Matt Cassel Fantasy News

Vikings QB job belongs to Teddy Bridgewater

Tuesday, December 30, 2014, 5:43pm

ESPN - [Full Article]

If there was any doubt, consider it extinguished. Teddy Bridgewater will be the Vikings starting quarterback in 2015.

Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer made that clear, as part of his season-ending press conference Tuesday at the team's practice facility. Zimmer said the team was fortunate to learn as much as it did about Bridgewater, and his improvement throughout the year should be a sign of encouragement. Zimmer was asked if he'd talked to veteran Matt Cassel, who has one year remaining on his contract, about the possibility of taking a backup role.

He said that he hadn't, and then he gave the rookie his endorsement.

"Teddy is the quarterback, there's no doubt in my mind," Zimmer said.

Fantasy Impact:

Bridgewater finished with the third-highest completion percentage for a rookie quarterback, surpassing Russell Wilson's strong 2012 rookie season. Bridgewater also finished 10th in the NFL in deep-pass accuracy. And more than 75 percent of his passes found their target when he was under pressure this season, the best rate in the league. Bridgewater will be on the QB2 radar when 2015 drafts come around.

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Vikings place QB Matt Cassel (foot) on injured reserve, ending his season

Wednesday, September 24, 2014, 12:05pm

Star Tribune - [Full Article]

The Vikings announced they’ve placed quarterback Matt Cassel and right guard Brandon Fusco on injured reserve Wednesday, ending their season.

Both suffered injuries during the 20-9 loss to the Saints on Sunday. Cassel fractured several bones in his left foot during the second quarter, while Fusco hurt his pectoral muscle in the second half.

Fantasy Impact:

The Teddy Bridgewater Era has begun in Minnesota. The Vikings will be shorthanded without Adrian Peterson and Kyle Rudolph (sports hernia surgery), so Bridgewater's situation is not looking as favorable as it did in the preseason. Still, with Greg Jennings and Cordarrelle Patterson to throw to, he doesn't have a bad pair of receivers. He should be in the QB2/streaming mix if this go well.

Kyle Rudolph (sports hernia) to miss about six weeks

Monday, September 22, 2014, 4:21pm

NFL.com - [Full Article]

NFL Media's Albert Breer reports, via a source apprised of the injury, that Kyle Rudolph will undergo sports hernia surgery and miss about six weeks.

Rudolph was listed on the Vikings' Week 3 injury report with a groin issue after appearing to lose a step or two in the Week 2 loss to the Patriots.

The coaching staff had reasonable expectations of a career year for Rudolph in Norv Turner's tight end-friendly offense.

Fantasy Impact:

Rudolph's absence is especially disconcerting with RB Adrian Peterson and QB Matt Cassel out indefinitely. Rookie QB Teddy Bridgewater could have used Rudolph as another target, which will now make defenses jobs easier when facing the Vikes. Rhett Ellison and MarQueis Gray are next up on the depth chart.

Matt Cassel has 'several fractured bones' in foot

Sunday, September 21, 2014, 7:55pm

NFL.com - [Full Article]

Vikings QB Matt Cassel was ruled out early in the second quarter of Sunday's 20-9 loss to the New Orleans Saints after suffering a toe injury.

Cassel was quickly carted to the locker room for tests. After the game, head coach Mike Zimmer said that Cassel had "several fractured bones" in his foot.

Fantasy Impact:

Zimmer confirmed that rookie Teddy Bridgewater will start for the foreseeable future. Bridgewater did well in his debut and didn't turn the ball over. He'll bring a new, much-needed element to the Vikings offense to hopefully pair up for WR Cordarrelle Patterson. He could have some value in certain matchups either as a QB2 or in a committee.

Vikings 'won't be quick' to replace QB Matt Cassel

Wednesday, September 3, 2014, 2:03pm

Pioneer Press - [Full Article]

Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said he won't be quick to replace Matt Cassel with Teddy Bridgewater.

"We throw an interception the first play of the game, I'm not going to yank him," Zimmer said.

Fantasy Impact:

Whoever is under center will enjoy a plethora of weapons, including Cordarrelle Patterson, Greg Jennings and Kyle Rudolph, and there are even rumblings that Adrian Peterson will be more involved in the passing game this season.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014, 1:34pm

ESPN - [Full Article]

With Vikings WR Jerome Simpson out for the first three games, what happens to the Vikings' three-receiver sets?

Fortunately for the Vikings' receiver depth, their offense has two things working in its favor. First, OC Norv Turner makes frequent use of two-tight end sets; the San Diego Chargers used more of them than all but one team while Turner was the head coach from 2007-12, and used the fewest three-receiver formations during that time. And second, the Vikings have another versatile wideout in third-year man Jarius Wright.

The 5-foot-11 Wright, who'd been cast as a slot receiver early in his rookie year, actually ran 192 of his 252 routes lined up wide last season, as Jennings and Patterson got more of the slot work. He caught 23 of his 26 passes lined up out wide, and clicked with quarterback Matt Cassel late in the season, catching 14 of his 26 passes from Cassel for 252 yards. Wright saw 30.7 percent of his routes from the slot during the preseason, and he's got plenty to prove in Year 3 as he tries to carve out a niche in the offense, so he should be ready and eager to fit into the Vikings' scheme while Simpson is out.

Fantasy Impact:

The story breaks it down in depth on how the team will move its WRs around this year based on the preseason: During their third preseason game in Kansas City, when the Vikings' starters played almost all of the first three quarters, they ran 18 plays out of three-receiver sets, displaying impressive variety in how they lined up their three wideouts. Cordarrelle Patterson, Greg Jennings and Simpson all saw time on both sides and in the slot. It's perhaps especially good news for Patterson owners that the team is trying to create mismatches for the talented WR.

Vikings name Matt Cassel as Week 1 starter

Monday, August 25, 2014, 10:18am

Pro Football Talk - [Full Article]

Matt Cassel is the Minnesota Vikings’ starting quarterback.

The team was informed at a meeting this morning that Cassel will start, Jay Glazer of FOX Sports reports.

Teddy Bridgewater will likely be the No. 2 quarterback, while Christian Ponder is third string. Barring something unforeseen, this will be the first time since 2007 that no rookie quarterbacks have started in Week 1. That was the year JaMarcus Russell and Brady Quinn were the first-round quarterbacks.

Fantasy Impact:

The move comes as no surprise as Cassel did nothing wrong to give up the job. Bridgewater is the quarterback of the future in Minnesota and probably presents more fantasy upside but right now the Vikes have a better chance to win with Cassel. However, Bridgewater could find himself under center if the Vikings struggle at any point this season. For the time being, Cassel could post QB2-type numbers given a capable coordinator (Norv Turner) and a nice set of weapons around him.

Sunday, August 24, 2014, 10:37am

Star-Tribune - [Full Article]

On the team’s opening drive, which started at their 3-yard line, Vikings QB Matt Cassel froze the Chiefs defense with a play-action fake and fired a 53-yard touchdown pass to WR Cordarrelle Patterson, who had gotten behind Chiefs second-string safety Daniel Sorensen. It was an accurate throw by Cassel and Patterson did a good job of tracking the ball before making an over-the-shoulder catch and coasting into the end zone.

“It was a play that we had worked on throughout the week and we had yet to throw the ball to Cordarrelle on it,” Cassel said, who was 2-for-2 for 84 yards on the opening drive. “He got on top of the safety and I was able to see it and give him an opportunity, and he went and made a great play.”

Patterson said he could feel a big play coming when Cassel barked out the play call in the huddle. He just figured the play would come from fellow wide receiver Greg Jennings on that particular play.

Fantasy Impact:

It's a great sign if Cassell and Patterson get on the same page concerning deep balls. Patterson will likely be a hot commodity in your draft with his big-play potential and he's poised to explode in his second season in the league.

Friday, August 22, 2014, 1:12pm

Vikings.com - [Full Article]

Vikings Offensive Coordinator Norv Turner is one of the longest-tenured and most creative playcallers in the NFL. The Vikings opened up their offense a little more in the second preseason game than they did in the first. Will the third game see even more Turner aggressiveness? Tight end Kyle Rudolph has looked reinvigorated in Turner’s scheme, coming off an injury, and second-year pro Cordarrelle Patterson appears to be taking an increased role in the offense.

Fantasy Impact:

Rudolph and Patterson are both intriguing picks at their current ADPs, but with all the mouths to feed (including Adrian Peterson and Greg Jennings), will the offense be productive enough under QB Matt Cassel? If so, Cassel will be a sleeper QB2/streamer type if he can hold onto the job.

Matt Cassel will start third preseason game

Monday, August 18, 2014, 1:27pm

Pro Football Talk - [Full Article]

QB Teddy Bridgewater rallied the Vikings to two late scores in last Saturday’s comeback win against the Cardinals, but those heroics haven’t changed the look of the team’s quarterback depth chart.

Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said Monday, via Ben Goessling of ESPN.com, that Matt Cassel will remain the team’s starter for the team’s preseason game next Satuday against the Chiefs.

Bridgewater may get a chance to make one last case to keep Zimmer from making a final decision. The coach said Saturday that Bridgewater could get time with the first team against Kansas City and repeated that on Monday, but everything the Vikings are doing makes it seem that they want to go with the veteran for at least the short term.

Fantasy Impact:

With the third preseason game usually serving as a dress rehearsal for the regular season, it would seem that Cassel is destined to start in St. Louis come September 7. Cassel hasn't done anything to lose the job and seems to be picking up Norv Turner's offense. What he'll likely have to do is win or we could end up seeing Bridgewater at some point this season. There probably won't be a ton of fantasy interest in Cassel in typical leagues, but he could serve as a committee starter in certain matchups.

Sunday, August 17, 2014, 10:37am

NFL.com - [Full Article]

Matt Cassel was polished. Teddy Bridgewater was poised. The Minnesota Vikings have yet to pick a starting quarterback, but their passing game has sure been productive in the preseason.

Bridgewater gave the giddy fans chanting his first name a pair of go-ahead touchdown throws to cheer for in the fourth quarter, propelling the Vikings past the Arizona Cardinals 30-28 on Saturday night.

Coach Mike Zimmer said he hasn't reached the date he's had in mind for a decision.

Fantasy Impact:

Cassel has taken the majority of the turns with the first-team offense, and the veteran has done nothing but solidify his status, the story said. Bridgewater at least gave Zimmer more to think about with his second-half performance, albeit against backups and guys bound to be cut in a couple of weeks.

Kyle Rudolph shining in Norv Turner's offense

Sunday, August 17, 2014, 10:24am

ESPN - [Full Article]

The corner route Kyle Rudolph ran in the second quarter Saturday night, lining up between the hash marks at the Minnesota Vikings' 49 and roaming to his left just inside the numbers at the Arizona Cardinals' 30-yard line, is exactly the kind for which Rudolph lost 15 pounds this offseason. It's an effort to become the latest Norv Turner tight end to feast in the middle of a defense.

Rudolph spent his offseason watching film of tight ends in Turner's offenses, from the Cleveland Browns' Jordan Cameron all the way back to the Dallas Cowboys' Jay Novacek, and slimmed down in an effort to speed up. He knew what kind of a role could be waiting for him with Turner as the Vikings' offensive coordinator, and he wanted to put himself into position to seize it.

Fantasy Impact:

So far, Rudolph has done exactly that. He caught one pass for 22 yards in the Vikings' preseason opener and followed it up with four catches for 89 yards, including his 51-yard touchdown from Matt Cassel on the aforementioned corner route, in the Vikings' win Saturday night over the Arizona Cardinals. The tight end, who got a five-year contract extension earlier this month, seems set to earn his money the same way Turner's tight ends have done it for years, the story said. We've been hearing good things about Rudolph even before camp started and he's shaping up to be one of several TEs who should fall somewhere in rounds 7-9 that could prove to be a great value.

Vikings WR Greg Jennings 'still has it'

Friday, August 15, 2014, 12:35pm

Vikings.com - [Full Article]

Greg Jennings may not be quite as quick as he once was. Maybe he’s not as fast. But you can’t tell. The veteran receiver is polished, has as good a set of hands as you’ll see in this League, is a GREAT leader, and is always open. What more could you ask for from a veteran receiver who presides over an otherwise very young group of pass catchers? Yes, Jennings still has it, and had one of the best training camps of any Viking. He also made one of the best training camp’s best plays just a few days ago.

Fantasy Impact:

Jennings dealt with some injuries in 2013 but he showed a nice rapport with Matt Cassel, averaging 5.9 catches for 70 yards and 0.57 TD with Cassel under center. Unfortunately Christian Ponder and Josh Freeman dragged the Vikings FP/Att into the bottom seven in the league. Assuming Cassel or promising rookie Teddy Bridgewater can offer better efficiency, Jennings should bounce back as most fantasy eyes are set squarely on Cordarrelle Patterson. For what it’s worth, Cassel’s FP/Att was 0.971, which was very close to the league average. Jennings is going in the 13th round even though he finished as the #39 WR in 2013.

Teddy Bridgewater: 'I have to stop overthinking.'

Friday, August 15, 2014, 11:33am

Star Tribune - [Full Article]

Coach Mike Zimmer clearly is content with the way Matt Cassel is playing, saying, “I hope Matt continues to do what he’s been doing.”

As for Teddy Bridgewater, Zimmer is practicing patience.

“He’s got so much going on in his mind right now that I just want him to play,” Zimmer said. “That’s what I told him [Wednesday], and that’s what I’m going to tell him before the ballgame. Just go play. You’ve been doing this since you were 5 years old. Go play and have some fun. Throw the ball in there. If you make a mistake, we’ll fix it and go on.”

Apparently, Bridgewater has bought in.

“Basically, I have to stop overthinking,” he said. “I haven’t been pressing, but I have been overthinking.”

Fantasy Impact:

Cassel averaged around 240 yards, 1.5 TD and 1.2 INT in six starts last season, which equates to 244 fantasy points, which is about what Ryan Tannehill scored as fantasy football's #16 QB. If he's under center, he'll be usable in a streaming/QBBC strategy with Greg Jennings, Cordarrelle Patterson and Kyle Rudolph to throw to and a strong running game to lean on.

Matt Cassel 'seizing control' of Vikings QB competition

Thursday, August 14, 2014, 10:37pm

Pioneer Press - [Full Article]

Vikings QB Matt Cassel entered camp No. 1 on the depth chart, holding a narrow lead over rookie Teddy Bridgewater. But the gap has widened, and a strong showing in Saturday's preseason game against the Cardinals at TCF Bank Stadium could end the debate weeks ahead of the Sept. 7 opener at St. Louis.

Cassel looked good while playing just the first series in last week's preseason opener against Oakland. He completed 5 of 6 passes for 62 yards on the Vikings' only touchdown drive of a 10-6 win.

Fantasy Impact:

Cassel averaged around 240 yards, 1.5 TD and 1.2 INT in six starts last season, which equates to 244 fantasy points, which is about what Ryan Tannehill scored as fantasy football's #16 QB. If he's under center, he'll be usable in a streaming/QBBC strategy with Greg Jennings, Cordarrelle Patterson and Kyle Rudolph to throw to and a strong running game to lean on.