EAGAN, Minn. — All eyes are on Vikings rookie quarterback Jaren Hall ahead of his NFL debut Thursday night. The BYU product and fifth-round selection led the Star Tribune's "five positions" to watch game preview.
The Star Tribune's Ben Goessling wrote:
Even if Nick Mullens starts on Thursday night, Hall will have lots of chances to play in the next three games. He's struggled at times against the Vikings defense in practices (as all of the team's QBs have), but Thursday gives him a chance to operate the team's offense in a game situation for the first time.
Other positions Goessling listed were cornerback, wide receiver, edge rusher and kicker.
For the receivers, it's all about first-round rookie Jordan Addison making his NFL debut.
Addison, the 23rd overall pick out of USC, will play on Thursday night, though the Vikings were still trying to determine how much. With Jefferson and K.J. Osborn likely to sit out, and in light of several injuries to the team's receiver group, Addison could get some early chances.
He's starred on the practice field with a number of impressive sideline catches, and [Head Coach Kevin] O'Connell praised how the rookie has approached run blocking. That's an underrated component of a receiver's job in the Vikings offense because of how often the team stations a receiver tight to the offensive line.
Click here to read the rest of The Star Tribune's game preview.
Mattison among fantasy football "breakout candidates"
It's never too early for some folks to think about fantasy football.
With the Vikings a month away from hosting the Buccaneers in Week 1 of the regular season, NFL.com Programmer of Fantasy Content Matt Okada put together a list of nine players who are “breakout candidates" in 2023. Okada noted the production of Alexander Mattison when he has started in place of Dalvin Cook over the past four seasons:
Sometimes, breakouts take a lot of digging and detective work to uncover. Other times, they are Alexander Mattison. The second the Vikings released Dalvin Cook, fantasy pundits everywhere started waving their "Mattison 2023" flags. In his four years with Minnesota, Mattison has made six starts (filling in for Cook) — and averaged 20 fantasy points per game in those starts. His touches and scrimmage yards per game as the starter both outstrip Cook's own numbers, and his five touchdowns in those games would project to around 14 over a full season. As the clear-cut No. 1 on a high-pace, high-scoring offense, Mattison doesn't even need to hit those rates to pay off for fantasy. He will likely threaten 300+ touches and double-digit touchdowns (as Cook usually did) and could easily return first-round value at a wildly low sixth-round average draft position.
Mattison was one of three running backs listed by Okada, along with Lions rookie Jahmyr Gibbs and James Cook (Dalvin's younger brother).