Image courtesy of Vikings.com

It seems like it has taken years (probably because it has), but the Minnesota Vikings may finally have a viable option at the quarterback position for fantasy football owners. New Vikings quarterback Sam Bradford threw for 286 yards and two touchdowns in his first start with the team during their 17-14 win over the Green Bay Packers last Sunday.

Of course he had the luxury of throwing the ball to Minnesota wide receiver Stefon Diggs last week, who had himself an impressive day (nine catches for 182 yards and one touchdown). So much so that he was named the NFC’s Offensive Player of the Week for Week 2.

Diggs and Bradford will have a harder time repeating their performance from last Sunday when they go up against the Carolina Panthers’ fierce defense this weekend.

Quarterback:

Sam Bradford

For the first time this season, people will not get any strange looks from fellow league members when they start a Vikings quarterback in their lineup. Well actually, they still might get a few questions given the matchup that Minnesota has against the Panthers’ defense this Sunday.

Carolina has forced their opposing quarterbacks to throw at least one interception in six of their last seven regular season games, so the smartest choice for fantasy owners this weekend may be to keep Bradford on their bench.

Week 3 Projection: 11.4 points (224 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT)

Running Back:

Jerick McKinnon/Matt Asiata

It may be a good idea for fantasy owners to keep these two out their lineups this week, as no one is too sure as to how the Vikings will use the running backs in place of the injured Adrian Peterson on Sunday.

If needed to choose between the two, McKinnon would be the one to go with as he will likely have more opportunities to make plays on the field.

McKinnon Week 3 Projection: 8 points (15 touches, 65 total yards, 0 TDs)

Asiata Week 3 Projection: 5.8 points (11 touches, 46 total yards, 0 TDs)

Wide Receiver:

Stefon Diggs

Minnesota’s second-year receiver is off to a great start this season and is one of the top fantasy performers among the league’s entire crop of pass catchers.

If he is able to keep up the pace this weekend, the Vikings have themselves a pure specimen on offense. He has the talent to put up big numbers against the Panthers, but it certainly will not be an easy task.

So far in 2016, Carolina’s defense is only allowing opposing wide receivers to catch 48 percent of their targets. Good luck Stefon.

Week 3 Projection: 10.1 points (6 catches, 71 yards, 1 TD)

Tight End:

Kyle Rudolph

The Panthers’ defense is among the league’s best when it comes to covering opposing tight ends. They have not allowed a tight end to finish with over 100 yards in game yet this season and they only allowed one (Jimmy Graham) to do so during the 2015 regular season.

Rudolph has been a bit of a bright spot for Minnesota in their passing game this season. But it is looking like he may have trouble getting open this week.

Week 3 Projection: 5.2 points (4 catches, 39 yards, 0 TDs)