Fantasy Football 2013: Top Five Minnesota Vikings to Target
2013 Fantasy Football: Five Minnesota Vikings to Target
Would running back Adrian Peterson be ready for Week 1, less than a year after suffering a significant left knee injury? Would quarterback Christian Ponder worth drafting entering his first full season as a starter? Could wide receiver Percy Harvin continue an upward trend in production and top 1,000 receiving yards? Was running back Toby Gerhart draftable on his own, amid the questions about Peterson’s health?
Peterson was of course ready to go for Week 1, and rewarded owners who took the risk and drafted him by nearly setting the single-season rushing yardage record. Harvin had a terrific season (62 receptions) before being sidelined by an ankle injury, but he was traded to the Seattle Seahawks this offseason.
Kicker Blair Walsh emerged as a fantasy force last season as a rookie, setting a league record by going 10-for-10 on field goals of 50-plus yards. Tight end Kyle Rudolph also emerged , with nine touchdown receptions, and expectations regarding both guys are likely to be high for 2013.
The Vikings will not be confused with some of the high-octane offenses around the league that are chalked full of productive players at virtually every position, but that does not mean there are no good options for fantasy owners on the team.
Everything depends on the scoring format and roster size in your league, but here are five Vikings I feel are worth targeting in fantasy drafts this year.
5. WR Cordarrelle Patterson
The Vikings traded back into the first round of April’s draft to select Patterson, and he looks likely to get every chance to see the field plenty right out of the gate. He is very raw, with just one year of major college football under his belt, so his NFL learning curve could be steep. But Patterson’s speed and athleticism could help make up for any lack of polish, and he has additional fantasy value as a likely candidate to return kicks. Dynasty league owners clearly need to be aware of Patterson, and single-season league owners should keep an eye on him during the preseason.
4. QB Christian Ponder
It looks like now or never for Ponder to prove he can cut it as an NFL starter, and the Vikings have added a veteran presence (Greg Jennings) and a potentially dynamic rookie in Patterson at wide receiver to help him take a big step in his third season. He is obviously not an elite fantasy option, but Ponder is a viable choice as a QB2 with upside in 12 and 14-team leagues.
3. LB Chad Greenway
I’m going a little outside the box here with Greenway, but it’s hard to argue with his recent production. He tied for second in the league in tackles last season (148) and finished third in 2011 (154), both Pro Bowl campaigns for him, along with five sacks over that span. Fantasy owners should not expect a lot of highlight-worthy impact plays, but Greenway is a solid, durable, top tier linebacker for those in IDP leagues.
2. TE Kyle Rudolph
Rudolph’s nine touchdown catches in 2012 tied for second among tight ends, and he also had 53 receptions for 493 yards. His role is almost sure to expand some this season, with should drive his catch total up as well as his yards per catch average. It may be another year before Rudolph becomes an elite fantasy option, but he is a solid choice as a low-end TE1 this year.
1. RB Adrian Peterson
This one is obvious, as Peterson is sure to be the first pick in all fantasy drafts this year. Expecting a repeat of last season’s near record-setting campaign is unrealistic, but there aren’t many safer fantasy options at any position.