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Minnesota Vikings Fantasy Football News | Shark Bites

Fantasy Football News 2022

Most Recent Fantasy Football News & Updates

It's been a quiet training camp for Vikings WR Adam Thielen. (Quiet is good for a 31-year-old veteran.). But The Athletic's Arif Hasan writes that Thielen "looks more like his previous self" after missing the end of last season and undergoing ankle surgery in December. "His play is reminiscent of his most productive stretch from 2016 to 2018," Hasan adds. "After some injury-shortened seasons and limited production when healthy, this might be big news." Thielen was sitting 8th among WRs in half-PPR points per game through Week 12 last year and is a nice value at his current 6th-round price tag.

Vikings QB Kirk Cousins tested positive for COVID and will be away from the team for at least 5 days. We'll see exactly when he gets back on the field, but this shouldn't impact his 2022 fantasy value.

ESPN's Kevin Seifert writes that Vikings WR K.J. Osborn "is having a breakout training camp in his own right." That came within an article focused on Adam Thielen's productive role in complement to WR Justin Jefferson's quick rise. We won't overrate 1 reporter's choice of adjectives, but it's clear that Minnesota's #3 wideout is having a good training camp after last year's 50-655-7 receiving line and WR39 finish in PPR. Osborn remains an easy value at his WR64 Underdog ADP.

Vikings TE Irv Smith underwent thumb surgery on Tuesday, HC Kevin O'Connell said. O'Connell expects Smith to be ready for the start of the season, but we'll track his rehab. The missed practice time isn't ideal for a young player who missed all of 2021 with a knee injury and is now learning a new offense. There's no viable pass-catching TE behind Smith on Minnesota's roster.

12:15pm EDT 7/30/22

Arif Hasan of The Athletic writes that Vikings WR K.J. Osborn has appeared to lock down the team’s #3 WR role. Osborn, who enjoyed a mini breakout last year (50-655-7), is running ahead of guys like Bisi Johnson, Ihmir Smith-Marsette and Albert Wilson. It’s not a surprise, but it’s nice to get confirmation with Minnesota breaking in a new coaching staff. With the Vikings expected to feature more 3-WR looks, Osborn could enter the spot-start mix in deep leagues.

"I think he's gonna finally thrive, really thrive, in a system and a coach that actually respects him." Those were the recent words from ex-Vikings LB Ben Leber, who now works the sideline for team radio broadcasts. Leber added: "Mike Zimmer did not like Kirk Cousins. And I think that showed in the way that Kirk behaved and the way that he carried himself. The team was never given to him." It's quite possible that this is entirely true ... and that the change doesn't impact Cousins' fantasy production. He ranked 5th among QBs in passing-TD rate and yards per attempt over the past 3 years, under Zimmer. (We talked further about Cousins and our expectations for the 2022 Vikings offense in Tuesday's podcast.) If it's true that Zimmer negatively impacted Cousins' day-to-day, then the switch certainly can't hurt his effectiveness.

Vikings WR Justin Jefferson said he's "so excited" about new HC Kevin O'Connell's offense. "Our offensive style, it's not a run-first offense anymore," Jefferson said. "Just us being able to put different people in different positions and distribute the ball, really." We actually wouldn't describe last year's Vikings as "run first" considering they ranked 11th in pass attempts. But they finished 18th in situation-neutral pass rate, so there's room for at least a moderate climb in passing volume this season. Jefferson is a locked-in top 3 fantasy WR.

Vikings TE Irv Smith "looked like a full participant" in last week's minicamp, according to The Athletic's Chad Graff. Smith was limited in OTAs coming off last August's meniscus tear, but it doesn't look like that injury will be an issue as we roll into training camp. Smith has some breakout potential in new HC Kevin O'Connell's offense.

The Vikings signed WR Albert Wilson. The 29-year-old has never topped 554 yards in an NFL season and is unlikely to climb higher than 4th on Minnesota's depth chart. Wilson isn't worth a pick in early best-ball drafts.

New Vikings HC Kevin O'Connell is excited about TE Irv Smith's potential in his offense. "I've said this before, going back and watching some of his tape even before the injury, I know there was a lot of folks excited about him last fall before that injury happened," O'Connell said. "Some of the success he's had -- both with how we're going to use him and ultimately where he is at in his career -- he's ready to absorb all of this and be in a position to go play fast, go play with a bunch of confidence that he's going to be a major part of what we do." Smith is still working his way back from August's meniscus injury, but the Vikings reportedly expect him to be at 100% for the start of training camp. After Minnesota failed to add a significant upgrade at WR behind Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen, there's room for Smith to carve out a significant role this season.

The Vikings are “excited” to see how 2nd-year WR Ihmir Smith-Marsette develops, per beat writer Chad Graff. Note that Minnesota didn't draft a WR until Round 6 last month (MSU's Jalen Nailor). According to Graff, Smith-Marsette is “part of the reason” new GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah opted against adding an impact rookie WR. As things stand now, ISM will battle Bisi Johnson for the Vikings’ WR4 job.

Vikings beat writer Chad Graff writes that RB Dalvin Cook might see more pass-game involvement in 2022. Cook “lined up in bunch wide receiver sets” at minicamp, though Graff admits it might just be some “tinkering” from a new staff. “I don’t want to just sit up here and tell y’all everything,” Cook said. “We’ve got Green Bay Week 1, so we’re gonna wait and see.” The veteran RB saw ~3.8 targets per game last season. Current projections have him at 41 catches (in 14 games).

Vikings beat writer Sam Ekstrom writes that TE Irv Smith “looked pretty agile” during minicamp drills. Ekstrom also observed Smith running at close to full speed. Last preseason, the 23-year-old sustained a meniscus injury that cost him all of 2021. If Smith can regain pre-injury form, he’ll carry a TE1 ceiling into a contract year. HC Kevin O'Connell recently added some fuel to the hype train by calling Smith "a major part" of the offense.

The Vikings selected RB Ty Chandler in Round 5 of the NFL Draft. A 5th-year senior, Chandler transferred from Tennessee to North Carolina last year. “Ty Chandler came to Carolina with loads of potential and we thought he'd have a tremendous year," HC Mack Brown said. "That's exactly what he did. He grew into the offense with his combination of speed and quickness, and was extremely productive for us. Ty was also great in the locker room as an experienced presence and went on to be voted captain by his teammates.” Chandler does bring top-end, 4.38 speed — but he’s on the smallish side at 204 pounds. He also turns 24 prior to Week 1. He’ll likely start out as a practice squad guy with the Vikings likely to stick with Alexander Mattison and Kene Nwangwu behind Dalvin Cook.

The Vikings grabbed LB Brian Asamoah early in Round 3 of the NFL Draft. Asamoah is smallish at 6'0, 226 pounds, though that's closer to the norm by current NFL standards. He tested well leading up to the draft (74th percentile speed score) after solid college production. Asamoah is likely at least a year away from the opportunity for real playing time in Minnesota, though, with Eric Kendricks and free-agent addition Jordan Hicks in the way.

The Vikings selected CB Andrew Booth in the 2nd round of the NFL Draft. Booth might have slid in the draft for injury concerns, but his most recent issue was just a sports hernia. His college numbers don’t point to huge IDP upside in the NFL: 68 total tackles, 5 INTs and 9 passes defensed across 3 seasons. Booth goes to a Minnesota secondary that presents immediate opportunity to compete for a starting gig.

The Vikings spent the final pick of Round 1 on Georgia S Lewis Cine. NFL Network's Daniel Jeremiah lauded Cine's physicality but called him inconsistent in coverage. Cine did get his hands on 9 passes in his final Bulldogs season but totaled just 2 INTs across his 3 campaigns. He could be in for immediate starting duty with Harrison Smith the only incumbent safety starter in Minnesota.

1:48pm EDT 4/19/22

Vikings HC Kevin O’Connell said TE Irv Smith is “right on schedule” in his recovery from an August meniscus tear. Smith, who called his 2021 injury a “freak” thing, added that the goal is to be 100% by training camp. Entering a contract-year, Smith will have a shot at a major role, especially with Tyler Conklin now in New York. Our early projections have him inside TE2 territory.

The Vikings are signing EDGE Za'Darius Smith to a 3-year, $42 million deal with a top value of $47 million, according to multiple reports. Smith nearly signed with the Ravens but backed off that and lands with a Minnesota defense that will position him opposite DE Danielle Hunter. It's not yet clear how the new Vikings staff will primarily align its front 7. That only matters for how the positional designations will settle out for IDP leagues. The contract -- and the fact that 2 teams were willing to pay him -- indicates that Smith should be ready to return from the back surgery that halted his 2021 campaign. He has a chance to be a nice value in pressure-friendly fantasy football leagues. Smith totaled 26 sacks over his past 2 healthy campaigns.

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports that EDGE Za'Darius Smith is not signing with the Ravens, despite previous reports that they'd agreed to terms. So he remains on the free-agent market after his release from the Packers.

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