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Justin Jefferson headed to IR

By Jared Smola | Updated on Tue, 10 Oct 2023, 7:38 AM EDT
Justin Jefferson Headshot

The Vikings will be placing WR Justin Jefferson on IR for the hamstring injury that knocked him out of Sunday's loss to the Chiefs. That means he'll miss at least the next four games. Jefferson's absence will obviously leave a bunch of targets for his Vikings teammates. Jefferson drew 47 through the first four games, 30% of QB Kirk Cousins' total attempts over that span. That makes rookie WR Jordan Addison a weekly starting candidate over the next month. He drew a season-high 9 targets in the K.C. game, reaching 6 receptions for the second time in three weeks. It also makes WR K.J. Osborn worth picking up in many leagues. But there's also a chance Jefferson's absence shifts the offensive approach. Minnesota leads the league in pass attempts through five weeks, sits tied for the lead in pass rate, and ranks third in pass rate over expected. Losing Jefferson figures to hurt the offense overall and could push a little more work to the running game. We're certainly not upgrading RB Alexander Mattison for this, but we'll be watching the offense's reaction over the next couple of weeks. Cousins clearly loses upside with the absence of arguably the league's best WR. Fortunately for him -- and fantasy managers -- the Vikings visit a bad Bears defense in the first game without Jefferson. That will help everyone's fantasy outlooks. An ominous Monday night date with the 49ers waits on the other side of that, however.

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Jared Smola, Lead Analyst
Jared has been with Draft Sharks since 2007. He’s now Lead Analyst, heading up the preseason and weekly projections that fuel your Draft War Room and My Team tools. He currently ranks 1st among 133 analysts in draft rankings accuracy.
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