The arrow is pointing up for the Minnesota Vikings on their outlook for the future, but the team is still a year or two away from being serious playoff contenders. The team drafted Teddy Bridgewater, hoping he can become a franchise quarterback. They also re-signed journeyman Matt Cassel, and he will head into training camp as the team’s starter. Bridgewater should expect some playing time in his rookie season, but the Vikings’ coaching staff appears to be favor the idea of easing Bridgewater into action slowly. The team still has the luxury of having Adrian Peterson in the backfield as well to ease some of the pressure off whoever the quarterback is. The team’s receiving corps remains a mixed bag that is left over from last season but should look better as a whole due to a little more stability at the quarterback position than they had last year.
Greg Jennings will go into the year as the No. 1 receiver on the team’s depth chart. The fact that Jennings can still be considered a No.1 receiver in the NFL is surprising to most, and he certainly won’t perform like a WR-1 in fantasy football this season. At 30 years old, Jennings is still a solid possession receiver, however, his deep ball skills have dropped off immensely over the past two seasons. While he did show some chemistry with Cassel last season, Jennings can’t be valued any higher than a WR-4 heading into the 2014 season, which should leave fantasy owners looking elsewhere.
One of the top picks to be a breakout candidate in 2014 is the Vikings No.2 WR Cordarrelle Patterson, who has the chance to live up to his electrifying playmaker label that he had while at the University of Tennessee. Patterson started off his rookie year slow and then exploded towards the end of the season, showing off his versatility as a runner and receiver. He is the type of player who fits into the Alshon Jeffery mold. Due to Patterson’s eye-popping performances towards the end of last season, he won’t last long on fantasy draft boards, but he is a bit risky of a selection because he is still a developing player. His exciting potential makes him a player worth taking a gamble on with an early-round pick with the hope that he can produce like a steady WR-2 in his sophomore campaign.
Jerome Simpson will be the No. 3 receiver on the Minnesota depth chart heading into the season. Simpson was unimpressive last season and was brought back a minimum salary contract, so his outlook does not appear promising for the season. If he has more lackluster performances like he had last season, he should see his playing time diminish in favor of Jarius Wright. It will be a lowly position battle on a team in a rebuilding process. The best bet for fantasy owners is to avoid both these players at all costs.