In a recent interview with the Virginia Pilot’s Ed Miller, Vikings receiver Percy Harvin said he feels “the best he has since kindergarten.” He has not had a migraine for nearly six months.
Percy’s migraines have  been an issue even before he exploded on the scene for the Vikings in 2009. He has only missed three games in his career, but he has missed countless practices.
The Vikings have already stated that they want to get the ball in his hands more this year, and  Bill Musgrave’s offense should be much more dynamic than Brad Childress’ Kick Ass Offense.
With a rookie quarterback a strong candidate to start, the Vikings will look to get the ball in Harvin’s hands early and often.
From what Percy is saying, he’ll be up for the challenge. “My explosion is to a whole ‘nother level. My speed has gotten back to top-notch level, so I’m feeling great and really anticipating the season”. Sounds like a dream come true for Vikings fans and a nightmare for opposing defenses.
This article is also featured at NFLTouchdown.com, where I am the Vikings Fan Voice writer.

Leslie Frazier has indicated that he would like to utilize Percy Harvin more in the offensive game plan next year. Frazier told Judd Zulgad  of the Star Tribune ““I still think there are more things that can be done with Percy [Harvin],” Frazier said. “We did some things toward the end of the year where we definitely tried to isolate him, and that’s one of the reasons I pulled him off kickoff at times. I wanted to feature him more than we were. I wanted him to be a featured part of our offense.
That sound you’re hearing is a million Viking fans applauding this plan. For the life of me I couldn’t understand why such a valuable player that was dealing with injuries and migraines was even featured in the return game. I understand he is explosive and you want to get the ball in his hands, but to me he was always better served to focus solely on offense. I understand how Devin Hester and Reggie Bush can provide explosive plays returning the ball, but neither are as effective on offense as Percy.
I thought the whole point of drafting Percy Harvin was to utilize his versatility on offense. He can be used as a receiver and as a running back. Harvin only had 15 rushing attempts as a rookie and 18 last year. That’s a little over one carry per game. With Adrian Peterson commanding so much attention, Harvin should be able to exploit defenses running the football.
Of course Brad Childress would have had to show some creativity. Thankfully for Harvin’s sake, Leslie Frazier seems to realize that it’s OK to think outside the box every once in a while.
From a fantasy perspective, it would seem that Percy Harvin will be a more reliable fantasy play, assuming the injuries and migraines can be avoided. With his explosive ability and commitment to utilize him to his maximum potential, Harvin makes for a solid WR2 next year.
This article is also featured at NFLTouchdown.com, where I am the Vikings Fan Voice writer.

After a dream season with the Vikings last year, this one has been a nightmare with a multitude of injuries and a sexting scandal for Brett Favre. Well, the nightmare just got worse as Brett Favre’s streak of 297 consecutive games will come to an end when the Vikings kick off.
He is listed as inactive. Tarvaris Jackson will get the start tonight (and possibly for the remainder of the season). Percy Harvin is also inactive so make sure you adjust your lineups accordingly.
It was most certainly one helluva run. Thanks for the memories Brett.
If you have an eye on next week, check out:

There’s no place like home. Vikings fans (and Randy Moss owners) are hoping that is the case. He had a brilliant start to his career with the Vikings catching 17 TD passes as the Vikings took the league by storm going 15-1 until seeing their dreams dashed by the Dirty Birds aka Atlanta Falcons.
Moss had 574 catches for 9142 yards and 90 TDs in seven years with the Vikings. He had one decent year and one dud with the Raiders before resurrecting his career with the Patriots. He caught 98 passes for 1493 yards and 23 TD in his first season with the Pats as they went 16-0 before being upset by the New York Giants. He followed that historic season with two more 1000+ yard, 10+ TD seasons. Currently he has nine catches for 139 yards and 3 TDs.
Brett Favre has long expressed his desire to play with Moss and he finally gets his wish. Both Favre and Moss see their values increase. Percy Harvin will draw less attention and should see his numbers spike as well. Visanthe Shiancoe could see less red zone targets, but he remains a solid low-end TE1. Bernard Berrian becomes an afterthought…not that his play didn’t already make him one.
For the Patriots, Tom Brady’s numbers take a hit. They’ll get by, but I expect them their offense to look more like the pre-Moss years. Wes Welker will draw the shutdown corners now and will also lose some value. Tight Ends Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski will be used in more two tight end sets and should see an increase in targets, especially in the red zone for Gronkowsi. Brandon Tate will slide into the starting lineup and becomes a borderline WR3. Julian Edelman should get more looks and become a bye week option in PPR leagues.

2010 NFL Injury Notes: Week 2

17 September 2010

Beanie Wells (knee) is headed to the dreaded game-time decision after being a limited participant in Arizona’s Friday practice. At this point I would make other plans for your roster. Tim Hightower can likely be used again.
Percy Harvin (hip) is also a likely game-time decision, but all signs point to Harvin playing against Miami. Plan on using Percy, but check his status before kickoff.
Kellen Winslow (knee) was listed as questionable for Tampa’s game against Carolina this week. Winslow has historically been able to play through pain so I would expect him to go. If you have a better option on your bench, I would use him, but I do expect Winslow to play.
As expected Kevin Kolb (concussion) won’t play against Detroit this week. Michael Vick should be a strong play.
Meanwhile, Matt Moore (concussion) was able to practice and will give it a go against Carolina. He wouldn’t be anywhere near my fantasy roster though.
Hakeem Nicks (ankle) is making life difficult for his fantasy owners. It would be hard not to play him after his three-TD performance to open the season, but he’s also a game-time decision. The Giants don’t play until Sunday night so you’ll have to hope there is news before the early games. If you have another WR on the Giants, Colts, Saints, or 49ers that you can plug in if he doesn’t play, then you can gamble on Nicks. If not, and you don’t hear any positive news from Nicks’ camp, I would play it safe and leave him on your bench.

Image courtesy of Icon SMI


I was a little concerned with Sidney Rice’s hip in July (click to read article). He went from the #5 rank in February to #7 in April as I came to the conclusion that the Vikings would run more in 2010.


In mid-July I bounced him down to #14 as the hip injury began to trouble me. In my most recent rankings two weeks ago, he dipped down to #19 as the hip and a possible contract dispute as the cause for the slide.


Now there are rumors (via Judd Zulgad’s Twitter) that he may undergo surgery to repair his hip. This procedure could cost him half the season. Until we hear otherwise, it’s time to start preparing for the worst. You can no longer risk taking Rice as one of your top two WRs. Even taking him as a WR3 is risky.


Meanwhile, Bernard Berrian should start rapidly climbing the draft board. With Rice’s hip issue and Percy Harvin’s migraine issues, Berrian could easily find himself as the team’s number one receiver. Brett Favre went to Berrian early and often in the NFC title game against the Saints. He would not hesitate to go back to him.


The Vikings are taking a look at Javon Walker, but don’t waste your time with him. Greg Lewis, who was on the receiving end of the ESPY Play of the Year, is far more likely to pick up the scraps should Rice and Harvin miss time.


Star Tribune is reporting that Sidney Rice did have hip surgery. If you already had your draft and picked Rice, try to get Bernard Berrian. Don’t worry about Brett Favre. He will be fine with Harvin, Rice, Shiancoe, Greg Lewis, etc.


As if the Vikings didn’t have enough media attention because of Favre’s return, they are again front and center in media outlets. This time because of an unfortunate incident.


Percy Harvin vomited and collapsed during practice today, apparently brought on by another migraine. He was taken to a local hospital via ambulance.


Harvin has missed virtually all of training camp because of the death of his grandmother and a series of migraines. Unfortunately doctors have been unable to find a solution for Percy’s migraines.


This latest attack, depending on how long Harvin remains out could put the start of his season in jeopardy. If you have your fantasy draft before his availability is determined, you will be taking a risk. While he will likely begin sliding down draft boards, his potential and explosiveness will still keep him a fairly early pick.


This goes beyond football, both fantasy and reality, as this is a man’s life. It’s hard to imagine being held hostage by your own body. I hope the doctors can find some way to help Percy get past these severe headaches. Nobody should have to endure that much pain.


Image courtesy of Icon SMI

So Brett Favre decided to grace the Vikings with his presence. If you were one of the one or two people that fell for his act…shame on you. For the rest of us, who always knew he was coming back, we can get on to the real question at hand. What does Favre’s return mean to us fantasy football players?


For starters, you can add Brett Favre in the mix as one of the top eight to twelve fantasy starters. I wouldn’t put him ahead of the likes of Rodgers, Brees, Peyton, Brady, Rivers, Romo, or Schaub, but after last year’s brilliant performance, I can see you rolling the dice and taking him as a low-end fantasy starter. I know he’s never missed a game and has been a top tier QB for the past three seasons, aside from the last few games with the Jets when he blew out his arm, but you should strongly consider adding a quality backup if you’re using Favre. He will turn 41 this year, and after the success the Saints had attacking Favre, you have to imagine other teams will follow suit and try to take down the new grandpa.


I am not worried that Favre’s return will hamper Adrian Peterson. He put up big numbers before Favre and put up big numbers with him. I’m more concerned with his fumbling issues, but that’s a different topic for a different day. I still consider AP the number one fantasy running back since teams can’t stuff the box on him.


The Viking wide receivers have to be breathing a sigh of relief. It’s not that I don’t think Tarvaris Jackson is not capable of moving the chains and putting up some points, but he is not to be confused with Brett Favre. Favre sweats out more experience every game than T-Jack has accumulated, and it will benefit the Viking wideouts.


The player I like the most is Percy Harvin. Of course he is a weekly risk thanks to his recurring migraine issue, but he has so much natural ability. He is strong and shifty and racks up yards after contact like a running back. Favre showed a willingness to deliver the ball to him in the red zone so double-digit touchdowns is not out of the question. Sidney Rice was his favorite target last year, but he is dealing with a hip issue. He has not walked the walk with injuries like the gunslinger so there is cause for concern. If he can stay healthy, he should be able to put up big numbers thanks to his body control and leaping ability. He’ll be gone from fantasy drafts before I’m willing to role the dice on him. Bernard Berrian is an interesting option. He’s too widely know to be considered a sleeper, but he could far exceed his expectations.


First, he’ll have to stay healthy, which has been a challenge. If he can do his part, and Percy (migraines) or Sidney’s (hip) issues flare up, he could see a lot of targets. He was almost the forgotten man last year, but was heavily featured (9 catches, 102 yards) in the NFC title game vs. the Saints. Don’t sleep on him despite his 161 ADP (57th WR).


Perhaps the player that is happiest to see Favre’s return is Visanthe Shiancoe. Not because they can sort out the great training camp tweet debacle, but because Favre loves throwing to tight ends in the red zone. Shiancoe had 11 TDs last year to back up that claim. He loses some value in PPR leagues because he likely won’t catch more than 55-60 passes, but another double-digit season is a distinct possibility.


I know you’re sick of the Favre drama, but the Vikings are a better team with him under center. Their players become better fantasy options as well. As far as I’m concerned, there’s nothing not to like about Favre’s return.


Percy Harvin collapsed during practice and was taken to a hospital via an ambulance. He vomited prior to collapsing, most likely the symptoms of a migraine. He has been dealing with them for two weeks now. You should probably slide Harvin down a few notches on your draft board. More importantly, my thoughts and prayers are with Harvin. Hopefully they find a way to improve his condition. That is now way to go through life, not knowing when you’ll be knocked on your butt from a crippling migraine.

I’m working under the assumption that Brett Favre will return to the Vikings. If he doesn’t things will change for the Purple, but the likelihood is extremely high that #4 will be back.

Fantasy Playoffs Schedule:  Difficult
The Vikings start things off with the Giants at home in Week 14. Next they take on the Bears at home. Finally, they play in Philly for the fantasy championship. Favre could be under heavy fire for this stretch.

Five Star Fantasy Options
Adrian Peterson – I don’t understand why he missed practice for Adrian Peterson Day. Couldn’t they try to adhere to his schedule? Aside from that lack of judgement, Peterson’s only other concern is putting the ball on the turf. I trust that he’ll improve that aspect of his game. I have him as my #1 fantasy RB.

Four Star Fantasy Options
Brett Favre – At some point his game will decline, but after witnessing last year’s explosiveness, I’m not banking on this being the year. He has so many weapons, and he just has fun with this group.

Sidney Rice – I’m a little worried that he’ll see a major regression in 2010 simply because there are so many other options for Favre. He has such good length, leaping ability, and body control that I don’t see him slipping too far.

Vikings Defense/Special Teams – As long as Jared Allen is roaming the field, the Vikings are a good bet for sacks. Throw in Ray Edwards and the Williams Wall and you got yourself a tough defense. If E.J. Henderson can stay healthy, the LBs will be rock solid as well. Unfortunately their second game against Detroit comes in Week 17, but they should still be an elite fantasy defense in 2010.

Three Star Fantasy Options
Percy Harvin – Harvin was an explosive player last year for the Vikes. It seemed like only his migraines would slow him down. I actually think they’ll be more creative with Harvin this year, making him even more of a headache to cover.

Visanthe Shiancoe – He racked up 11 TDs last year and 7 the year before so clearly he’s a great target in the red zone. He just isn’t going to give you big yardage because of the other options.

Two Star Fantasy Options
Bernard Berrian – Berrian was somewhat overlooked last year. In part because he struggled through injury. He’ll have his moments, but consistency will be an issue.

One Star Fantasy Options
Ryan Moats, Albert Young, Toby Gerhart – The Vikings had a key loss on offense when Chester Taylor went to Chicago. They have other options, but they likely won’t be as good. Taylor was a decent flex option, whereas this trio will only be viable if Peterson gets hurt.

Click here for additional 2010 NFL Team Previews.

Favre Looks Solid

31 August 2009

Brett Favre looked way better in his second preseason game with the Vikings, leading them to a 17-10 halftime lead over Houston.  Favre was 9 of 13 for 105 yards and 1 TD.  The TD was on a nice screen that Chester Taylor took 28 yards to the house. 

Pass protection again was a bit of a problem as Houston put pressure on Favre.  They do have an above average line though, so that’s to be expected.  Favre wasn’t able to go deep, but their primary deep threat, Bernard Berrian, did not play as he’s nursing a hamstring injury.

Favre did look to Visanthe Shiancoe early, so you may want to move him up on your draft boards if you haven’t already had your draft yet.  Favre is a low end QB2 in my opinion.  Chester Taylor has value in flex positions, as well as the obvious Adrian Peterson handcuff.  Percy Harvin made a lot of mental mistakes.  His talent is there, but if he can’t clean that up his opportunities will be limited.

Brett Favre stayed in to start the 3rd Quarter and finished 13 of 18 for 142 yards and 1 TD.  He also did a cheap crack back block on Texans Safety Eugene Wilson.

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