Justin Jefferson Now a Week 4 Waiver Wire Priority After Igniting Vikings Offense - Roto Street Journal
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Justin Jefferson Now a Week 4 Waiver Wire Priority After Igniting Vikings Offense

Have you hugged a Minnesota Vikings’ defensive player today? If you own any Skol stocks in fantasy, then you should. That’s because the porous Vikes defense has backed head coach Mike Zimmer into an inescapable corner. 

Now, he may have no choice but to dismantle his stubborn, old school, all running-and-defense philosophy, and “let it fly” rather than “ground and pound”, according to The Athletic’s Jon Krawcynski. Jon thinks they’re unable to “rely on ball control, tough defense and discipline to win games”.

Does Krawcynski really think Zimmer believes “ball control” and “discipline” would be in danger of being sacrificed by opening up the passing game? Hmm.

Nevertheless, the entire Vikings offense would become risers in fantasy. Yes, even Dalvin Cook.

Why Cook Could Stand To Benefit

Don’t forget just how well Assistant Head Coach/Offensive Coordinator Gary Kubiak knows the X’s and O’s. A more pass-heavy attack isn’t going to phase the, dare I say, Godfather, of the zone blocking scheme. 

Opposing defenses knew damn well what Zimmer wanted to accomplish every week. If the Vikes let it fly, defenses will have to account for the potential outcomes of an increased aerial pie from Minnesota. An opening aerial attack equals more spread-out defensive looks, which equals more opportunity for running room.

Justin Jefferson Waiver Priority Following Explosion

Zimmer’s timing would correlate quite well with first-round rookie Justin Jefferson‘s breakout 7-175-1 performance against the Titans in week 3. Would no one be pushing for Minnesota to go more pass-heavy if Jefferson hadn’t exploded? Hard to say, but it’s even harder to imagine a change like this not being made after Minnesota’s 0-3 start.

Speaking of Jefferson, he brings a different dynamic to the offense than Bisi Johnson, who saw the majority of snaps through the first two weeks.

In Week 3, Jefferson was highly utilized in the passing game, taking 29 of 32 drop-back snaps. By comparison, Johnson was only on the field for one passing game snap.

“While Jefferson’s breakout was no sure thing, it was probably the only option the Vikings had to lift their offensive ceiling, something that was pretty clear after the second game of the season,” wrote Arif Hassan of The Athletic.

“Jefferson wasn’t particularly special in camp and the Vikings had good reason to start Johnson ahead of Jefferson based on that early showing, but there was little chance that Johnson would have a 100-yard game while Jefferson had that potential, even if practices didn’t necessarily showcase that right away.”

The former LSU Tiger is still available in 68 percent of leagues and will be Week 4 waiver wire must-add as the WR2 behind Adam Thielen.

Possible Effect On Kirk Cousins

Don’t forget, also, that Cousins’ ceiling hasn’t always been in middling QB2-land. From weeks 9-17 in 2015, he was fantasy’s QB3, playing for Washington. The production was fairly consistent, while surrounded by a not great, but decent supporting cast including Alfred Morris, Chris Thompson, Pierre Garcon, DeSean Jackson, and Jordan Reed.

Is Minnesota’s supporting cast really that much worse than what Kirk had in 2015? Or, could the Vikings’ overall lackluster fantasy production be so heavily influenced by coaching scheme? 

Oh, I don’t know, do you remember when Kyle Rudolph finished 2018 as the TE7…or 2016 as the TE2? Did he forget how to run a route or something?

And Don’t Forget About Adam Thielen

Thielen owners, it looks like you may just get the WR1 you drafted after all. So hug a Minnesota Vikings defender today. Because without them, the fantasy prospects of everyone on the Vikes’ offense would not be nearly such a brightening horizon.

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