doesn't bring to the table what Peyton Manning and Tom Brady, but is definitely a viable starter.