Vikings Fantasy News
Friday, August 1, 2014, 10:39pm
Vikings WR Cordarrelle Patterson was the best player on the field during the early part of practice. He made impressive catches on a sideline route after a tipped pass by Kendall James, then he secured a pass on a bubble screen that caused him to contort his body and he caught a quick slant that was behind him and turned it into a would-be 1st down.
As veteran teammate Greg Jennings has pointed out, though, new coordinator Norv Turner is going to force-feed Patterson the ball, moving him around the field like a souped-up Percy Harvin. In fact, Jennings is now convinced there's "no ceiling" to Patterson's potential and the second-year receiver's success is "going to shoot straight through the roof." "I'm excited," Jennings added this week, via ESPN.com. "I told him this, and maybe it was a little premature, but I told him, 'At some point, I'm going to tell my kids I played with Cordarrelle Patterson.'"
Patterson posted the 5th-best FP/snap (0.24) among wideouts who played at least 20% of their team’s snaps. Patterson was the #10 WR from Week 10 to Week 17 – as a rookie. He scored seven touchdowns in that span (three rush, four receiving) while racking up 29 catches for 323 yards to go along with 10 carries for 156 rushing yards. With Josh Gordon coming off of a breakout season under new Vikings OC Norv Turner, Patterson should be a fantasy starter sooner rather than later. His TD rate will be difficult to maintain, but he should see a jump in touches in 2014. Patterson is very raw as a route runner and needs to develop quickly in that facet of the game if he's to have the type of season that many are predicting.
Training camp is almost a week old. Packers RB Eddie Lacy couldn't have looked any better. Last weekend, Lacy was catching point-blank passes from position coach Sam Gash along the sidelines during a break in practice. He dropped one. Other than that, you'd be hard-pressed to find another subpar moment for the Packers' bread-and-butter back.
Lacy finished as the #7 RB in his rookie season and did it in essentially 14 games. Removing Week 2 (where he was concussed and only carried the ball once), Lacy averaged 14.9 fantasy points, which is the 6th-best average, just behind Adrian Peterson. He is a great talent and plays in a potent offense that should be even better in 2014 with a (hopefully) healthy Aaron Rodgers under center.
Friday, August 1, 2014, 10:51am
Vikings RB Adrian Peterson got most of the day off, with Matt Asiata and Jerick McKinnon getting most of the first-team work at running back. Asiata, to me, looks quicker through the holes than he was last year, when he averaged 3.8 yards on 44 carries. He could get some carries in relief of Peterson this year, and he's big enough to be a forceful downhill runner if he can do a better job of getting through the line with some speed this season.
It sounds like Asiata is the primary ballcarrier behind Peterson, with McKinnon taking on a pass-catching role. The duo would likely form a committee if something happened to Peterson.
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.
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.
Vikings wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson practiced fully for the first time this summer and looked unhindered by the foot injury that sidelined him for the first few practices. It didn’t take long for him make his presence known. At the start of the team takeoff drill, a quick team activity before individual work, Patterson caught a pass from QB Matt Cassel and turned upfield. That got him a nice ovation from the fans, who were happy to see him back.
All arrows are pointing up for Patterson, who was the #10 WR from Week 10 to Week 17 in his rookie season. He scored seven touchdowns in that span (three rush, four receiving) while racking up 29 catches for 323 yards to go along with 10 carries for 156 rushing yards. With Josh Gordon coming off of a breakout season under new Vikings OC Norv Turner, Patterson should be a fantasy starter sooner rather than later. His TD rate will be difficult to maintain, but he should see a jump in touches in 2014. Patterson is very raw as a route runner and needs to develop in that facet of the game if he's to have the type of season that many are predicting. By all accounts, he is progressing quickly.
Wednesday, July 30, 2014, 8:50pm
It seems like every day Vikings rookie running back Jerick McKinnon grabs your attention with his athleticism. Today, that moment occurred when he caught a quick swing pass from Bridgewater as he sprinted to the right. Rookie corner Kendall James took a bad angle in pursuit, and McKinnon planted his right cleat into the ground and shot up the field into the secondary.
It’s definitely fair to say Vikings TE Kyle Rudolph has been under-utilized to this point in his career. OC Norv Turner will showcase Rudolph this season more than he’s ever been showcased before. Clearly the Vikings wanted to get his contract extension on the books before he posted a breakout season and could ask for even more.
Rudolph was the #13 TE through Week 9 prior to a season-ending fracture in his foot. He was 15th in targets per game during that span, so there’s some opportunity in the workload department, especially with new OC Norv Turner in town. Turner isn’t necessarily as TE-friendly as his old boss Rob Chudzinski, but he featured Antonio Gates and Jordan Cameron heavily while with the Chargers and Browns. Rudolph is just 24 and could make a nice leap if the Vikings can get good play out of the quarterback position. He should continue to be a force in the redzone.
Monday, July 28, 2014, 2:32pm
Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports that Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer said there is “nothing to see” from RB Adrian Peterson in the preseason that the team needs to prepare for the season. Zimmer allowed that Peterson may make a cameo appearance if the running back feels it will benefit him to see action in a preseason game, but it doesn’t look like the coaching staff views it as any kind of a priority.
Monday, July 28, 2014, 11:17am
Running back Toby Gerhart's first day in pads went just the way Jacksonville Jaguars coach Gus Bradley envisioned it would when he signed the former Stanford standout to a free-agent contract in March.
"...He had a gap scheme with a small space, and he stayed true to it and hit it and had good pad level," Bradley said. "I think it was a good sign."
In other words, the 6-foot, 231-pound Gerhart pounded through the hole, which is exactly what the Jags want, writes the Florida Times-Union's Vito Stellino.
"I try not to explode and blow up one of my teammates. I’m a bigger back, a power back," Gerhart said. "I’m able to wear defenses down. I feel like the more carries I get, the better rhythm I have. I get lathered up. I think I’m at my best when I get multiple carries in a row."
Gerhart is a very interesting fantasy prospect at RB this season. The former Adrian Peterson backup is getting his chance to be a three-down back for the Jags. He's touched the ball 15+ times in seven career games and averaged low-end RB1 numbers, so the potential is there. We have him ranked as a mid-range RB2 at 17th with an attractive low-fourth round ADP.
Monday, July 28, 2014, 8:54am
After the Vikings named Norv Turner their offensive coordinator in January, it quickly became apparent that tight end Kyle Rudolph stood to become one of the biggest beneficiaries of the move. Rudolph had put together a solid start to his career in Minnesota, winning Pro Bowl MVP honors after his second season and catching 30 passes before breaking his foot in the Vikings' eighth game of last year, but Turner's offense stood to take Rudolph to a new level.
The Vikings clearly saw that possibility, too. Think of the five-year contract extension they gave Rudolph on Sunday night, then, as both a good-faith deposit and a mechanism to ensure some cost certainty.
Rudolph is ranked 10th on our TE list with an ADP of the 10th round. There seems to be a lot of potential there for Rudolph this season, who was having a nice year in 2013 before getting hurt. If you don't land one of the top TEs early in your draft, waiting until later in the draft is probably a good strategy and Rudolph could give you some quality starts at the position.
Sunday, July 27, 2014, 3:23pm
Per Jay Glazer, Vikings QBs Teddy Bridgewater and veteran Matt Cassel are “pretty much splitting reps” at practice.
It doesn’t mean that Bridgewater will be the Week 1 starter. It does mean that, the longer the rep-spitting lasts, the less prepared the Week 1 starter will be, the story points out. But it certainly seems more encouraging for Bridgewater than Cassel at this point.
Sunday, July 27, 2014, 1:26pm
Should Vikings FB Jerome Felton expect a different or decreased role with Norv Turner running the offense? It’s a fair question considering the Browns, whose offense Turner coordinated last season, used two-back formations on just 5.2 percent of their snaps in 2013, according to Pro Football Focus. That was one of the lowest figures in the league, though the Browns didn’t exactly have a bruiser like Felton -- or any established fullback for that matter -- and they also played from behind a lot. The Vikings used two backs on 24.1 percent of their snaps a season ago. That’s why Turner is saying that the Felton should still have a role here. “He is going to have to block and block,” Turner said. “We talked the other night to our team, we need to have a physical presence. Jerome brings that type of presence, and we are still going to have a certain percentage of two backs in the backfield, or spread out with the two backs in the backfield, that personnel group, if it gives the team problems. ... I think that there’s game situations where you need to have a fullback that can go pound it a little bit.”
The fantasy news here is Felton could help pave the way for Adrian Peterson.
Wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson missed practice with a foot injury, but is only expected to miss a couple of days. Patterson didn't take the team's conditioning test on Thursday because of the injury, and stood near the Vikings' receivers in a bucket hat on during Friday's practice. The injury isn't though to be serious, but the start of Patterson's highly-anticipated second season will have to wait a few days.
Hopefully Patterson returns to practice soon. He's missing valuable practice while he's sidelined. As an up-and-coming player he needs as many reps as he can get.
Friday, July 25, 2014, 5:20pm
Vikings RB Adrian Peterson said he expects to take on an expanded role in first-year offensive coordinator Norv Turner's system, one that seems designed for elusiveness over brawn. "It's definitely different," Peterson said. "I had an opportunity to sit down and talk to Coach Turner, and I knew when they hired him I was going to be more involved in the spread (offense), running routes out of the backfield. "It's something I've been waiting for my whole career, and now I have the opportunity to be a part of that style of offense." As he begins his last season under 30, the age often associated with decline among NFL running backs, Peterson said he sees himself as an every-down player.
He’s coming off of a #6 finish (and groin surgery); it’s the second time in three seasons that he has finished outside of the top 5. He turns 29 in March and while he should continue to be very productive when healthy, one wonders if his 2,241 touches are starting to catch up to him. Along with his sheer talent, there is another reason to be excited about AP’s upside in 2014 — the arrival of OC Norv Turner, who knows what he’s doing on that side of the ball. Turner emphasized that he wants to get Peterson the ball in space, and that means more receptions. Peterson has only averaged 2.0 catches in his career, and has been curiously underutilized in the passing game since day one. He's not quite the natural receiver as LaDainian Tomlinson was, but as a Turner-RB comparison, Tomlinson averaged 2.9 catches in three seasons under Norv Turner.
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