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Favre is a Viking

Well, it’s official (almost): Brett Favre has joined the Vikings. And apparently he will play this Friday against KC.

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post about how the Vikings were impacted by Favre’s decision not to sign with the team. (And apparently I was right when I said that we had not heard the last of Lord Favre.) And here we are, only a week into the preseason, and Favre has change his mind yet again. (Which is no surprise to this Packer fan.)

So, you can either go re-read that post and just assume the opposite is true, or you can read the discussion below. Or both. But if you do that, please kindly ignore any inconsistencies.

(1) Is Favre worth drafting in my fantasy league? Yes, he certainly is. But I would not take him too early. I have not had a chance to update my rankings in light of Favre unretiring, but I will likley put him in the 4th Tier, with guys like  QB Jay Cutler and QB Carson Palmer. The Vikings are a run-first team, but I expect Favre to average between 25-30 attempts per game. I might rank him higher, but I am still a little worried about his shoulder. Watch to see how he does during the preseason, and bump him up a little if it looks like he still has the ol’ rocket arm.

(2) How will the addition of Favre impact the MIN RBs? Obviously, having a capable QB will help RB Adrian Peterson. Assuming Favre’s shoulder is healthy, having him under center will force teams to respect the pass. Which will open up more running lanes for AP. Which could make him extremely dangerous. Although the Vikings will likely throw the ball a little more with Favre than they would have otherwise, AP will still get between 20-25 carries a game (he averaged 22.7 last year). And having Favre at QB should provide AP with more scoring opportunities. RB Chester Taylor is a better receiver than AP, but he is still the backup. He will see duty on third downs, but his role should not change all that much. His overall yardage totals will likely be slightly higher, simply due to the fact that the Vikings’ offense should be better.

(3) Will Favre make the MIN WRs fantasy superstars? Probably not. But he certainly does increase their value. WR Bernard Berrian has great deep speed, which makes him a good target for Favre, who loves to take chances. Favre is a great play-action QB, so with a RB like AP and a deep threat like Berrian, the Vikings are set up very well to take a few deep chances every game. Berrian is the most complete WR on the team and should lead them in receptions. WR Sidney Rice has been up and down during his career, although mostly he has been hampered by injuries. If he can stay healthy this year, he could benefit greatly from the arrival of Favre. I have always been a fan of Rice, who has great size and pretty good speed. Now he has a QB who likes to throw the ball up and let his WRs go get it. Which is where Rice could shine. Although I am still not convinced WR Percy Harvin is going to make an impact as a WR in his rookie year. But he does have loads of talent. And the Vikings seem intent on working him into the offense. As with the other players, the arrival of Favre certainly boosts his value. But it remains unclear how many touches he will get or how consistent he will be. I would be more inclined to take a chance on him now than I was before, simply because the Vikings will have a more well-rounded offensive attack, but I still think many people overvalue Harvin.

(4) How about that TE with the weird name? Funny you should ask. TE Visanthe Shiancoe quietly had a pretty productive 2008, with 596 yards and 7 TDs. And Favre likes to target his TEs. Which means Shiancoe could have an even more productive 2009. I had him as the 17th (Tier 5) TE before Favre. I will probably bump him up into Tier 4 (somewhere between 11th and 13th) now.

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