April 13, 2024

Vikings Sign Sam Darnold: 3 Fantasy Questions

3 min read

Late into the night of the first day of “legal tampering,” sources reported that Sam Darnold had agreed to a one-year, 10-million-dollar contract with the Minnesota Vikings. With only a one-year agreement, the Vikings will ask Darnold to “show it” while they plan for the future.
With this news, let’s answer 3 Fantasy Questions on the signing of Sam Darnold to the Vikings.

With this signing, is Justin Jefferson still the Dynasty WR #1? (courtesy of Bob Miller)

This question is answered based on your feelings for Justin Jefferson. Last year, Justin Jefferson received passes from the following quarterbacks: Kirk Cousins, Jaren Hall, Joshua Dobbs, and Nick Mullens. For the 2023 season, Justin Jefferson finished as Wide Receiver #26. To his defense, Jefferson missed seven games. On a per-game basis, Jefferson finished as WR #3. So, Justin Jefferson has proved he is one of the rarest wide receivers, essentially “quarterback-proof.” So, heading into the 2024 season, Justin Jefferson remains the Dynasty WR # 1,

Does Sam Darnold improve/maintain the fantasy pieces for the Minnesota Vikings?

As stated above, Justin Jefferson will be elite regardless of his quarterback. However, does the signing of Sam Darnold impact TJ Hockenson, KJ Osborn, or Aaron Jones?
As a backup over the last two years, Sam Darnold has totaled 1,440 passing yards and nine touchdowns. Sam Darnold became one of the NFL’s best backup quarterbacks then. After the reported signing with the Vikings, Darnold has a chance to resurrect his career like Baker Mayfield did in Tampa Bay.

In the short term, Darnold has suppressed TJ Hockenson and KJ Osborn’s values. Aaron Jones should maintain his fantasy relevance as a Top-24 RB. Kirk Cousins is the better quarterback and this team will have to adjust to a quarterback with less skill. Saying all that, the new quarterback coach is Josh McCown; former teammate of Sam Darnold for the New York Jets. I have seen Josh McCown do wonders for Carson Wentz and he may do the same for Darnold. However, at this time, I will hope for the best, but I am expecting the worse.

Can Sam Darnold be a viable Super Flex option?

Sam Darnold has gone to a solid offense that employs Justin Jefferson and TJ Hockenson in its passing game. That is an advantage for any quarterback to be a factor in fantasy football. In this instance, eight quarterbacks must be less desirable to make Darnold’s fantasy relevant. My list’s eight lowest-rated starting quarterbacks (in no particular order) are Bryce Young, Patriots QB, Gardner Minshew, Broncos QB, Will Levis, Commanders QB, Derek Carr, and Sam Darnold.

There is still some movement depending on how the Justin Fields-saga finishes and where the rookies get drafted. For now, Darnold is a lower-tier quarterback and is only a bye-week replacement. I will only draft Darnold in Super Flex if I punt the position and hope for upside or pair him with an elite quarterback and stock up on the other skill positions.



Thank you for taking the time to read my 3 Fantasy Questions on Sam Darnold. Please follow me @JGoody77 or links by @DynastyProsFF.


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