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Minnesota Vikings Fantasy Football News | Shark Bites

Fantasy Football News 2024

Most Recent Fantasy Football News & Updates

Vikings HC Kevin O'Connell said Wednesday that Sam Darnold will open training camp as the team's No. 1 QB. O'Connell did not commit to anything beyond that, though, saying that he plans for a "competitive" training camp.

The Athletic's Alec Lewis says fans should "be keeping their eyes on" Vikings RB Ty Chandler, coming out of the team's recent minicamp. RT Brian O'Neill called Chandler one of the most explosive players on the team. "I see us having a one-two punch at running back, almost like they have in Detroit," O'Neill said, pairing Chandler with import Aaron Jones. "I don't know if that's what's happening on the offensive side, but I know that we have two true No. 1 running backs. I'd buy stock in Ty Chandler if I could." If the starting RT doesn't know how the RBs will be deployed this season, then odds are that remains a developing situation. It's worth noting that Jones -- signed immediately after the Packers released him -- turns 30 in December, has averaged 12.1 carries per game for his career, and has only reached 13.0 in a season twice across seven years.

In recapping the Vikings' just-completed minicamp, The Athletic's Alec Lewis says QB Sam Darnold "looked calm, confident and prepared for what is likely to be another starting opportunity." Lewis also highlighted the inconsistency in rookie QB J.J. McCarthy's performance, adding that it should be expected for the first-round pick. Lewis added that Darnold took every first-team rep in the minicamp and that McCarthy didn't work with starters when the Vikings split into "starters" and "developmental" groups. Minnesota signed Darnold to a one-year, $10 million contract before the draft, with $8.75 million of that fully guaranteed. That doesn't lock in Darnold as the starter for any portion of the coming season. But it's enough money to suggest that we shouldn't be surprised if he opens the year behind center.

The Vikings are signing WR Justin Jefferson to a four-year extension, according to NFL Network. The $140 million deal includes $110 million in guarantees and will make him the highest-paid non-QB in the league.

Vikings TE T.J. Hockenson admitted recently that he has no timetable for return from last year's multi-ligament knee injury. Hockenson tore his right MCL and ACL on December 24. The MCL injury delayed the ACL surgery until January 29, pushing back Hockenson's timeline. He'll be just a little over seven months removed from surgery come Week 1.

The Vikings grabbed Edge Dallas Turner with the 17th pick of the first round. Turner brings plenty of excitement as a 21-year-old early declare who delivered a 99th-percentile speed score at 6’3, 247 pounds. He also delivered 0.86 tackles for loss per game and 0.6 sacks per game for his career at Alabama. Turner lands in a Minnesota defense that just lost Edge Danielle Hunter to the Texans in free agency. That plus Turner's Round 1 draft capital -- increased by the two trades that got the Vikes in position to draft him -- makes him likely to start early in his rookie season. Expect Turner to rank high in the rookie rankings for your IDP draft.

The Vikings selected Michigan QB J.J. McCarthy in Round 1 of the NFL Draft. McCarthy won 27 of 28 starts over the past two seasons, but a run-heavy Michigan squad limited the raw production. He averaged only 23.4 passes per game from 2022-2023. He hit 300 yards three times over that stretch. Of course, counting stats make up a small piece of the overall evaluation. Look to the efficiency, and McCarthy thrived – particularly in 2023. He posted an elite yards per attempt (9.0) and adjusted completion rate (80.0%). Running a pro-style system under HC Jim Harbaugh, McCarthy also excelled on throws over the middle of the field. The plus athlete showed his movement skills at the NFL Combine with a 91st percentile 3-cone (6.82) and 72nd percentile shuttle (4.23). He tallied ten rushing TDs for his career. The 6’2, 215-pounder isn’t the most physically imposing QB, but his tape doesn’t give us any arm strength concerns. And he avoided missing time due to an injury. It’s also worth remembering that this Michigan offense wasn’t loaded like the ones Jayden Daniels and Michael Penix Jr. played with. Ultimately, the selection of McCarthy is a bet on traits, athleticism, and high character. He’s certainly matched with a bright offensive mind in HC Kevin O'Connell. Justin Jefferson, Jordan Addison, and T.J. Hockenson supply an excellent trio of weapons. McCarthy projects as the Week 1 starter over Sam Darnold, but it's far from a lock. The Michigan product looks no better than a low-end QB2 for redraft.

Vikings WR Justin Jefferson did not report for the start of the team's offseason program on Monday. He's entering the final year of his rookie deal and is (rightfully) looking for a big contract extension. “I’ve had a lot of great dialogue with Justin throughout even the early part of this offseason and leading up,” HC Kevin O’Connell said. “My hope is we can get him around the team. Obviously such a special player, but it goes beyond that this time of year because of just the energy and flat-out way he goes to work.” We'll see where these contract negotiations go and how long Jefferson stays away from the team. We'll also see if the Vikings add a QB early in the draft later this month. Despite those issues, Jefferson still sits fourth among WRs in our current 2024 fantasy football rankings.

The Vikings acquired the 23rd overall pick of this year's draft -- plus pick No. 232 -- from the Texans in exchange for picks 42, 188, and a 2025 second-rounder. Minnesota now holds the 11th and 23rd overall picks in the draft. The obvious conclusion here is that the Vikings are stockpiling ammo to make a move up for a QB. They'd likely need to trade into the top three to land Caleb Williams, Jayden Daniels, or Drake Maye. Or they could make a smaller move up for J.J. McCarthy. Any of those guys would be good news for the short and long-term fantasy outlooks of WR Justin Jefferson, WR Jordan Addison, and TE T.J. Hockenson. QB Sam Darnold currently tops Minnesota's depth chart.

The Vikings have agreed to a deal with former Packers RB Aaron Jones, according to The Athletic's Dianna Russini. This comes just a day after Jones' release and Green Bay's announced deal with RB Josh Jacobs. Minnesota finished last season with Ty Chandler leading the backfield, and he should still factor in a decent amount. Jones has averaged 12.1 carries per game for his career and reached 13.0 in just two of his seven seasons. But we're betting Jones will lead the Vikings in both carries and RB targets. He should be a top-24 RB across draft formats and carries upside into the top 12. Jones turned 29 in December but also closed out the season with five straight games of 108+ rushing yards (and 18+ carries in each of those). Chandler looks like an RB4 -- with handcuff upside behind a starter who has missed games in five of seven seasons. Check our updated RB rankings to see where the new teammates land.

The Vikings and QB Sam Darnold agreed to a one-year deal worth "up to" $10 million, NFL Network reports. That's more than "backup money" but doesn't necessarily guarantee Darnold the 2024 starting job. Nick Mullens and Jaren Hall are the other QBs currently on the roster, but Minnesota could certainly add a rookie in April's draft. It's been a popular landing spot for Michigan's J.J. McCarthy in mock drafts. Darnold attempted 46 passes for the 49ers last year, with 26 of them coming in a meaningless regular-season finale. He started 17 games for the Panthers across the 2021 and 2022 seasons, completing 59.5% of his passes at 6.7 yards per attempt -- right around his career averages. Darnold would be a significant downgrade from QB Kirk Cousins for Minnesota's pass catchers.

The Packers now plan to release RB Aaron Jones, according to multiple reports. This comes on the heels of the Josh Jacobs news, which makes the move unsurprising. Jones spent all seven of his pro seasons to date with Green Bay and remained effective when healthy in 2023. That included racking up 108+ rushing yards in each of the final five games, including both playoff outings. Expect the 29-year-old to land another gig with at least solid opportunity. And keep an eye on Jones to potentially slide in best ball ADP while he doesn't have a team.

Michigan QB J.J. McCarthy came in at nearly 6’3 and 219 pounds at the NFL Combine. It’s a win for the 21-year-old, who Michigan listed at 202 pounds. McCarthy averaged only 22.1 attempts per game in 2023, as former HC Jim Harbaugh leaned on an excellent defense and run game. While McCarthy wasn’t a big-time college producer, he displayed the live arm and athletic traits of a first-round talent. NFL Network's Daniel Jeremiah compared him to former Chief and 49er Alex Smith. Keep in mind that McCarthy is far from a finished product, so 2024 fantasy contributions are unlikely.

Vikings TE T.J. Hockenson underwent surgery on January 29 to repair his torn ACL, the team announced. Doctors waited for 36 days after the injury to do surgery in order to let Hockenson's MCL heal. It's standard practice but obviously pushes back Hockenson's timeline for return. Consider him iffy to be ready for the start of the 2024 season, which kicks off in about 7.5 months.

Vikings WR Jordan Addison caught 4 of 8 targets for 57 receiving yards and a TD in Week 18’s loss vs. the Lions. He ends this season ranking first in receiving TDs (12), third in receiving yards (911), and fourth in receptions (70) among his rookie WR counterparts. While the presence of teammate Justin Jefferson puts a cap on his long-term upside of ever developing as a true alpha,” Addison has proven more than capable of being a viable lineup asset with potential for blow-up games. He should be considered as a strong low-end WR2 in dynasty moving forward.

Vikings WR Justin Jefferson hauled in 12 of 14 targets for a season-high 192 receiving yards and a TD in Week 18 vs. the Lions. The veteran’s 192 yards from Sunday stand as the second-highest total of his four-year career and the fifth time this season that Jefferson exceeded the 100-yard threshold. Having only played 10 games in 2023 due to a hamstring injury, the fact that Jefferson hit the century mark in half of his games speaks to his level of dominance. He should continue to be among the very elite WRs in dynasty formats moving forward. The only big question looming over the Vikings is who will play QB next season, but a player of Jefferson’s caliber should be fine no matter the outcome on that front.

The Texans have ruled Edge Jonathan Greenard (ankle) out for Saturday's game against the Colts. Edge Will Anderson Jr. (ankle) is questionable for the second straight week. He followed the same practice schedule as Week 17, sitting out the first two days before returning to a limited workout. Anderson played through the questionable tag for normal duty and good production last week. You can find him in a usable range in our Week 18 DL rankings.

49ers QB Sam Darnold will start Sunday's regular-season finale vs. the Rams, HC Kyle Shanahan announced Wednesday. QB Brock Purdy will join RB Christian McCaffrey on the sidelines for that one after San Francisco locked up the NFC's No. 1 seed. WR Deebo Samuel, WR Brandon Aiyuk, and TE George Kittle are unlikely to play much, if at all, against the Rams.

Vikings HC Kevin O'Connell announced Wednesday that QB Nick Mullens will start this weekend's finale vs. the Lions. "To me, Nick has been very effective moving the team," O'Connell said. "We've been very explosive as an offense when he's been in there. Nick knows the one area that we must focus on is possession of the football, not giving the football away." Mullens has tossed six INTs over the past four games but otherwise completed 67% of his passes at 8.8 yards per attempt with five TDs. He threw for 411 yards, two TDs, and four INTs against the Lions a couple of weeks ago and is at least an intriguing DFS tournament play this week.

Vikings WR Jordan Addison (ankle) is active for tonight’s game vs. the Packers. Fox Sports’ Jay Glazer reported this morning that the team originally believed Addison would miss multiple weeks with this injury and that he’ll need to be monitored throughout this game. The rookie is a risky fantasy play.

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