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Minnesota Vikings Stats to Know & Top Takeaways (2022 Fantasy Football)

by Derek Brown | @dbro_ffb | Featured Writer
Jul 2, 2022
Kirk Cousins

Over the past two seasons, Kirk Cousins has finished as QB11 and QB12.

The NFL landscape changes yearly, and the variance spreads from free agent signings, NFL Draft picks, coaching hires, and more. Understanding what a team’s offensive scheme could look like and meshing that with relevant nuggets from the previous year helps shape our view of teams and players for the upcoming season.

That’s where this series will come in handy. Discussing pace, red zone usage, deep passing, and everything in between, I’m venturing down the rabbit hole to provide context for all 32 NFL teams and the fantasy football players you’ll select this year.

NFC East

NFC North

*All data utilized in this article courtesy of FantasyPros, PFF, Football Outsiders. Rotoviz, and Playerprofiler.com unless otherwise specified.*

Fantasy Football Redraft Draft Kit

Minnesota Vikings’ Fantasy Football Stats to Know:

  • Last season Minnesota was 28th in three-wide receiver set usage (47%). The Rams were first in the NFL (86%).
  • Dalvin Cook‘s red-zone touchdown conversion rate (ranks among RBs)
    • 2019: 12th (24%)
    • 2020: 19th (19.6%)
    • 2021: 38th (10.4%)
  • When Tyler Higbee was active last season, he ran a route on 71.8% of dropbacks, with the eighth-most routes run among tight ends.
  • Since 2020 Kirk Cousins has never finished lower than 12th in PFF grades, adjusted completion rate, or fantasy points per dropback.
Year PFF Grade Adjusted completion rate Fantasy Points per Dropback
2020 11th 7th 12th
2021 5th 4th 9th

*minimum 100 dropbacks*

  • In 2021 the Vikings were eighth and 12th (59%) in neutral pace and passing rate.
  • Justin Jefferson
    • Slot yards per route run ranks (minimum ten targets)
      • 2020: 5th (2.99)
      • 2021: 13th (2.18)
    • Percentage of targets from the slot
      • 2020: 31.4%
      • 2021: 25.8%
  • Dalvin Cook’s target shares and yards per route run (ranks among RBs):
    • 2019: 16.0% (tenth) – 2.01 (third)
    • 2020: 13.4% (ninth) – 1.51 (12th)
    • 2021: 11.7% (13th) – 0.93 (50th)
  • Adam Thielen‘s yards per route run have declined in each of the last five seasons.
    • (2.15 > 2.10 > 2.08 > 1.86 > 1.63)

Minnesota Vikings’ Top Fantasy Football Takeaways

Kirk Cousins gets a bad rap for his big game struggles. From a fantasy angle, I could care less about that. Over the last two seasons, he’s been among the best quarterbacks in the league and finished as the QB11 and QB12 in fantasy points per game.

The offseason narrative mill has been bullish regarding the Vikings’ new offensive design, and the buzz about them passing more this season needs more context. While it’s possible Minnesota can sling the rock more and climb into the top 5-8 teams in neutral pace and passing rate, it also needs to be mentioned that they weren’t a slow and run-heavy team last year, and they were top 12 in pace and passing rate in close games last season. The bump this season could be real, but it likely isn’t as substantial as publicized.

The realm where the Vikings could look quite different that could mean big changes for 2022 is their personnel usage. With more three-wide receiver sets, K.J. Osborn or Ihmir Smith-Marsette will get on the field more, which means Irv Smith should be an every-down player. That’s the capacity Tyler Higbee operated in last year with Kevin O’Connell. The other fantastic wrinkle we could see is Justin Jefferson’s slot rate rebound (and possibly climb higher). With Adam Thielen slowing down and a consolidated target tree in Minnesota, Dalvin Cook should see a bounceback, and Irv Smith could see an elevation in the passing game.

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