F10Y Retro Recap – 1987 Divisional Playoffs Vikings @ 49ers

by Lawrence Vos (@F10YRetro & @NFLFANINENGLAND)

With just hours to go before the first of four fascinating NFL Divisional Playoff games its time to turn back the clock and take a visit to Candlestick Park and a truly memorable contest between the two teams that open up this weekend’s four game slate……

January 9, 1988.

The 1987 NFL season was a strange one, a player strike meant one game (Week 3) was lost from the 16 game regular season schedule, and Weeks 4-6 were played by a vast majority of unknowns and ‘scabs’ – starters who crossed the picket lines. 

Photo credit: AP

One of the biggest names to cross the picket line was San Francisco 49ers QB Joe Montana, who played in and won two strike games. 

The 49ers finished the regular season with the NFLs best record winning 13 of 15 contests, earning the NFC #1 seed and a home Divisional Playoff game. 

Their playoff opponent the Minnesota Vikings limped into the post-season as the #5 seed Wild Card team with an 8-7 record, having lost three of their last four regular season contests. 

The Vikings travelled to New Orleans for their Wild Card game, facing a team that finished 12-3 courtesy of Coach of the Year Jim Mora. Heavy underdogs the Vikings came away with an epic 44-10 upset win, in what was the first Saints playoff game in their 21 year history. 

The win set up a second road playoff game for the 50-1 outsiders all the way across the country, in California, against a team that featured four All Pro’s (QB Joe Montana, WR Jerry Rice, DT Michael Carter and S Ronnie Lott). 

Ronnie Lott – Photo credit: Chatsports.com

The game started slowly as both teams exchanged first quarter field goals. Both teams defences were enjoying the soggy conditions as drives stalled. 

It was the Vikings who scored the first touchdown, set up by a huge Wade Wilson scramble that put Minnesota at the 49ers 7 yard line. On first and goal Wilson found TE Carl Hilton a yard outside the end zone as he beat Ronnie Lott to get the score. Hilton was double happy as he dropped a potential score on the opening drive of the game for Minnesota.

The Vikings extended the lead to 10 with a second Chuck Nelson FG, having had a first and goal drive stall after three consecutive runs. 

Just under a minute later the relentless Vikings pass rush was rewarded when Joe Montana was intercepted on a medium depth pass to WR Dwight Clark by Georgia Tech rookie safety Reggie Rutland (who subsequently changed his name to Najee Mustafaa), who took the ball 45 yards to pay-dirt and a 20-3 half-time lead. 

Roger Craig dropped a late first half touchdown catch and 49ers K Ray Wersching missed a 26 yard field goal as momentum had completely disappeared from the heavily favoured home team.

The 49ers did manage to exact some early revenge in the second minute of the second half, defensive back Jeff Fuller picking off Wade Wilson and returning it 48 yards for San Francisco’s first TD of the game. Fuller would go on to suffer a career ending spinal injury in 1989, after picking up his second Super Bowl winners ring. 

Any thoughts of a comeback were quickly quashed as Wade Wilson recovered his composure to lead a touchdown scoring drive to #84 WR Hassan Jones, completing a 5 yard pass on 3rd and goal in the red painted end zone. The TD was the first that 49ers CB Don Griffin had allowed all season. 

Down by 17 49ers head coach Bill Walsh made the bold decision to bench Montana and bring in backup Steve Young to try and find a spark. 

Photo credit: nfllistsblog.wordpress.com

With excellent starting field position Young hit RB Roger Craig on his first pass for 30 yards. On second and goal Young’s 10 yard rushing score was called back for holding. Following a 7 yard completion Young scrambled left on a deliberate run play and dived into the left corner of the end zone for the score. 

The Vikings were clearly unfazed as they extended their lead late in the 3rd and early in the fourth with two additional field goals. 

Young gave hope to the 49ers fans with a drive that ended in a hair-raising 16 yard touchdown pass to TE John Frank. (Frank went on to become an otolaryngologist, a head and neck surgery specialist. Frank has performed over 2,000 hair transplant operations and opened a hair clinic in New York in 2006.)

In the final minute Nelson kicked his fifth successful field goal and that was it, an earth shattering 36-24 upset win for the Minnesota Vikings. 

Minnesota travelled to Washington, their third consecutive road playoff game, for the NFC Championship. Redskins CB Darrell Green broke up a Vikings pass in the end zone on the final play of the game to prevent the Vikings from tying up the game, as Minnesota fell 17-10. 

Fast forward to 2020 and we have history repeating itself as the lowest seeded NFC team the Minnesota Vikings, fresh off an upset Wild Card win against none other than the New Orleans Saints, face the #1 NFC seed San Francisco 49ers. 

Photo credit: Sportingnews.com

For Kirk Cousins and the Vikings fans they will certainly ‘like that’ history is clearly on their side. 

Enjoy the game tonight – and if the Vikings get the upset victory you read it here first on the Full 10 Yards.

Fantasy: DraftKings/DFS Week 1

by Andy Goddard – @godsy1985

The long wait is almost over as another NFL season is about to begin!! This means it’s also time for fantasy football! So who are we picking for week one on our DraftKings fantasy team?

QB – Kirk CousinsMinnesota Vikings vs Atlanta Falcons $5,500

Cousins averaged 19.7 points per game (PPG) last season with 30 TD and 10 INT but most impressively, he completed 70.1% of his passes. This reliability should continue to rack up the points and he is going against a Falcons defence that may struggle with pressuring the quarterback.

The back end of the Falcons D is above average but without pressure, players will get open and Cousins will find them. Stefan Diggs and Adam Thielen are a very good wide receiver pairing which defenses will struggle to match up against. Dalvin Cook also provides a solid run game which could free up further space when using play action.

RB – Christian McCaffrey – Carolina Panthers vs LA Rams – $8,800

McCaffrey is an easy choice in a points per reception (PPR) league as not only can he run the ball, he is also very reliable with his hands. He averaged 25.2 PPG in 2018 clocking up 1,098 yards on the ground and 867 yards through the air. Those receptions came on 107 catches from 124 targets.

The LA Rams have a lot of talent of defense, especially at the line. If that pressure comes Cam Newton’s way look for him to hit the check down passes to McCaffrey. The LA Rams D may have put in a good showing during the Super Bowl but in a recent article on Bleacher Report, it was ranked as just the 21st best in the league heading into the new season

https://bleacherreport.com/articles/2833750-power-ranking-every-nfl-defense-after-the-2019-draft

RB – Sony MichelNew England Patriots vs Pittsburgh Steelers – $5,900

The reigning Super Bowl champions will be a run first team this season with much of the load being carried by Michel. Brady isn’t getting any younger and the team will look to establish the run early.

The Pats operate a ‘run by committee’ out of the backfield and some of his time will be shared with both James White and Rex Burkhead but after seeing what Michel did during the post season, he will be the lead back.

Photo Credit: Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire

There are also reports coming out of New England that Michel has been involved a lot more in the passing game so look for him to pick up more points there as well. He averaged 14.4 PPG in his rookie year and ran for 1,267 yards. He only had 8 receptions but that will likely be a bigger number this season.

WR – Antonio BrownOakland Raiders vs Denver Broncos – $7,400

After ruining his feet and then arguing about his helmet it would appear Antonio Brown is ready to play football again. Brown is still arguably one of the best receivers in the game and will be Derek Carr’s ‘go-to-guy’.

He will be up against a good defense in the Broncos but Brown has produced against good defenses his whole career. He averaged 22.6 PPG in his final season in Pittsburgh with 104 catches for 1,297 yards. Never be afraid to select a player going up against a good D!

WR – Stefon DiggsMinnesota Vikings vs Atlanta Falcons – $6,700

Whoever you select as your QB, you have to pick one of his wide receivers! Diggs gets the pick because Adam Thielen has been struggling with ‘soreness’ and is listed as questionable (although you have the option of using Thielen at the FLEX position).

There also isn’t really much to choose between the two. Averaging 18.6 PPG last year with 102 catches for 1,021 yards, Diggs is a threat all over the field. With Thielen lining up as well, this causes problems for any defense. If the Falcons can’t get any pressure on Cousins, Diggs should have a good day.

WR – Cole BeasleyBuffalo Bills vs New York Jets – $3,600

Beasley is a guy who is real value. At just $3,600 you get a solid slot receiver who could easily become the security blanket for Josh Allen. If this happens, Beasley’s stock could rise rapidly. In fact at one stage last season, Beasley was valued at $4,600. He had 69 receptions in 2019 for 715 yards at an average on 9 PPG.

That may not seem great in the PPG column, but in the preseason Allen looked early and often for Beasley and seemed to be developing some chemistry with his new recruit.

TE – Tyler Eifert Cincinnati Bengals vs Seattle Seahawks – $3,100

It seems strange to say this but the Seahawks defense is major concern. With Russell Wilson seemingly taking all of the money in Seattle, the defense has taken the hit! The Bengals are banged up at wide receiver so look for them to use multi-TE formations.

Image result for tyler eifert td celebration
Photo Credit: AP Photo/John Amis

Eifert averaged 9.7 PPG in 2018 with just 15 receptions but he was sent to season ending IR after a foot injury sustained in week 5 against Miami. Eifert is still a good choice at TE in a week by week format due to concerns over injury issues.

FLEX – Will Fuller V Houston Texans @ New Orleans Saints – $4,900

Use your FLEX positions wisely! Will Fuller V is coming back from an ACL tear suffered last October although head Coach Bill O’Brien has confirmed he is on track for week 1.

Before this he was performing well averaging 16.5 PPG on 32 receptions for 503 yards. His matchup in week 1 could be very favourable as the Saints will surely use their top corner, Marshon Lattimore, on DeAndre Hopkins. If there are any problems with Fuller V, use the ‘late swap’ to your advantage. Putting him at FLEX gives you the option to swap in a WR/RB/TE.

DST – New England Patriots New England Patriots vs Pittsburgh Steelers – $3,400

The Patriots are the best ‘bend don’t break’ defense in the league headed up by the best Head Coach. When the team need a turnover, they usually stop opposing offences. In fact, the Pats D only allowed opposing teams to convert third downs 37.5% of the time. This was ranked second behind the Jaguars in 2018.

Super Bowl 53 showed just what this team can do! There may be concerns over the front end but the additions of both Michael Bennett (from Philadelphia Eagles) and Chase Winovich (via the draft) should cover the loss of Trey Flowers.

New England are stacked in the secondary which is lead by all-pro Stephon Gilmore. The Steelers have lost Antonio Brown so the Patriots can push their double coverage to JuJu Smith-Schuster.

Mock Draft Monday – Draft 1.0

It’s Monday….*sigh* so what’s a good remedy to brighten up a Monday?

No, not a beer. A mock draft of course!

It’s never too early to mock draft unless its Week 2 of the regular season and seeing as though it isn’t Week 2 right now, it seems like a perfect time to mock draft.

This week we will be doing our draft with the following setup:

12 team, 1pt PPR , 1 QB, 2 RB, 2 WR, 1 TE, 1 FLEX (RB/WR/TE) and 1 DEF with 6 Bench spots (there is not point doing kickers). The rookies coming in from the 2018 draft will be included in this draft.

As it’s the first one in this series, we shall go easy on ourselves and we will be picking from the number 3 spot. We are drafting on FantasyPros mock draft simulator. A very good tool to use to get comfortable in drafting.

There will be a post or podcast in the very near future on draft strategies so keep your eyes peeled for that.

Right, so we are picking from the 3 seed. I know for a fact that we will be going RB in this first round as i am such an advocate for getting the RB1 locked in and with the 3 spot, you can guarantee that you’ll get a volume type elite back. With it being a PPR league, I am hoping for either LeVeon Bell, Todd Gurley, Zeke or David Johnson types.

Todd Gurley went #1 off the board followed by Antonio Brown.

This leaves us with a decision to make; and whilst no pick here is necessarily a bad one, don’t overthink it. It’s likely that you’ll have your preferences however it comes to you, and for me it’s a coin toss between Lev Bell and Zeke.

I will go Lev Bell, purely on the passing down work that he gets.

So we start off with Lev Bell and as our pick is not until the 10th pick of the 2nd round, I would hope that someone like a Davantae Adams drops this far, although unlikely. Anyone that is a funnelled target monster would be great.

Now, the important thing when drafting, is remember where you are in the draft order. If you are in the middle of the draft order then this doesn’t apply so much but as we are pretty much at one of the book ends, it is vital that you look at the teams picking next to you in between your 2 quick picks (i.e the teams that selected 1st and 2nd overall. This way you can try and identify their moves and stay one step ahead. You have to consider their roster construction to see what positions they may try and fill or are in need of.

in the round 2-3 change around, it’s likely that the 2 teams will have at least 1 RB and 1 WR so in this change around, you should go with who you want and not worry too much about the other 2 teams as its likely 2 WR and 2 RBs go in those 4 picks between your next one in round 3. Therefore, in my mind, I want to look at tiers of players.

Are there any players here that I can grab before these other guys that represent a higher tier than the next guy. Also, looking at the draft board on the whole, 2 teams went double WR and 1 team went double RB. Full list as below:

2018-04-16

Here is what is currently available to me:

QBs: All

RBs: Dalvin Cook, Devonta Freeman, Christian McCaffrey, Mark Ingram & Jordan Howard

WR: Adam Thielen, Tyreek Hill, Doug Baldwin, TY Hilton, Stefon Diggs & Brandin Cooks

TE: Everyone but Gronkowski (went 2.5)

When picking in the spot we are, you should always try and pick the players you like but also taking in to consideration which ones may not get back to you when the 3rd pick comes back round. I would put my house on Dalvin Cook being selected, and any other 3 from the list above. If is had to take a guess – Cook, Freeman, Thielen, Baldwin & maybe Kelce.

To me, this is an easy choice, but only because our turn comes back around very quickly and we will still be able to get the same tier of player when that happens. I am going to take Dalvin Cook, here. Purely because he could be a tier above the rest of the guys. I don’t feel overly comfortable taking a 2nd round pick on any of the WR but I will still be able to take one in the 3rd round (assuming 4 WR don’t go off the board).

So I have taken Dalvin Cook and that gives me 2 RBs to start (one note: if you would guarantee me that Joe Mixon fell to me in the 4th round, I would have gone WR most likely).

The next 4 picks are as follows: Rodgers (QB), Hill(WR),Kelce(TE), Baldwin(WR).

So we have had a bit of luck here as the 2 teams in between us reached a tad on Rodgers and Kelce (in my opinion). You’ll find picking at either end of the draft, that you feel that you may have to reach in order to get the players you want. Don’t be afraid to do that, especially if you think they are going to have a good year. Fantasy Football is all about opinions and it’s ok to make a wrong decision, as long as you learn from it.

So as we have 2 RBs already, it makes sense to go WR. We have Thielen, Hilton, Diggs, Cooks, Fitzgerald, Landry, Robinson. Like I said earlier with my round 2 pick, I want someone that will have targets funnelled to them as its a 1pt PPR. Whilst Thielen and Diggs will get plenty of receptions in this offence, my eyes are drawn towards Larry Fitzgerald – a PPR monster for god knows how long, and Allen Robinson, the new WR at Chicago who will be the focal point of the attack. whilst i don’t mind which WR anyone would go in this situation, for me it’s all about volume and opportunity so I will go with Larry Fitzgerald. Here’s one reason why: Larry fitz is around 90 or so catches from overtaking Tony Gonzalez and making it to No.2 on the all time list. Larry would not have come back unless the coaching staff said to him that we will get you to 2nd. As long Bradford stays healthy,  this will happen(even Mike Glennon can force feed WR, or the opposing Defence…).So with that in mind that’s 90 pts right off the bat for Larry Fitzgerald. The red flags here are injury or hitting the veteran wall (unlikely) and David Johnson. But in effect, this team has no WR apart from Fitzgerald as John Brown has been shown the exit door in free agency, as has Jaron Brown. Leaving just Fitz , FA Brice Butler and JJ Nelson so I am confident if healthy, Fitz gets the receptions record and then sets off into the Sonoran desert.

I take Fitzgerald and wait for a while before it comes back round to my pick at 4.10. On reflection, Larry Fitz as your no.1 WR seems a bit underwhelming, but you just have to trust on the production he will produce, especially in PPR leagues this year. In standard, I would have gone Thielen or Robinson.

So when the pick comes back to me in the 4th Round, here is the draft board:

2018-04-16-1.png

As you can see, most teams are pretty even in terms of roster construction. Team 1 does not have a running back yet so you can bet your bottom dollar that’s where he goes for at least 1 of his two picks that shortly follow mine and it’s hard to know what team 2 will do, having a RB, WR and QB on the board. Whilst Jordan Howard is VERY tempting here and likely will be picked up by team 1 if not team 2 and does represent a tier above the other RBs, there are some good PPR RBs that will still be there when it comes back to me in round 5 (Dion Lewis, Duke Johnson, etc) and i would rather have those than Howard, whose receiving is not the greatest. The WR available to me are: D.Thomas, M.Crabtree, J Smith-Schuster, Sammy Watkins, Pierre Garcon and Robert Woods. Easy choice for me here and it’s Thomas. Mr dependable in PPR for Denver, he is still their no.1 guy there (despite age getting scary for him but the same can be said for Sanders and they now have Case Keenum, who helped Thielen and Diggs have good years so I am really happy to get Thomas here.

The next 4 picks where Howard (gut wrenching stuff for Team 1 there), Russell Wilson (wayyyy too early) and Alex Collins for team 1, followed by Crabtree for Team 2.

So back to me in the 5th Round, I have Bell and Cook as my RBs paired with Larry Fitz and Demaryius Thomas at WR. I feel like this is an important pick here as from round 6, it could start to get a bit dicey. So essentially, this pick will go in to my flex spot and there are plenty of options. Could go QB with Tom Brady, could go TE with Engram or Olsen whereas the RB options are Duke Johnson, Dion Lewis, Derrick Henry, Chris Thompson and Jay Ajayi. My WR options are the same as Round 4 minus Crabtree. As this is a PPR league and RB in PPR are easy to come by, I am going to make a play for WR. As things stand and no big news of 49ers WR signings, I will go for Pierre Garcon here. He is getting on a bit with age, and has not yet played with Jimmy G but he was the focal point of the attack last year and again, I will go for the volume and possession receivers. Did consider Sammy Watkins at the value but he will be too boom or bust for me this year and I don’t want the headache of trying to get him right.

Back round to me in the 6th and we have the following draft board:

2018-04-16-2.png

Bit of a QB run in Round 6 and 4 TEs also went between my picks. So the good news is the WR and RB positions were not as decimated as they could have been. As I have gone 3 straight WR, I want to secure my third RB here. Dion Lewis is still available, but so is his former teammate, Rex Burkhead. Rex has just signed a new 3 year deal with the Patriots and seems to be entrusted with the backfield a bit. Tevin Coleman is also there so I am tempted to take Lewis as he is the fancier name with the Free Agency move and I will hope that one of Burkhead or Coleman come back round to me in 5 picks time.

They do indeed come back round and only Carlos Hyde was selected from an RB perspective. Woods, Shepherd and Edelman also were drafted before my 7.03 selection. There are not a lot of WR shouting out at me, with the best 3 options being Sanders, Kupp and Hogan. As I am an advocate of a late QB and late TE pick, I will go back to an RB. Jay Ajayi could be worth a go here, but I am going with Rex Burkhead.

So to recap, my team is currently Bell, Cook, Lewis and Burkhead at RB. Larry Fitz, D.Thomas and Pierre Garcon at WR. 5QBs and 8RBs went in the next 18 picks which is quite astonishing. I am the only team left needing a first QB, meaning i can probably wait until people start taking their 2nd (if at all), giving me great value filling up the other positions (4 teams still need a TE). I feel like i have to go either TE or WR here. TEs available are Delanie Walker, Jack Doyle, Jordan Reed and Trey Burton. As I am looking at Trey Burton as my TE, I think he wont go for another 2 or 3 rounds so can wait for him. WR available are Kupp, Hogan, Agholor, Benjamin and Lee. I think here is where i can go for a boom or bust player as my team is pretty stable as it is at the moment and I don’t need a QB. Considering how good the Rams were last year, I take the possession receiver Kupp as I want a part of that offence, in a division where defences are poor. He isn’t the boom or bust type, but there will be weeks where he scores big but has a safe floor. 3RBs and Delanie Walker were drafted in between my picks leaving us as follows:

2018-04-16-3.png

You could argue that I should have taken Walker and then a WR as Kupp may have been available which is fair. I’m regretting it already. I would say that now is the time for a TE or QB, but simply not many teams need a TE and none need a QB so i am going to risk the long wait for round 10 to take a TE and then my QB in round 11. I am going to pile in on another receiver. It’s either Agholor or Hogan for me here as they are in the more powerful offences and would rather them than someone like Kelvin Benjamin. I think Hogan was an integral part of the offence prior to injury last year so will take him here.

SPOILER: I wont be taking any rookies here unless its a 15th round flyer. I like to see it first before i draft it.

The Good news is, when it gets to me at 10.10, only 1 TE went. Annoyingly, it was Trey Burton. Seeing as that plan backfired, I feel like I will end up taking 2 TE now and playing them with the matchups. So I immediately take Jordan Reed, who has massive upside if healthy. This will force my hand in taking 2 TE but I am happy with that as my WR and RB are good in depth. Perhaps should take Jack Doyle in a PPR but the signing of Eric Ebron scares me and that Colts offence….yuk.

Jack Doyle is still there in round 11 but I am going to take my QB here. The best QB on the board at the moment is Kirk Cousins. Others available are Big Ben, Dak Prescott, Phillip Rivers, Jameis Winston and Matt Ryan. I am a bit scared of taking Cousins due to the Vikings not necessarily needing much from him with Dalvin Cook and that Defence. Big Ben is very up and down and that’s the case for all of these QBs at this point. But as there are a lot of weapons for Cousins, I will take him and change from my usual take Phillip Rivers ploy.

My team is as follows:

QB: Cousins

RB: Bell, Cook, Lewis, Burkhead

WR: Fitzgerald, D.Thomas, Garcon, Kupp, Hogan

TE: Reed

Options available to me now are TY Montgomery who has potential upside in the GB offence, Desean Jackson, Mohammed Sanu and Ted Ginn, boom or bust WR. However I am going to pick my backup TE to Jordan Reed in George Kittle. Probably not advisable to have players from the same passing attack, but I like Kittle a lot this season coming in to his second year. Could have gone Cameron Brate or Austin Seferian-Jenkins here also.

The turn saw Jacksonville defence come off the board (1st defence to be drafted) and as I am picking late in the last round, I do not want to be left with a middle of the road defence. It’s a take your pick from Minnesota, Philadelphia and for me, Los Angeles Rams. I am going to be controversial and take the Rams before the Vikings and Eagles defences. Don’t @ me. It’s a division where they could feast on the Seattle offence twice a year along with Arizona, one of the worst for giving up sacks last year.

My last pick could be absolutely anyone. RBs on the board are not inspiring: Abdullah, Martin , Breida and Robert Kelley. WRs are Desean Jackson, Corey Coleman, Mike Wallace,  Danny Amendola and Mo Sanu. I don’t need a TE and there is not point taking another defence or QB. So I plump for Sanu, who had some good weeks last year and is the No.1 in Atlanta, if Julio goes down.

So that’s my draft! The good thing about fantasyPros is that they grade your draft and here’s how I did:

2018-04-16-4.png

On reflection, there were probably one or two players I could have waited on a bit longer but this is why you practice drafts. to see what players are in which parts of the draft and get comfortable in predicting who you can get where. I love the RBs on this team and if it was real, i would look to trade one to an RB needy team. Not overly enthused about my TE but if Reed plays 16 games, then I perhaps have the steal of the draft.

Hope you enjoyed the ride! We will do another one soon. perhaps over a podcast as this was very painful to do as a blog and has taken almost 2 or 3 hours.

Love to hear your thoughts on my team or which team won in this draft. For reference, here are the final rosters below:

2018-04-16 (5)

Please get in touch on Twitter/Facebook/Instagram and let us know your thoughts! Don’t forget our #raceto500 giveaway. When we have 500 followers we will give a prize away (likely an NFL jersey!). Please show some support on our website full10yards.com and look at some of the articles and mock drafts that are on there.

Finally, our podcast will be back later in the week where we will be looking at the 2018 NFL draft with our guest mock draft writer, Lee Wakefield.

 

Kirk Cousins and the Vikings

Cousins

Free Agency Roundup – Kirk Cousins and the Minnesota Vikings

-17/3/18-

Welcome to my first actual blog post. Feel like such a millennial (I hate it).

Thought that seeing as though my podcast will be back on the horizon in the very near future, I thought I would also get into writing some articles or blogs in to the current affairs in the NFL. Seems most suitable to get in to the swing of things now, seeing as the new NFL year started this week.

Firstly, Welcome.

Thank you for taking the time to come to my blog, listen to my views and hopefully you will get involved with our Facebook and Twitter pages. I do not claim to know much about the NFL and all the finer details of it, but I do have opinions and love a discussion.

Where best to start that discussion than with the Free Agency frenzy that is still currently going on.

As I write this, the Colts and the Jets just completed a monster trade for the upcoming draft. The Jets getting fleeced to move from #6 to #3. No surprise on what the Jets will be drafting in the first round. Hopefully I will get around to doing a mock draft (and laughing at it due to my complete lack of College knowledge (is something I want to try and rectify going forward) so if you are interested in my rookie attempts at a mock draft, please head over to that page.

So, let’s start at the top; biggest move in Free Agency is most certainly Kirk Cousins heading over to the Vikings. Around about $84m FULLY GUARANTEED contract for Kirk Cousins, which never seemed in doubt. Have read that Kirk visited the complex during SuperBowl week and fell in love with the place. I personally thought that he would be more of a money grabber and go to the Jets. That’s £10 I’ll never see again.

So, what does this mean? Cousins walks into a SuperBowl ready team, who got to the Championship game with Case Keenum. Does this automatically make the Vikings a sure thing for the biggest show on turf this year? I don’t think so. I am not a big Kirk Cousins fan, let’s get that out there. He is a great fantasy football Quarterback, posting top 10 finishes in each of the last few seasons with somewhat questionable Washington Redskins team.

Let’s firstly remember at how great and (more importantly) efficient Case Keenum and Sam Bradford were last year. Sam Bradford put on an absolute show in demolishing the Saints in Week 1. Case Keenum on the season was 2nd only to Drew Brees in completion % (Brees set the record in completion % with 72%). Both QBS between them has 25TDs and 7INTs and would be in the top 2 cumulatively for passing yards. Helped with an efficient run game behind a good offensive line (without Dalvin Cook for the majority of the season).

I am not sure what extra Kirk Cousins does on top of the level of performances we saw from the Vikings’ QBs last year. Let’s not also forget that Kirk cousins doesn’t have a wealth of playoff experience. He laid a massive goose egg when they played the Giants with a playoff spot on the line in Week 17 and did his best Tony Romo in December impression. Whilst it’s obviously not all down to him (they allowed Orleans Darkwa to look like primetime Adrian Peterson), I am not fully sold on any extra ceiling he provides to this team. Maybe I am wrong and Kirk elevates this team to a 16-0 season next year, but I certainly think that he was a beneficiary of a poor FA class and was by far the best QB on there and was also helped by a supposed bidding war. Other QBs such as Rodgers and the like will be laughing all the way to the bank with Cousins’s nearly £30m a year deal as this high watermark will surely only raise in the years to come. That said, it is a very exciting time to be a Vikings fan, with Dalvin Cook coming back and hopefully getting a full year of playtime, Sheldon Richardson adding to an already beefed up defence.

They are certainly worthy of a favourites tag for the NFC, and I would probably take them to win the NFC North this year (yes even if Rodgers has a healthy season in Green Bay), but another thing to think of is that the 3-year deal that Cousins has with the Vikings, this is the management in Minnesota saying “this is our window”. They have a 3-year window in which to win it all. Granted, Cousins has found a little niche where he doesn’t actually have to do as much as he did in Washington, forcing the ball and often coming from behind. They have a defence that will allow Cousins to play with freedom, but it will be interesting to see how much freedom he gets in a defence first style offence. I guess we will find out in January 2019 whether Cousins has the cojones or whether he reverts to Washington type.

For Fantasy purposes, Captain Kirk may go quite high due to the name exposure this offseason and with the weapons he has. Stefon Diggs, Adam Thielen and Kyle Rudolph will all continue to have production and you will want a part of this offence in 2018 for fantasy (gun to the head, I’d rather have Diggs, who is like to play second fiddle to Thielen in drafts). For me however, I’d rather Dalvin Cook (obviously dependant on ADP come draft time but I think it will be generous enough) in my teams for next year.

Bottom line (well, it was Stone Cold Steve Austin day yesterday #3:16), if they win the SuperBowl in the next 3 years, it won’t be because of the quarterback.