Written by Shalin Shah, NFC North Beat Writer, who goes by @shalin on the Fantasy Life App
The Minnesota Vikings seem to have found their guy to fill in for the injured Teddy Bridgewater. The Vikings invested a first and fourth round pick in Quarterback Sam Bradford. Judging by this "King's ransom," Minnesota seems to have a lot offaith in the 28 year old. How does this impact the Vikings in terms for fantasy football?
Who is Minnesota receiving?
For starters, Sam Bradford isn't an elite QB, but he's certainly a major upgrade compared to Shaun Hill, who was the Vikings' starter before this deal occurred . Bradford doesn't bring anything appealing skill-set wise, but he does make teams at least respect the pass game. Bradford's first (and last) season in Philadelphia proved to very bumpy. He had his ups and down. Sam Bradford won't be amazing, he won't be phenomenal, and the Vikings don't expect that. They want an experienced player who can manage games and at least make teams consider the passing game. He is that guy. Bradford achievedPro Football Focus' 7th highest passer grade. He won't be very fantasy relevant, but it's a good upgrade at the quarterback position. The biggest knock on Bradford has been his ability to stay healthy. Bradford has struggled to play a full NFL season, this trade by he Vikings could prove fatal should Bradford sustain a major injury.
Should I draft any of the Vikings receivers?
Sam Bradford's favorite target in Philadelphia was Jordan Matthews. Matthews was targeted a solid 128 times by Sam Bradford last season. That is a strong number for any receiver. Stefon Diggs is now the"Jordan Matthews" and will be the go-to receiver in this run-first Viking offense. Diggs has shown flashes of brilliance andoutstanding chemistry with Teddy Bridgewater in training camp. With Bradford at the helm, expect Stefon Diggs' value to upgrade, but not exponentially. This is still a ground and pound type of team. It will take time for Bradford to gain trustwith the 2nd year receiver, so don't expect Diggs to light it up early in the year. That trend has a strong probability to change by mid-season. Diggs still remains a strong bench stash based on his superb play making ability alone. He is still a WR 3/4 due to lack of volume. As far as LaQuon Treadwell goes, he's a still a strong dynasty pick and good bench stash in deep leagues. It's tough to see him having strong value in most redraft leagues this season though.
How is Peterson affected?
The Simple and best answer: Peterson will still be the stud he always is. The acquisition of Bradford doesn't mean the Vikings are going to to a whole pass-happy game scheme. Peterson will get his 20+ touches and dominate the ground. Bradford assumes more of a game manager role. If you're concerned about Adrian Peterson, note that the Vikings ran the ball with Peterson on 48.7% of their plays from scrimmage. If anything, Bradford makes Peterson more appealing, teams can't stack the box anymore. Minnesota will likely halt their progressive "social experiment" in the shotgun - something they were planning to do in order to elevate the progression of Teddy Bridgewater. They will move into the I-formation and other looks under center (Adrian Peterson's bread and butter formation).
This trade is much better in terms of real life implications rather than fantasy football. Bradford will provide a slight boost to the passing game, but he won't elevate Stefon Diggs back to that WR 2/3 status he once had with Bridgewater at the helm. Adrian Peterson will no doubt continue to dominate. All Bradford must do is stay healthy.