Its the NFL preseason. Which means its fantasy football draft season.
In just about every fantasy football league around Minnesota, theres one person who takes every Vikings player, leaving you without any purple and gold to root extra hard for during the fall.
But what if there was a fantasy draft of nothing but Vikings players? Problem solved.
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The draft will consist of nothing but Vikings players from past seasons. Four teams with eight players per team (QB, RB, RB, WR, WR, WR, TE, K) make up the league. Snake draft. After drafting a player, you add up fantasy points for his best season in Minnesota and divide by the amount of games he was active for that year. Every team needs to draft one quarterback, one wide receiver and one running back in the first three rounds.
Scoring: 6 points for receiving/rushing touchdown, .1 point for each receiving/rushing yard, 4 points for passing touchdown, .04 points for each passing yard, -2 points for turnover, 3 points for field goal, 1 point for extra point)
Criteria: We took the top quarterbacks (4), running backs (8), wide receivers (12), tight ends (4) and kickers (4) in Vikings history based solely on fantasy production and only one season per player (in other words, you're not going to see Adrian Peterson on the list four times).
Like most franchises, the Vikings are top-heavy when it comes to their best valued fantasy players. The first three picks went with no surprises. Hall of Famer Cris Carter went off the board third overall, just after future Hall of Famers Peterson and Randy Moss. Not wanting to miss out on the top-tier receiver talent, Team 4 selected Jake Reed fifth overall. Reed, of course, played third wheel to Carter and Moss throughout the 1998 and 1999 seasons.
Daunte Culpepper was the first quarterback off the board at fourth overall, with Randall Cunningham, Warren Moon and Brett Favre following suit in the next two rounds.
Two current Vikings players were selected in the draft. Kyle Rudolph was the third tight end selected at 22nd overall, and Minnesotas own Adam Thielen was the last wideout taken (28th overall).
Five Vikings players that suited up in the 1970s were selected, including Bill Boom Boom Brown, who had the best years of his purple-and-gold career in the 60s.
Team 1 benefited from Petersons MVP year in 2012, but it was the magical, oh-what-could-have-been 2009 run for the Vikings that led the team. Favre and Rice connected for 1,312 yards and eight touchdowns, and Longwell made 26 field goals and a career-high 54 extra-points. White had 10 TDs in 14 games for the Vikes in 1976, just two years before the NFL switched to 16-game schedule. But the downfall of Team 1 was its selection of Bennett ahead of a couple other running backs. More on those later.
Whew, edged Team 1 by .1 points! Team 2 is all about the receivers. Moss totaled 17 touchdowns in 2003, which tied his career best in Minnesota. But the biggest difference-maker on Team 2 was its pass-catching RBs. Smith and Williams combined for 992 receiving yards and six receiving touchdowns to go along with their impressive rushing stats, enough to take down Team 1.
How about Terry Allen? Allen racked up 1,679 total yards and 15 total touchdowns in 1992 for the purple. Harvin was a steal for Team 3 at 27th overall, although it was hurt immensely by the choice of Carter at No. 3. Carter was the only first-round pick to be outscored by a non-QB teammate in this draft, which held Team 3 from taking the title home.
CHAMPS! What a steal at fourth overall! Team 4 was drooling over the fact that Culpepper slid to No. 4 in the draft, as he ended up being the highest-scoring player by four points. Dont believe it? No one in Vikings history has come within 450 passing yards or five passing TDs to Culpeppers magical 2004 season, one that didnt even earn him a league MVP. Thanks, Peyton Manning. But Team 4 brilliantly capitalized on a pair of old-school running backs who knew how to get into the end zone. Foremans 13 rushing touchdowns are tied for second all-time in Vikings single-season history, while Boom Boom Brown tallied 16 combined TDs including nine, yes nine, receiving TD grabs in 1964.
A surprising win, to say the least. Maybe having the last pick in the first round isnt so bad, after all.