Christian Ponder Fantasy News

Vikings expect to spread the offense more

Tuesday, August 25, 2015, 2:47pm

ESPN - [Full Article]

The Vikings were in the shotgun or pistol about 65 percent of the time after Teddy Bridgewater took over as the starting QB in Week 4 last season -- the 13th-most in the league, according to ESPN Stats & Information -- and their 565 shotgun snaps in that time were only 210 less than they had in 2012 and 2013 combined.

Adrian Peterson, of course, was in the backfield both of those seasons, and has yet to play his first game with Bridgewater at quarterback. In those two seasons, Peterson ran just 40 times out of the shotgun, or one fewer than Christian Ponder. Matt Asiata and Jerick McKinnon, on the other hand, logged a combined 114 carries out of the shotgun last season.

"I think the things we're doing out of the shotgun, he's very comfortable with, and getting more comfortable," Turner said. "We're going to give him a good dose of the things he does best and has done best his entire career. We're going to try to spread the field a little bit and do some things to give him more space."

Fantasy Impact:

There's little doubt the offense will require something of an adjustment for Peterson, who's made a career out of lining up seven yards deep in the backfield and hitting the line of scrimmage with a healthy fury, the story said. But between the Vikings having enough of Peterson's staples in the playbook and giving the running back enough practice snaps to adjust, offensive coordinator Norv Turner thinks Peterson will be fine with an offense that's a little more spread out. It should only help Peterson as long as Bridgewater and the receivers and prove to be a legit passing threat. It will be a lot for defenses to account for.

Raiders Beat: Latavius Murray the lead back

Monday, August 10, 2015, 12:46pm

ibabuzz.com - [Full Article]

Some Raiders notes from beat writer Jerry McDonald:

• Once the preseason begins, it should be one series and out for Derek Carr.

The Raiders simply can’t afford a third quarterback flip-flop in three years, and the only way this happens is if Carr gets hurt. It’s impossible to know how good Carr will be, but he’s light years ahead of Christian Ponder and Matt McGloin, who look to be in a dead-heat to be the backup.

Latavius Murray is the lead back. Trent Richardson could get the treatment Tyrone Wheatley got in 1999 _ lots of preseason work to determine what he’s got in the tank.

Roy Helu Jr., although injured, appears to have a role. Undrafted free agent Michael Dyer was making things interesting before he started missing practice with an injury.

Really interested to see Taiwan Jones in a game situation. Back at running back, he’s had some sensational moments in camp. But beware - speed backs can dominate in non-tackling situations (see Darren McFadden, any year).

Michael Crabtree has caught everything in sight and seems to have an immediate connection with Carr. Amari Cooper, despite the odd snaps when he looks like a rookie, is even-money to be a legit playmaker in his first season.

After that, it’s a jumble. Rod Streater is out with an illness the club has yet to diagnose. Andre Holmes has had his moments, but so has 6-foot-5 Kris Durham, third-year player Brice Butler and Kenbrell Thompkins. Plus anyone who can excel on special teams.

Fantasy Impact:

Many felt it was a good bet Murray would be the lead back and it doesn't seem like Richardson, or anyone else, will pass him. Helu appears like he'll get his normal third-down role like he had with the Redskins. Crabtree has had a good camp to this point and looks like a nice signing. Meanwhile Cooper seems to be up and down.

Teddy Bridgewater OUT, Christian Ponder to start on TNF

Thursday, October 2, 2014, 6:38pm

Adam Schefter, Twitter - [Full Article]

Vikings Inactives
Teddy Bridgewater QB
Scott Crichton DE
Chad Greenway OLB
Kyle Rudolph TE
Brandon Watts OLB
Austin Wentworth G
David Yankey G

Fantasy Impact:

With Teddy Bridgewater out, Christian Ponder will get the start. Rankings have been updated to reflect the downgrade to the passing game, although Greg Jennings has been decent with Ponder under center. RB Matt Asiata is not really affected by the change at QB. His workload should be there in a good matchup and should get dump offs if the Vikings fall behind the Packers. RB Jerick McKinnon will get change of pace work behind Asiata and is a boom or bust flex option.

Schefter: 'Signs point to Teddy Bridgewater not playing tonight'

Thursday, October 2, 2014, 11:55am

ESPN - [Full Article]

Vikings QB Teddy Bridgewater, who threw for 317 yards in his debut as a starter Sunday, seemed optimistic Tuesday about his chances to play against the Packers but wouldn't put any percentage on it.

Officially, those chances appear to be set at 50-50.

On Thursday morning, Adam Schefter said, "I think the signs point to Teddy Bridgewater not playing tonight."

Fantasy Impact:

If Bridgewater doesn't play, it's a downgrade for the Vikings offense, though Christian Ponder has experience and is capable of running an offense against the Packers, who are not very good on the defensive side of the ball. Our current rankings assume Ponder will get the start, but if Bridgewater plays, then we'll upgrade the Minnesota receivers and downgrade the Green Bay defense if/once we receive word.

Vikes QB Teddy Bridgewater ankle issue 'just a sprain'

Sunday, September 28, 2014, 8:15pm

NFL.com - [Full Article]

QB Teddy Bridgewater left the Minnesota Vikings' game against the Atlanta Falcons in the fourth quarter with an ankle injury. He did not return to the team's 41-28 victory.

He walked off under his own power but was carted to the locker room for X-rays.

Bridgewater tells NFL Media's Omar Ruiz that his ankle injury "is just a sprain." The rookie signal-caller says he will be fine and expects to play Thursday against the Packers.

Fantasy Impact:

Bridgewater looked impressive in the win over Atlanta but the Falcon defense has made many look impressive this year. While Bridgewater said he expects the play, it would be hard to take his word right now, especially with a quick-turnaround, Week 5 game Thursday night. Bridgewater is worth owning, but if he plays against the Packers Thursday night it will be a big test on the road, and owners should probably temper expectations for another performance like Week 4. Christian Ponder would get the start if Bridgewater can't go.

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.

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.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014, 9:05pm

ESPN - [Full Article]

After throwing three interceptions during Monday's practice, Vikings QB Teddy Bridgewater was picked off twice more on Wednesday afternoon, by Mistral Raymond and Gerald Hodges. Bridgewater finished the day 12-for-17 in full-team drills, including a pass he threw away and a deep ball Adam Thielen dropped with a step on the defensive back covering him. Matt Cassel, who was again listed at the top of the Vikings' depth chart on Wednesday and appears to be solidly at the front of the Vikings' quarterback race, hit 12 of his 14 throws, with his only incompletions coming on drops from Kyle Rudolph and Matt Asiata. Christian Ponder went 6-for-8, with Shaun Prater breaking up one pass.

Vikings plan to use WR Greg Jennings in the slot

Friday, August 1, 2014, 10:44am

1500 ESPN - [Full Article]

After nearly one week of training camp, Greg Jennings' head is spinning a little less as he addressed the predictability factor that running back Adrian Peterson said hindered the Minnesota Vikings offense in the past.

"We were heavy, heavy, heavy run game," Jennings said. "Now we're going to take a lot more stress off Adrian. He's still going to get a heavy dosage of runs, but I think what Norv brings to the table is a more balanced offense."

When Jennings signed with the Vikings, the initial intention by the previous coaching staff was to use him as a flanker. However, he lined up in the slot 65 percent of the snaps last season, per PFF, and Turner wants to use Jennings in a similar fashion - but in a vastly different scheme.

During training camp practices, the Vikings appear to be using two split ends on the field more so than in previous schemes as Jerome Simpson and Cordarrelle Patterson line up on the outside, with Jennings and/or Jarius Wright on the inside.

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.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014, 11:35am

Minnesota Vikings - [Full Article]

Nine-year veteran Greg Jennings is the leader of the Vikings WR corps, and had as good an offseason program as anyone. He catches every pass that comes close to him and is a bona fide, been there-done that leader in the meeting room.

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.

Greg Jennings, Matt Cassel continue to be 'in sync'

Friday, June 20, 2014, 10:12am

ESPN - [Full Article]

A year after the two signed with the Vikings, Matt Cassel and Greg Jennings have clicked. The two married fathers, on one of the league's youngest teams, have bonded off the field over shared experiences, and they've developed a trust on it that was born out of a mutual respect for the other's work habits. Jennings tallied 489 receiving yards and caught all four of his touchdown passes from Cassel, who started six games; had Cassel been starting the entire season, Jennings might have had a Pro Bowl year instead of an underwhelming start to his time in Minnesota.

It's possible Jennings will be working with Teddy Bridgewater instead of Cassel in the not-too-distant future; the receiver has spoken highly of Bridgewater's work so far, and Bridgewater will get a chance to win a competition for the starting job in training camp. But Cassel took many of the first-team snaps during the Vikings' mandatory minicamp, and once again, he and Jennings looked to be in sync.

"I told Matt today, 'Hey, look, (in) no-huddle, when in doubt, I got you,'" Jennings said. "He knew what he was thinking was very similar and in tune with what I was thinking."

Fantasy Impact:

Jennings dealt with some injuries in 2013 but he showed a nice rapport with 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.

Beat: Matt Cassel very likely to start Week 1

Wednesday, June 18, 2014, 3:02pm

Star-Tribune - [Full Article]

Michael Rand of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune says that the Vikings QB situation is settled. "Unless (Matt Cassel) is hurt or (Teddy Bridgewater) absolutely blows the Vikings away, Cassel will be the starter when the season opens, Bridgewater will be his understudy and his backup, and (Christian Ponder) in the final year of his rookie contract will hold a clipboard and only see the field in case of an emergency. That's how it should be, and that's how it will be no matter what the coach says right now. You can bank on that."

Fantasy Impact:

Rand speaks as if he knows something we don't, though we doubt that the Vikings would continue to start Cassel if Bridgewater plays well enough to make a close contest. OC Norv Turner did try to acquire Cassel when he was in Cleveland, so he is a fan of the journeyman quarterback.

Matt Cassel still ahead of Teddy Bridgewater

Tuesday, June 17, 2014, 11:48am

Minneapolis Star Tribune - [Full Article]

Vikings QB Matt Cassel received the majority of the first team reps during OTAs over Teddy Bridgewater and Christian Ponder. We’ve seen a slight increase in first team reps for Bridgewater during the final week of OTAs. Nothing dramatic to draw any conclusions, and Cassel will probably continue to receive the majority of the first team reps during minicamp, but it’ll be interesting to see if Bridgewater’s first team reps continue to gradually increase. The Vikings clearly don't plan to rush Bridgewater into an immediate starting quarterback, but he has looked good so far.

Fantasy Impact:

Bridgewater has the best chance of his rookie class to post decent (low- to midrange-QB2) numbers. The team has already said that they’d like him to win the job, so we have him penciled in as the starter at this point in the offseason. Norv Turner is a capable play-caller, and Bridgewater will have no shortage of weapons at his disposal in Minnesota. Adrian Peterson will be the focus of the defense, so Bridgewater can pick his spots and deliver the ball to Cordarrelle Patterson, Greg Jennings and Kyle Rudolph.

Monday, June 16, 2014, 11:24pm

ESPN - [Full Article]

One player who could boost the Vikings' after-the-catch production is receiver Greg Jennings. He averaged 5.42 yards per catch from 2006-12 with the Green Bay Packers, better than all but three receivers in the league -- Percy Harvin, Miles Austin and Wes Welker -- during that time. That total dropped to 5.01 last year, as Christian Ponder especially struggled to get Jennings the ball in places where he could put his exceptional quickness to work, but Norv Turner's offense could help rejuvenate Jennings' game.

Wherever they can get it, the Vikings will likely be looking for receivers to produce after the catch this season. Turner's best offenses have had them, and between Adrian Peterson, Jerick McKinnon, Jennings and Cordarrelle Patterson, there'll be plenty of candidates to do it in 2014.

Sunday, June 15, 2014, 11:25am

NFL.com - [Full Article]

"We'll see how it plays out once it goes to training camp," Vikings QB Christian Ponder said via the St. Paul Pioneer Press, "but obviously there's an agenda to try to get (Teddy Bridgewater) ready, and (Matt Cassel) is the starter right now."

Although Cassel will enter camp atop the depth chart, the Vikings hope Bridgewater can close the gap by the end of the preseason action.

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