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*Lots of games to cover and moving faster than editors can keep up with, so forgive any typos, etc. 2,000+ word articles on preseason games ain’t easy. Going for quantity over quality to get the news out ASAP.
I know it’s a Week 4 preseason game, and no one really cares, per se, but as I re-re-watched this game (condensed version) this very morning to see if I picked up anything new…and as I watched with the sound down/off just looking – man, the Minnesota Vikings still look/play with that uninspired, unemotional way about them. That only stood out to me because the Miami guys seemed to be flying around, jumping around, high-fiving and playing with much more sense of urgency and confidence. I don’t mean to keep beating this to death, but to continue to beat this to death – Mike Zimmer is sucking the life out of this organization. We’re about four months away from finding out who the new Vikings coach is.
You would think that also means I’m going to say that the new head coach inherits Kyle Sloter already stocked on the shelves. I don’t think Sloter will see 2018 with the Vikings. We’ll see.
The Minnesota Vikings 2017 are the Los Angeles Rams 2016. Absolutely no offense whatsoever headlined by the worst, most antiquated offensive game plan ever…and a horrible offensive line. Also, talented defensive pieces that go to waste because of the whole vibe in the organization. If in some dream scenario of mine Sloter gets magically elevated to the main roster in 2017 in a forced starting situation – and he’ll likely belly flop because of this offense. He’ll have one arm tied behind his back. He won’t be allowed to do what he does – in fact, they’re going to spend the next few weeks and months trying to strip it away from him, I’d assume. Most all of us reading this love Kyle and are intrigued by the possibilities, but I don’t know that this is his best or final landing spot. The Broncos are probably a QB injury or flop away from yanking him right back from the Vikings. If something were to happen to Sam Bradford, I doubt the Vikings would be wise enough to rocket Sloter from P-Squad direct to the starting lineup.
Minnesota fans should be excited about the Sloter possibility and Denver fans should be depressed but I don’t think this is over yet. I don’t think Sloter is in his final NFL spot.
Fantasy player notes…
— I mentioned this on my quick hit look at Week 4 of the preseason, but in my re-re-watch this game this morning, it jumped out at me even more how dominant Jakeem Grant (4-141-1/6) was in this game. His numbers don’t tell the whole story…and the numbers are great here. Jakeem Grant has been better this preseason been DeVante Parker has been his entire NFL career. And I don’t mean that as a total slam that might be on DP. I call him DP… I do so so he has a harder time finding what I wrote about him on his constant Google searches of his name every day.
My Devante feud aside, I really mean to praise Grant. I don’t know how and to what degree Miami’s going to utilize Grant in 2017, but I have a feeling he’s going to be a bigger piece of the puzzle than we might think at this point.
I believe there might be a little bit of Tyreek Hill here. Grant is no Tyreek but there are some similarities. Burner speed, great return guys, much better receivers than given credit. Tyreek has the advantage of elite agility work while Grant is more average agility to go along with his elite straight-line speed but has the advantage of being a far better, more trained, pure wide receiver than Hill. Grant should be starting for an NFL team as a slot/#3 WR. He has made tough catch after tough catch this preseason – catching passes in a crowd, grabbing balls with guys draped all over him, high-pointing catches, and just scorching DBs with his speed.
If I were to do one more ‘very deep sleeper’ report for 2017 – Jakeem Grant would be the subject.
2017 may be a taste, and 2018 may be his break out. He’s likely going to be on our short list for top dynasty stashes for 2018. Our world renowned Dynasty Stash reports, as always, available with you’re in-season subscription to FFM.
— What’s funny about watching Jakeem Grant tear up this game in this entire preseason – Grant looked better in one play thanLaquon Treadwell (1-9-0/2) has looked his entire NFL career. If there is a guy who has any less energy and confidence playing football than Laquon Treadwell I’d like to see it. Treadwell is totally useless…and working on the worst passing game in the NFL…and not even starting once awful Michael Floyd comes back to work from endangering the citizenry last year.
Cayleb Jones (9-127-1/10) was better in this one game than Laquon Treadwell will be in his entire career combined – and Jones gets cut for his efforts as Tredwell continues to live off his draft status – which should be an embarrassment to the Vikings. If it’s not the Vikings on-field game plan shooting themselves in the foot, it’s them compounding it with head scratching roster moves and pushes of players that made no sense.
Cayleb Jones was AMAZING in this game. Keep an eye on him when another team poaches him off the Vikings practice squad. He’s very good at being a wide receiver. So-so measurables trumped by being good at his craft. He’ll be a Patriot soon…
— Let me say something positive about the Vikings before Skolman kills me… I told you back in the CFM pre-draft analysis and scouting that DT Jaleel Johnson (4 tackles) had something. I could see it on tape. To me, he’s been the breakout star of the Vikings preseason. The new Vikings coach is going to love him next season.
— If the Vikings start Ben Gedeon over Eric Wilson on opening day, which they will, then I don’t understand football very well. I have no doubt Gedeon knows the playbook a little better, but Wilson has something the playbook and play calls can’t teach – raw talent. Down the road, Wilson will matter and people forget about Gedeon. I don’t dislike Gideon, but he’s too slow to play three-downs in the fast paced modern passing game.
— The Vikings further aggravated me by releasing rookie TE Bucky Hodges, but they were smart – they put him right back on the practice squad. No one can use the 6’6″, high-end tight end athlete who made terrific catches this preseason for their offense I guess.
I know the Vikings want none of that. They’re looking for boat anchor players who are grinders. Naturally talented guys need not apply.
— Hey! Look at Mitch Matthews (2-30-1/2) score a TD in the preseason – he does still exist. He had a nice catch and run away from a defender for a score late in the game. Matthews has some skills but seems a little too stiff on the football field still at this point. I was hoping he might try to convert to tight end, but that does not seem in the offing.
— One quick note about the starting running back for Miami in this game – Kenyan Drake (8-27-1, 0-0-0/2). Another game, another time I walk away thinking this guy is not ready for prime time. Give Drake 2–4 touches a game in space and you might get a result here and there. Push him as a work horse and you’ll come up empty. Drake is one of those finesse runners who spends way too much time trying to avoid hits and moving sideways away from defenders than making things happen. He’s not the Jay Ajayihandcuff – he’s just a guy who would get a few extra touches if Ajayi went down.