2022 Fantasy Football Minnesota Vikings Preview

Welcome to the F6P Fantasy Football Minnesota Vikings 2022 Preview!

Of course, the biggest off-season change is Kevin O’Connell taking over as head coach.

Mike Zimmer was in charge at Minnesota for eight seasons but never quite got over the hill. The Vikings decided to switch from one of the most defensive managers to a protégé of Sean McVay.

Will O’Connell open up the offense further? We’ll get to that later in the Fantasy Football Minnesota Vikings 2022 preview.

All Expert Consensus Ranking (ECR) and Average Draft Position (ADP) data for the 2022 Fantasy Football Minnesota Vikings Preview is as of June 21.

2022 Fantasy Football Minnesota Vikings Preview

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quarterbacks

Kirk Cousins ​​is the epitome of “replacement level” in fantasy football. He has gone on to have consecutive QB11 seasons, despite being drafted (or not drafted at all) as QB24 last season.

Cousins ​​has thrown for over 4,200 yards and at least 30 touchdowns in each of his last three healthy seasons in Minnesota. He has at least a 99.7 quarterback rating every season in Minnesota. Best way to describe him: Dak Prescott with worse PR.

So what will change for Cousins ​​when Kevin O’Connell helms the show? To be honest, I don’t think it will be much.

The Vikings attempted 604 passes last season; The Rams attempted 607 in 2021. O’Connell ran a much more efficient offense last season, averaging 7.7 yards per attempt, while the Vikings averaged just 7.0 yards per attempt. The Rams also had a touchdown rate of 6.8%, while Minnesota’s was just 5.6%.

What I take away from this is that Cousins’ ceiling is definitely higher than it’s been since he came to Minnesota. Can Cousins ​​emulate what Stafford was able to do on the same offense last season? I think there’s a chance to make his QB15 ADP pretty palatable.

Running backs

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Dalvin Cook missed four games last season and was held back from three more through injury. That seems to be a recurring theme at Cook, as he’s missed multiple games in each of his five seasons, totaling 25 games missed.

However, when Cook is healthy and playing, he’s still pretty elite. He finished the year RB15 overall and RB11 in points per game. Solid but still not what you’d expect from a round one pick.

However, if you just look at the games where he wasn’t slowed down by injuries and hit 10+ carries, his average value jumps to 16.98 half PPR Fantasy Points per game. That was fourth best in position.

Because of Cook’s high cap when he’s healthy, but also his high likelihood of missing time, Alexander Mattison is the most important handcuff in football.

Mattison averaged 19.83 Half PPR Fantasy Points per game while Cook was inactive last season. Unfortunately, Mattison has delivered almost nothing when Cook is active (2.7 points per game).

Could O’Connell change it and give Cook more breathers? It’s hard to predict because in each of his three years as offensive coordinator he has failed to keep the lead healthy.

So keep an eye on the headlines outside the Vikings camp to see if you can decipher Minnesota’s split plans for the backfield. However, if you call in Cook, be ready and willing to get multiple rounds on Mattison as others will try to flick you on him.

wide receiver

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Justin Jefferson asserted himself as a dominant force last season and not just a rookie prodigy. He continued a rookie campaign of 88 catches, 1,400 yards, and 7 touchdowns with 108 grabs, 1,616 yards, and 10 touchdowns in 2021.

Obviously the extra game helped, but Jefferson’s receptions and yards per game also had significant increases.

Paired with Jefferson is Mr. Touchdown Regression Proof Adam Thielen. This will be the third straight season that people will be predicting a huge drop in touchdowns for Thielen.

Thielen has caught 20 touchdowns in just 38 games and 171 receptions over the past three seasons. That means he scores 18% of his catches, which would be absurd if he hadn’t done it three years in a row.

I understand he’s on the wrong side of thirty and a risk of injury, but when he plays, he plays. Before his injury last season, Thielen was the WR7.

The only area where O’Connell could really boost the Vikings? The Rams’ top two goals averaged nearly four more combined goals than the Vikings’ top two receivers last season. If you add a few more goals per game to both Jefferson and Thielen, then maybe you’re looking at THE WR1 and another top 15 guy.

tight ends

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Irv Smith Jr. tore a meniscus before the first game last year and missed the entire season. He’s the ultimate wild card when it comes to the 2022 Fantasy Football Minnesota Vikings Preview.

It’s hard to believe much of the Vikings’ use of tight ends over the past year. Tyler Conklin had 87 goals, 61 receptions, 593 yards and three touchdowns. Smith is a much better prospect than Conklin ever was, so you’d think he could extend that usage to more production.

It’s also hard to interpret how O’Connell is using really tight ends given that Tyler Higbee missed some time last year and the Rams had a much deeper receiving group than Minnesota now.

Smith came into the league in high regard but is yet to have a chance to prove what he can as a starting tight end. Still, he’s only 23 years old so he should be able to recover from an injury.

With his ECR from TE21, he’s certainly worth a late-round lottery ticket.

Final Verdict

The Minnesota Vikings already had one of the best skill position groups in the entire league for fantasy football. Now they get an offensive head coach who can help them boost their production.

If Kevin O’Connell can do for Kirk Cousins ​​what he did for Matthew Stafford, we could be looking at one of the best quarterback/receiver stacks in the league this year.

Dalvin Cook is worth the first choice, but you must tie him down with Alexander Mattison at all costs.


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