The Minnesota Vikings built their success in 2012 on a great running game and a decidedly average defense.
That defense — which finished 16th in the league in scoring last year — was good enough to get the Vikings to the playoffs. They didn’t make many big plays, but they didn’t give up enough points to keep them from winning games either.
So, if you had them as the defense on your fantasy team, you were likely left with a feeling of uncertainty. They didn’t hurt your team, but you just couldn’t quite shake the idea that you could be doing better. I wish I had better news this year, but I don’t.
The defense is led by sack master Jared Allen. Allen had 12 sacks last season, giving him six years in a row with double-digit quarterback takedowns. One of the most reliable pass rushers in the league, Allen can be devastating to opposing offenses.
But he doesn’t have a lot of help around him. After his massive total of 22 sacks in 2011, teams were focused on keeping him blocked every game. It didn’t always work out well considering his 12 sacks, but it was enough to keep him from leading the Vikings to a top-tier defensive performance.
Don’t expect miracles out of the Minnesota defense this year. If you can get your hands on one of the better defenses, do it for sure. But, at the same time, don’t waste an early-round pick on one of them.
Always wait until the second-to-last round to take your defense (saving the last round for your kicker). Sometimes you end up with the best available team at that point. Minnesota won’t be a bad pick for your team this year, but it won’t lead you to a championship either.