The Minnesota Vikings are known for having one of the most imposing run-stuffing defenses in football.
This success is due in large part to their big defensive tackles, Pat Williams and Kevin Williams. These two massive purple people eaters weigh in at a combined 628 pounds of man-tackling flesh.
In December, the NFL had intentions of suspending both of these men and three other players on the New Orleans Saints. The reason for the suspension was because they violated the leagues banned substance policy.
The substance they were taking, called StarCaps, contained a banned diuretic that contains a substance called bumetanide. Bumetanide, can be used as a masking agent for steroids and has been found in StarCaps, though it is not on the label. Pat and Kevin were able to avoid their four-game suspension last December when a federal judge issued an injunction to block the suspension.
Players Battle NFL in Court
In court, attorneys on the side of the players argued that the NFL’s hot line for players to get information on such issues as banned substances, gave out false information about the supplement (StarCaps), and told players it was not banned.
The players' attorneys also argued that league knew the supplement called StarCaps contained a banned diuretic back in 2006 and did not notify players or the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
NFL attorneys disputed that idea by saying their hot line operators warned players against taking any supplements. Attorneys also added that, in the end, players are ultimately responsible for what they put into their bodies.
Judge Blocks NFL's Planned Suspension
This week a District Judge sided with the players' request for a temporary restraining order to keep the NFL from executing it's suspension on them until a later time.
With this restraining order, the NFL now will have to wait to dish out their expected four game suspension on the two defensive tackles. In light of this information, the players' attorney called this restraint a great success and also noted the two players should play the first half or so of the season, without discipline.
Fantasy Football Information for the Vikings Defense
At this time the Vikings defense should be a top five defense on your fantasy draft board. For a team that now looks primed to have Brett Favre come on to the team, they should have a solid year.
As long as these to big men are on the team, they are one of the best defenses against the run in football. They also set the table for sacks by the rest of the defense.
As far as where you should take this defense in your draft, that will depend on your scoring structure in your league. Many leagues have different scoring structures and, for some, it will be better to grab this defense as high as the eighth round and some as low as the 14th. But at the end of the day in just about every format they are a top five defense.
Hopefully, these two big boys will play the entire season. If we all find out they will play the entire year then this defense could be the best in fantasy in 2009.