The Minnesota Vikings mostly stood pat among their skill position players, with the notable exception of a one-for-one swap of Stefon Diggs-for-Justin Jefferson. As such, trying to find a Minnesota Vikings sleeper, breakout, and bust is mostly working around the edges. Where did we end up with said edge-working?
Sleeper – Justin Jefferson, Wide Receiver (WR54, 145 overall)
Heading into the 2020 NFL Draft, I put Jefferson just a smidge behind the big three. He is a top-three wide receiver in a weaker class, if not the #1 guy in the whole land. He has exceptional hands and ball skills, excellent route-running ability, and an otherworldly talent for finding the hole in zones.
The Vikings traded Stefon Diggs and took Justin Jefferson with that exact pick, so it’s easy to overlay Diggs’ opportunity onto Jefferson. That would get him up to 7.6 targets per game to Justin Jefferson. I’ll always take the under on wide receiver targets, but it’s hard to figure out who the #2 target behind Adam Thielen will be in 2020 (side note: get Adam Thielen). He has all the opportunity in the world, and has a chance to make the Vikings say, “Stefon Who?”
Breakout – Alexander Mattison, Running Back (RB44, 111 overall)
Alexander Mattison was essentially the same as Dalvin Cook last season, including them getting injured in consecutive weeks last year. There’s little reason to snag Mattison outside of being a Dalvin Cook handcuff… unless. Don’t get Mattison unless you think the Minnesota Vikings might manage Cook’s workload. Or, unless you think Cook will get hurt, unless you think Dalvin Cook’s potential holdout has legs, or unless you think that Mattison will earn more touches on his own. There are numerous paths to value for Alexander Mattison this year, and he played very well on a per-touch basis last year (4.6 yards per carry, to start), he just didn’t have enough touches. If the Vikings find a path to more touches for Alexander Mattison, then it’s off to the races for Mattison.
Bust – Dalvin Cook, Running Back (RB5, 6 overall)
To be honest with you, I almost punted on naming a bust on the Vikings. Everyone is pretty much going at my perceived value for them, or well below my perceived value for them. Kirk Cousins is a 1QB league non-factor, Mattison is a high-end handcuff, and it’s hard to get mad at Kyle Rudolph at TE22. Dalvin Cook threatened to hold out and put himself on my radar, like the kid not paying attention in class gets called on, Dalvin Cook ended up as my bust.
That leaves me Dalvin Cook. Cook has all the injury concerns in the world, but nobody seems to care. If he plays all season all the way through into the fantasy championships, it will be the first time in his career. That, apparently, isn’t enough to take any sort of discount on Dalvin Cook. I’m not taking Cook at his ADP, and I would encourage you to let a few picks pass between his ADP and when you are willing to take him, as well. His upside is his ADP, his downside is missing multiple games, like he’s done every season in his career.