QB Christian Ponder (Minnesota)
Christian Ponder averaged 5.4 yards per attempt in the 2nd half of last season after Percy Harvin got hurt and now Harvin is gone. The Vikings have brought in both Greg Jennings and Cordarrelle Patterson, but the former has seen better days, while the latter is incredibly raw and might not even start as a rookie. You can do a lot better in a QB2.
Projection: 3000 passing yards 17 passing touchdowns 13 interceptions 250 rushing yards 2 rushing touchdowns (199 pts standard, 233 pts PPR)
RB Adrian Peterson (Minnesota)
Of the 28 other players to ever rush for 1700+ yards in a season, only 3 exceeded their rushing total the following season. The average 1700+ yard rusher rushed for 615 fewer yards the following season. Sure, some of them got seriously hurt, but it’s not like it would be impossible for Peterson to do so and even when you take out the 4 players who didn’t make it to 200 carries the following season, they still averaged 474 yards fewer the following season. On top of that, those players also averaged 7/10ths of a yard fewer per carry, going from 5.1 yards per carry to 4.4 yards per carry. Now, Peterson is definitely not going to have a bad year. In fact, he’s still my pick to lead the NFL in rushing, but you can lead the NFL in rushing with 1600 yards.
Projection: 320 carries for 1630 rushing yards 12 total touchdowns 35 catches for 240 receiving yards (259 pts standard, 294 pts PPR)
WR Greg Jennings (Minnesota)
Jennings once averaged 75 catches for 1223 receiving yards and 8 touchdowns per season from 2008-2010, while not missing game due to injury, but in the past 2 seasons, he’s missed 11 games with injury and was limited to 103 catches for 1315 yards and 13 touchdowns total. Now he goes from the Brett Favre/Aaron Rodgers combination he spent his entire career with in Green Bay to one of the worst quarterbacks in the NFL in Christian Ponder. He’s going into his age 30 season and has had a lot of trouble staying healthy lately. Receivers switching teams mid-season usually disappoint. And he’s also spent a lot of time this off-season talking about Rodgers and the Packers like a scorned ex-girlfriend, to the point where Vikings Head Coach Leslie Frazier had to tell him to stop. I don’t know if that’s a bad sign, but it’s not a good sign. Let him be someone else’s problem.
Projection: 60 catches for 770 receiving yards 5 touchdowns (107 pts standard, 167 pts PPR)
TE Kyle Rudolph (Minnesota)
In his 3rd year in the league, Rudolph could more than the 53 passes he caught last season and could average more than 9.3 yards per catch, but he’s unlikely to score a touchdown on 16.9% of his catches, especially on a team that scored just 18 touchdowns through the air last season (Rudolph had 9). Don’t get suckered in with the touchdown numbers. He’s a talented tight end, but his quarterback situation makes him a mere TE2.
Projection: 57 catches for 600 receiving yards 5 touchdowns (90 pts standard, 147 pts PPR)