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Fantasy Football News 2023

Most Recent Fantasy Football News & Updates

Speaking at OTAs, Panthers HC Frank Reich gave his thoughts on 3rd-year WR Terrace Marshall. “We saw that last year with the reps that he got, the catches that he had, the big plays that he had. He shows that capacity to be a big-play guy,” Reich said. “The next step with every player is just more reps, more plays, more confidence where it’s like, ‘Hey, give me the ball.’” Marshall spent part of the offseason working with Mo Wells, a former LSU sprinter who also trains Tee Higgins and Ja’Marr Chase. The goal was to build muscle with the hopes of avoiding injuries that’ve slowed his development. Still only 23, Marshall isn’t a name to forget in dynasty leagues. But it’s clear the Panthers’ new staff isn’t expecting much after adding Adam Thielen, D.J. Chark, and Round 2 WR Jonathan Mingo.

The Panthers agreed to a one-year deal with WR D.J. Chark. The 26-year-old missed six games in the first half of last season with ankle trouble but made some noise in the second half, averaging 57.7 yards on 17.6 yards per catch over the final seven games. Chark ran a 4.34-second 40-yard dash at the 2018 Combine and is averaging 14.4 yards per catch through five NFL seasons. He adds much-needed juice to a Panthers WR corps that added WR Adam Thielen last week. Those two are the current favorites to open the season as Carolina's top two WRs -- although don't count out WR Terrace Marshall. The Panthers, of course, are expected to select their starting QB with the first pick of next month's draft.

The Panthers and WR Adam Thielen have reportedly agreed to a three-year deal. The terms of the contract are unknown as of this writing. After nine years in Minnesota, the long-time Viking and former UDFA will have an opportunity to get his career back on track. Thielen recorded four seasons of 900+ receiving yards between 2016 and 2020 en route to a pair of Pro Bowl nods and an All-Pro second-team nomination in 2017. This past season saw his lowest productivity in PPR fantasy points per game (10.6) and target share (17.2%) since 2016, and the Vikings' midseason acquisition of TE T.J. Hockenson caused Thielen to see an even steeper drop-off in usage in the latter half of 2022. With a slim WR corps, Thielen should be able to establish himself as a top option in the Panthers' passing attack. That said, it's tough to imagine a ton of fantasy upside from a player that turns 33 by the time the 2023 NFL season begins. This signing helps dynasty managers left holding the bag after the Vikings released Thielen earlier this month, but that's about it. Thielen's presence as a veteran option for whichever rookie QB the Panthers opt to select with the number one pick of the NFL Draft will be useful, though likely more important for real-life football than fantasy.

NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reports that the Vikings are releasing WR Adam Thielen. It's been a long-rumored, contract-related move. The 32-year-old (until August) has seen his target share decline for two straight seasons. Thielen also tallied a career-low 10.2 yards per catch last season and posted his second smallest averages in both receptions and yards per game since becoming a starter in 2016. We'd still bet on Thielen finding opportunity somewhere else, but it's tough to know how big a role to expect until he lands. You can take some shots on Thielen at his already depressed ADP in current best ball drafts. But don't target him too heavily or expect a huge payoff. Thielen's departure leaves opportunity for WR K.J. Osborn and TE T.J. Hockenson. Don't be surprised, though, if Minnesota adds a wide receiver early in the NFL Draft.

Vikings HC Kevin O'Connell said Friday that his regulars will start this weekend's game vs. the Bears but that there's a plan to potentially pull them early to get backups some reps, according to ESPN's Kevin Seifert. The Vikings can't get the NFC's #1 seed and can only climb from #3 to #2 with a 49ers loss to the Cardinals. QB Kirk Cousins, RB Dalvin Cook, WRs Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen and TE T.J. Hockenson are candidates to leave Sunday's game early.

Vikings HC Kevin O'Connell said Monday that he won't sit his starters in Sunday's regular-season finale vs. the Bears -- although he added that he could make "more subtle" adjustments to playing time. The Vikings can't get the NFC's #1 seed but are still alive for the #2 seed with a win plus a loss by the 49ers. Minnesota kicks off at 1 pm ET, while 49ers-Cardinals doesn't start until 4:25 pm ET, so there won't be any scoreboard watching going on. It's possible that the Vikings pull guys like QB Kirk Cousins, RB Dalvin Cook, WR Justin Jefferson and TE T.J. Hockenson if they build a big lead, but we're currently projecting full playing time for all of them.

Vikings QB Kirk Cousins threw for just 205 yards in Sunday's loss to the Packers, with 1 TD and 3 INTs. The lone TD went to WR Jalen Nailor from 47 yards out, helping him lead the team with 89 yards on 3 catches. TE T.J. Hockenson led the team with 12 targets, catching 7 for 59 yards. WR K.J. Osborn added a TD catch, but it came from QB Nick Mullens in garbage time. WR Justin Jefferson managed just 1 reception for 15 yards among 5 looks. Minnesota closes out the regular season with an upside matchup at Chicago.

Vikings WR Justin Jefferson caught 12 balls for 133 yards and a TD in Saturday's win over the Giants. It was his 3rd straight game with more than 120 yards and his 10th game of 100+ this season. Jefferson also passed the franchise records for receptions and receiving yards in a season. He leads the league in receiving yards for the season by more than 200, with #2 Tyreek Hill yet to play. WR Adam Thielen caught just 1 of 5 targets for 6 yards against the Giants. WR K.J. Osborn followed his big Week 15 with 3 catches for 17 yards among 4 targets.

Vikings WR K.J. Osborn tied WR Justin Jefferson for the team target lead (16) in Saturday's come-from-behind OT win over the Colts. Osborn caught 10 balls for a team-high 157 yards and scored. Jefferson returned from an injury check (chest) to catch 12 passes for 123 yards and a TD. WR Adam Thielen managed just 3 receptions on 4 targets for 41 yards and a TD. TE T.J. Hockenson added 3-33 receiving on 9 looks.

Vikings WR Adam Thielen caught 7 of 8 targets for 65 yards and a TD in Sunday's loss to the Lions. He trailed Justin Jefferson's lead in receptions, tying TE T.J. Hockenson for 2nd on the team in targets and ranking 3rd in yardage. Hockenson managed a 6-77 receiving line. WR K.J. Osborn claimed the other TD catch to go with 5 catches for 38 yards on 5 targets.

The Jets limited Vikings WR Justin Jefferson to 45 yards on 7 catches among 11 targets in Sunday's Minnesota win. Jefferson did find the end zone from 10 yards out in the middle of the 4th quarter to save what would have been a disappointing fantasy day by his standards otherwise. A Week 14 clash with the Lions presents an opportunity for Jefferson to avenge his worst outing of the year: 3 catches for 14 yards in Week 3. TE T.J. Hockenson and WR Adam Thielen tied for 2nd in targets against the Jets with 6 apiece. Hockenson caught 4 for 33 yards. Thielen caught 2 balls for 27 yards.

Vikings WR Justin Jefferson amassed 139 yards and a TD on 9 catches in Thursday night's win over the Patriots. WR Adam Thielen trailed him by just 1 target and matched Jefferson's 9 catches, tallying 61 yards and a TD. TE T.J. Hockenson snagged the other of Kirk Cousins' 3 scoring tosses, totaling a 5-43-1 receiving line among 6 targets. The Minnesota passing game gets a tougher draw against the Jets in Week 13.

Vikings QB Kirk Cousins managed only 12-of-23 passing for 105 yards in Sunday's beatdown at the hands of the Cowboys. He took 7 sacks and lost a fumble in the 40-3 defeat, giving way to Nick Mullens for late mop-up duty. TE T.J. Hockenson led Minnesota pass-catchers with just 5 catches and 34 yards. WR Justin Jefferson checked in just behind with a 3-33 line on 5 targets. WRs Adam Thielen and K.J. Osborn were the only other Vikings to catch more than 1 pass. (They each caught 2.) Minnesota gets challenging matchups the next 2 weeks as well, against the Patriots and Jets. The 1st of those comes on Thanksgiving night.

New Vikings TE T.J. Hockenson led the team with 9 receptions Sunday in his 1st game since the trade. He caught all 9 of his targets (2nd on the team) for 70 yards. Only WR Justin Jefferson drew more looks, catching 7 of 13 for 115 yards and a TD. WR Adam Thielen garnered 7 targets and tallied 3 receptions for 67 yards. QB Kirk Cousins totaled 265 yards on a lackluster 22-of-40 (55%) passing. Minnesota heads to Buffalo next Sunday for 1 of the league's toughest passing matchups.

The Lions are trading TE T.J. Hockenson to the Vikings, along with a 2023 4th-round pick and a 2024 conditional 4th-round pick, in exchange for a 2023 2nd-round pick and 2024 3rd-round pick, NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reports. It's surprising for a few reasons, most notably because it's an intra-division trade and involves a former 1st-round pick still on his rookie deal. Hockenson counts just $6.5 million against this year's salary cap and has a $9.3 million 5th-year option for 2023. He's been slightly underwhelming through 3+ NFL seasons considering he was the 8th overall pick of the 2019 NFL Draft. But Hockenson's 44.0 receiving yards per game since 2019 rank 10th among TEs. He's averaged a career-best 56.4 yards per game so far this year and ranks 7th among 31 qualifying TEs in Pro Football Focus' 2022 receiving grades. Minnesota is an OK spot for Hockenson's rest-of-season fantasy value. He'll obviously be behind WR Justin Jefferson in the pecking order but could challenge WR Adam Thielen for the #2 spot. And the Vikings have been a pass-leaning offense this year, ranking 7th at 38.0 pass attempts per game. (The Lions rank 15th at 35.7.). Hockenson will face negative fantasy-scoring matchups the next 2 weeks vs. Washington and Buffalo, but the schedule looks nice after that. Detroit, meanwhile, is left with TEs Brock Wright and James Mitchell. Wright is the preferred add but is probably only worth a look in TE-premium leagues like the FFPC. RB D'Andre Swift and WR Amon-Ra St. Brown should pick up more targets with Hockenson gone.

Vikings TE Irv Smith suffered a high-ankle sprain in Sunday's win over the Cardinals, insider Chris Tomasson reports. Smith is getting an MRI on Monday to get a better look at the damage, but he figures to miss multiple games. He's droppable in standard-sized fantasy leagues. Smith's absence leaves lead TE duties to Johnny Mundt, who owns just 22 career catches, with 12 of them coming this season. We should see more volume funneled to WRs Justin Jefferson, Adam Thielen and K.J. Osborn with Smith out.

Vikings WR Adam Thielen found the end zone in a Week 6 win over Miami. While his 36 yards underwhelmed, he tied Justin Jefferson for the team-lead in targets (8). Thielen’s score — his 2nd of the season — came from 2 yards out when he shook free from CB Xavien Howard. Through 6 games, Thielen’s up to 29 catches, 284 yards and 2 TDs. He draws a nice matchup with Arizona following a Week 7 bye.

Vikings WR Justin Jefferson enjoyed another big game in Sunday's win over the Bears. He racked up a 12-154 receiving line on 13 targets. No other Viking drew more than 7 looks or caught more than 5 passes. WR Adam Thielen checked in 2nd with 7 targets but caught just 4 for 27 yards. K.J. Osborn caught all 5 of his targets (for 41 yards) to finish 2nd on the team in receptions.

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