Lunchbreak: 'Sports Illustrated' Gives Vikings B+ Offseason Grade 

The Vikings have done a lot of work this offseason and now have a bit of a break before Verizon Vikings Training Camp kicks off at Twin Cities Orthopedics Performance Center in July.

During the lull, Sports Illustrated took a look at all four NFC North teams and doled out offseason grades, assigning a B+ to the Vikings. SI’s Kalyn Kahler wrote that the Vikings “completely overhauled their quarterback room this offseason” and signed Kirk Cousins and Trevor Siemian; she called the latter “a solid and economical choice at backup.”

Kahler opined that Minnesota’s offensive line is “a question mark” after veteran guard Joe Berger retired this spring, but she nonetheless highlighted both sides of the ball and made a favorable prediction for the Vikings:

Cousins will be helped by one of the best receiving duos in the league, Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen, and with the return of running back Dalvin Cook from an ACL injury, these Vikings will finish at the top of the division and make a postseason run.

[…]

The league’s No. 1 defense will be even better with the additions of veteran defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson and first-round cornerback Mike Hughes.

NFL.com tabs Cook, Diggs among fantasy football ‘crushes’ for 2018

To be sure, the Vikings will be focused on putting real points on the board in 2018.

Fantasy football points continue to be a mega draw for fans, however, and NFL.com’s Michael Fabiano recently put together a list of his “fantasy football summer crushes” for the upcoming season. Included on his lineup was Cook, who is expected to return this season after suffering a torn ACL in 2017, four weeks into his rookie campaign. Fabiano wrote:

Cook, who might have broken out last season had it not been for a torn ACL in his fourth game as a rookie, is coming along well and should be good to go in plenty of time for Week 1. The talented runner was on pace for over 260 PPR points before the ailment. I think that total is well within reach for Cook in an offense that should be dynamite with Kirk Cousins under center. As we get deep into the summer months, Cook could be locked into a first-round spot.

Fabiano also pointed to Vikings receiver Stefon Diggs.

Diggs was a summer crush for me last season, and he’s staying on the list now that the team has upgraded at the quarterback position with Cousins. Just 24 years old, Diggs already has three years of NFL experience under his belt and could push past the 198.2 PPR points he scored in 2017. 

Also highlighted by Fabiano was former Vikings RB Jerick McKinnon, who signed with the 49ers in free agency, Colts WR T.Y. Hilton, Browns WR Josh Gordon, Titans RB Derrick Henry, Packers RB Aaron Jones, Bears TE Trey Burton and 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo, who will face the Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium in the season opener.

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