The Minnesota Vikings have had a rotating door of starting quarterbacks this season. Christian Ponder began the season as the starter. After a poor Week 1 performance, he came back with two good weeks. He scored 12 points in Week 2 and 21 in Week 3. The latter was helped by two rushing touchdowns.
The Vikings went 0-3 in those games and the first change took place. Granted, Ponder had a rib injury which helped make the decision easier. Matt Cassel started Week 4. He threw for 248 yards and two touchdowns and led the Vikings to a 34-27 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers. After the bye week, Cassel played like the Cassel we knew, throwing two interceptions and only scoring nine fantasy points.
With two struggling quarterbacks, the Vikings front office made a move to sign recently let go quarterback Josh Freeman of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He gave the depth depth in a position that greatly needed it. With a week of learning the playbook and running through practice as the No. 1 quarterback, the long-awaited announcement was made:
THIS JUST IN: Josh Freeman will start at QB for Vikings this week vs. Giants.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) October 16, 2013
Now, Freeman was struggling with the Bucs at the beginning of the season. He threw for 571 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions, good for a total of 23 fantasy points.
However, he wasn’t always this bad. Just a season ago, Freeman threw for 4,065 yards, 27 touchdowns and 17 interceptions in 16 games, an average of 14.75 fantasy points per game. He threw for three touchdowns in a game on four separate occasions.
This announcement couldn’t have come at a better time for the Vikings. They sit a 1-4, last in the NFC North, but they go up against the winless New York Giants. A win on Monday could be the spark the Vikings need to make a playoff run.
This will also benefit the fantasy value of all the Vikings receivers. Greg Jennings and Jerome Simpson are now bigger threats and are decent flex plays in the upcoming weeks. Tight end Kyle Rudolph should also post big numbers as a security blanket for Freeman. Adrian Peterson‘s value doesn’t change; if anything, it increases as defenses now have a legitimate quarterback to worry about and can’t stack eight or nine in the box.
I would wait until after Freeman plays before making waiver claims for him, but he has a good chance to finish in the top-20 and end up being worthy of a QB2 spot.