ESPN Names Vikings’ 2024 X-Factor Player

vikings mentioned in
Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

VikingsTerritory authored its version of “x-factor” players for the 2024 Minnesota Vikings last weekend, but ESPN evidently has a different definition. You can read VT’s here.

ESPN Names Vikings’ 2024 X-Factor Player

For context, X-Factor is defined as “a variable in a given situation that could have the most significant impact on the outcome.” And according to ESPN, the man fitting that criteria for the purple team is second-year wideout Jordan Addison.

Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports.

The USC alumnus scripted a phenomenal debut season in 2023, banking 900 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns.

In fact, Addison was a game-saver — often a season-saver — at times for Minnesota. Now, with Year No. 2 around the bend, Addison-themed forecasts vary. Some folks, mainly fantasy football brains, feel the youngster could encounter a sophomore slump without Kirk Cousins throwing the rock. Others, like Addison personally, believe a second act will play out sans a slump.

ESPN’s Seth Walder explained Addison’s x-factor status, “He was solid as a rookie, with 1.6 yards per route run and a 54 overall score in the receiver tracking metrics. But in order to truly form a dangerous one-two combination with Justin Jefferson and support rookie QB J.J. McCarthy, the Vikings need more out of Addison in Year 2.”

jordan addison show
Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports.

Addison will receive passes from Sam Darnold or J.J. McCarthy in 2024 — probably Darnold to start the season. And when Addison was at his best as a rookie, Cousins was at the helm. Perhaps the elixir to any sophomore slump for the young playmaker is a productive Darnold. Stay tuned.

Via three weeks ago, Addison said he’s focused on winning at the line of scrimmage in 2024. “That’s been a main focus for me, and I feel like it’s been paying off. My work is showing out there. Having a plan once I get to the line, being decisive and just really making sure I’m locked into my release.”

addison tracking
Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

“Last year, I wasn’t as confident in my releases. I wasn’t being decisive. I didn’t have a plan when I was coming up to the line; I was kind of just freelancing, trying to do what I could do. Make something work. But now, like I said, it’s my focus,” Addison added.

And earlier this month,’s Albert Breer analyzed several teams following minicamps last week, and the Vikings were spotlighted. He was high on Addison and noted, “Jordan Addison’s growth has created buzz in the Vikings’ facility. With Jefferson away for most of the offseason program, Addison’s progress really showed up — he came back physically stronger in April while maintaining the burst and body control that made him a first-round pick in 2023.”

“Now, if Minnesota can get Sam Darnold or J.J. McCarthy rolling (and don’t sleep on Darnold, who seems to have built on what he learned playing for Kyle Shanahan last year), then the Vikings really might have a little bit more than most people think,” Breer concluded about Minnesota’s offensive trajectory.

Vikings Can Buy
Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports.

So, that’s a cocktail of pro-Addison fodder of 2024 — so much so that he could morph into the team’s x-factor.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by