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 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.
Sustained winds around 20 mph with gusts over 40 are expected for today's Vikings-Jets game. That'll impact the deep-passing and kicking games. We've moved Kirk Cousins, Sam Darnold, Dan Bailey and Jason Myers down the Week 7 Rankings. Cousins remains in QB1 territory, though, because he tends to throw a bunch of short passes anyway. WRs Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs should also remain locked into fantasy lineups.
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.
ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that QB Kirk Cousins expects to sign with the Vikings on Thursday. The agreement will reportedly be a 3-year deal that's fully guaranteed. NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports that Minnesota had offered $28 million per year. Those are giant numbers, but that's the way QB contracts go when the player's shy of 30. Cousins lands in a nice spot for at least 2018, when he'll throw to WRs Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs, TE Kyle Rudolph and 2nd-year RB Dalvin Cook. Diggs will be in the final year of his contract, though, and Rudolph could be a cut candidate next offseason. Cousins -- who will turn 30 in August -- finished 5th among fantasy QBs last year despite losing DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon and missing Jordan Reed for most of the year. He certainly looks like a top-10 fantasy QB for 2018 at the moment. And he should support continued solid value for Diggs, Thielen and Rudolph.
The forecast for today's Cowboys-Redskins game calls for a 75% chance of rain with 10-14 mph winds. That's certainly not ideal weather for the passing and kicking games, although it's not quite bad enough for us to adjust projections. That said, we'd use the weather as a tiebreaker if you're deciding between 2 similarly ranked guys.
As expected, Washington QB Kirk Cousins did not reach agreement on a long-term contract before Monday's deadline for franchise-tagged players. That means Cousins will play out a 2nd straight season under the tag. Most expected Washington to tag Cousins a 2nd time this offseason, but his $24 million salary for 2017 will make it tough to tag him again next year. Team president Bruce Allen said the team offered Cousins $53 million guaranteed at signing and $72 million guaranteed for injury on a long-term deal but never got a counter from Cousins' camp. Cousins figures to start for some team in 2018, but the situation adds at least a bit of risk to his long-term fantasy outlook. For 2017 drafts, he presents upside at his ADP.
The Redskins have used their exclusive-rights franchise tag on QB Kirk Cousins. Other teams can't negotiate with him, and he'll make about $24 million this season. Cousins finished 3rd in passing yards in 2016 and has completed a stellar 68.3% of his passes over the past 2 years. The 'Skins, though, have been hesitant to commit big money to him long term. And there have been whispers that Cousins eventually wants out of Washington. We're not banking on the 2 sides reaching a long-term deal.
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