Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Fantasy Football 2022: Three Viking Sleepers to Target in Your Draft


        The best teams in sports emphasize the small details of the game and as good fantasy football owners ourselves we should be doing the same. If you play fantasy football and space out during the later rounds of the draft you’re dooming yourself to inevitable fantasy failure. These are the rounds where you iron out your roster, drafting players with high upside to slot into your lineup due to bye or injury as well as providing you with potential trade ammo. All three of these players on average are being taken in rounds 13 or higher on ESPNs Live Draft Trends Tool which uses PPR scoring based projections. 

KJ Osborn - WR

In the last 6 games of the 2021 season KJ Osborn found the end zone 5 times to go with 4 red zone targets in the last 3 games. He headlined the waiver wire for much of last season and may have started to breakout too late for fantasy owners to notice. Regardless, when Osborn saw the field he was a productive option for the Vikings and his role in the offense seemed to constantly be growing. In a 12 team league Osborn is currently being drafted in the 14th round on average.

His growing production in the Vikings offense on the tail-end of last season paired with a new offensive system makes KJ Osborn a pick with high upside. I could see him becoming a weekly flex option in the right offensive system. 

Alexander Mattison - RB

The 3 games last year where Mattison recorded over 20 touches correlated to over 20.0 fantasy points in each of those 3 games. I don’t see a realistic scenario in which Dalvin Cook dominates the backfield as a workhorse all year. I think Cook either gets injured for part of the season or he and Mattison share time in the new offense more than anticipated. Mattison has shown to be a productive back when given the opportunity and is a must-pick for Dalvin Cook owners.


        Regardless of whether or not you draft Dalvin Cook, Alexander Mattison has shown to be an elite fantasy football handcuff and may have unseen upside in a new coaching system. Mattison is getting drafted on average in round 13 but I could see a savvy Dalvin Cook drafter taking him as early as round 9 or 10.

Greg Joseph - K

While I would agree the kicker position is the least important in all of fantasy, drafting a reliable kicker in your final round should still be a priority. The difference between the best kicker and the worst kicker in fantasy last year having both played a full 17 game season is noteworthy. Daniel Carlson and Jason Meyers both played the same amount of games last year while Daniel Carlson outscored Meyers by 73 fantasy points on the season. I’ve seen teams miss the fantasy playoffs by much less than 73 points. I say that because I know people will think I'm kidding having a kicker on the list.


        While carries can be indicative of future fantasy success for running backs as can targets be for receivers, attempted field goals can be a way of projecting future kicking performance. Greg Joseph attempted the 4th most field goals in the league last season which would be good enough to have him finish the year as the 6th highest scoring fantasy kicker. Joseph, who also hit on a respectable 87% of his field goals last season isn’t being drafted right now in most leagues. 

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