2011 Team Outlook: Minnesota (Page 2)

 
 
 
 
Football > Preseason > 2011 Team Outlook: Minnesota

2011 Team Outlook: Minnesota

A fantasy football preview of the Vikings this year. Profiled players include Christian Ponder, Joe Webb, Donovan McNabb, Adrian Peterson, and Toby Gerhart.

He was overrated last season after posting productive stats in the final four games of 2009. Poor route running and questionable blocking skills kept him on the bench for the majority of 2010. He only had 10 receptions and less than 200 yards receiving all last season with Chicago. With just 41 career catches for 593 yards in three seasons - its difficult to project fantasy relevance in 2011. He'll likely be the fourth receiver in Minnesota behind Percy Harvin, Bernard Berrian and Michael Jenkins. Aromashodu is best left undrafted unless you are in deeper leagues that start 4 WRs in that case take a flier. Other than Percy Harvin, the Minnesota WR corps is a wide open competition.

Berrian's 6-year $44 contract (signed in 2008) marks one of the bigger mistakes by the Vikings in recent memory. The 30 year old WR has seen a dramatic decline in a production, making him a candidate to be a cap casualty. Since back to back 900 yard seasons in 2007/2008, Berrian's last two seasons have dropped him off the fantasy radar as he has amassed 870 yards and 4 TDs including only 252 yards in 2010.

Camarillo's first season in Minnesota was less than impressive as he finished with 20 catches for 240 yards and 1 TD. Other than filling in when Percy Harvin was sidelined with migraines, the 5 year NFL vet was an afterthought in the Viking passing game. The projected 3rd WR on a team likely to have a rookie QB shouldn't be selected unless you are in a 20 team league. Of course his fantasy stock could rise significantly if Sidney Rice exits via free agency.

As the number #2 wide receiver and number three target for Matt Ryan, Jenkins was a player who you could reliably count on for about 50 receptions a year. The Falcons' selection of rookie Julio Jones made Jenkins expendable and his reunion with Vikings OC Bill Musgrave (former Falcon QB coach) should allow the former first round pick to hit the ground running. At 6'4, 217 pounds the Ohio State alum could become a favorite in the red zone, but his yardage totals will likely be pedestrian -- limiting him to WR5 status at best. He's yet to average more than 50 YPG in any of his first 7 seasons and is more known for his downfield blocking prowess -- good news for AP owners, but not a good sign for Jenkins' fantasy prospects.

Durability concerns dropped this first round talent into the 2nd round and Minnesota went with the best player on their board. The Notre Dame alum measured 6-foot-6 and 259 pounds at the combine with massive 10 1/4-inch hands and 34-inch arms (assets to his blocking ability). Rudolph suffered a shoulder injury in 2009 (missed 2 games) and hamstring surgery that cost him all but six games in 2010. His ball skills and route running were noted as the best in this draft class, making him an intriguing option for those in dynasty leagues. Playing in a pro style offense at ND should limit his learning curve to the next level and with Shiancoe a potential free agent at season's end, Rudolph could have the job to himself in 2012.

TE Visanthe Shiancoe was a red zone monster in 2009, finishing with 11 touchdowns. However, as the Vikings' passing game struggled in 2010, V-Shank's fantasy appeal came crashing down as he finished with only 2 TDs last season. In his past three seasons, the 8-year vet out of Morgan State has averaged only 564 yds/season (under 40 yds/game), making him best drafted as a TE2, considering the Vikings added rookie Kyle Rudolph in round 2 of April's draft. We expect Minnesota to employ more 2-tight end sets in Bill Musgrave's offense, but we don't foresee the same level of success as New England enjoyed last season (with rookies Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski) as Christian Ponder is no Tom Brady. Shiancoe is now 30 years old and will be a free agent at the end of 2011, meaning he should be motivated to prove that 2009 wasn't a fluke. He is yet another player that could see his role expand dramatically (especially in the red zone) if Sidney Rice is elsewhere.

 
Rob Warner
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Conshohocken, PA
FFToolbox Fantasy Football Writer since 2008
Education: graduate from LaSalle University (Accounting major)
Occupation: been working in Commercial Real Estate Analytics since 2000 (Morningstar Credit Ratings)

Fantasy Football Experience:
Been playing fantasy football since 1990 and fantasy baseball since 1995.
Have been writing fantasy football and baseball articles for FFToolbox since 2008.
Content manager for Spinball Inc. - responsible for planning all fantasy football related articles and coordinating/editing submissions from guest writers. Also take the lead on radio appearances (Sirius radio, blogtalk etc.)
Spinball's Mock Draft top 100 for the 2013 draft finished well ahead of ESPN self procalimed draft guru Mel Kiper: http://www.thehuddlereport.com/scoring/top100.shtml

Favorite Teams: all things Minnesota - Vikings, Twins, Twolves, Gophers, Wild. Also support home town Phillies (was in attendance for World Series clinching game 5 in 2008). Favorite athlete of all time was Kirby Puckett.

Interests: running (completed Philly marathon 3 times), playing all sports (specifically baseball, football, tennis), concerts/music (drumming) - attended SXSW three times, cooking, travel (attended Wimbledon and hoping to make it to Aussie and French Opens in near future).