With rookies due to report next week, Jordan Addison, the Minnesota Vikings’ hotshot wide receiver, is in some hot water after the state patrol stopped him early Thursday morning and cited him for speeding and reckless driving.
It goes without saying that driving 140 miles per hour in a 55 MPH zone displays an incredible lack of decision-making capabilities, and it’s very possible that the NFL comes down on the 21-year-old hard after the Henry Ruggs incident that led to a fatality in November 2021. If so, it’s certainly going to have an effect on Addison’s fantasy football impact heading into the season.
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The Current Fantasy Value Of Jordan Addison
As we sit here today, we are all guessing as to how the NFL (and/or the Vikings) will choose to handle this situation, but let’s consider a few of the potential outcomes.
This, of course, would mean nothing in our world has changed. Addison is currently being drafted as the WR39 (No. 87 overall) … a price that I think he has a pretty clear path to paying off. We are looking at a strong prospect in an underrated passing game with a clear path to high volume from Day 1. Addison checks every box you could possibly ask for.
A two-game ban would be a bummer, but it wouldn’t drastically change my view of Addison for fantasy in 2023. The only tweak in draft strategy I would make would be sitting back and paying his ADP as opposed to overextending to roster him.
The Vikings open the season facing two of the six best pass defenses in terms of yards per attempt from last season. It’s very possible that, in deeper formats, you actually gain value in this situation, as you’re not tempted to start the rookie in less-than-favorable spots.
K.J. Osborn can fill in as the WR2 in Minnesota’s offense just fine. He would be slightly more of a 13th-round target for me, but I wouldn’t be touching my ranks for any of the other Vikings involved in this passing game.
4+ Game Suspension
This is where things get a bit interesting. In this world, Addison and Osborn see their stocks nearly collide. I would still prefer the rookie, but I would have them within 10 spots in my WR ranks, both coming off my board in the Flex consideration portion of the proceedings (10th-11th round range).
If this is the case, a slow first half of the season is very possible for Addison. Over the past five seasons, we’ve seen plenty of first-round receivers struggle during the first month of their rookie season.
Brandon Aiyuk averaged just over a yard per route over that stretch, while Jahan Dotson earned just 22 targets on 166 routes. The aforementioned Ruggs had eight catches on his 100 routes in his first four games. Even the great Justin Jefferson had five catches for 70 yards and no touchdowns through two games of his historic rookie season.
I’m fine with paying up for a rookie receiver and understanding that the learning curve is part of things. However, a suspension could easily set back that process, and a lengthy ban could drop Addison well outside of my top 100 players. In that situation, he would still be a drafted asset, in my opinion, but he’d no longer get the highlighter treatment — a player that I’m aggressively targeting come draft day.