Minnesota Vikings: Stock Up, Stock Down

After the Minnesota Vikings’ first post-trade deadline game, some players have seen their fantasy values increase or decrease due to the addition of former Lions tight end T.J. Hockenson.

Stock Up
Kirk Cousins, QB

Kirk Cousins is the real deal. This past Sunday, Cousins posted his fourth straight 20 point fantasy game. Surrounded by talent, Cousins is consistently finding redzone opportunities. With Justin Jefferson, Adam Thielen, and T.J. Hockenson in the Vikings’ air raid offense, Cousins has a weekly upside of at least 22 fantasy points. As the Vikings face the Buffalo Bills this Sunday, expect Cousins to need to throw a lot to keep pace with the Bills’ high scoring offense.

Justin Jefferson, WR

Justin Jefferson had a monster game this past sunday. He returned to his WR1 ways, tying his season-high in targets (13). He also had his sixth game of the year in which he posted over 95 receiving yards (out of eight games). Jefferson was also able to find the end zone for the first time since week one (receiving). It appears that Jefferson will not be affected by T.J. Hockenson. Additionally, Jefferson should see increased volume against the likes of Buffalo and Dallas in the coming weeks.

T.J. Hockenson, TE

Newly acquired Vikings tight end T.J. Hockenson appeared to fit right into the Vikings’ system this past Sunday. However, doubt existed regarding Hockenson’s ability to excel in this new Vikings offense, primarily due to Cousins’ extreme inefficiency when targeting tight ends this season (prior to week nine). “Cousins has targeted his tight ends on just 18.9 percent of his passes this year, which ranks 20th in the NFL,” said Minnesota Vikings beat reporter Serafino Diaz. “Also of note: his QBR when targeting the position ranks 30th and his passer rating when targeting the position is dead last in the NFL out of 33 qualified passers.” Any doubt regarding Cousins’ ability to target tight ends was officially put to rest this past Sunday. Cousins targeted Hockenson nine times. All nine balls were caught. Hockenson also tallied 70 receiving yards. Cousins’ poor metrics when targeting tight ends was simply due to the tight ends he was playing with. As the second option on this air raid offense, Hockenson should see plenty of high volume games in the future.

Stock Down
Adam Thielen, WR

When a new star player enters an offense, someone will have to take a hit to their production. In this case, Adam Thielen will see an extreme reduction of receptions. In the Vikings first game with Hockenson, Thielen recorded just three catches. Prior to week nine, Thielen had only one game with three catches or fewer. Thielen will see fewer targets, so his fantasy stock should see an extreme dip over the next couple weeks.

K.J. Osborn, WR

K.J. Osborn was another player who was affected in a negative way by the T.J. Hockenson trade. Prior to the trade, his rest-of-season outlook was looking bleak. He had recorded only one game with over 10.0 fantasy points, and he never had more than five receptions in a game. Now, he may be almost completely phased out of the offense. In his first game alongside Hockenson, Osborn saw just 2 targets. He failed to haul in either of them. As the Vikings’ fourth option in the receiving game, this could be a glimpse of what the rest of the season could look like for Osborn.
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