The Minnesota Vikings were a 27-yard field goal away from advancing to the Divisional round of the playoffs last season, but that doesn’t have their spirits down. Finishing 11-5 during the regular season, the Vikings have actually upgraded their offensive line and they now have a formidable wide receiver with the addition of first round pick Laquon Treadwell out of Ole Miss. Add to that, Adrian Peterson is saying he feels great at 31 years of age, and head coach Mike Zimmer thinks we’re going to see the best Teddy Bridgewater to date. If all goes right for Minnesota they could certainly find themselves in the playoffs again this season.
As we mentioned above, Zimmer thinks Bridgewater is due for a big year. Why? Because the Vikings quarterback is going to take more shots down the field as over-eager defenses stack the line in hopes of stopping Peterson.
“Teddy looks so much different. When the opportunity presents itself down the field, he’s taking his shots,” Zimmer said. “So the biggest thing is trying to take advantage of that when the opportunity presents itself. The more that we can loosen up the defenses, the better we can run the football.”
Speaking of running, Peterson plans on doing a whole lot of that at a very high level this coming season. In fact, he claims he doesn’t feel any different than when he was just a young pup at the start of his career.
“To be honest with you, for me, 22 to this past season has really been the same,” Peterson said. “It’s not like I’m taking extra time off to recover. I’m getting up every morning, I’m going in, I’m grinding — three to four hours, depending on what I have going.”
Fantasy Studs and Sleepers
Stud: Adrian Peterson, RB. Duh. It’s no secret AP wants to run for the single-season rushing record. With his career winding down (even if he says it’s not), we will likely see a big push from the prolific running back as he tries to oust the great Eric Dickerson with more than 2,000 yards in 2016.
Sleeper: Jerick McKinnon, RB. Sure, McKinnon isn’t going to fill up a stat sheet for obvious reasons (See: Stud), but that doesn’t mean he’s not of value. He averaged over 5 yards a carry last season with very limited reps during the regular season. He even scored a couple of touchdowns.
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