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Minnesota Vikings Team Preview: Jordan Addison | Fantasy Football

Jordan Addison Fantasy

It’s nice to have Justin Jefferson on your offense. Not only does it provide an alpha-receiving threat, but it sets up his new opposing WR2, Jordan Addison, for immediate fantasy success.

In 2022, the Minnesota Vikings won the NFC North for the first time since 2017, but a disappointing Wild Card loss to the New York Giants made the season feel like a loss. With an eye clearly on 2024 in a post-Kirk Cousins era, many are expecting severe regression from the Vikings’ 13-win form.

Dalvin Cook, Adam Thielen, ZaDarius Smith, Eric Kendricks, and Patrick Peterson are all gone. The time for the youth to step up is now, and Addison is prepared to become a great fantasy weapon from the get-go.

Jordan Addison 2023 Fantasy Football Outlook

The Stats

Addison may not have NFL stats to look back on, but his college career at Pittsburgh and USC suggests the sky is the limit.

The 21-year-old wide receiver won the Biletnikoff Award in 2021, given to college football’s best wide receiver. His 1,600-yard sophomore season put him — and Kenny Pickett, for what it’s worth — was a firm reminder of Addison’s talent.

Given the pairing with generational QB prospect Caleb Williams, some perceived his 2022 season as a down year with USC. But he is still the same player, and nearly 900 yards in 11 games isn’t bad by any stretch.

He can win deep — evident by a strong career 14.3 yards-per-catch — or pile up the possession grabs as seen in his 100-catch season with Pittsburgh. Addison’s play strength is fair to question, given his slightness, but his production has been terrific and indicative of what he can put up in Minnesota.

The Scheme

There were few homes better suited for Addison than Minnesota. Under head coach Kevin O’Connell the Vikings saw their usage of three-WR sets soar. In 2021, Minnesota ran 11 personnel on just 47% of snaps. That jumped to 64% in 2022 under McConnell, which ranks inside the top 10 in the league.

That was also with Thielen on the team, who wasn’t nearly the fit in this downfield offense as Addison is. The Vikings want a near-every-down WR opposite Jefferson, and a first-round investment in a WR room with few changes elsewhere suggests Addison should get the chance early and often.

As the personnel groupings suggest, Minnesota passes the ball at a high clip. Only the Buccaneers and the Chargers averaged more passing attempts per game in 2022. With the release of Cook and McConnell’s offensive approach, it seems likely that the Vikings will still be among the league leaders once again.

It is worth pointing out that the Vikings often played catch-up in 2022 and held an NFL record 11-0 record in one-possession games. Regression will be harsh but wins turning into losses suggest a passing game that will still be forced to throw to the ends of games.

Thielen also vacates 15 red-zone receptions, second-most in the NFL, behind only his teammate Jefferson (16). Those are extremely valuable targets that are now up for grabs.

Expect the volume to still be there in an offense built for it within a team in need of it.

The Competition

Addison will never be his own team’s WR1. Jefferson, arguably the best wide receiver in the NFL, will always hold that role.

But the notion that Addison can’t succeed because Jefferson is elite is simply not true. A team can have numerous top-20 options at wide receiver, which has been proven repeatedly in PPR leagues. Look at 2022 alone:

  • A.J. Brown (WR6), DeVonta Smith (WR9)
  • Tyreek Hill (WR2), Jaylen Waddle (WR8)
  • Ja’Marr Chase (WR11), Tee Higgins (WR18)
  • Tyler Lockett (WR13), D.K. Metcalf (WR16)
  • Mike Evans (WR17), Chris Godwin (WR19)

That’s 10 names among the top-24 wide receivers, all of which shared a teammate who finished as a WR2 or better. Also, in Jacksonville, Zay Jones narrowly missed out on the top-24, finishing as the WR26, while Christian Kirk finished as the WR12.

If Jones had two more fantasy points, 50% of the top-24 would have been shared by same-team duos. How’s that for competition?

K.J. Osborn will play in three-WR sets as much as O’Connell desires, but Addison’s draft investment suggests Osborn will yet again be the third receiver in the rotation. Tight end T.J. Hockenson is more of a concern, but there is enough passing volume to go around in a top-5 passing offense in terms of attempts.

The Price

Addison is going off the board as the WR39, according to FantasyPros, and the WR41, according to NFFC. That puts him right around the middle of the sixth round of redraft formats, a price that makes him well worth the gamble as your WR3 or WR4, depending on team construction.

Surrounding players in ADP include Jahan Dotson, Kadarius Toney, and George Pickens — none of which should go ahead of Addison.

The Projections

Given his talent and scheme-friendly situation, Addison is a good bet to beat his ADP. There will certainly be some rookie growing struggles, and while numerous duos finished inside the top-12, the same likely won’t be true of Addison. Only four rookie wide receivers have finished as a WR1 since 2000.

However, Addison is already being drafted close to his floor. A dusty Thielen was the WR30 in this offense last year and maintained the WR30 from Weeks 8-18 after Hockenson arrived.

Addison can and will surpass him. Book him for 72 receptions, 865 yards, and five scores, which is good for 188.5 fantasy points, the majority of which should come in the back half of the season as fantasy teams make needed playoff pushes. That would put him as the WR27 in last year’s group, crushing his ADP this year.

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A Look Inside the Minnesota Vikings

Editor’s Note: We don’t want to leave you hanging on the rest of the team. While Michael focused on Jordan Addison in fantasy football, here is a quick look at the other fantasy-relevant Vikings by Josh Hudson.

Kirk Cousins

Year in and year out, Kirk Cousins reminds us exactly who he is: Good enough to compete, not good enough to win. The same can be said in fantasy. He produces stats and supports a plethora of weapons, but he’s leading very few teams to fantasy championships. He’s a high-end QB2 with QB1 in his range of outcomes when injuries start piling up.

Alexander Mattison

The time is now. Mattison is getting his first crack as a full-time starter going into his 5th season. It brings me back to the days of Michael Turner when he finally escaped LaDainian Tomlinson’s shadow. He had his doubters and shut them all up real quick. Mattison is firmly in the RB2 discussion, and if he catches as many passes as Cook, an RB1 season can be achieved.

Ty Chandler

Who’s the next Alexander Mattison on the Vikings? If Mattison falters in his role as RB1, Chandler will likely be the next man up. Kene Nwangwu is looked at more from a special teams lens, with Chandler being a better 1st and 2nd down runner. He’s a handcuff, at best, with Kevin O’Connell being more likely to give his lead back 240+ touches.

DeWayne McBride

McBride was tied for the NCAA lead in rushing touchdowns a year ago. The fact that he played at UAB likely kept his draft stock down. He’ll battle with Chandler for that RB2 spot.

Justin Jefferson

Your fantasy football draft’s 1.01. Don’t overthink it.

K.J. Osborn

In place of Adam Thielen two years ago, Osborn showed skills. He’s averaged 86/55/653/6 in the last two years. This is an offense that throws the football and runs a ton of 11 personnel. Osborn has flex appeal but is very boom or bust.

T.J. Hockenson

Hockenson averaged 8.6 targets per game upon his arrival in Minnesota after a midseason trade from Detroit. The addition of Jordan Addison may cap his ceiling as the number-two target in this offense, but his red zone attempts could skyrocket. He’s the TE3 in fantasy this year, and he’s appropriately priced in my eyes.

We will be covering every team this offseason. So check back here often for all of our A Look Inside articles