Fresh off a season that ended in typical Minnesota Vikings fashion, the purple people eaters are back and ready to improve upon their 11-5 season and early playoff exit. The good news for Vikings fans, however, is the 2016 season is poised to be a better one with new faces and quite possibly a deeper trip into the playoffs, but we’re really here for a fantasy preview.
2016 Minnesota Vikings Fantasy Football Preview
Third year quarterback Teddy Bridgewater should be poised for a breakout season, or at least Vikings fans hope so. In 2015 the former University of Louisville quarterback managed to throw 14 touchdowns and nine interceptions, which were nothing worthwhile in fantasy. Unfortunately for fantasy owners, unless Teddy Bridgewater can double his touchdowns, his value should be used only in the deepest of fantasy formats. On the bright side, he did add three touchdowns on the ground.
Last year Adrian Peterson averaged 92.8 yards per game and was the Vikings focal point on offense. The now 31-year-old back should continue to be one of the top three backs taken in fantasy drafts until he proves that he doesn’t belong there anymore. Unfortunately for Peterson, his receiving game could use improvement after he failed to reach the end zone for the second straight season.
Question marks have been swirling around the Vikings receiving unit since Percy Harvin left, but now the Vikings might have found the answer in Stefon Diggs. Diggs, virtually unnoticed throughout most of the season, ended up notching 52 receptions for 720 yards and four touchdowns, which was not bad for only starting nine games. Diggs could become a viable start in most deeper leagues if he turns the key like he did late last season. With the departure of Mike Wallace, Bridgewater will look to rely heavily on Diggs and rookie Laquon Treadwell.
2016 could be a make or break year for former second-round pick Kyle Rudolph. Although Rudolph turned in his second-best season statistically, the now sixth year tight end ranked 14th in standard scoring leagues. Rudolph’s inconsistency left fantasy owners scratching their heads in 2015. The good news for fantasy owners is that Rudolph is Teddy Bridgewater’s second favorite target behind Stefon Diggs and with the departure of Mike Wallace, Rudolph’s stock could rise.
Despite Blair Walsh‘s playoff mishap, his value as a fantasy asset in 2015 was undeniable as he ended the season as the third-ranked kicker in the league. After his abysmal 2014, Walsh was due for a jump back into prime time territory. Whether you are in a standard league or custom scoring that applies bonuses for kicks over 50 yards, Walsh is one Viking who could reward you.
The 2015 Vikings defense/special teams became a viable fantasy asset as the team ranked eighth in terms of total scoring and fifth in points against. However, the team barely cracked the top 15 in terms of yards per game. To make a long story short, the Vikings could be a valuable defense come regular season if played against the right match up.
Fantasy owners should only really target Adrian Peterson, Blair Walsh, and Stefon Diggs as valuable fantasy assets in 2016. Teddy Bridgewater has shown little fantasy value and with the inconsistencies that have plagued Kyle Rudolph, both should be avoided. It’s hard to deny that the Vikings have meshed well as a unit but individually nobody besides Peterson stands above the rest.