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Adam Thielen - Fantasy Points Outlook

Basic Stats Basic Stats

Adam Thielen


#14 Wide Receiver

159 Projected Points

ADP: 4.6
Bye: 7
Experience: 7 Yr(s)
Age: 30
Height: 6'3"
Weight: 201
40 Time: 4.54

2021 Projections & Outlook


#14 Wide Receiver

159 Projected Points

ADP Rec Rec Yds Rec TDs 100 Fum
4.6 82 1045 9 3

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Basic Stats Preseason Player Analysis

What You Need to Know:

  • Justin Jefferson not only outscored Thielen in total PPR points and points per game (by 0.1), he also took over the target lead. Jefferson started from Week 3 on. In their 13 shared games over that span, Jefferson led Thielen 106-92 in targets. The rookie out-targeted the vet in 8 of those contests, including each of the team’s final 5 games.
  • Thielen still ranked 20th in the league in target share, even with the missed game. His 15-game share would have ranked 10th among wideouts.
  • Thielen got a big fantasy boost from his use around the end zone. Despite beating Jefferson by just 2 red-zone targets (30-28), Thielen garnered 20 end-zone looks vs. just 8 for Jefferson, according to Pro Football Focus. Thielen scored on 13 of those. (Jefferson just 2.)
  • Those 20 targets made up 18.9% of his total for last season, the largest such share among Thielen’s 4 years as a full-time starter. He saw 17% of his targets in the end zone in 2019, 6.7% in 2018 and 8.1% in 2017.
  • The Kirk Cousins Era has been good for Thielen’s red-zone work, though. He ranked 12th in total RZ targets in 2018 (Cousins’ 1st year in Minnesota) and 13th last season. Thielen lost 6 games (and portions of others) to hamstring trouble in 2019 but still saw red-zone looks make up a larger share of his total than the other 2 years (29.8%).
  • Thielen’s overall performance stayed right in line with what we’ve come to expect since he entered the starting lineup.
  • For the 2nd straight year, he spent most of his time outside rather than in the slot. Thielen played 48.7% of his snaps in the slot in 2017, his 1st season as a full-time starter. That grew to 56.6% in 2018. He spent just 30.7% of his snaps in the slot in 2019, though, and then 27.1% last year.
  • That change has produced deeper average target depths than in previous seasons, though no boost in yards per catch.
  • Thielen will turn 31 in August, but that doesn’t seem to be an overly concerning age. Thielen is going off the board as WR22 in ADP as of this writing. Amari Cooper ranked 22nd in PPR points per game at the position last season with 14.7. To date, we’ve had 75 WR seasons of 14.7+ PPR points per game from WRs aged 31 or older.

Draft Sharks Bottom Line:

Thielen’s on the wrong side of 30 for an NFL player, but he showed no clear signs of decline in 2020. He did watch Justin Jefferson overtake him as the Vikings’ top target, but there’s enough left to feed Thielen at a fantasy-starter level.

Expect some regression from his TD total after the veteran got fortunate in the red zone -- and especially on end-zone looks -- but all of that appears baked into his current WR22 ADP. That’s right in the range where we have him projected.


Recent Shark Bites View All Shark Bites »

Vikings WR Adam Thielen has been activated from the COVID list. He'll return for Sunday's plus matchup vs. the Jaguars and should be back in fantasy lineups.

View all Adam Thielen Shark Bites »

Vikings WR Adam Thielen (COVID) is officially out for today’s game against the Panthers. WR Olabisi Johnson figures to replace him in the starting lineup -- but rookie WR Justin Jefferson should dominate targets.

View all Adam Thielen Shark Bites »

Vikings WR Adam Thielen (COVID) is not expected to play against the Panthers on Sunday, according to ESPN's Jeremy Fowler. Thielen reportedly returned a positive and negative test earlier this week but remains on the COVID list. His absence would move Olabisi Johnson into the starting lineup -- but rookie WR Justin Jefferson should dominate targets. TE Kyle Rudolph also gets a nice boost with both Thielen and TE Irv Smith expected to sit.

View all Adam Thielen Shark Bites »

Vikings WR Adam Thielen had both positive and negative COVID tests recently, NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reports. Thielen is on the COVID list, but "the NFL and its medical experts are continuing to sort through that situation to determine his availability" for Sunday's game vs. the Panthers. We'll continue to keep a close eye on this situation.

View all Adam Thielen Shark Bites »

Vikings WR Adam Thielen has been placed on the COVID list. It's still unclear whether he tested positive for the virus or just came in contact with someone who did. If it's the latter, he'll have a chance to get cleared in time for Sunday's game vs. the Panthers.

View all Adam Thielen Shark Bites »

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