By: Little Italy (Publisher)
Follow on Twitter: @LILITALY853
Division: NFC North
2020 Finish: 19th
2021 First RD Draft Pick: 14th
What went Right in 2020?
Much like the Chargers in my last exit report, the biggest bright spot for this Vikings team was a rookie as well. Rookie wide receiver Justin Jefferson took the league and the fantasy world by storm in 2020. Coming into the season Jefferson had many question marks surrounding him, on whether or not he could play on the outside against NFL caliber corners. Jefferson ended his LSU career playing mainly from the slot, and did very well from that position being more productive then playing out wide. With Stefon Diggs out of the equation, we knew Jefferson would have to play outside mostly in 2020, as veteran Adam Thielen was the teams slot man. Well, Jefferson played outside well playing as the teams number two wide receiver to start the season, but by mid-season, he usurped Thielen as the team’s number one wide receiver. He did this on his way to breaking Randy Moss’s rookie receiving yards record. Jefferson is clearly more talented and less touchdown dependent then Adam Thielen, who had last season, which is why I have Jefferson higher in my way to early 2021 rankings. Another bright spot for this offense in 2020 came out of the backfield with Dalvin Cook. Cook was arguably the most consistent fantasy back during the 2020 season, rewarding the owners that took him early in drafts last summer. Entering 2021, Cook should be a top three back off the board, I would argue a top two back, because he scores, catches the ball, and runs the ball a lot each week.
What Needs to Improve in 2021?
This team needs to improve on the defensive side of the ball in 2021 if they want any chance to win the NFC North. This Vikings defense ranked as the third worst in 2020 only behind the Jaguars and Lions. On the offensive side of the ball the Vikings do a very good job of only targeting their fantasy assets such as Cook, Jefferson, and Thielen, but I would like one more player more utilized in this passing attack. The player I want to see more utilized is tight end Irv Smith Jr. Smith Jr. has been stuck behind veteran Kyle Rudolph on the depth chart, despite offering more talent and upside, just look to his week 16 game last year against the Saints on the upside he offers. Next time I will dive into the Franchise Exit Report for the New England Patriots.