The good news, if you're a Minnesota fan, is that Matt Cassel is no longer your starting quarterback. That era has ended.
The not-entirely-good news is that your new QB is a guy who was released by a winless team just two weeks ago. Here's the official word, straight from the Vikes...
Josh Freeman will start at QB against the Giants on Monday. pic.twitter.com/W8YUvNkBYf
— Minnesota Vikings (@Vikings) October 16, 2013
Freeman, as you all know, was a mess in his three starts for the Bucs earlier this season, completing just 45.7 percent of his throws at 6.07 yards-per-attempt. He tossed two TD passes and three picks. Over his last six starts, dating back to Week 15 last year, he's thrown 12 interceptions. It would be fair to say he's slumping.
But Fran Tarkenton isn't walking through that door, nor is Randall Cunningham. Or Tommy Kramer. Jeff George might walk through the door, but nobody asked him to do it.
So Freeman it is. The guy can't have had more than one practice with the first-team offense, and he's only been employed by Minnesota for 10 days, so let's not expect huge things on Monday night. It certainly helps that he's facing a generous defense; the Giants have allowed a league-worst 14 TD passes. And of course he'll benefit from the attention paid to Earth's best running back. If Freeman had to start for the Vikes with limited prep, knowing only a fraction of the playbook, this isn't the worst scenario.
Here's head coach Leslie Frazier discussing his newest starting QB, already his third of 2013:
"I like the things [Freeman] has done in his career, along with the things he's done here with our football team — the time that he's put in, how well he's adapted to our system. Like his work ethic. He's done enough for us to say we want to give him this opportunity, which is something we had in mind when we acquired him. We think now is the time."
If things go according to script for Minnesota (which probably never happens), you have to imagine Monday night's game will be the Adrian Peterson show, with Freeman limited to a supporting role. Thus, he's buried in the 20s in my Week 7 ranks.
If nothing else, this QB switch should assist Greg Jennings, Kyle Rudolph and Jerome Simpson for the remainder of the season, at least in a small way. The Vikes' upcoming schedule is incredibly friendly — New York, Green Bay, Dallas, Washington — so don't be shocked if Freeman forces his way back into the fantasy conversation. His matchup with the Cowboys in Week 9 is particularly tempting, and it comes at a time when six teams will be on bye, including the Broncos, Niners, Lions and Giants. If you're a Peyton owner, maybe make the add now and beat the rush. Freeman is currently available in 87 percent of Yahoo leagues.