The quarterback carousel for the Minnesota Vikings took another turn on Wednesday, with the team announcing two major roster moves: Sam Bradford was placed on injured reserve due to his ongoing knee issues, while Teddy Bridgewater was activated to the 53-man roster following his recovery from a devastating knee injury before the 2016 season.
That leaves a fairly obvious question on the table: Does Bridgewater have any fantasy value in 2017?
In the short term, the answer may be no. Head coach Mike Zimmer confirmed to reporters that Case Keenum would start Sunday against Washington, and that Bradford—who underwent arthroscopic surgery on his knee Tuesday, per ESPN's Chris Mortensen—could potentially return for the postseason should Minnesota earn a berth, per Tom Pelissero of NFL.com.
So it's possible that Bridgewater won't be thrust into starting duties this year. After all, Keenum has been solid at the position, leading the team to a 5-2 record in his appearances. Overall, he's thrown for 1,610 yards, seven touchdowns and three interceptions in those contests, completing 63.9 percent of his passes.
And the Vikings may not be in a rush to make a change, per Ben Volin of the Boston Globe:
But Keenum isn't the long-term franchise quarterback for the Vikings. That title was once held by Bridgewater, before his injury. While Keenum has managed the Vikings offense admirably in Bradford's absence, Bridgewater offers more upside.
It's an argument that Jacob Feldman of The MMQB made:
"Keenum is averaging 6.9 yards per attempt this year, just shy of his career high yet still below the average Bridgewater posted in both 2014 and 2015. Plus, the offense now is more capable than it was back then. Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs are the only teammates ranked in the top 10 at wide receiver by Pro Football Focus, and while Adrian Peterson may be gone, the Minnesota offensive line has improved significantly. On top of that, teammates are saying that Bridgewater himself appears stronger than he was two years ago. When up to speed, he should start."
OK, so let's say Bridgewater does return to the field. Does he hold any fantasy relevance at that point?
Again, the likely answer is no.
In 2015, Bridgewater threw for 3,231 yards, 14 touchdowns and nine interceptions, losing three fumbles. In standard-scoring fantasy leagues, he averaged 10 points per game.
And now, Bridgewater is attempting to make a comeback after a season and a half on the bench, recovering from a dislocated knee and torn ACL. There is a mental aspect to recovering from such an injury, as ESPN's Cian Fahey suggested:
So if you are adding Bridgewater to your fantasy roster, here is what you are hoping for:
- 1. The Vikings make him the starter.
- 2. He's mentally ready to make a positive impact from the jump.
- 3. He shows serious statistical improvement from his last full season.
All of these things are possible. But are all of them likely to occur?
The answer, for the final time, is no.