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Draft day in your league for the upcoming 2019 fantasy football season may not be far off. Some like to get in early. Others like to wait to see how things play out over the summer, even waiting until teams have a few preseason games under their belt.
It doesn’t matter when your draft is scheduled, you should have already been doing your homework to prepare. The need for preparation is even greater when you want to build your fantasy team around your favorite real team.
Below, we analyze the viable Minnesota Viking players for standard year-long leagues. If your idea is to win, you will want to mix these suggestions with some good sense as your real draft unfolds. But, if you aim is to go purple, here’s a breakdown of the Vikings’ value headed into the 2019 fantasy football season.
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The projection charts for Kirk Cousins are as generous as the 85th overall best player, to one barely inside the top-200. As the 22nd quarterback heading into 2019 on many boards, there seems to be a lot of theorists thinking the Vikings simply aren’t going to pass much.
Numbers over the last four years for Cousins do not reflect a QB ranking that essentially signals a red flag, don’t draft. We don’t agree with this unfavorable analysis either. Point number one, Cousins has topped 4,000 yards consecutively over the last four seasons.
Why would we suddenly think that reachable total is going to fall off the edge of the planet? We don’t. Sure, with Dalvin Cook healthy Minnesota is going to have a stronger running game to rely on. In addition, that’s the Mike Zimmer mindset on offense.
However, good running attacks open up passing lanes. When you have Adam and Thielen and Stefon Diggs hauling in Cousins’ aerials, plus Cook, the Vikings should be inclined to put the ball in the air whenever the need arises.
While we don’t expect Cousins to venture close to the coveted fantasy QB mark of 5,000 yards passing, he should very likely push or surpass 4,000 again. You cannot dismiss the fact that only once in the last four seasons has Cousins finished out of the final top-10 rankings for fantasy QBs.
The fact that his worst finish was 13th, and that was last season, makes the number-22 tag look like a big sleeper. We’re not advocating scraping up the Minnesota signal caller in the early rounds, but Cousins is a definite draft for two-QB formats, or as a bonafide potential sleeper.
Cook positions as a top-20 pick on most boards. He is a solid top-10 running back, maybe even higher. If you try to allow him to slide into the third-round in 8 or 10 team leagues, you may lose him. You’ll have some big decisions to make if you’re picking in the first-half of the second-round.
The Vikings are reportedly going to run the ball more than previous years, or at least that’s the rumored plan. You need to calculate the worth of the four running backs ranked just ahead of Cook on the big board.
However, be certain to consider how much of an impact rookie Alexander Mattison has on Cook’s time on the field. If Vikings on roster his priority number one, by all means draft Cook in the second round.
Cook’s ADP falls perfectly in line with his top-20 projection. One of the running backs some list as more appealing than Cook is Nick Chubb. However, Chubb’s’ ADP is worse than his expected draft position on some boards.
Depending on how the early picks in your league’s draft play out, you may be looking at Joe Mixon, Todd Gurley, James Conner, Chubb and Cook available when you pick. Vikings faithful will make that decision without much ado. In the end, when the final horn sounds all these backs should be fantasy roster assets. Viking lovers should take Dalvin Cook in the second round.
Mattison was the 102nd player taken off the 2019 draft board. Minnesota obviously has something in mind for the Boise State Rookie. If you’re looking to go absolute Vikings on your fantasy roster, Mattison is still little more than a handcuff for Cooks going forward.
Some under-the-radar information to consider about Mattison is his athletic versatility. He was a high school conference champion in the 110 hurdles, plus he won the league champion at 195-pounds in wrestling.
As much as it appears Mattison is going to play some type of significant role in Minnesota’s 2019 offense, he’s probably not a draft day commodity. However, if you combine multiple flex positions in your league, plus any type of dynasty status, and he becomes somewhat intriguing as late-round flyer.
Now’s the point where things can become a little dicey for Minnesota fans. If you use your second round pick on Cook, and you’d be wise to do so, the second highest rated Viking may have you holding your breath as you drift towards your third pick.
Adam Thielen may be the biggest beneficiary of an improved offensive line. The line should increase the success of the running game, plus give Cousins time to throw when it’s time to throw. Thielen is an obvious top-four round pick, especially in PPR leagues.
He needs to stay between 120-150 targets, and hopefully his touchdown total from last season will become the norm. Watch for how the strength of schedule against WRs plays out for both the Minnesota fantasy-relevant wide outs.
Minnesota is slated to face off against the 10th easiest schedule against pass defense teams this year. Now, do not miss the other side of that equation. The running backs are forecast to play against a schedule with the 3rd most appealing defensive opposition for running games.
Now, on a good note, if you grab Cook in the second round, and then someone steals Adam Thielen out from under you, there is a decent probability you should be able to add a second Viking to your roster regardless.
As the summer progresses, Stefon Diggs has actually been creeping up the draft board slightly. Some have Diggs parked two spots below Thielen at number-32. His ADP isn’t far off at 36.0. That means, if you get Cook but lose Thielen, you should see Diggs still available.
All the same questions follow Diggs that follow Thielen. How often the Vikings will pass may make some anxious, so the best purple surprise would be to get Cook, draft Thielen in the third-round, then watch Diggs fall down to your pick in round four. If you’re a Vikings lover, you’ll be thrilled.
Kyle Rudolph and Irv Smith Jr.
We’ve grouped the two prominent Minnesota tight ends in one block. We feel this way, mainly because there is such a huge question mark as to either one’s viability on a fantasy roster. Rudolph has a 15.0 ADP, but there are four tight ends with worse ADP ratings that are bumping past him on many draft boards.
The addition of the big body Irv Smith Jr. must be partly responsible. There is another important part of this equation. It is rare to have a pair of top-20 wide receivers matched with a top-10 tight end.
Since Rudolph is the highest rated Viking alternative, if you just have to have another Viking you could take Kyle with a late round pick. Rudolph’s contract is going to expire at the end of 2019, so well could his time in purple.
If there is any inclination that Smith Jr. is turning into the Vikings’ primary TE target, he could become a waiver wire addition, especially in dynasty leagues. Both will probably prove hit or miss on a weekly basis, so it might be better to look for another color than purple for your fantasy tight end needs. But, if you must have a Viking, hedge towards Rudolph.
If your league uses a defense, which most do, Minnesota must be on your list. Depending on your level of love for the purple, you’ll want to pay close attention to the board in the middle rounds.
The Bears, the Rams and the Jaguars are probably going off the board first. However, the Vikings will not be far behind. Their ADP and DST draft board ranking hover around the same spot as Baltimore, the Chargers and Houston.
Chicago is the only DST this year with an ADP under 100. Minnesota carries a 138.0 with the projected 5th best defense in the league. Watch your draft closely, because there are fantasy experts who think Mike Zimmer’s influence, plus some new additions, could help Minnesota push their divisional rival Bears for top ranking.
As you watch your draft unfold, any scenario that lands you Cook, Thielen and Diggs, should have you thinking about shifting your QB strategy. There is no doubt, that if PPR count in your league, and you’ve loaded three Vikings on your roster in the first four rounds, you must consider Cousins as part of a stack.
If the sole objective on league draft day is to go as purple as you can, pinpoint the top three Vikings first. Don’t be afraid to take a leap of faith on the Minnesota defense as early as rounds 9 or 10 in ten-team leagues. There simply are not loads of high-profile position players ranked around the Minnesota DST.
One final note addressing the position that should be deemed as one final note on your league draft day. If you’ve managed to color things on your fantasy roster a perfect shade of purple, you could do a lot worse than a late-round flier on Dan Bailey. If he can rekindle his over 80-percent accuracy rate from his days in Big D, Bailey shouldn’t lose you any games.