This will open up opportunities for Jarius Wright early in the season.
When the Vikings finally pull RB Adrian Peterson out of the garage on Sept. 7 in St. Louis, they'll be inserting him in an offense that will ask the 2012 NFL MVP to handle some different tasks from the ones he's typically performed.
The Vikings' desire to use Peterson in the passing game has been well-documented, and will probably be the most profound change for him this season, but there also will be a subtle change in the ways they use him when he's carrying the ball.
Peterson has done most of his work between the tackles in recent years, often putting together some of his biggest plays on zone runs that gave the running back a chance to read the defense and cut back against the grain if he saw an opportunity. In 2012, Peterson gained 1,536 of his 2,097 yards inside the tackles, according to ESPN Stats & Information. Some of those plays will still be there, but the Vikings will also introduce some power running elements to their ground game, including some outside runs like they've shown in the preseason with guard Charlie Johnson pulling around the right side of the line.
On those plays, Peterson will have to display enough patience to let his blockers get set up and follow them to a predetermined point of attack.
The story goes on to say that the Vikings want to get Peterson on the edge of the field more often, both to maximize his explosiveness and reduce the pounding on his body, and that will inherently put the running back in some new situations. He'll run out of shotgun sets and multiple-receiver formations more often. He'll have to be better in pass protection to stay on the field on third downs, and he'll have to be more reliable catching the ball. The key is he'll have to be patient. But, these are all reasons why Peterson is again a top-three fantasy player to draft this season. The good news is the Vikings are trying to put him in situations to stay healthy, and with what looks like the threat of a passing game with OC Norv Turner, Peterson is again poised for a big year.
"That's coach's call," Gash said, referring to how Mike McCarthy intends to use Lacy. "But I have trained him as a three-down back. He will be ready to go."
Great news for potential and current Lacy owners. He looks to be a real steal the later he slips after the top-three of Jamaal Charles, Adrian Peterson and LeSean McCoy come off the board. If you really want to take a RB in the middle of the first round, Lacy could be your guy...
Monday, August 25, 2014, 8:05pm
Seahawks WR Percy Harvin has been unhindered in training camp by the hip injury that limited him to just one regular-season game last year. Harvin said he hasn't felt this good since before his college days at the University of Florida and he's found gears he didn't realize he had.
"I definitely feel a lot better," Harvin said. "I've got a lot more motion than I'm used to having. I can do a lot more cuts and just a lot of different motions that I wasn't able to do before."
Considering he was a league MVP candidate before getting hurt with the Minnesota Vikings two seasons ago, that's a scary thought for the rest of the league. Harvin's presence is already being felt this preseason. He's caught seven passes for 92 yards in Seattle's last two preseason games and returned the opening kickoff 46 yards Friday night against the Chicago Bears.
With Harvin in the lineup, the Seahawks' first-team offense scored on nine consecutive possessions over the last two games with seven possessions ending with touchdowns, the story said. Harvin is ranked 20th on our list of WRs and just needs to stay healthy. He along with QB Russell Wilson could prove to be great additions to your fantasy lineups.
Monday, August 25, 2014, 6:24pm
Then the Titans will sit down and try to pick a winner. Or go looking through the waiver wire for someone else.
"At some point, you've got to base it off what you've seen them do," coach Ken Whisenhunt said Monday. "And if you don't feel like they can do it, you have to look for other avenues to address it."
The Titans decided to go young at kicker in March when they cut veteran Rob Bironas, the fourth-most accurate kicker all-time in the NFL. They already had Bonani on the roster after having the former South Florida kicker in training camp last year, and they added undrafted rookie Coons out of Washington after the draft in May.
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.
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
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.
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 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.
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.
Tuesday, August 19, 2014, 9:21am
The punishment arises from a November 2013 arrest for DUI and refusal to submit to a chemical test. Simpson later pleaded guilty to reckless driving and failure to submit to a chemical test, but the outcome triggers scrutiny under the portion of the substance-abuse policy that relates to alcohol-related offenses.
Simpson’s three-game suspension arising from felony drug charges in 2012 made him susceptible to a suspension for his latest offense under the substance-abuse policy. Which doesn’t bode well for Browns receiver Josh Gordon and his own pending DUI charge, given his history of violations of the substance-abuse policy.
Monday, August 18, 2014, 4:37pm
Vikings wide receiver Jerome Simpson missed practice Monday to attend a hearing at NFL headquarters in New York and defend himself against a possible suspension for his November drunken-driving arrest, according to a person with direct knowledge.
The league is determining whether to discipline Simpson as a repeat offender under its collectively bargained Policy and Program For Substances of Abuse.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Friday, August 15, 2014, 12:36pm
Yes, Jerick McKinnon is just a rookie and yes he plays the same position as Adrian Peterson, the best running back in the NFL. Even still, McKinnon looks to be a player who will contribute to the Vikings offense immediately. He was billed as a scat-back type who could contribute on 3rd downs as a receiver, and that is true, he can do that. But he has also displayed some inside running ability and the ability to perform on special teams in a variety of capacities. The Vikings found a gem in the 3rd round with McKinnon.
It's not clear who the proper handcuff is for Peterson owners. Most likely, the team would committee Matt Asiata with McKinnon if something were to happen to Peterson.
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.
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.
- Page 1