Minnesota Vikings Preview
The Vikings made some big splashes in the offseason by acquiring Jared Allen via trade and signing one of the biggest free agents on offense in Bernard Berrian. Was it enough to put them over the hump and get them in the playoffs? I think so.
The Vikings Offense will rely heavily on the rushing attack of Adrian Peterson and Chester Taylor. They have the best Guard in the NFL in Steve Hutchinson, who should provide good running lanes for the aforementioned backs. They will have to deal with the looming suspension of Left Tackle Bryant McKinnie for his misdeeds in the offseason. However, I think the Vikes will be able to patch their line enough to get by. In the passing game, Tarvaris Jackson will be asked to play relatively mistake-free football. He won’t be required to make a lot of plays. He just needs to avoid screwing up. He also needs to prove that he can stay healthy. At least if he goes down this year, they are in better hands with Gus Frerotte waiting in the wings. Aside from Berrian, Sidney Rice should show improvement from a decent rookie campaign at the other WR slot. Bobby Wade moves to the Slot, which he is better suited for.
Defensively the Vikings need to shore up a pass defense that has been atrocious the past couple of seasons. Ever since Tom Brady and New England carved them at the Dome a couple years ago, teams have basically abandoned the run and simply torched the Vikes through the air. Jared Allen should put pressure on the Quarterback, which means they won’t have as much time to pick on the DBs. That should have a great impact on their coverage ability. Kevin Williams should receive less attention to as teams can’t focus on him with Allen by his side. I could see both of them reaching double-digits sacks this year.
The Vikings should be able to win the division this year with the departure of Brett Favre. I can’t imagine Green Bay being as good. Chicago needs to prove it can actually score some points, and Detroit is just Detroit. WIll they go anywhere in the playoffs? It’s possible, but they will need T-Jax to make some plays. We’ll see if he’s up for the task. My guess is they are one-and-done.
Fantasy-wise it all starts with Adrian Peterson. He has the ability to rush for 2000 yards. Will he do it? Not likely. Is it a possibility? You betcha. Chester Taylor could be a flex position possibility in large leagues, but will mainly be used as a handcuff in case Adrian Peterson misses any time. Bernard Berrian and Sidney Rice will be worthy or rosters spots, but I’m guessing it’s hit or miss with them. If a team has a good pass rush, you probably want to avoid them. Minnesota Defense should be one of the top fantasy units in the game as they will likely pile up the Sacks. Ryan Longwell could be a nice value at Kicker.