Jul 25, 2014; Mankato, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson (28) runs through drills at training camp at Minnesota State University. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

Fantasy Football 2014: Minnesota Vikings RB Rundown

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Minnesota made a pair of fundamental shifts this offseason starting with a coaching change replacing Leslie Frazier with Mike Zimmer and also drafting the QB they hope will be the end of their QB questions when they landed Teddy Bridgewater.  If the Vikings can find some kind of passing game, it would be a huge help for Adrian Peterson who has been a one-man show in Minnesota the last few years and has been carrying fantasy teams as a top RB as well.

The Vikings will most likely need to use a ground-heavy attack again this season with the QB competition between Bridgewater and veteran Matt Cassel still ongoing. New Offensive Coordinator Norv Turner has turned around plenty of bad fantasy situations, so there is definitely some upside to the Vikings offense in general. The Vikings should take a step forward this year, and their rushing game will be the key to success as they feed their star, Adrian Peterson.

As we continue our series of RB rundowns, let’s take a quick look at all the Vikings backfield options.  The ranking included is based on my overall RB rankings which should give you a good idea of where to target the Minnesota RB’s in your fantasy football drafts.

3

Adrian Peterson

RB, Minnesota Vikings

Peterson is one of the star running backs in the league and definitely deserves to be one of the top backs off the board in fantasy drafts.  He has dealt with injuries throughout his career and missed time down the stretch the last two seasons, but he’s still an elite option and produces at an incredibly high level.  Having Peterson at number three seems harsh, but I do think his injuries and heavy usage make LeSean McCoy and Jamaal Charles slightly better picks. There’s a big drop off after the top three RB, and really they’re 1A, 1B, and 1C before we drop down to #4.  The Vikings’ QB play is the main concern with Peterson, but he’s overcome that in the past to be an elite option. I definitely think he’s still elite, but I do see Peterson as the third of that top tier.  
74

Jerick McKinnon

RB, Minnesota Vikings

McKinnon is a rookie from Georgia Southern who played both QB and RB in college who the Vikings picked 96th overall in last year’s draft.  They’ve been talking McKinnon up throughout the offseason and he looked pretty solid in his first preseason action last week.  If you need or want a handcuff for All-Day, I’d lean toward McKinnon over Matt Asiata based on his upside, although neither one of the backups has significant value while Peterson is healthy.  McKinnon could be a third-down option if he can show he’s able to pick up NFL level pass protection.  
NR

Matt Asiata

RB, Minnesota Vikings

Asiata could step up as Peterson’s primary backup now that Toby Gerhart is in Jacksonville, but he looks to be losing ground to McKinnon.  Asiata will be a fantasy legend for his week 15 last year when he filled in for Peterson and Gerhart and run for three touchdowns getting some owners a playoff win who rolled the dice on him.  He’s not someone you need to draft, but if Peterson goes down he’ll be worth a waiver claim.  

 

This post is part of a series detailing the backfield situation for each NFL team from a fantasy football perspective. Check out my top 80 rankings and click here for the full series.

 

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Tags: 2014 Fantasy Football Adrian Peterson Fantasy Football Preview Fantasy Football RB Jerick McKinnon Matt Asiata Minnesota Vikings RB Rankings RB Rundown

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