Fantasy Player Projections

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Sunday , Sep. 09 | 01:00 PM EST (CBS)
QBBlaine Gabbert

Blaine Gabbert

207 pass yards, pass TD, INT

In a battle of second-year signal callers, Gabbert has the more favorable matchup. The Vikings gave up more than 250 yards passing per game last year, and rookie safety Harrison Smith won’t solve that all by himself.

RBMaurice Jones-Drew

Maurice Jones-Drew

54 rush yards, rush TD, 1 rec, 7 rec yards

Coach Mike Mularkey told reporters MJD would serve as a third down back this week. Uh, yeah, sure. The Jaguars will not want to rush Jones-Drew back into his usual workload, but if this game is close -- and chances are it will be -- the team will not neglect its best offensive player. Fantasy owners can expect 12 to 15 touches.

RBRashad Jennings

Rashad Jennings

51 rush yards, 3 rec, 36 rec yards

The Jaguars’ “starter” last carried the ball in a meaningful game at the end of the 2010 season, when he logged two 100-yard games in the final month. Jacksonville will give him as much as he can handle against Minnesota, but we suspect his touch count will be similar to Maurice Jones-Drew’s by game’s end.

WRLaurent Robinson

Laurent Robinson

4 rec, 61 yards

Robinson is an intriguing play against a new-look Vikings secondary. He is the Jaguars’ No. 1 receiver, for now, but may not necessarily draw opposing teams’ top cornerback.

WRJustin Blackmon

Justin Blackmon

3 rec, 54 yards

Blackmon sustained an ankle injury in Wednesday’s practice, making him a question mark for Week 1. If he does go, fantasy owners should expect for him to get as many looks as Laurent Robinson, although Blackmon is already the Jaguars’ preferred target in the red zone.

TEMarcedes Lewis

Marcedes Lewis

4 rec, 43 yards, rec TD

Lewis will appreciate not having to be his team’s leading receiver, especially when Jacksonville gets within scoring range. And there’s a strong chance he can find the end zone this week against a Minnesota club which led the league in touchdown passes allowed last year (34).

KJosh Scobee

Josh Scobee

2 PATs, 3 FGs

It’s one of the few weeks when Scobee could be viable for fantasy owners, as this game could very well be decided by the two kickers.


INT, 2 Sacks

The 2012 offseason might suggest otherwise, but the future of this franchise is on defense. The unit gave up the sixth-fewest yards last season, and registered 28 takeaways. More of the same this week.

QBChristian Ponder

Christian Ponder

201 pass yards, INT

The preseason was a mixed bag for Ponder, and probably a hint of what’s to come this fall. Fantasy owners can expect to see a lot of short and intermediate passes to Percy Harvin and the tight ends against a Jacksonville defense whose focus will be the Vikings rushing attack.

RBToby Gerhart

Toby Gerhart

52 rush yards, rush TD, 3 rec, 19 rec yards

Gerhart is stuck in no-man’s land, as the Vikings will split carries between Gerhart and Adrian Peterson this week. Expect Gerhart to touch the ball 15 times, making him an emergency play only.

RBAdrian Peterson

Adrian Peterson

49 rush yards

Peterson endured his first physical test in practice this week and is expected to be active on Sunday. Those fantasy owners who spent a high-round pick on Peterson should be more patient than Minnesota. He isn’t a good fantasy option for another week (or two).

WRPercy Harvin

Percy Harvin

6 rec, 83 yards

Harvin ended 2011 on a high note, with six or more catches in six of the Vikings final eight games. He’ll begin 2012 on the same pace. No one defender -- at least no one on Jacksonville’s defense -- can shadow Harvin for 60 minutes.

WRMichael Jenkins

Michael Jenkins

2 rec, 35 yards

Jenkins will keep Jerome Simpson’s seat warm while the offseason addition serves his suspension. Jenkins may go unnoticed in this contest, as most of Christian Ponder’s throws will head in the direction of either Percy Harvin or one of the team’s tight ends.

TEKyle Rudolph

Kyle Rudolph

4 rec, 53 yards

Christian Ponder favored Rudolph this preseason, and it appears the former Notre Dame standout is ready for a breakout season. Good thing, too, because Minnesota sorely needs weapons on offense. Expect Ponder to rely on his tight end early and often in Week 1.

KBlair Walsh

Blair Walsh

PAT, 3 FGs

Minnesota's offense is going to sputter more series than not, giving Walsh an opportunity to prove his worth in his first NFL contest.


INT, 2 Sacks

Jared Allen will find his way to Blaine Gabbert at least once in this game, that’s a given. The concern is the Vikings back seven, which lacks playmakers and experience.
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