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2024 Fantasy Preview: Minnesota Vikings


2023 Season Recap


Record: 7-10

Points For: 344 (22)

Points Against: 362 (13)


Off-season Roster Recap


Added: 


RB - Aaron Jones, QB Sam Darnold, LB Jonathan Greenard, LB Blake Cashman, LB Andrew Van Ginkel, DL Jerry Tillery, WR Trent Sherfield, CB Shaquill Griffin, OL Dan Feeney, 


Lost:  


QB Kirk Cousins, DE Danielle Hunter, LB Eric Kendricks, RB Alexander Mattison, DE Marcus Davenport, LB Jordan Hicks, K Greg Joseph, DL D.J. Wonnum, WR K.J. Osborn


Draft Recap Offense


(10) QB JJ McCarthy, (177) OL Walter Rouse, (203) K Will Reichard, (230) OL Michael Jurgens


Draft Recap Defense


(17) DE Dallas Turner, (108) CB Khyree Jackson, (232) DL Levi Drake Rodriguez


2024 Outlook


Overview

Vikings fans are feeling optimistic despite a “bad dream” season that saw their final season with Kirk Cousins end early when he went down with an Achilles injury. Since then, they have seen him move on to his next team as well as many more key contributors from last year’s team. They will look to remain competitive while their offense still looks nearly complete.


Passing

Kirk Cousins is with the Atlanta Falcons. Now what? Sam Darnold comes in to be the veteran pushing for the opening spot at quarterback. Because Darnold doesn’t really make Vikings fans very excited for the future with a less-than-stellar track record, they decided to make JJ McCarthy their QB for the future when they took him 10th overall in the NFL Draft. McCarthy offers more upside rather than a proven track record. He wasn’t relied on heavily in the Michigan Wolverines National Championship run where they were reliant on the running game. With solid weapons to feed through the air, head coach Kevin O’ Connell will have to figure out the best passer to get the ball to their talented weapons.


Rushing

The Vikings running game was nearly non-existent last season. After Dalvin Cook departed before the start of last season, they looked to Alexander Mattison to spearhead the rushing game. That did not go as planned and the Vikings were bottom five in total rushing yards and finished tied for least in the league in rushing touchdowns. They decided to sign former NFC North rival Aaron Jones to take over lead rushing duties. Whether Jones has any more in the tank remains to be seen as he was limited to 11 games and finished outside the top 10 fantasy RB’s for the first time since 2018. Jones will be 30 at the end of the season and Father Time seems to tick quicker for running backs. He’s worthy of a handcuff: check out Ty Chandler who had flashes last year sharing rushing duties with Mattison. Bright side: they get to both run behind a stellar offensive line headed by elite tackle Christian Darrisaw.


Receiving

Justin Jefferson is arguably the best receiver in the NFL today and he got paid like it. Jefferson got his bag of $35M a year and is locked in as the Vikings main weapon for years to come. Jordan Addison showed he can be a reliable WR2 when called upon after a solid rookie outing. Addison had a chance to show out as a WR1 where he had many huge games being the featured WR. Don’t expect that ceiling being behind a healthy Jefferson. The Vikings also feature an outstanding TE in TJ Hockenson but his health heading into the 2024 season is in question following his torn ACL and MCL injury in December of last year. If Hockenson were to miss significant time heading into this season, you can definitely put more stock into Addison being featured a bit more.


Defense

On the defensive side of the ball, the Purple People Eaters are attempting to recreate themselves by selecting pass-rushing phenom Dallas Turner in the first round. With the departure of elite pass-rusher Danielle Hunter, the Vikings found their successor in Turner who looks to make up as much of the production left behind by Hunter. They also nabbed former Texans edge defender Jonathan Greenard to a big deal to pair with Turner along the defensive front. The turnover on the defensive side really shows in the linebacker corps. Veteran LB Eric Kendricks walked in free agency and in comes Blake Cashman and Andrew Van Ginkel to start on defense. Their safety room is already very good with longtime vet Harrison Smith along with Josh Metellus and Camryn Bynum; fixing the CB room was a big necessity, though. They signed Shaquill Griffin to create more competition for a starting position that surrendered plenty of yards through the air last season. This Vikings defense hopes to better match the success their offense has had for this upcoming season. RIP Khyree Jackson, drafted to the Vikings this year.


Fantasy Impact

It all hinges on the QB play which on paper is very shaky. Between Darnold and McCarthy, I cannot see either of them becoming Top 20 QBs this season. It will certainly lower the ceiling of Jefferson, Addison and Hockenson. If either can show a semblance of starting caliber QB play, Jefferson can at least remain a Top 10 WR. He’s being drafted as a Top 5 WR at the moment and I would select someone else if you are selecting a WR with a Top 5 pick. In a different scenario, if Jefferson is to succeed to his utmost potential with one of the two QBs here, they will heavily rely on Jefferson and Addison will remain a shadow. Addison seems like an easy fade in drafts. Hockenson is a big risk but you may be able to get him cheap in dynasty formats right now. Aaron Jones may be a sleeper the way I see it. He’s right around RB20 in our FantasyHolics rankings but with his track record and a stout offensive line he could be in for a bounce-back season and beating out his ADP. 


Schedule


Week 1 at NY Giants

Week 2 vs San Francisco

Week 3 vs Houston

Week 4 at Green Bay

Week 5 vs NY Jets (LONDON)

Week 6 BYE

Week 7 vs Detroit

Week 8 at LA Rams (TNF)

Week 9 vs Indianapolis

Week 10 at Jacksonville

Week 11 at Tennessee

Week 12 at Chicago

Week 13 vs Arizona

Week 14 vs Atlanta

Week 15 vs Chicago (MNF)

Week 16 at Seattle

Week 17 vs Green Bay

Week 18 at Detroit


Strength of schedule: .502 (T-16th)


DraftKings Projected Wins - 6.5


#Drock313’s prediction 6 wins - 11 losses


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