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Fantasy Football Player Notes

2023 Draft Rankings

Justin Jefferson Note
Justin Jefferson photo 1. Justin Jefferson WR - (at DET)
Justin Jefferson was a fantasy monster last season. He was the WR2 in fantasy points per game, ranking first in targets, first in red zone targets, and ninth in deep targets. Jefferson was a top-five-scoring fantasy wideout in 52.9% of his games. He was also eighth in open rate (per FiveThirtyEight). Jefferson is a top-three fantasy pick in 2023 that will see more single coverage with the arrival of Jordan Addison. He looks primed for a career year.
14 weeks ago
Alexander Mattison Note
Alexander Mattison photo 50. Alexander Mattison RB - (at DET)
Alexander Mattison smashed in most games that Dalvin Cook missed from 2020-2021. The Vikings RB2 posted five games with at least 23 touches over that stretch, including two games with 32 touches when Cook was sidelined. He averaged 23.7 PPR points and 90 rushing yards per game in those contests. The problem in 2022, was that Mattison never got the opportunity to carve out a bell cow role because Cook stayed healthy for the entire season. Aside from the occasional goal-line touch, Mattison operated strictly as RB2 for Minnesota. And that hurt Mattison's chances of boosting his stock in free agency as he settled in on returning to his old team on a 2-year, $7MM contract with $6.35MM guaranteed.

The 25-year-old running back was at least efficient in 2022 when he carried the ball, finishing with a career-high 84.2 PFF rushing grade which ranked 15th among 61 running backs with at least 70 carries in 2022.

And although, he's never been a featured back for an entire season -- the glimpses of him in a full-time role as a Viking shed some light on his potential upside should he ascend to RB1 status. Dalvin Cook has been released, suggesting the job is Mattison's to lose. Currently, it's Ty Chandler, DeWayne McBride and Kene Nwangwu behind him on the depth chart. Still, there are risks involved selecting Mattison high in 2023 as there's a lot of projection with him as the team's featured back for an entire season. That's something he has never done. And drafting players simply on the situation tends to not work favorably in the long run.

Remember, nobody ever vied for Mattison to get touches over Cook over the last four weeks. He was always the inferior back. So although he's no longer the most inferior back on the roster, that doesn't mean he is back to get overly excited about for fantasy football.
14 weeks ago
Cam Akers Note
Cam Akers photo 51. Cam Akers RB - (at DET)
Cam Akers was a total zero from the get-go, getting benched in Week 1 and he looked like he was going to be outright cut by the Rams. Eventually, Akers inherited the Rams' RB1 role and he delivered as the fantasy RB4 during the last six weeks of the season. With LA in a rebuilding year, Akers will again be a truly polarizing player. Did he do enough in the final 6 weeks as the NFL's leading rusher averaging 85 rushing yards per game to retain bell-cow-type usage?

The good news is that Sean McVay is remaining in Los Angeles, which bodes well for Akers to remain the go-to guy in the backfield. Recall, that Akers played 100% of the snaps in the Rams' season finale.
And with so many needs on the Rams' current roster, they did not add any running backs in the draft until the sixth round. That means Akers will be competing for volume with Zach Evans, alongside Day 3 scrubs Kyren Williams and Ronnie Rivers.

And although it seems impossible considering his career arc, Akers isn't even 24 years old yet. With free agency on the horizon, the Rams have all the reason in the world to ride Akers into the ground during a contract year.
14 weeks ago
T.J. Hockenson Note
T.J. Hockenson photo 60. T.J. Hockenson TE - (at DET)
A midseason trade to the Vikings invigorated T.J. Hockenson in 2022. In seven games with the Lions, he averaged 6.1 targets and had 26 catches. After the trade, Hockenson averaged 8.6 targets in Minnesota and had 60 catches in 10 games. He also had 10 catches for 129 yards in the Vikings' playoff loss to the Giants. Entering his age-26 season, Hockenson is in the prime of his career and is an attractive option at the TE position now that he's with a team eager to leverage his pass-catching talents.
14 weeks ago
Jordan Addison Note
Jordan Addison photo 84. Jordan Addison WR - (at DET)
Last year Adam Thielen earned a 17.0% target share and 107 targets. He did this while ranking outside the top 55 wide receivers in yards per route run and route win rate (per Why can't a talented first-round wide receiver match (or easily exceed) these volume numbers in his first season? Addison can. He absolutely can. Addison has ranked 22nd or higher in yards per route run and PFF receiving grade in each of his last two collegiate seasons (minimum 50 targets per PFF). The Vikings were third in neutral passing rate and second in red zone passing rate last season. I don't see them dropping outside the top 5-10 teams this season in either category. Addison could be a WR2 in fantasy if he can pass T.J. Hockenson in the target pecking order.
14 weeks ago
Kirk Cousins Note
Kirk Cousins photo 98. Kirk Cousins QB - (at DET)
Say what you will about Kirk Cousins' habit of underperforming in big games or his penchant for throwing short of the sticks in critical third- and fourth-down situations. That stuff might leave Vikings fans dismayed, but it's less concerning in the fantasy realm, where Cousins' year-to-year consistency makes him a stable and useful fantasy asset. Cousins has finished as a top-11 quarterback in each of the last three years. He finished QB7 in 2022, ranking fourth in passing yards (4,547) and tying for fifth in TD passes (29). If you miss out on the top quarterbacks, Cousins is a perfectly reasonable fallback option in the middle rounds of your draft.
14 weeks ago
K.J. Osborn Note
K.J. Osborn photo 168. K.J. Osborn WR - (at DET)
Ty Chandler Note
Ty Chandler photo 205. Ty Chandler RB - (at DET)
Greg Joseph Note
Greg Joseph photo 243. Greg Joseph K - (at DET)
Minnesota Vikings Note
Minnesota Vikings photo 321. Minnesota Vikings DST - (at DET)
Myles Gaskin Note
Myles Gaskin photo 330. Myles Gaskin RB - (at DET)
DeWayne McBride Note
DeWayne McBride photo 333. DeWayne McBride RB - (at DET)
DeWayne McBride has been doing it all for the UAB Blazers over the last three seasons, totaling a top five dominator rating (27 percent) for his excellent efforts. He ranks first in the class in career yards per play (4.18) for being so efficient anytime he is on the field. His production is captured in his PFF grades, with him finishing second, eighth, and third, in PFF grading the last three seasons, respectively. Aside from being a complete afterthought in the passing game, McBride checks off a lot of boxes you want to see from a smaller school prospect, and he easily saved his best for last as a junior, finishing second in the FBS in rushing yards (1702, 155 yards per game), second in yards after contact per attempt (4.6) and fifth in dominator rating (35 percent) among the 2023 draft class. Per PFF, his 36 percent missed tackle rate ranks third all-time since the data started being tracked.

With desirable size at 5-foot-10 and 209 pounds, McBride is emerging as one of my favorite sleeper running backs in the incoming class. He was selected in the 7th of the 2023 NFL Draft by the Minnesota Vikings.
15 weeks ago
Joshua Dobbs Note
Joshua Dobbs photo 344. Joshua Dobbs QB - (at DET)
Kene Nwangwu Note
Kene Nwangwu photo 393. Kene Nwangwu RB - (at DET)
Jalen Nailor Note
Jalen Nailor photo 456. Jalen Nailor WR - (at DET)
Josh Oliver Note
Josh Oliver photo 470. Josh Oliver TE - (at DET)
Brandon Powell Note
Brandon Powell photo 480. Brandon Powell WR - (at DET)
N'Keal Harry Note
N'Keal Harry photo 502. N'Keal Harry WR - (at DET)
C.J. Ham Note
C.J. Ham photo 553. C.J. Ham RB - (at DET)
Nick Mullens Note
Nick Mullens photo 607. Nick Mullens QB - (at DET)