The Vikings and TE Kyle Rudolph agreed Monday to a 4-year, $36 million extension, according to multiple reports. The deal ends months of speculation that Rudolph could be traded and locks him into Minnesota for at least the next couple of years. It also undercuts the short-term fantasy upside for 2nd-round rookie TE Irv Smith. Trade rumors have helped keep Rudolph down at TE15 in early PlayDraft ADP. He has finished each of the past 3 seasons among the top 9 TEs across fantasy formats.
UPDATE: Pro Football Talk reports that Rudolph's deal includes $16.25 million in "total guarantees," which makes it sound more like a 2-year deal with 2 cuttable years at the end. We'll see about the full details, of course.
The Vikings added Boise State RB Alexander Mattison in the 3rd round of the 2019 NFL Draft. The 5’11, 218-pounder racked up 2,501 yards and 29 TDs on 514 carries (4.9 YPC) over the past 2 seasons. He added 55 catches for 457 yards and another score. Mattison is a powerful runner who ranked 16th in this year’s RB class in missed tackles forced per attempt, according to Pro Football Focus. He registered a solid 63rd percentile SPARQ score at the Combine. Mattison has a good shot to immediately step in as Minnesota’s #2 RB behind Dalvin Cook, who’s had trouble staying healthy.
The Vikings nabbed Alabama TE Irv Smith with the 50th pick of the 2019 NFL Draft. After totaling just 14 catches across his first 2 years on campus, Smith broke out for a 44-710-7 line this past season. All 3 marks ranked among the top 4 on a stacked Alabama squad. Smith averaged a big 16.1 yards per catch and led this TE class in yards per route run. He disappointed with a 22nd percentile SPARQ score at the Combine but plays with good speed and fluidity. Turning just 21 in August, Smith still has lots of room for growth. He’ll start his NFL career behind Kyle Rudolph, but Rudolph’s contract is up after this season. Smith should take over as Minnesota’s top pass-catching TE in 2020.
Never mind. NFL Network's Mike Garafolo reports that OLB Anthony Barr has decided to re-sign with the Vikings rather than going to the Jets in free agency. That should keep him a limited IDP factor. It's also a reminder that none of these moves will be set until Wednesday afternoon, when free agency actually opens with the new league year.
The Vikings have hired Gary Kubiak as an "offensive advisor." He was originally reported to be taking Denver's OC job, but that evidently fell through. It's unclear exactly what Kubiak's role will be alongside OC Kevin Stefanski, but he brings 22 seasons of experience as an NFL HC or OC.
The Vikings have ruled LB Eric Kendricks (hamstring) out for Sunday's game against the Bears. Eric Wilson started in his place last week, played 72 of 75 snaps and supplied 6 tackles (5 solo). If that's enough to make him worthwhile in your scoring system, then consider Wilson.
The Vikings have ruled LB Eric Kendricks out for Sunday's game against the Lions because of a hamstring injury. Kendricks' absence enhances the fantasy outlook for OLB Anthony Barr, raising his tackle floor.
The Vikings have fired OC John DeFilippo. He was a hot name this offseason but lasts just 13 games in Minnesota. DeFilippo's offense has underachieved, ranking just 17th in yards and 20th in points. We also heard whispers that he and HC Mike Zimmer weren't on the same page, with Zimmer preferring a run-heavy offense and DeFilippo favoring the pass. We'll see who the Vikings tab as their interim OC, but the change could mean more carries for RB Dalvin Cook going forward.
Update: The Vikings have promoted former QBs coach Kevin Stefanski to interim OC. Stefanski has been with the team since 2006 but has never called plays.
As expected, Vikings MLB Eric Kendricks is active for tonight's game against the Seahawks. He missed most of the practice week with a rib injury, but HC Mike Zimmer said Kendricks would be "fine" for the game.
Vikings MLB Eric Kendricks is questionable for Monday night's game against the Seahawks with a rib injury. He missed practice Thursday and Friday before returning to a limited Saturday workout. The team expects him to play against Seattle, though. HC Mike Zimmer told the Pioneer Press that Kendricks "will be fine." Plan to have Kendricks available for your IDP lineups. We'll confirm his status Monday evening.
Vikings WR Stefon Diggs (knee) is active for today’s game against the Patriots. He only got in a limited practice on Friday and reportedly woke up with swelling in that knee this morning. He also figures to see a bunch of CB Stephon Gilmore today. It all makes Diggs a risky WR2 in fantasy lineups.
Vikings WR Stefon Diggs' injured knee swelled up overnight, ESPN's Adam Schefter reports. "He now needs to test it pregame to determine whether he can play today," Schefter adds. So we won't find out Diggs' official status until 3 pm ET. If you have another viable option, we'd send Diggs to the bench. If he ends up active, he'll be a risk/reward WR2.
Vikings WR Stefon Diggs has said he'll play through the knee issue that has him questionable against the Patriots. NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports that's "the plan." Diggs will carry some risk after only being able to put in 1 limited practice this week.
Vikings WR Stefon Diggs (knee) is listed as questionable for this weekend’s game against the Patriots. He only got in a limited practice on Friday. But Diggs said Thursday that he expects to play, and insider Ben Goessling reported on Friday afternoon that Diggs is expected to play. Keep him penciled into fantasy lineups for now.
Vikings WR Stefon Diggs (knee) said after missing Thursday's practice that he expects to play against Patriots this weekend. Players tend to be over-optimistic about their availability, but Diggs did appear to make it out of last week's game OK. We'll see if he gets back on the field tomorrow.
Vikings WR Stefon Diggs (knee) was not on the field for the start of Thursday's practice. He was wearing a wrap on his left knee, according to insider Chris Tomasson. Diggs now appears iffy for this weekend's game against the Patriots. We'll see if he can get back on the practice field tomorrow.
Vikings WR Stefon Diggs did not practice on Wednesday and is listed on the injury report with a knee. It's the 1st we've heard of it. This could just be a rest day for Diggs, but check back tomorrow for another update on his status.
Vikings WRs Adam Thielen (low back, calf) and WR Stefon Diggs (ribs) are both off the final Week 11 injury report. Thielen was limited all week, but we’ve heard nothing to suggest that he won’t be a full-go on Sunday night vs. Chicago. Diggs put in a full week of practice.
Vikings WR Adam Thielen (low back, calf) remained limited in Thursday's practice. We have no reason to believe he's in danger of missing Sunday night's game against the Bears, but it does look like he'll be operating at less than 100%.
Vikings OC John DeFilippo called RB Dalvin Cook a "full-go" for Sunday night's game against the Bears. We assumed as much after Cook handled 10 carries and 4 targets back in Week 9 and then had a Week 10 bye to rest that injured hamstring. Chicago ranks 3rd in fantasy points allowed to RBs, but Cook still looks like a solid RB2 in Week 11 fantasy lineups.
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