The 2019 Vikings are an interesting team no matter how you slice it, but they’re especially interesting when you begin to analyze their potential general/fantasy statistics for the upcoming year. Players like Dalvin Cook and Adam Thielen have the potential to be fantasy heroes this season. While players like Stefon Diggs and Kyle Rudolph are looking to punch their tickets to the Pro Bowl this year, which would be the first for Diggs in general and the first for Rudolph since 2017 (and third total). With that in mind, it’s prediction time!
How well will the individual Vikings do this upcoming season? Let’s find out!
Kirk Cousins is a tough guy, so I’m fully expecting him to be the only quarterback throwing passes for the Vikings in 2019 (*Knock on wood*). Last season he threw thirty touchdowns and had seventeen turnovers. He was sacked forty times and fumbled seven times. All his stats should see a decrease, only because head coach Mike Zimmer is putting a large emphasis on the ground game. Otherwise, I fully expect 2019 to be the year that Cousins “earns” his gigantic contract from a wins/loss perspective.
Prediction: 28 touchdowns, 7 interceptions ,536 attempts, 379 completions, 4,645 yards.
This may be the first season we get a consistent Dalvin Cook, and that could be huge stats wise. We already know Cook is a home run hitter. He has averaged a play of 20+ yards about every 19 attempts so far in his career. That’s better than last season’s rushing leader Ezekiel Elliot of the Dallas Cowboys.
Alexander Mattison is expected to help shoulder the workload down near the goal line and when the Vikings are trying to put teams away.
Cook: 288 carries 1,353 yards 7 touchdowns 3 fumbles 45 rec 360 yards 4 touchdowns
Mattison: 112 carries 358 yards 4 touchdowns
23 rec 138 yards 1 touchdown
Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen are well known around the league for their elite level play. Even with the extra attention they will still be able to rack up the yards and catches. Chad Beebe is expected to be featured in the offense, and he could quickly become a third down specialist from the slot (or potentially down the field a la Aldrick Robinson in 2018).
Diggs: 86 catches, 1,100 yards 7 touchdowns
7 rushing attempts 64 yards
Thielen: 96 catches, 1,222 6 touchdowns
Bebee: 47 catches 667 yards 4 touchdowns
The tight end group is deep, but it doesn’t mean they will see a large amount of receptions with so many weapons already on the team. This group will most likely see the most designed plays to get the ball into their hands. Kyle Rudolph should continue to be a red-zone threat while rookie Irv Smith Jr. works the middle of the field.
Rudolph: 66 catches 648 yards 8 touchdowns
Irv Smith Jr: 48 catches 516 yards 4 touchdowns
10 rushing attempts 78 yards
The offensive line last year just wasn’t good, plain and simple. The group gave up over two hundred- eighty pressures last season, which is seventy-five percent higher than the average number from other units around the league. The drafting of rookie Garret Bradbury, and signing of Josh Kline, as well as the addition of coaches Gary Kubiak and Rick Dennison, will try to lower that number significantly.
Prediction: 189 pressures given up 25 sacks given up 32 QB hits 29 hurries.
The defensive line is the heart and soul of this team. They ramped up the pressure last year and generated fifty sacks. The loss of Sheldon Richardson will affect that number, but the team will look for new ways to generate pressure up the middle, including their signature double-A gap blitz look(s) and new things, to quote ‘Old School’ that might be something we don’t even know about.
Danielle Hunter: 74 pressures, 17.5 sacks, 58 tackles, 3 forced fumbles
Everson Griffen: 62 pressures, 12 sacks, 63 tackles, 4 forced fumbles
Linval Joseph: 20 pressures, 3 sacks, 40 tackles
Shamar Stephen: 17 pressures, 4 sacks, 38 tackles
Stephen Weatherly: 40 pressures, 6 sacks, 35 tackles
The return of Shamar Stephen is a big for the linebacking group behind him. His ability to eat up blockers allows for free lanes to ball carries and the quarterbacks. Expect both linebackers to bounce back this upcoming season.
Eric Kendricks: 113 tackles, 8 PDF, 2 INT, 8 TFL’s, 3 sacks
Anthony Barr: 64 tackles, 6 PDF, 1 INT, 6 TFL’s, 6 sacks
The secondary is currently dealing with depth issues, but they should be resolved by the time the regular season rolls around (and if Holton Hill makes it to week 9). Like the defensive line this group has its stars and solid/role players like Xavier Rhodes, Harrison Smith, and Mackensie Alexander.
Xavier Rhodes: 9 PBU, 3 INT, 37.8 yards per game, 1
Harrison Smith: 7 PBU, 5 INT, 74 tackles, 11 TFL’s
Trae Waynes : 7 PBU, 2 INT, 44.6 yards per game, 3 TD’s allowed
Mackensie Alexander: 6 PBU, 1 INT, 31.5 yards per game, 1 TD’s allowed, 3 sacks
Anthony Harris: 9 PBU, 4 INT, 38 tackles
Special teams was one of the main weak links of/for the team last year, and it didn’t see much of an upgrade this off-season either, at least if you pay attention to the news of inconsistency at both kicking positions coming out of Eagan. Dan Bailey does not have in competition in training camp so it will be up to him and new specials team coach Marwaan Maalouf to turn things around (along with whomever ends up holding and snapping the ball). Luckily, Maloouf has been able to get good results from his field goal kickers, at least during the last two seasons he was the assistant special teams coach in Miami. With two seasons at or above 90% field goals made, look for Bailey to get closer to his career average than he was last year (but still significantly lower than that).
Dan Bailey: 27/33 FGM/FGA, 49/50 PAT
KR: 30.3 yards per return
PR: 11.4 yards per return, 1 touchdown