The Minnesota Vikings are perfect for fantasy football. We can draft them all on Underdog Fantasy with promo code 'UNDERBLOG' to match your first deposit up to $100. We have the biggest fantasy football tournament of all time ($15M) right now.
This is a fantasy football dream offense. Coach Kevin O'Connell is a forward-thinking offensive coach, who led the No. 4 neutral paced and No. 8 neutral pass rate offense in his first year. There's talent everywhere, and the defense (25th in EPA allowed) and special teams (28th) are sub-par, leading to wild shootouts in this domed environment. The Vikings don't need to run more (30th in carries). They just need to run more effectively, after ranking 31st in big play runs and 30th in EPA per carry. If that can improved, then Minnesota can attempt to offset last year's fluky season. They were 5th in wins but 15th in point differential. Ultimately, this is a slightly above-average team that's a lot of fun to watch.
3-WR Sets (5th in snaps, 74% of snaps)
WR: Justin Jefferson --> Jalen Nailor
WR: Jordan Addison (R) --> Brandon Powell
SLOT: K.J. Osborn --> Jalen Reagor
TE: T.J. Hockenson --> Josh Oliver
2-WR Sets (25th in snaps, 20% of snaps)
WR: Justin Jefferson --> Jalen Nailor
WR: Jordan Addison (R) --> K.J. Osborn
SLOT TE: T.J. Hockenson --> Ben Sims (R)
INLINE TE: Josh Oliver --> Johnny Mundt
RB Usage (26th in expected half PPR)
GOAL LINE: Alexander Mattison --> DeWayne McBride (R)
PASSING DOWN: Alexander Mattison --> Ty Chandler
Offensive Line (better than you think)
LT: Christian Darrisaw (great returning starter)
LG: Ezra Cleveland (good returning starter)
C: Garrett Bradberry (average returning starter)
RG: Ed Ingram ('22 2nd round returning starter)
RT: Brian O'Neill (good returning starter)
Kirk Cousins was one of four QBs to have 700+ dropbacks last year, in part to wild game scripts but also because coach Kevin O'Connell is a QB guy himself. Cousins has settled in as a good QB with an obvious ceiling. In fantasy, he's been the QB13 and QB12 in fantasy points over expected per game over the last two years. This is probably the best OL he's played with in Minnestoa, and I view the WR swap as an upgrade. Throw in an offseason with T.J. Hockenson and the contract year narrative, and we should expect another fringe QB1 season from Kirk. You like that??? I do when I've stacked him.
Justin Jefferson has scored the most fantasy points of any WR through their first three years or through their age-23 season of all time. Jefferson is extremely safe with a monster ceiling. His yardage likely drops a tad because of deep-target efficiency regression, but he's also a major positive regression candidate with TDs after scoring 2.4 fewer TDs than expected on his usage. ... 1st-round Trojan Jordan Addison replaces Adam Thielen, who finished 2nd in routes run last year. The volume will be there, and the scheme fit is perfect. Addison lacks size but can route you up with ease, while stretching the field and being used in the screen game. Thielen was the 40th overall player as recently as 2021 before falling off. I'm very bullish on Addison, and I'm surprised the rookie hype hasn't latched onto him. Go watch our film breakdown on him. Stud No. 2 receiver in the NFL with hopes of being Calvin Ridley. ... K.J. Osborn has been the 109th and 110th overall player the last two seasons, but the recent additions work against his flex status. He's a relatively low-ceiling player who likely plays snaps in the slot.
T.J. Hockenson averaged 9.6 targets in his 10 games with the Vikings, which isn't sustainable given the fluky gamescripts. Still, that's extremely hard to find at TE. His 1.65 yards per route run with Minnesota would've made him the TE9 in that metric, but on more routes than most, Hockenson managed a TE4 finish in points over replacement per game. Hockenson is a good but not elite player in my opinion. He is entering the prime of his career, however. I like his top-5 TE odds but am unsure if he can enter the Mark Andrews tier. ... Josh Oliver essentially signed a 2-year, $12M contract, which was very surprising and a real commitment. Expect him to block as a complement to Hockenson.
Players like Alexander Mattison rarely truly breakout this late into their careers, but he's in a decent spot to be a low-end RB2 after signing a real 2-year, $7M contract to replace Dalvin Cook. Mattison has had elite games as Cook's replacement in spot starts. Those also happened in a more RB-focused Mike Zimmer offense. The Vikings were just 26th in RB fantasy usage last year in a new offense. Mattison should absorb all of the goal line opportunities and mix in on some passing downs. In that role, Cook was the RB15 per game last year. That's a relative ceiling for Mattison. ... His backups are competing for roles. 2022 5th-rounder Ty Chandler was a bad prospect without bellcow experience. He's the favorite to complement on passing downs and has been the No. 2 in offseason practices, while 7th-round rookie DeWayne McBride rehabbed his knee injury. McBride is the anti-Chandler. His efficiency and volume as a rusher were legit awesome in college. He just fumbled too much and only caught five passes. McBride is unlikely to have a role when Mattison is healthy and very well could have little buzz heading into the year. He also very easily could slide into the hammer role if Mattison were to miss time. McBride > Chandler on the ground and at the goal line. That's the only valuable role in this backfield. Special teamer Kene Nwangwu is likely set as the No. 3 back.
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WR1 Justin Jefferson (1.1 overall) --> Buying
TE3 T.J. Hockenson (50.8) --> Soft fading
RB20 Alexander Mattison (64.6) --> Mixing in
WR37 Jordan Addison (70.9) --> Buying
QB13 Kirk Cousins (110.6) --> Only in stacks
WR67 K.J. Osborn (149.5) --> Soft fading
RB60 Ty Chandler (190.8) --> Soft fading
RB66 DeWayne McBride (213.1) --> Mixing in