Fantasy Alert: Vikings 'Enthusiastic' About K.J. Osborn; WR to Get a Lot of Targets

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVAugust 23, 2022

K.J. Osborn (AP Photo/Bruce Kluckhohn)

The Minnesota Vikings are reportedly "enthusiastic" about the potential of third-year wide receiver K.J. Osborn, which makes him an intriguing fantasy football target despite the presence of Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen.

Arif Hasan of The Athletic reported Tuesday the Vikes are "clearly committed" to using three receivers as part of their base offensive set, which he expects will translate to "a lot" of targets for Osborn.

The 25-year-old Michigan native enjoyed a solid 2021 season, recording 50 catches for 655 yards and seven touchdowns in 17 games. That came after he was limited to a special teams role as a rookie.

Those numbers put him on the fringe of the fantasy starter conversation, so even a modest uptick from his 82 targets last year would probably make him a safe flex play most weeks in 2022.

Whether there's actually a path to a larger role is up for debate, though. Jefferson and Thielen will combine to eat up a majority of the targets, and tight end Irv Smith Jr. is slated to return after missing all of last season with a knee injury.

On the flip side, Osborn is currently being drafted outside the top 60 wideouts in Yahoo Sports fantasy leagues, so there's minimal investment to take a flier on his continued improvement.

His ability to stay on the field in any situation is also a boost to his stock.

"I think I'm pretty powerful, so I can play inside and block the big guys," Osborn told reporters in early August. "But I can go deep and go get it. I've showed that a couple of times, so I want to continue to show it."

NerdBall Fantasy Football @nerdballff

K.J. Osborn looking like elite value this year in <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/fantasyfootball?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#fantasyfootball</a> drafts 💰<br><br>🗣<a href="https://twitter.com/petemrogers?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@petemrogers</a> <a href="https://t.co/CwAYRexJBG">pic.twitter.com/CwAYRexJBG</a>

Ultimately, Osborn will have some lackluster statistical games when Jefferson, Thielen and Smith are all also on the field. There just aren't enough targets to produce three or four fantasy standouts from the same pass-catching corps every week.

He'll post strong enough numbers to warrant a roster spot, however, and he's one injury away from a prominent role in a dangerous passing attack.

That's enough to grab him as WR depth in one of the final rounds of fantasy drafts.


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