Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 8/2/12
The Minnesota Vikings offered very little last year from a fantasy football perspective with inconsistent performances and injuries.  This year though, there are a few diamonds in the rough and some sneaky picks that could help elevate your team if you are have the guts and the gumption to make the moves.


ADRIAN PETERSON

All-Day shredded his knee in Week 16 last year against the Washington Redskins, finishing with 52 all-purpose yards and a single touchdown in what was the fantasy football championship for most fantasy leagues.

This year, AP has dropped as low as the 10th running back in many fantasy ADP rankings, but he appears to be ready to go in Week 1 for the Vikings.  If your league has a traditional draft, AP should be available somewhere in the second round... and you should pounce!

Peterson has attacked his rehab like an he attacks an undersized cornerback trying to make an open field tackle!  Mark my words, he will be ready to go for the start of the season.  If the other players in your league want to sleep on Peterson, punish them as he pays you huge dividends throughout the season.  I don't have to tell you that the handcuff to Toby Gerhart is beyond mandatory though, do I?


PERCY HARVIN

Percy Harvin has been a feast or famine player for fantasy owners, especially last year when the Vikings coaching staff inexplicably took him off the field way too often.

This year, you should draft Harvin for three very important reasons:

1. The only national buzz about Harvin is that he demanded a trade - This story was completely overblown and Harvin is fully committed to playing and succeeding this year as he gets closer to free agency and a huge payday.  

2. The Vikings early schedule is as soft as a baby's bottom - The Vikings start the season against the Jacksonville Jaguars and Indianapolis Colts which should allow Harvin to have great games early and give you the opportunity to trade Harvin early in the season, if you so desire, to fill a void in your roster.

3. Jerome Simpson is suspended for the first three games of the season - The Vikings rolled with dice with speedy receiver Jerome Simpson who has developed a bit of chemistry with QB Christian Ponder, but Simpson won't be available for the first few games, giving Harvin even more opportunity to shine early and raise his trade value.


KYLE RUDOLPH

The New England Patriots broke the mold last year with Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez at tight end, and the Vikings are looking to emulate their success with second year player Kyle Rudolph and former Seahawk John Carlson.

Carlson has had injury problems over his career and is currently nursing a grade 2 MCL sprain, but Rudolph is continuing to show that he is a favorite target and safety valve for QB Christian Ponder.  Rudolph won't put up Gronktastic numbers this year, but he should finish amongst the top 10 tight ends from a fantasy perspective, and that's not bad for someone that you can draft in the very late rounds.


JEROME SIMPSON

Would you spend your final pick your fantasy draft on a player that may end up being the number one receiver for a team?  Most fantasy players would take that gamble, and you should, with Simpson.

A few years back, I took a gamble and picked up an undrafted running back named Arian Foster from the waiver wire before the first game of the season and that worked out fairly well for me.  This year, few fantasy owners will be looking at Simpson as a factor, but he has the potential to put up solid numbers and is worth stashing on your bench, or even grabbing off the wire in Week 3 as a backup.


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