2014 Record: 7-9, missed playoffs, 3-2 in last five
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1st: 22nd in DVOA* overall offense (29th pass, 4th rush) | 23rd in DVOA* overall defense (26th pass, 13th run)
2nd: Twenty-sixth in the NFL against WR1s (23rd, 8.4 pass attempts per game, 67.8 receiving yards per game) and receiving RBs (6.7 pass attempts, 42.5 yards), but fifth against WR2s (6.7 pass attempts, 50.8 yards) and sixth against slot and bench WRs (5.4 pass attempts, 30.8 yards), according to Football Outsiders’ defense vs. receiver types chart.
3rd: Key loss: WR Greg Jennings | Key addition: WR Mike Wallace
4th: Minnesota appears to be on the rise, at least from a fantasy perspective. I’m a big fan of Teddy Bridgewater. The addition of Mike Wallace and return of Adrian Peterson should crack open quite a few more opportunities for the second-year signal-caller. I also added Charles Johnson in a couple leagues last year and in free agency this offseason. While he is largely considered Bridgewater’s favorite target he was out-yarded, out-targeted and out-receptioned by slot receiver Jarius Wright. Johnson has the size advantage over the diminutive Wright, but they are two important pieces — especially now that Wallace, who scored 10 touchdowns in Miami last season, is going to thin the coverage. I debated using new Jets LB Erin Henderson as the key loss for the Vikings. He had his first 100-tackle season last year at age 28, but his numbers are all trending up. He had a career high in sacks (4.0) and had his first career interceptions (2). A strong rookie class gives the Vikings potentially the best cornerbacks in the NFC North, making them a defense going in the same direction as their offense.
*Defense-adjusted Value Over Average, a Football Outsiders’ advanced NFL metric, measures a team’s performance on a per-play basis. The metric attempts to limit variance and provides a more realistic measurement of how good a team is regardless of matchup or situation, making it a strong indicator of future success. Read more about DVOA.