The Vikings competition at quarterback is heating up between the veteran Matt Cassel and the rookie Teddy Bridgewater. According to those at Vikings training camp, Bridgewater has looked extremely impressive in the early-goings and has made a nice transition to the NFL level.
At this juncture, the expectation is that Cassel has a tiny advantage over Bridgewater at lining up under for Minnesota in Week 1. However, the 1st-year product out of Louisville is beginning to make the strides that the team envisioned when they made him the 32nd overall pick of last year’s draft.
It’ll be interesting to see how things shake out with the Vikings, but I expect Bridgewater to ultimately be handed the keys to Minnesota’s offense. For all intensive purposes, Bridgewater holds the higher fantasy value.
After plodding away for 106 yards on 22 carries and 2 TDs against the Bears last week, Brandon Jacobs is unlikely to be active for the Giants tonight. Proving he can still eat up yards (and with David Wilson sidelined for the foreseeable future) Jacobs was a popular pickup in fantasy leagues this past week. Nursing a hamstring injury that was sustained late in last week’s game, Jacobs is officially doubtful for tonight’s game vs. the Vikings.
Jacobs should remain on rosters in 10+ team leagues as their is no clear lead-back for Giants until Andre Brown and/or David Wilson return from injury.
When the Seahawks traded 1st round and 3rd round picks to acquire Percy Harvin from the Vikings, Seattle was instantly a top pick to reach the Super Bowl this year. But their plans to unleash their new, dynamic playmaker were put on hold when Harvin underwent hip surgery on August 1st.
A little over two months removed from surgery, reports have been positive about the progress he has made. Harvin had been rehabbing his hip in New York prior to recently returning to Seattle. Reports have indicated that he’s looked great and that he just resumed running. Harvin is eligible to come off the PUP list in Week 7, although it appears more likely that he will return around Week 9 or Week 10. Regardless, Harvin possesses more than enough talent to propel fantasy teams to the promised land come December. While the window is closing on snatching up Harvin, now is your last chance to get a legitimate WR2 with back-end WR1 potential for free.
Harvin is currently owned in a mere 11% of ESPN leagues and is still only owned in 37% of Yahoo! leagues. Despite the prolonged absence, the Seahawks will be salivating to get one of the most dynamic players in the NFL back on the field.
With Christian Ponder held out of practice due to a rib injury, Matt Cassel will draw the start vs. the Steelers in London. Cassel will join Mike Glennon and quite possibly Matt Flynn, as QBs making their first starts of the season.
Inheriting an 0-3 team, Cassel will just have to prove he is a more viable option for the team going forward. Cassel was signed as insurance this past off-season for the inconsistent Ponder. Cassel comes off a season in which he largely struggled, passing for 1,796 yards, 6 TDs and 12 INTs in just 9 games last year with the Chiefs.
The Vikings have had a tough time replacing Percy Harvin, but for Greg Jennings, Jerome Simpson, and Cordarrelle Patterson, a change under center might just be the jump-start they need.
Cordarrelle Patterson – For a junior college transfer who played only his senior season at the University of Tennessee, many thought that the Vikings reached on selecting Cordarrelle Patterson with the 29th overall pick in last year’s NFL draft. After Patterson took Sunday’s opening kickoff 105 yards to the house, it’s easy to see the kid’s raw talents. With 4.4 wheels and a big frame, Patterson projects to be a nice target this season. While Patterson has only seen 11 snaps on offense, Vikings Head Coach Leslie Frazier has vowed to find ways to get Patterson more involved. Naturally, no one expected Patterson to immediately join the lineup as Minnesota’s WR2, but it’s more than realistic to expect Patterson to be a part of the Vikings offense by week 6, coming off the bye in week 5. Jerome Simpson’s track-record is enough to assume Patterson will be the Vikings #2 receiver sooner, rather than later.
The Bottom Heist: While Patterson may wear #84, he’s not Randy Moss. But, he’s a bench stash with incredibly high upside in 12+ team leagues.
Justin Blackmon – I can’t stress enough that the functionality of the waiver wire is to acquire players with big potential. The fifth pick in the 2012 NFL draft struggled out the gate with the Jaguars last year, compiling a mere 26 catches for 250 yards across his first eight games. However, Blackmon turned it up the second half of the season, catching five or more passes in six of the final seven games and recorded four TDs over that span. While Blackmon will have to sit out weeks 3 and 4 to complete his suspension, his pre-season performance was highly productive, as he was frequently locked in as the #1 target in the passing game.
The Bottom Heist: There’s no telling just how good Blackmon can be, regardless if it’s Blaine Gabbert or Chad Henne throwing him the rock. Blackmon posted a monster Week 11 last year vs. the Texans, tallying a 13/236/1 line.