The production hasn’t matched the perception, providing the perfect opportunity to purchase.
Get the picture?
The Vikings DST was named as the runner-up for the Least Valuable Player award here last week, and it was deserved. The unit was the fifth one off the board on draft day, according to FantasyPros, but it is performing as the 16th-best.
That’s not so sexy.
But look at what lies ahead this season, and you just might see (insert your celebrity crush here).
Most scoring systems factor in sacks, points allowed, turnovers forced and touchdowns scored as stats to determine a DST’s production. Be sure to consult your own system to determine how valuable the Vikings DST might be for you.
As the Star Tribune’s Andrew Krammer notes, four of their next eight games are against some of the most turnover prone offenses: Carolina (16 turnovers, tied for third most), Chicago and Cincinnati (15 turnovers, tied for fourth most) and Washington (14 turnovers, tied for sixth; total includes an NFL-high 10 fumbles).
Minnesota’s defense ranks eighth in the NFL in sacks (24) despite facing just three of the 15 most prone to sacks, and that number will nearly double to five in the second half. This week they draw the vulnerable offensive line of the Redskins – who had the most linemen practice for the first time in a month on Wednesday.
The Vikings will face just as many of the top scoring offenses in the second half of the season as they did in the second half (two) – with the second half including the NFL-leading Rams (32.9 points per game) – and the Vikings already boast the NFL’s No. 3 scoring defense (16.9 points per game).
Now, the predictability of a DST touchdown is tough. But Marcus Sherels has failed to return a punt for a touchdown this season – he’s only done that once since his rookie season in 2011 – so pencil him in for a punt return for a touchdown in the second half.
On top of all that, the final three games of the regular season are against the Bengals, Packers and Bears – teams with a combined 10-14 record that is expected to get worse, especially if the Aaron Rodgers-less Packers continue to play like they did Monday vs. the Lions thus crushing any reason for him to return for the Week 16 matchup with Minnesota. This may mean more or less to you, depending your league’s playoff system.
Trading for a DST is not unlike a total solar eclipse in terms of its rarity. And as we had one of those this year, why can’t you trade for a defense, too?
Don’t concede any starting lineup mainstays (barring unusually strong depth at a position) for the Vikings DST. But if you can add in a swapping of defenses to part of an already existing deal, it could make it a home run.
Want to talk more fantasy football? E-mail Mike at firstname.lastname@example.org or heckle him on Twitter @mike_e_nelson.