Bridge Over Troubled Water

Adam Bendzick

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater suffered a dislocated knee and a torn ACL, ending a promising 2016 season. It’s been reported that there appears to be no nerve or arterial damage, and he is expected to make a full recovery. Although this isn’t career ending, it’s certainly a blow to Teddy Bridgewater and the Minnesota Vikings.

Let’s take a look at the fantasy impact.

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Teddy Bridgewater, QB

Obviously, this is a huge blow to Bridgewater’s development. Being a Viking faithful myself, we were really hoping that Teddy could take that next step in 2016. He has really shown to be a solid NFL quarterback, leading the purple to an 11-5 record and clinching the NFC North championship in 2015. With Tuesday’s news, it casts an all too familiar cloud for the Vikings. Our voices were just starting to come back down to normal after Blair Walsh’s proverbial kick to the nuts nearly eight months ago.

But how about Teddy’s dynasty value? I’m certainly not trying to pour salt in the wounds, but hopefully you have already sold him based on my advice in Superflex 101 – Building the Foundation – Part 3. My stance hasn’t changed since then. I still think he is a good NFL quarterback who will win games, but he really has no significant fantasy appeal. I find it extremely difficult to talk negatively about him based on the tragic news. He truly is a great kid and fan favorite, but he simply hasn’t shown the progression that you would expect of an elite quarterback. He hangs onto the ball way too long, and I think it’s because he’s not reading the defense and reacting as quickly as he needs to. Bridgewater has adequate physical tools to be a great quarterback, he doesn’t make many mistakes, and he could eventually breakout in the future. But for that to happen, I think he has to develop more between the shoulders than anything else.

Even prior to the injury, in single quarterback leagues he was barely roster-able. If you are panicking about your quarterback situation and plan on spending your wad on Shaun Hill the next time waivers clear, I’m sorry, your quarterback situation is terrible. I would seriously consider spending a third to fourth round draft pick on Ryan Fitzpatrick, and wait for Teddy to come back next season.

This news really should only effect Superflex and 2QB leagues. If I own Teddy, obviously I would put in a claim for Hill. The 36-year-old journeyman will at least provide you a bye week fill-in. However, much like pre-injury Teddy, I wouldn’t feel confident about him being my QB2. I would check with the owner of Alex Smith and see if he would be available for somewhere in the market of a third round pick. Alex quietly put up mid-level QB2 numbers in 2015. He scored over 16 fantasy points nine out of sixteen games last year, which made him reliable for fringe low end QB1 production for the better part of the season.

Shaun Hill, QB

Again, not much to see here. In fact, it is entirely possible he has weeks that lead to negative fantasy points. I would love for him to throw for 3,213 yards, 14 touchdowns, and nine interceptions. As poor as that stat line sounds, it’s what Teddy did last season. Shaun Hill most likely won’t do that, so just avoid him unless you’re desperate. And I mean, more desperate than near bar close and you haven’t found a date for the rest of the night desperate. Don’t do it, you’ll regret it the morning after.

Other NFL Quarterbacks

There have already been rumors of Mark Sanchez, Colin Kaepernick, Josh McCown, and others. Obviously the Vikings need to bring in another quarterback for depth, but I really doubt they go with anyone but Shaun Hill as the starter in week one. Monitor the situation, but don’t go crazy over anyone they might bring in.

Adrian Peterson, RBpeterson

Saddle up bro! This news gives even more meaning to the nickname “All Day.” The purple will literally ride his back all season, much like they did in the Christian Ponder era when Peterson nearly set the single season rushing record. We all know what he can do when he suits up on Sundays, and he should be running behind an improved offensive line. I would could easily see Adrian rushing for 1,600 yards and 12 touchdowns, along with 30 receptions and 250 receiving yards. “All Day” is a contending team’s dream again in 2016, and could help carry you to a championship. His current ADP is 55.83, which I would expect to climb a bit once the regular season gets underway. However, you will want to truly evaluate your team before trading for Peterson. He is 31-years-old and if he starts to break down and gets injured this season, his ADP will certainly plummet. Right now though, I think he’s easily worth spending your 2017 first round draft pick if he makes you the favorite to win your league in 2016.

Jerick McKinnon, RB

I think this helps McKinnon’s fantasy production this season as well. With Hill calling the plays, I’m expecting Norv Turner to turn to an even more extreme ball control offense, focusing on run heavy game planning and a dink and dunk passing game. Jerick should far exceed his 73 total touches from last season, potentially accumulating 150 total touches on the season. Duke Johnson had 165 total touches last season, and finished as the RB23 in PPR leagues. McKinnon’s current ADP is 109.67, being drafted as the RB33. It’s entirely possible he finishes the year out with low end RB2 fantasy points. There’s strong appeal here, worthy of a mid-second round pick.

Stefon Diggs, WR

Not good news for Diggs in 2016. Teddy attempted 447 passes last year, I would expect Hill to be closer to 400 this season. With 84 targets last season, I would’ve expected Stefon to exceed 100 targets with Teddy at the helm. I wasn’t extremely high on Diggs before the Bridgewater injury news, and with Hill tossing him the rock, his upside is extremely limited. I love Diggs’ physical talent, but in the past I also really liked Kendall Wright’s as well. I think Diggs is at best a career WR2, which is totally fine. But when his ADP reached 43.25 last November, owners that bought into the hype train were expecting otherwise. Stefon’s ADP is going to get lower as the season wears on and production isn’t there. I would love to be able to sell him for a 2017 mid first round pick or higher if I still could. Interestingly enough though, once his ADP drops this season, he may be a sneaky trade target later in the year. Keep an eye on his progress and test the waters before we start hearing about Teddy’s recovery and owners start to look toward 2017.

Charles Johnson, WR

He is currently listed as the starter, and has been playing the most first team reps out of any wide receivers on the roster during the preseason. I don’t expect that to continue, a certain rookie I’ll talk about soon should eventually take his place. I don’t think there is much upside for the Vikings passing game this year, and would look to sell Johnson for anything I could get at this point. He’s a roster clogger, period.

Laquon Treadwell, WR

He hasn’t gotten much first team action this preseason, but he has shown decent chemistry with Shaun Hill during second team reps. I wasn’t expecting much from him this year, but I’ve been a bit surprised he didn’t surpass Charles Johnson on the depth charts through training camp. I don’t think it’s a huge concern at this point, but it’s certainly something to note. I’m hoping that Treadwell will provide Hill a strong short to intermediate route target, and win against tight coverage much like Brandon Marshall does. As noted for Diggs, Treadwell’s ADP will most likely fade a bit through the course of the season. I think he’s a hold for now if I own him, I do like his long term potential. But just be wary that it may take some time. I’m looking to be a buyer if his ADP slips to the 50-60 range over the course of the year. His ADP will most likely be a roller coaster, with a Dorial Green-Beckham type resurgence next February through April. Keep an eye on his stock over the course of the year.

Cordarrelle Patterson, WR

Alright Norv, along with the heavy run game plan and dink and dunk, you’re going to have to get creative to make some big plays. Patterson is generating a little buzz here in Minnesota, getting some first team reps and manufactured first team touches. I know it seems like so long ago, but we are only two seasons removed from a 2013 rookie season where he scored seven touchdowns in limited action. The aforementioned Christian Ponder was the Vikings quarterback then, and Patterson was a legitimate playmaker. At an extremely cheap price, possibly even a waiver wire add, I’m still holding out hope. He is set to be a free agent in 2017 as well and potentially a fresh start if he doesn’t resign with Minnesota. If you have the roster space, he’s certainly worth an add in my opinion.

Kyle Rudolph, TE

I’m a bit hot and cold on Rudolph this preseason. He has been making some good plays, but he’s also shown a complete lack of effort on others which is very surprising. I don’t think the injury news hurts him much, and would expect a similar stat line as last season. 50 receptions, 500 yards, and five touchdowns seems about right. He’s going to be 27 later this season, and likely TE2 for the remainder of his career. I much prefer Antonio Gates over Rudy in 2016.


This news will make way more of a real life impact on the Vikings Super Bowl chances than a fantasy impact. Yes, the passing game will fade a bit compared to what was expected, and the running game will ride on Adrian Peterson. I think the situation presents many buy low opportunities as the season progresses, mainly anticipating fading ADP’s in November and December for the Minnesota receiving crew. That should present decent trade targets and value for underperforming teams that won’t need the production from these players in 2016. Over the next few days, keep an eye on the reports for a new Viking quarterback addition. I doubt the purple make a huge splash, but it still is worth monitoring.