Vikings Fantasy News
Wednesday, July 23, 2014, 10:39pm
Vikings HC Mike Zimmer on WR Cordarrelle Patterson's improvement as a route runner and his return ability: "We want our best players to get their hands on the ball as much as possible. We’re not going to keep him from returning kicks because he is such a dangerous weapon there. He’s been a very hard worker, he has improved his route running since we’ve been here and things are going to change for these guys in training camp when we are able to start playing bump-and-run. For him to take the next step, we’re going to have to see how he gets off a jam and the things that people will try to do to take him away.
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Wednesday, July 23, 2014, 5:05pm
Patriots beat writer Mike Reiss on how quickly TE Rob Gronkowski will be practicing fully: "I wouldn’t be surprised if Gronk is eased in rather than going full bore from the get go because you are talking about a player who had surgery for a torn ACL less than seven months ago. They’re going to want to bring him along slowly."
Gronkowski has been hugely productive when healthy, but his health is still a concern heading into the 2014 season. He reportedly had surgery on Jan. 9 to reconstruct a torn ACL. It typically takes a full year to recover, though Adrian Peterson and Robert Griffin III have made quicker returns (with varying success). Given the news that he avoided preseason PUP, Gronkowski is tentatively expected to be ready for the start of the season, and his return would be a big boost to Tom Brady and the entire New England offense. Don't expect him to practice fully right away, but it looks like Week 1 is a realistic possibility.
Wednesday, July 23, 2014, 11:35am
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.
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.
Rob Gronkowski (ACL) 'cleared to play'
Wednesday, July 23, 2014, 10:52am
That was the short, sweet and easily biggest news to come out of Bill Belichick’s morning pre-training camp press conference at Gillette Stadium on Wednesday.
Rehabbing his way back from a torn ACL suffered last Dec. 8 against the Browns, Gronkowski did not take part on the field in New England’s spring OTAs and mini-camp, instead working with the team’s medical staff.
But he reported to Foxborough earlier this week with other injured players, rookies and quarterbacks and was cleared to return to the field. Therefore, PUP (physically unable to perform) is not an option either during the summer or the regular season.
Gronkowski has been hugely productive when healthy, but his health is still a concern heading into the 2014 season. He reportedly had surgery on Jan. 9 to reconstruct a torn ACL. It typically takes a full year to recover, though Adrian Peterson and Robert Griffin III have made quicker returns (with varying success). Given the news, Gronkowski is tentatively expected to be ready for the start of the season, and his return would be a big boost to Tom Brady and the entire New England offense. Don't expect him to practice fully right away, but it looks like Week 1 is a realistic possibility.
Tuesday, July 22, 2014, 11:48am
Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski said Friday that he plans to play the entire season as he recovers from a torn ACL. He hasn't been placed on the PUP list at this point, but that's still an option prior to the first practice of training camp Thursday.
Gronkowski has been hugely productive when healthy, but his health is a major concern heading into 2014. He reportedly had surgery on Jan. 9 to reconstruct a torn ACL. It typically takes a full year to recover, though Adrian Peterson and Robert Griffin III have made quicker returns (with varying success). The fact that he hasn't yet been placed on preseason PUP is a positive sign, but as the article states -- the Pats still have time to do so.
Tuesday, July 22, 2014, 11:36am
Offensive coordinator Norv Turner believes the organization got a steal when QB Teddy Bridgewater slipped to the last pick in the first round.
"I think he probably should've gone in the first 10 picks," Turner said recently, via the team's official website. "He probably should've gone at least in the first half of the first round, and then we're sitting there with an opportunity to get him when we did, it was a bonus to me."
Kyle Rudolph shed 15 lbs for larger role in passing game
Tuesday, July 22, 2014, 11:03am
Changes continue at Winter Park and that includes Vikings TE Kyle Rudolph, who has yet to have a 100-yard receiving game in the NFL. Though he's been voted to a Pro Bowl, Rudolph has mostly been known for his effective run blocking. That should change under Turner, who has championed some of the NFL's best pass-catching tight ends in his stops across the league. Coming off a broken foot and in a contract year, Rudolph shed 15 pounds to prepare for this season as he figures to run more routes and become a focal point of the Vikings' pass attack.
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.
Rob Gronkowski (ACL) won't know his status until camp begins
Saturday, July 19, 2014, 11:35am
"I'm planning on playing the whole season this year," Gronkowski said Friday at a women's football clinic, according to Mike Reiss of ESPN.com.
"I don't know yet until I report, so I'll sit down with the coaches and training staff and we'll see," he said. "I'm just working with the trainers right now, improving every single day and whenever it starts up, whatever the trainers have, whatever the coaches have for me, whatever we feel comfortable with (we'll be) doing as much as possible every day that I can do."
Gronkowski has been hugely productive when healthy, but his health is a major concern heading into 2014. He reportedly had surgery on Jan. 9 to reconstruct a torn ACL. It typically takes a full year to recover, though Adrian Peterson and Robert Griffin III have made quicker returns (with varying success). Gronkowski is tentatively expected to be ready for the start of the season, but don’t be surprised we don’t know his status until deep into August or even early September. This makes him a major risk in 2014 fantasy drafts. The ACL surgery was the eighth (known) surgery of his career.
Thursday, July 17, 2014, 12:37pm
Teddy Bridgewater was impressive in his first work with the Vikings this spring, but unless he's clearly the best of the Vikings' quarterbacks in training camp, Matt Cassel figures to start the season as the quarterback. The Vikings re-signed Cassel so they wouldn't have to rush a young quarterback, and in the process, they created a situation in which they can afford to be patient with Bridgewater. If he's the best man for the job, it doesn't seem likely HC Mike Zimmer will wait to play him. But if he's not fully ready by the end of camp, there's nothing forcing the Vikings to play the rookie.
Thursday, July 17, 2014, 12:01pm
The Vikings drafted Jerick McKinnon in the hopes that he could become their third-down running back. He didn’t catch many passes in Georgia Southern’s triple-option offense, but he looked comfortable running routes and making catches during offseason workouts. Pass protection will be important, though, and McKinnon admittedly has a lot of learning to do in that area because of the offense he played in during college. Meanwhile, HC Mike Zimmer and the Vikings like Matt Asiata’s versatility and reliability, so he will be in the mix, as well. And don’t rule out Adrian Peterson hogging a big chunk of the third-down snaps, too.
How are the Vikings going to use McKinnon? We got a glimpse during offseason workouts and the minicamp, but we will get a better idea during training camp. McKinnon is quick, shifty and one of the most athletic players on the roster. To put his skill set to use, though, they will have to take Peterson off the field -- or find creative ways to use them together. Could a Sproles-type hybrid role be in the plans for the rookie? We’ll soon find out.
Packers want Eddie Lacy to be a three-down back
Thursday, July 17, 2014, 11:40am
"We haven't sat down and figured out 'X' number of carries for Eddie," offensive coordinator Tom Clements said this offseason, per ESPN.com. "We want to get him touches, trying to get him more involved in all aspects of the game, but Eddie was a workhorse for us last year. And then when James got in there last year, he ran very hard. That was a great one-two punch. Now you factor in DuJuan and the other guys, it's going to be interesting to see how that plays out."
As we discussed last week, the Packers want Lacy to be able to stay on the field on third downs so the pace doesn't slow due to subbing in a better pass-catching, blocking 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. We're not worried about his playing time.
Slim Kyle Rudolph looks to play big role
Tuesday, July 8, 2014, 2:45pm
It generally isn't until about now, with training camp just around the corner, that Minnesota Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph starts keeping a close eye on his weight. He has always worked out in the offseason, with an eye toward getting ready for the season, but Rudolph will admit he has also used his training regimen as justification to cut some nutritional corners.
Rudolph started keeping a closer leash on his diet in February, with an eye toward slimming down before the Vikings' voluntary veterans' minicamp in April. He is now about 260 pounds, he said, after playing at 275 last season, and with a more active role in the Vikings' passing game likely awaiting him this season, Rudolph has been working to refine his skills as a receiver.
Rudolph is working out at Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald's training camp this week, training with Fitz and a group of receivers for the fourth year. He has been drilling his speed in and out of his cuts with Fitzgerald's trainer, Bill Welle. In a scheme that has traditionally rewarded tight ends, Rudolph could see the payoff this season. We currently rank Rudolph 9th among our TEs with an ADP of the 10th round, but outside of the top-three, everyone can look the same when it's time to draft that position. Perhaps Rudolph is a name to keep in mind as someone to step up this season among a large group of second tier players.
Monday, July 7, 2014, 8:24pm
The Vikings have three candidates, in theory, for the quarterback job. New offensive coordinator Norv Turner likes his various options.
Some think veteran Matt Cassel, who signed a two-year, $10 million contract after voiding the final year of his prior contract, will be the Week One starter, especially since Turner wanted Cassel last year in Cleveland. Others think rookie Teddy Bridgewater is being groomed to take over sooner than later.
“I think that Matt Cassel has had an outstanding spring and is getting himself ready to really have a good year,” Turner said. “And we know Teddy’s been really, really impressive and a lot further along than I expected him to be.”
Turner thinks all three should get plenty of time in camp to show their stuff. Cassel may be the choice, but we like the fantasy potential of Bridgewater and think he has a chance to post decent numbers if given the opportunity. Low-to-mid QB2 is where we see him falling.
Monday, July 7, 2014, 12:56pm
McKinnon is a converted quarterback from Georgia Southern drafted in the third round.
"He's pretty impressive and there's not too many guys who impress me like that, especially rookies coming in," Peterson said. "He's been able to do some real good things in the offense, picking it up well and just his running style."
McKinnon bench pressed 225 pounds 32 times at the NFL scouting combine.
McKinnon is regarded as a natural pass-catcher despite catching just 10 passes in college, the story pointed out. At Georgia Southern, he lined up everywhere from running back to quarterback and returned kicks. Some kind of role behind Peterson is possible for McKinnon, but Matt Asiata probably has a leg up for the RB2 spot heading into camp. Peterson owners who want to handcuff him should follow this battle, though.
Sunday, July 6, 2014, 2:18pm
After making the Pro Bowl last season as a kickoff returner, Patterson is hoping for more success this year.
"This year I'm going to try and pull something different out," Patterson said. "I don't know what it is, but I feel like I can get better and improve on my game. When this year comes, I hope I can show the fans and everybody something a little different."
He's specifically talking about route-running and recognizing defenses. Patterson showed flashes last year and from weeks 10-17 he was #10 WR. This season he makes a huge jump and is ranked 19th among our WRs coming into drafts with an ADP of the fifth round.