One player to target: WR Jordan Addison
Target him as your: Low-risk WR2
Minnesota has allowed Adam Thielen to leech fantasy value off its perennially strong offense for the past few years, and his departure couldn’t have come at a better time for Jordan Addison.
Thielen dominated as the WR2 in each of the past three seasons, and Addison now steps right into that role which has featured at least 85 targets in each of the past three seasons (106 targets exactly in both 2022 and 2020) and 30 touchdowns combined in that same three-year span. Those are gaudy numbers, of course, but Addison just has to scrape the surface to return on investment at his WR38 price on Underdog.
Let’s frame it this way: will a first-round wide receiver on an offense as fantasy-conducive as the Vikings’ be able to finish as at least a low WR3 / high WR4? I’m willing to bet that he has enough boom weeks to well exceed that bar, which is extremely low – lucky for us, that’s how he’s actually being drafted.
One player to avoid: WR Rashod Bateman
The third-year wideout from Minnesota has been a popular pick in the fantasy community for a breakout in the Ravens’ shiny new offensive system, but I’m not underestimating the impact that the additions of Zay Flowers and OBJ will have on the target share distribution. Not to mention the fact that Mark Andrews does, in fact, still exist – and Bateman hasn’t yet proven that he’s a target earner in the NFL at this point in his career (he’s eclipsed ten targets just once – and that was in a game with Tyler Huntley, not Lamar Jackson, at QB).
In addition, he’s been one of the most oft-injured players in the league since his rookie year in 2021, missing a combined 14 games over those two seasons. And while his production in early 2022 looks encouraging on the surface, those numbers are inflated by two long touchdowns in Weeks 1 and 2 – he never tallied more than four receptions in a game last year.
I do think he’s due for a better season in 2023, but at his current price above Zay Flowers, I’m happier taking a swing at the rookie six spots later than accepting the risk that comes with Bateman at a higher price tag.