Vikings new OC John DeFelippo isn't making major changes to last year's offense under Pat Shurmur. Both DeFelippo and Shurmur run West Coast systems. “The things you keep the same are formations, for example — what you call formations,” DeFilippo explained. “We’re calling the run game pretty much the exact same. If there was a [similar] pass concept that we’re putting in, we called it what they called it last season. Coach Shurmur got taught by Coach [Andy] Reid, and like the purest West Coast guys. I’ve learned from some of the guys on that tree, as well. So from a philosophical standpoint, there’s very similar things." Between the OC switch and the arrival of QB Kirk Cousins, there have been significant changes to a Vikings offense that ranked 11th in yards and 10th in points last year. Some continuity in offensive scheme should help the transition go more smoothly.
The Vikings were hoping to land QB Justin Fields at pick 14 and even considered trading up for him, according to ESPN's Courtney Cronin. The Bears ended up making the move for Fields, while the Vikings added QB Kellen Mond with pick 66. Minnesota is clearly looking at their long-term QB situation, with Kirk Cousins turning 33 in August and, more importantly, set to count $45 million against the cap in 2022, the final year of his deal. Mond won't threaten Cousins' job this season. But if he shows well throughout the year, Minnesota might opt to roll with Mond the following year.
The Vikings have agreed to a 2-year extension with QB Kirk Cousins. The contract alters Cousins' 2020 cap hit and adds 2 more years beyond that at $96 million total, according to Ian Rapoport. The new pact figures to keep Cousins leading the Minnesota offense at least through 2021. (We'll see about the final season on the new contract.) Cousins fell from QB11 to QB19 in total fantasy points in his 2nd Vikings season. But he actually tallied more fantasy points per pass attempt in 2019 (0.65 vs. 0.55).
The Associated Press reports that the Vikings will name Gary Kubiak their new OC. Kubiak spent 2019 on the Minnesota staff as an offensive adviser and assistant to HC Mike Zimmer. The move gives Minnesota continuity from the scheme that helped usher in RB Dalvin Cook's 2019 breakout while deploying 1 of the league's most run-heavy approaches. We'd expect plenty more running under an OC who has historically liked his RBs. QB Kirk Cousins, meanwhile, finished 2019 low in QB2 territory, reaching 2 TD passes in just 7 of 15 games. Expect him to remain in QB2 territory in our 2020 fantasy football rankings, and approach Cousins as a platoon option in the double-digit rounds of early best-ball drafting. He and Minnesota's WRs do, at least, present a nice week-to-week ceiling.
ESPN's Courtney Cronin reports that the Vikings are "leaning heavily" toward resting the "bulk" of their starters in Sunday's game against the Bears. Minnesota is locked into the NFC's #6 seed. Cronin mentions QB Kirk Cousins as 1 starter who isn't expected to play. RB Dalvin Cook (shoulder) is almost certain to be inactive. And we'd bank on WRs Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen getting the day off, too. QB Sean Mannion will get the start for the Vikings, making this an offense to try to avoid in Week 17 fantasy lineups. The Bears DST is a strong play.
Vikings QB Kirk Cousins admitted on Thursday that he's not sure how much or even if he'll play against the Bears this weekend. Minnesota is locked in as the NFC's #6 seed after Monday night's loss to the Packers. Cousins and his WRs are shaky Week 17 fantasy plays that we'd try to avoid. We're not expecting RBs Dalvin Cook (shoulder) and Alexander Mattison (ankle) to play vs. Chicago.
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