Vikings Fantasy News

If healthy, Redskins will 'figure out ways' to utilize TE Jordan Reed

Wednesday, July 1, 2015, 3:08pm

Real Redskins - [Full Article]

Redskins beat writer Rich Tandler on whether or not TE Jordan Reed will be a big part of the offense:

Add it up and when he was healthy Jordan played 337 of 612 snaps. That’s about 55 percent of the plays, amounting to a heavy part-time load. When he played in 2013 he was targeted 7.8 times per game. Last year his targets per game (again not counting the games he left early due to injury) stood at 6.9. Despite being healthy, he was virtually ignored in games against the Vikings (1 target), Eagles (2), and Bucs (2).

I shouldn’t give the impression here that Reed was not used at all. His 65 total targets were fourth on the team and more than anyone besides the top three wide receivers, despite missing five games.

Still, it’s hard to look at the snap counts and targets and figure that Reed will be a “major part” of the offense even if he’s healthy. That could change but probably not initially. I can see him starting out the year playing about half of the snaps and if he stays on the field his workload could increase to where he’s playing, say, 70 percent of the snaps. If he’s on the field more his targets will increase and he could become more of a part of the offense.

But it all starts with Reed staying healthy. If that happens I’m sure that the team will figure out ways to take advantage of his considerable talents.

Fantasy Impact:

If Reed were to average 6.9 T/G over a full 16-game season, it works out to 110 targets, which would have been the 5th-most among tight ends last season. His problem is that he can't seem to stay healthy and isn't currently healthy enough to practice. Tandler mentions that Reed's playing time may increase as the season wears on.

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Vikings have high hopes for WR Charles Johnson

Monday, June 29, 2015, 12:45pm

ESPN - [Full Article]

Vikings wide receiver Jerome Simpson was a week from returning to the Vikings' roster after a three-game suspension for drunken driving, when ESPN reported on Sept. 18 that Simpson had been cited in July for misdemeanor marijuana possession and driving with an open bottle. The Vikings released Simpson later that day, and signed Charles Johnson off the Cleveland Browns' practice squad the next day.

It seemed at the time like a move to replenish the Vikings' wide receiver depth with a known commodity -- quarterbacks coach Scott Turner had been Johnson's position coach the previous year in Cleveland -- but Johnson was less than a year removed from knee surgery, and didn't play more than 20 snaps in a game until Nov. 16. From that point on, though, he caught 25 passes for 415 yards and a pair of touchdowns, and supplanted Cordarrelle Patterson as the team's "X" receiver.

"He was recovering from that knee surgery a year ago and I don't know that he was ever 100 percent," offensive coordinator Norv Turner said. "I think he's 100 percent. He's got great work ethic, and he's a big, strong guy. He's a 218-pound receiver that can run. He's got everything you need to be a productive player in this league."

Fantasy Impact:

In organized team activities and minicamp, there was no mystery about where Johnson figured in the Vikings' plans, the story went on to say. He was lined up at split end all spring, and teamed with Mike Wallace and Jarius Wright in the team's three receiver sets. According to ESPN, 33 of Johnson's 58 targets were at least 10 yards downfield, and 13 of those 58 were 20 or more yards downfield. Johnson worked out in Southern California with Bridgewater and a number of the Vikings' receivers this offseason, and also spent time in Houston with Rischad Whitfield, the "Footwork King" who has counted Antonio Brown and DeAndre Hopkins among his clients. Johnson is one of 4for4.com Senior Editor John Paulsen's potential sleepers this year. We rank him 37th on our WR list and he looks to be in a good situation with the offense under OC Norv Turner and a developing QB in Bridgewater.

Eddie Lacy expected to get 'heavy' workload

Sunday, June 28, 2015, 9:47am

Packers.com - [Full Article]

RB Eddie Lacy was asked to do a lot more for the Packers in 2014 than he was as a rookie, and he delivered.

He stayed on the field on third downs as a pass protector and receiving outlet for quarterback Aaron Rodgers. He was solid in blitz pickup, and he boosted his pass-catching numbers considerably, from 257 yards and no touchdowns in 2013 to 427 yards and four scores last year.

All the while, he improved his per-carry rushing average a full half yard, from 4.1 to 4.6, without missing a single game and never touching the ball fewer than a dozen times per contest.

It’s a heavy workload that isn’t likely to diminish in the upcoming season, but the third-year running back is fine with his extensive every-down responsibilities.

“I don’t feel I have too much on my plate,” Lacy said last week as the offseason program wrapped up. “I really think it’s the perfect amount. You can see the chemistry between me and the offensive line, and me and the quarterback. We’re just all on the same page and we’re rolling.”

Fantasy Impact:

Lacy will certainly be a major factor again this season, and the coaching staff has emphasized it wants to get clicking from the get-go this year, the story said. That's something Lacy didn't do last season, thanks in part to a tough, early schedule. But we preached to stay patient with Lacy as his schedule eased. It paid off as he finished in the top-eight in both PPR and standard formats. This year Lacy is ranked third among our running backs heading into drafts, but with an ADP of 1.3, he's actually going before Adrian Peterson and Marshawn Lynch, who we have ahead of him here in late June.

Saturday, June 27, 2015, 4:56pm

St. Paul Pioneer Press - [Full Article]

Adrian Peterson will be back in the lineup as the starting running back for the Vikings. However, Jerick McKinnon said his health is fine and that shouldn't play any role as he competes with Matt Asiata for playing time behind Peterson.

"Two hundred percent,'' McKinnon said about he feels since December surgery. "If there is a 300, I feel 300. It's all good.''

McKinnon was a third-round pick out of Georgia Southern and made the transition from being an option quarterback. Any plans to bring him along slowly as a rookie were scuttled when Peterson left the team following the regular-season opener.

McKinnon's outing against the Falcons came in the fourth game of the season and in just his third appearance. He averaged an impressive 4.8 yards per carry while sharing running duties with Asiata until he got hurt.

Fantasy Impact:

McKinnon developed a close bond with Peterson in the four months he spent with him last year, the story said. McKinnon even said he'd draft himself on his own fantasy team, but the fact is, Peterson returns this year ranked as our number-one fantasy back. McKinnon can be had in the very late rounds, though, and if you're a Peterson owner, it may not be a bad move to back yourself up.

Saturday, June 27, 2015, 1:51pm

Buffalo News - [Full Article]

Bills beat writer Vic Carucci answered a question about keeping struggling QB Matt Cassel because he's a veteran.

Carucci: [$4.75 million] is a whole lot of cap space to devote to a backup. I believe the Bills acquired Cassel in a trade with the Minnesota Vikings last March with the intention of making him their starter. Furthermore, I would fully expect the Bills to extend Cassel’s contract to provide cap relief if they are convinced he will have the job.

The fact that hasn’t happened and that there is no indication of it happening any time soon after his struggles through the offseason raise some legitimate questions about whether he will be on the roster if he isn’t starting.

Fantasy Impact:

Carucci said he thinks Cassel is wired to accept a backup role as a mentor to EJ Manuel or Tyrod Taylor or any younger starter, but doubts the Bills would devote that much to their cap. With a run-first plan of attack likely still in place, whoever the Bills starter is won't have a ton of week-to-week fantasy value.

Norv: WR Charles Johnson has 'picked up where he left off'

Thursday, June 25, 2015, 11:47pm

Star-Tribune - [Full Article]

Vikings OC Norv Turner had some nice things to say about WR Charles Johnson.

“CJ has picked up where he left off in December and he’s having a good spring,” Turner said.

Johnson won’t technically be labeled as the No. 1 receiver with the Vikings trading for Mike Wallace from the Dolphins, but he’s expected to have a big role in the offense. Johnson built a rapport with Teddy Bridgewater once he took over as the starting “X” receiver over Cordarrelle Paterson, and the chemistry continued throughout OTAs and minicamp this offseason.

Fantasy Impact:

Johnson started playing significant snaps in Week 11, and over the final seven games of the season, he averaged 3.6 catches for 59 yards and 0.29 touchdowns. He was the #31 fantasy receiver in that span. He should continue to have plenty of opportunity to grow in Norv Turner's offense despite the arrival of Mike Wallace.

Dolphins Beat: 'Even the deep throws are improved' for QB Ryan Tannehill

Thursday, June 25, 2015, 11:39pm

Miami Herald - [Full Article]

Dolphins players have been effusive about how Ryan Tannehill has looked all offseason. Even the deep throws are improved. “Ryan is way better than last year and more of a leader,” tight end Dion Sims said.

Fantasy Impact:

In his first three seasons, Tannehill finished #24, #16 and finally #9 in quarterback scoring. That’s a nice trend. The Dolphins spent the offseason trying to upgrade his weapons, and ended up with Jordan Cameron at tight end to go along with Kenny Stills, DeVante Parker and Greg Jennings at receiver. Sure, they traded away Mike Wallace and let Charles Clay walk, but that trio (and the emerging Jarvis Landry) should be able to more than offset those losses. Tannehill has a good coordinator in Bill Lazor and host of weapons to utilize. He looks like a very safe pick in the 9th round.

Monday, June 22, 2015, 3:38pm

Vikings.com - [Full Article]

Vikings RB Jerick McKinnon made a great impression during his debut season in 2014 before his season ended due to injury. Now that McKinnon’s a year into his career and knows the offense better, OC Norv Turner says McKinnon looks even faster than a year ago.

“Jerick, really looks faster than a year ago, because he’s real confident in what he’s doing,” Turner said. “He’s 100 percent healthy and he’s flying around. He really gives you a nice dimension, a changeup.”

Fantasy Impact:

McKinnon will vie for touches behind Adrian Peterson. He's likely to see the biggest workload if something were to happen to Peterson, though Matt Asiata would also be in the mix.

Vikings Beat: A healthy TE Kyle Rudolph is 'a big deal' for the offense

Monday, June 22, 2015, 3:36pm

Vikings.com - [Full Article]

In watching Vikings practices this offseason and then listening to coaches and player speak, there’s a sense a healthy TE Kyle Rudolph is a big deal for the offense. In one of Bridgewater’s first press conferences of the offseason program, he was asked about the addition of Wallace. Bridgewater explained that addition was great, but he made a point to talk up how much a healthy Rudolph means to him and the rest of the offense. And this is what Turner, who has had several big-time TEs featured in his offenses, said about Rudolph:

“When he’s healthy and running like he’s been the last three weeks, it’s exciting to have him. We’ll get some coverage on the outside with the speed that we have, he can open it up a lot. He’ll get match-ups, if they’re going to play eight-man fronts, the tight end gets great match-ups through the passing game. It’s nice having him.”

Fantasy Impact:

It has been a frustrating two years for Rudolph and his owners, as he’s missed 15 of a possible 32 games in that span. But he saw 17 targets in three games last season before going down with a sports hernia. Over the past three seasons, Rudolph has averaged 5.2 targets per game, which is about what Owen Daniels averaged in 2014. There’s some upside in OC Norv Turner’s TE-friendly offense if he can stay healthy.

Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill 'has played well' throughout OTAs

Wednesday, June 17, 2015, 11:10pm

Sun-Sentinel - [Full Article]

Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill was as good as a $96 million player could be in Wednesday's minicamp practice. He threw seven touchdowns and no interceptions, made good decisions, threw accurate passes, showed good footwork and pocket presence.

Tannehill, who received a lucrative contract extension in the offseason, has played well throughout the offseason program, and Wednesday was one of his best practices. Tannehill, frequently criticized for his inability to throw deep, even connected with wide receiver Jarvis Landry on a beautifully thrown 45-yard touchdown pass. He later hooked up with veteran wide receiver Greg Jennings on a 75-yard catch-and-run touchdown.

"I feel really comfortable in this offense right now in the sense of knowing exactly where everyone is supposed to be," Tannehill said, "and being more of a coach on the field this year as opposed to trying to learn the whole system with everyone else like I did last year."

Fantasy Impact:

In his first three seasons, Tannehill finished #24, #16 and finally #9 in quarterback scoring. That’s a nice trend. The Dolphins spent the offseason trying to upgrade his weapons, and ended up with Jordan Cameron at tight end to go along with Kenny Stills, DeVante Parker and Greg Jennings at receiver. Sure, they traded away Mike Wallace and let Charles Clay walk, but that trio (and the emerging Jarvis Landry) should be able to more than offset those losses. Tannehill has a good coordinator in Bill Lazor and host of weapons to utilize. He looks like a very safe pick in the 9th round.

Vikings won't ask RB Adrian Peterson to 'do it all alone' in 2015

Saturday, June 13, 2015, 1:29am

NFL.com - [Full Article]

With RB Adrian Peterson now returning to an offense stocked with pass-catching weapons and a promising young quarterback in Teddy Bridgewater, the Vikings don't plan to ask him to do it all alone in 2015.

"No question that the workload will be a lot more balanced than in the past because the organization has done an outstanding job of acquiring talent and other explosive pieces," Vikings running backs coach Kirby Wilson told Around The NFL on Thursday. "And just as the natural progression as an older back ages, the workload decreases anyway."

Wilson was quick to point out that Peterson has been "extremely explosive" in practice and "still has electric foot speed," saying: "I don't see any difference from the guy who left here X amount of months ago."

The Vikings, though, also love what they see in Jerick McKinnon, with Wilson emphasizing that the "sky's the limit" for the second-year back.

Fantasy Impact:

Throwing out his one-game season in 2014, Peterson never finished outside of the top 6 on a per game basis in standard formats (or outside the top 11 in PPR) in his previous seven seasons. He's now on the wrong side of 30, but his legs should be fresh after taking a full season off to deal with his criminal case. OC Norv Turner has a history of feeding the ball to his top running back; LaDainian Tomlinson averaged 20.9 touches per game from 2007-09 while he and Turner were in San Diego. That included 2.86 receptions per game, which would represent a career high 45-46 receptions for Peterson if he catches the ball at the same rate. It does sound like McKinnon will be involved, but when push comes to shove, we expect that Peterson will play the vast majority of snaps on game day.

Vikings don't expect that RB Adrian Peterson will play in the preseason

Wednesday, June 10, 2015, 11:59pm

Pioneer Press - [Full Article]

Vikings coach Mike Zimmer expects Adrian Peterson once again won’t play in the preseason, and the star running back is fine with that.

I probably don’t see that, no,’’ Zimmer told the Pioneer Press on Wednesday. “We’re talking in June, so you can’t hold me to it, but he’s carried the ball a lot (in his eight-year career) and he’s going to continue to carry the ball a lot. He’ll get plenty of looks and reps in practice.’’

Peterson, who returned to the Vikings last week, has no problem with again likely not playing in the preseason.

“It’s the same as before, nothing new,’’ Peterson told the Pioneer Press after having played in the Vikings Children’s Fund Golf Tournament at Rush Creek Golf Club. “I don’t think (he’ll be pushing to play). They’ve seen enough of me. I’ll be ready to play.’’

Fantasy Impact:

Throwing out his one-game season in 2014, Peterson never finished outside of the top 6 on a per game basis in standard formats (or outside the top 11 in PPR) in his previous seven seasons. He's now on the wrong side of 30, but his legs should be fresh after taking a full season off to deal with his criminal case. OC Norv Turner has a history of feeding the ball to his top running back; LaDainian Tomlinson averaged 20.9 touches per game from 2007-09 while he and Turner were in San Diego. That included 2.86 receptions per game, which would represent a career high 45-46 receptions for Peterson if he catches the ball at the same rate.

Turner: Vikings RB Adrian Peterson will be a bigger part of the passing game

Friday, June 5, 2015, 5:18pm

PFT - [Full Article]

While Norv Turner notes that he likes the way the Vikings closed out 2014 on offense, he also knows Adrian Peterson’s return will have a major impact.

“Well, any great player — and you’re talking about one of the greatest players to ever play — it makes a total difference,” Turner said, via the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. “It changes the whole approach for everybody. If you really break down how we played the last six weeks of the season, we played pretty good on offense. That’s something we’re going to build on. You add Adrian to it and, yeah, it makes a big difference.”

Turner didn’t detail too many of the changes to the approach, but did say that he expects Peterson to be a bigger part of the passing game than he’s been in the past and that other additions (the trade for Mike Wallace, the return to health of Kyle Rudolph) will also reshape the team’s offense for the 2015 season.

Fantasy Impact:

Turner has a history of feeding the ball to his top running back; LaDainian Tomlinson averaged 20.9 touches per game from 2007-09 while he and Turner were in San Diego. That included 2.86 receptions per game, which would represent a career high 45-46 receptions for Peterson if he catches the ball at the same rate. If he stays healthy, Peterson is a threat to finish as the #1 overall PPR running back.

Vikings RB Adrian Peterson reports in 'unbelievable shape'

Friday, June 5, 2015, 1:52pm

Star-Tribune - [Full Article]

The Vikings are still running around in shorts right now, so players are going through the motions after the handoff. But Captain Munnerlyn said Adrian Peterson arrived in great shape and showed no signs of rust in the team’s three practices this week.

“He’s been out of football for almost a whole year, but a guy like him, though … I haven’t been around him in six months. I didn’t know he was going to come back in this type of shape,” Munnerlyn said. “He’s in unbelievable shape, like he never lost a step. And he’s out to prove a point.”

Fantasy Impact:

Throwing out his one-game season in 2014, Peterson never finished outside of the top 6 on a per game basis in standard formats (or outside the top 11 in PPR) in his previous seven seasons. He's now on the wrong side of 30, but his legs should be fresh after taking a full season off to deal with his criminal case last season. OC Norv Turner has a history of feeding the ball to his top running back; LaDainian Tomlinson averaged 20.9 touches per game from 2007-09 while he and Turner were in San Diego. That included 2.86 receptions per game, which would represent a career high 45-46 receptions for Peterson if he catches the ball at the same rate.

Vikings RB Adrian Peterson will return to the team

Tuesday, June 2, 2015, 10:38am

ESPN - [Full Article]

Adrian Peterson is back with the Minnesota Vikings.

The 2012 NFL MVP will join the Vikings for organized team activities on Tuesday, ending an absence from the team that stretched nearly nine months, back to when Peterson was indicted on Sept. 12 for injuring his child while disciplining him with a switch.

"I'm returning because I want to. I'm a part of this football team and I owe it to the guys I play with and to our coaches," Peterson wrote Tuesday morning in an email to ESPN. "I was planning on coming in this week, and I'm looking forward to getting back on the field. It's what I love to do."

Fantasy Impact:

Throwing out his one-game season in 2014, Peterson never finished outside of the top 6 on a per game basis in standard formats (or outside the top 11 in PPR) in his previous seven seasons. He's now on the wrong side of 30, but his legs should be fresh after taking a full season off to deal with his criminal case last season. OC Norv Turner has a history of feeding the ball to his top running back; LaDainian Tomlinson averaged 20.9 touches per game from 2007-09 while he and Turner were in San Diego. That included 2.86 receptions per game, which would represent a career high 45-46 receptions for Peterson if he catches the ball at the same rate.

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