Well its fitting to wrap up the NFC North with the Minnesota Vikings. The Vikings own fantasy football's most popular first overall pick. Minnesota also boasts one of the better Team DEFs, a decent fanatsy TE and a sneaky rookie by the name of Harvin. The men in purple don't offer a solid fantasy QB, so if you somehow get stuck with Sage Rosenfels/Tarvaris Jackson/Jeff George, my apologies.
Vikings plucked in the mocks:
- Adrian Peterson RB - Avg. Selection* 1.2; 100% drafted
- Minnesota Team DEF - Avg. Selection 86; 97% drafted
- Ryan Longwell K - Avg. Selection 106; 100% drafted
- Bernard Berrian WR - Avg. Selection 68; 100% drafted
- Percy Harvin WR - Avg. Selection 122; 77% drafted
- Visanthe Shiancoe TE - Avg. Selection 128; 100% drafted
*-100th selection = 10th pick round 10 (10 man); 6th pick round 9 (12 man); 3rd pick round 8 (14 man)
After the jump I recommend what to do if Adrian Peterson falls to you at number 2...
Take them to Plunder
Luckily with Peterson, I don't have to say a lot. He's a great rushing back, and a very solid fantasy RB1. Do I recommend drafting Adrian Peterson in the top 5? Yes. Top 3? Yes. Top 2? Yes. However, Peterson does have some alarming stats to talk a look at. First, I'll mention the obvious, he fumbled 9 times in 2008; while only 4 were lost, that's still a large amount. Any time your fantasy back puts the rock on the turf it's a potential -2 on the stat sheet. Another downer about A.P.: his lack of receptions and all-purpose yardage. In a system with Tarvaris Jackson, you'd think Peterson would be a check down more often than he is. Ok, that's enough negative. Peterson is a modest prime time performer; in 2008 he had 345 total yards and 1 TD (weeks 14-16; 13 fantasy ppg). Considering Peteson had 10 games with 100+ yards, it's hard to value him lower than top 2. Fantasy Forecast: 1850 total yards, 12 TDs
Minnesota Team DEF
The Purple People Eaters of 2009 promise to be a solid fantasy unit. In 2008, the team finished 10th amongst Team DEFs in fantasy scoring. The team failed to make a big amount of INTs (12), despite pretty good sack numbers (45). Minnesota also had better than average 13 FRs with 3 TDs and 3 Blk Kicks. The Williams Wall are likely to avoid any suspensions, making Minny's front seven a force no matter the opponent. Cedric Griffin and Antoine Winfield are servicable CBs, but Minnesota's safeties need to step up and increase the team's INT total. The Vikings are @ CLE, @ DET and vs. SF to start 2009, and that should help boost your fantasy team's output. Overall I like Minnesota's schedule and recommend drafting them as late as you possibly can. It's basically all about your fantasy strategy if you want to invest a top 100 pick in a Team DEF. Fantasy Forecast: 47 sacks; 16 INTs, 12 FR; 3 TDs, 2 Blk Kicks
Ok, my new rule when doing Kickers: brief. Longwell kicks in a dome, was the 3rd most scoring fantasy K and had just 2 games without a FG in 2008. Draft him, 12 of his 29 FGs were 40+ and -did I mention?- he plays in a dome 8 games a year (9 counting Detroit). I don't like taking kickers until the absolute late rounds, and Longwell is usually gone by then. Fantasy Forecast: 28 FGs, 44 XPM
Considering that Shiancoe is going around 128, it's a pretty good bargain to get a low tier TE1. Shocking, I know, because the name doesn't exactly jump out at you. However, his 2008 numbers will: 5th in scoring amongst TEs; 7 total TDs and 596 yards. I think the fans in Minnesota are still yearning for UFL stud Jermaine Wiggins, but Shiancoe will suffice in the meantime. Unlike Wiggins, I expect Shiancoe to put up another solid performance in 2009. Shiancoe came up big in weeks 14-16 last season, totalling 209 yards and 3 TDs (12 fantasy ppg); pretty fantastic stats for a TE. If forget to draft a TE by the time pick 120 rolls around, don't panic, Shiancoe will gladly assist you. Fantasy Forecast: 650 total yards 5 TDs
I would touch him with a stick
I don't like the QB situation in Minnesota, and therefore I do not like Bernard Berrian as a fantasy threat. It's too risky to bank on Berrian producing each week. In 2008, he was held without reception twice, and had 2 or less receptions in 4 additional contests. Berrian had four 100-yard games, and 8 total TDs; numbers he'll struggle to reproduce in 2009. I simply cannot recommend taking Berrian in the Top 80 as I don't view him much more than a WR3 on most fantasy teams. Additionally I expect Percy Harvin to factor in on Berrian's decrease in production. Fantasy Forecast: 800 total yards, 5 Total TDs
Speaking of Harvin
I expect Harvin to produce very similar numbers to Berrian, even in his rookie season. Minnesota is gameplanning to get Harvin touches, and that means he's a potential fantasy gem. I view him as WR3 on most fantasy teams, but at nearly 60 selections after Berrian, it's much greater value. Harvin can run, catch and possibly pass in Minnesota's offense, and investing a pick in the 100s isn't a bad choice. Fantasy Forecast: 800 total yards, 5 Total TDs
Ask the Nation
Will the Vikings win the NFC North Division, even after losing to the 49ers in week 3 (despite it being a good fantasy match-up for Minny's D)?
(all fantasy stats are based on 2007-2008 Yahoo! Standard Public league scoring)