I apologize for not getting this post in at the same time as the rest of their NFC North brethren got theirs in over here at Fake Teams. My wife and I live down on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, so you can just about imagine how hectic the past few days have been for us. However, the old adage is "better late than never," and so here's my take on the best fantasy player and the biggest fantasy sleeper for the 2008 Minnesota Vikings.
The best fantasy player for the Vikings in 2008 should be a relatively obvious one. Take a look at the cover of any fantasy football draft magazine on the shelves of your local bookstore, and you'll see a picture of #28, the man they call "Purple Jesus," Adrian Peterson. Peterson and LaDanian Tomlinson should be 1-2 in any fantasy draft, and which one goes where is pretty much a matter of personal preference. Personally, I might still lean towards Tomlinson at #1. . .but if you could guarantee me that Peterson would be healthy for all 16 games, I'd probably move him up to that slot. Unfortunately, nobody can make that guarantee.
For a less obvious choice, I think that the Vikings' defense should be the first defense off the board in your fantasy draft. They manage to find ways to score lots of defensive touchdowns, and the addition of Jared Allen will greatly enhance their sack totals, their yardage allowed, their points allowed, and so forth.
Looking at fantasy sleepers for Minnesota, a lot was made this off-season about the Vikings' addition of Bernard Berrian, and he will have an impact. However, if you want a sleeper for the Vikings, take a look at the WR on the other side of the formation, Sidney Rice. Rice has amazing athletic ability, soft hands, and the ability to outjump just about anybody on the field. Despite injuries, he had 31 receptions and 4 TDs in 2007. I wouldn't be the least bit surprised to see both of those numbers double in 2008. You should be able to grab him fairly late in most of your drafts. . .somewhere in the 11th or 12th round range would be appropriate, in my opinion.