Team by Team Fantasy Football Preview
This is a section that I hope to continue for all 32 teams, starting with the Vikings and working in reverse alphabetical order. Why reverse alphabetical order? Why not? Anyways, hopefully you guys like this but if not we’ll call it a misfire and I’ll have extra time to play video games instead of spending my time writing these things. So here we go…
Brett Favre – 2.5/5
Like him or not, Brett Favre is one of the greatest QBs of all time. But that doesn’t necessarily translate into the world of fantasy sports, as past Favre owners can tell you. His ups and downs are maddening, and he’s not the type of player you want if you’re looking to win a fantasy championship. Favre’s got the arm, the weapons, and he greatly improved his efficiency last year. But he’s also over 40, generally throws tons of interceptions, and may not even be playing next year (ok, we all know he is). He’s a solid mid-late round draft and could start for deeper 12-team leagues, but don’t take this guy before the 4th round or you’ll regret it.
Tarvaris Jackson -- .25/5
I really like Tarvaris, but he needs more time to develop. Even if Favre doesn’t return and Jackson is forced to start, he should not be on your team unless you have some serious injury problems. In fact, the only reason he makes this preview at all is the drastic negative change his impact has on all the WRs and TE. Don’t draft.
Adrian Peterson – 5/5
Peterson, in my opinion, is the best RB in the game, and therefore the most important fantasy player on the list. While some argue that Peterson’s fumble and injury issues make Chris Johnson the number one pick, I argue that Peterson is who should top your board. Peterson has power that far surpasses CJ’s, and his burst is awe inspiring. Johnson has blazing speed and great moves, and is by far the superior receiver of the two, but Peterson plays on a better team behind a better offensive line, and in a close call I think I would take him over Johnson (unless its a PPR league, in which case Johnson is certainly the way to go). But you can’t go wrong with either if you’re lucky enough to have a top 2 pick. No brainer, draft him if you can get him. But here’s some friendly advice to less experienced gamers: don’t offer your entire team for him in a trade, its fantasy suicide.
Toby Gerhart – 2/5
A lot of fantasy gurus will urge you to avoid rookies like the plague. I generally agree, but RBs are the exception to the rule in my opinion. Gerhart has some value here, but he’s probably a very late round pick at best. If Peterson is benched for fumbling issues or if he suffers an injury Gerhart is an instant starter at RB. I really like his talent, it’s all a question about whether he can make it onto the field or not. I’d take a late round flier on him in deeper leagues.
Sidney Rice – 4.75/5 Bargain
Sindey Rice is my pick for the Vikings’ bargain player in this year’s fantasy draft. If Favre returns Rice is a top 5 fantasy receiver. He doesn’t have top-end speed, but he’s strong and has strong hands, as well as good balance and awareness on the sidelines. I think he has a very good chance of being the best bargain pick of all the WRs this year. My advice is to draft him quicker than you feel like you should; one could justify taking him as the first receiver in your fantasy draft. Just another example of fantasy and real life not quite matching up.
Percy Harvin – 3/5
I don’t know whether Harvin is going to stay in the slot or move to the WR2 position, but either way he is the second most fantasy-relevant Viking WR. He and Favre had a lot of chemistry going when he was healthy last season, and I expect that to continue. Look for a solid season receiving out of him, and if your league has KR/PR options, make him a priority.
Bernard Berrian – 1.5/5
While not completely irrelevant, Berrian is somewhat buried in the fantasy lineup for the Vikes. Berrian is an explosive hit-or-miss receiver, who is likely to put up some 100+ yard, multi TD games and some sub-50 yard, zero TD games. He is still worth considering in deeper leagues, but not before some of the other WR2s have been drafted. Late round pick.
Visanthe Shiancoe – 3.5/5
Shiancoe is a solid TE, and Favre likes his TEs. I’d put him in the 5-10 range of TEs in this year’s fantasy draft. He has a good skill set and a pretty awesome feud with Darren Sharper (seriously, check it out) and he is likely to have some TDs, but not too many big yardage games. He should definitely be a starting TE in your league.
Ryan Longwell – 3.5/5
Why am I including kickers? I have no idea. Let me know below whether I should keep this section. Solid kicker on a very good offense. He’ll be very good in home games where he’ll be able to kick inside the dome, but he might struggle a bit outside. He’s still a very solid kicker, and is likely to be a top-10 scorer for your league. Don’t be the Raiders, never take a kicker early.
The Vikings defense is one of the very best in the league, and racks up points like no tomorrow thanks to their impressive sack total and good CBs. This should be one of the first defenses taken, and you should consider taking them as an early-mid/middle round pick. If your league has individuals I would take Antoine Winfield, although you can’t go wrong with Jared Allen either.