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Sam Darnold - Fantasy Points Outlook

Basic StatsSam Darnold's Basic Stats

Sam Darnold
ADP: 20.11
Bye: 6
Experience: 6
Age: 27.1
Height: 6'3"
Weight: 225
40 Time: 4.85

SPARQx (Rank): 82.90 (24%)
Burst Score (Rank): 98.90 (6%)
Agility Score (Rank): 11.36 (65%)

Sam Darnold's Weekly Outlook

Week 1 Projections
Yds TDs INT Rush Yds Fantasy Pts
247.5 1.41 0.9 13.1 15.9
Weekly Writeup

Rest Of Way Outlook

Yds TDs INT Rush Yds Fantasy Pts
225.7 1.5 0.8 15.8 15.6

Sam Darnold's 2024 Projections & Outlook


#36 Quarterback

64.8 Projected Points

ADP Comp/Att P Yds P TD INT Att R Yds Fum
20.11 87.6/141.6 990 5.64 3.6 14 52.4 1.2

3D Projections DS 3D Projections

Basic StatsSam Darnold's Preseason Player Analysis

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Bottom Line

J.J. McCarthy is clearly the QB of the “future.” We’ll see how soon that starts. Until/unless he is overtaken by the rookie, Darnold will make sense as a late superflex pick and DFS consideration.

What We Learned Last Year

  • Darnold’s not as good as Brock Purdy. That’s not really a knock on him. He just clearly wasn’t ever competing for the top job there. He’s probably better than Trey Lance, though. The 49ers let Darnold finish his contract.
  • Darnold started just one game for San Francisco, throwing for 189 yards, 1 TD, and 0 INTs in a meaningless regular-season finale.
  • He started 17 games for Carolina over the previous two seasons and was … not good enough.
    • Darnold completed just 59.5% of his passes there, right about his career average.
    • He posted a 2.9% TD rate, below his career average.
    • And he averaged 6.7 yards per pass attempt, right on his career average.
    • Darnold did earn a career-high Pro Football Focus passing grade in 2022. That was good for 27th among 48 QBs who dropped back at least 100 times.

What to Expect in 2024

  • Darnold hasn’t been good through his six NFL seasons. That’s why he’s on a second straight one-year contract at age 27.
  • But the Vikings more than doubled his pay vs. what San Francisco gave Darnold:
    • $10 million total vs. $4.5 million
    • $8.75 million guaranteed vs. $3.5 million
  • That points to him being more than just a straight backup for his new team. It’s not guaranteed-starter money, but it’s enough to make Darnold a potential bridge starter.
  • Indeed, HC Kevin O’Connell has praised Darnold’s work since joining the team and said he’ll head to training camp as the starter.
  • History tells us first-round pick J.J. McCarthy will likely take over at some point this year.
    • Since 2002 – when the NFL expanded to 32 teams – 68 QBs have entered the league via Round 1. The median timing for that group’s first start is Week 4 of the rookie season.
  • Whoever plays QB for the Vikings will benefit from a strong WR duo in Justin Jefferson and Jordan Addison. TE T.J. Hockenson is a big question mark after a double-ligament knee tear in Week 16 last season. The backfield upgraded by adding former Packer Aaron Jones.
  • Minnesota has also run a pass-friendly offense under O’Connell. Over his two seasons, the Vikings have ranked seventh in neutral-situation pass rate, according to
    • Even after Kirk Cousins went down last year, Minnesota still ranked 11th from Week 9 on – a stretch that included four missed games and a limited outing for Jefferson.

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Recent Shark Bites View All Shark Bites »

Sam Darnold, QB MIN

9:19am EDT 6/13/24

Sam Darnold Heads to Camp Atop Depth Chart

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.

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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.

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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.

View all Justin Jefferson Shark Bites »

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.

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Dynasty Overview View QB Dynasty Rankings »

Sam Darnold, QB MIN
Dynasty MVP 58.4
Position Rank #73 QB
3yr Projection
5yr Projection
10yr Projection
Dynasty Write-up
Darnold looked like a potential starter for the Vikings after signing a contract with the club in March. Come April, J.J. McCarthy arrived as the 10th overall pick. Darnold might start Week 1, but his leash won't be long.
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