5 Vikings players you’d be crazy not to have on your fantasy team

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The fantasy football season being nearly upon us means one of two things: The days of bragging for that obnoxious, sore winner in your fantasy league are finally numbered, or if you were the winner, it’s back to the grind of proving why you’re the rightful king or queen of your league.

As for the Minnesota Vikings, they will be at the center of it all.

Not only could they have the best player in all of fantasy football in 2022, but there are multiple players on their roster capable of carrying your team to a championship.

Things have changed now that there’s a new head coach in town. Kevin O’Connell was hired after the exceptional job he did as the offensive coordinator for a Los Angeles Rams team that went on to win Super Bowl LVI. Imagine what he could do in Minnesota.

Here are five Vikings players you’d be crazy not to have on your fantasy team.

Dalvin Cook

AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez

Vikings running back Dalvin Cook is one of the best playmakers in the game.

Do you need someone to pound the ball right up the gut for the tough yards? Cook can serve as a battering ram.

Do you need someone to swing to the outside on a toss and make defenders miss? Cook’s elusive footwork can trip up defenders like a Steph Curry crossover.

Do you need a running back to catch passes? Cook is more than capable of moonlighting as a receiver.

Don’t be turned off by all of the “not a run-first offense” talk. Vikings coach Kevin O’Connell is a magician at putting the ball into the hands of his best playmakers, and it’ll be no different with Cook.

Kirk Cousins

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Kirk Cousins might not be the sexiest choice at quarterback, but he could low-key be a sneaky selection in most leagues. With an offensive-minded head coach like Kevin O’Connell taking over the reins of the offense, there’s a legitimate chance Cousins could take things to another level in 2022.

And that’s saying something considering the level he was already playing at in 2021.

That statement will probably get some eye rolls, but it’s hard to argue with 4,221 passing yards, 33 touchdowns and only seven interceptions. The best part is he’ll probably still be on the board to draft in the later rounds.

While everyone else is reaching for those “top-tier” quarterbacks, you could focus on stockpiling running backs and receivers, while keeping Cousins in your back pocket for later.

Value is the name of the game here, folks, and few quarterbacks, if any, will have a bigger bang for your buck than Cousins.

Alexander Mattison

AP Photo/Julio Cortez

There’s no worse feeling than being deep in a fantasy season without a reliable running back left on your roster. Injuries, bad trades and just flat-out underperforming players can turn what looked like the land of milk and honey to a world of fire and brimstone.

That’s why you should always have a contingency plan.

Vikings backup running back Alexander Mattison should be stashed on at least someone’s roster in every fantasy league in existence. Even if you weren’t fortunate enough to grab Dalvin Cook early, you should at least take Mattison to have as an option if he goes down with an injury.

If anything ever happened to Cook, you’d suddenly have an RB1 without even lifting a finger. Mattison isn’t just good for ground yards, either. He can punish defenses as a receiver as well. It isn’t often to see a player of his caliber handling backup duties.

Don’t miss an opportunity to snag him in the later rounds.

Adam Thielen

Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Now is not the time to be closing the book on Adam Thielen.

He still hauled in 67 receptions for 726 yards and 10 touchdowns last season. Keep in mind, he was tied with Justin Jefferson for most receiving touchdowns for the Vikings, despite playing in only 13 games.

Even at age 31, Thielen remains a go-to receiving target in the red zone, and he could be on the verge of another big season with O’Connell calling the plays.

Just look at this beautiful one-handed grab he made at minicamp.

If this is a teaser of what’s to come from the two-time Pro Bowler, then Father Time better get comfortable sitting this season out.

Justin Jefferson

Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Surely, no one is shocked by this pick.

There’s no way this list could be complete without adding arguably the best player on the team.

Justin Jefferson is building the foundation for what could end up being a Hall of Fame career. The production is clearly there for him to be the No. 1 player in all of fantasy football. He finished the 2021 season with 108 receptions, 1,616 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns.

And that was when Mike Zimmer was still the head coach.

With O’Connell now in the mix, Jefferson could “Griddy” his way to Cooper Kupp-like numbers in 2022.

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