We all like “gritty” players on our teams, right? Players that are considered “gym rats” or “lunch pail” kinda guys. Guys that are “students” of the game….alright, alright you get the point. Dead horse = beat. Anyway, I’m talking about Minnesota Vikings WR Adam Thielen.
Like Confucious says: To know the future, you must know the past… or something like that. First off, do you know how hard it was to get Adam Thielen college stats? Even Google was like, “who that, fam?” Thielen led the Minnesota State Mavericks (MSU) in catches (74) yards (1,176) and touchdowns (8). Thielen was also named NSIC Offensive Player of the Week after recording 10 catches for 128 yards and 3 touchdowns against Winona State. I mean, Winona State guys!!! Even with those “GOAT” stats and a 45.9% (90th) College Dominator Rating, thanks, Playerprofiler.com!, Adam went undrafted.
In 2014 and 2015 Adam Thielen accumulated a total of 31 targets, 20 receptions, 281 yards and zero touchdowns. Then in 2016, the Vikings drafted the consensus WR1, Laquon Treadwell at 1.23 in the NFL draft. The common mindset was that the Vikings were going to start Treadwell opposite Stefon Diggs and have Cordarelle Patterson or Adam Thielen (or some other wide receiver on the team) battle it out for the WR3 spot. Things don’t always work out the way we intend them to and the NFL is no different. Adam Thielen shined and let’s just say Laquon Treadwell had a hard time transitioning. Thielen went from barely seeing the field in 2014 and 2015 to leading the Minnesota Vikings wide receivers in snap share (81.2%), yards (967), yards per reception (14.0) and second in touchdowns (5).
Adam Thielen’s ADP is 139.50 according to dynastyleaguefootball.com February’s ADP. I said 139.50 folks, that’s the 11th round of startups in between Adam’s teammate Jerrick McKinnon and Charles Sims. Charles Fricking Sims!?!?! There are 65 other wide receivers going ahead of Adam Thielen even though he was WR30 in scoring last year. Thielen scored as much as DeAndre Hopkins and outscored his teammate Stefon Diggs. Yes I know, points scored is not the best way to project a players future or establish a players worth. Many factors have to be considered but points scored can’t be ignored either. If we want to dive a little deeper, Thielen scored more than 15 points three times last year. Week 3 against Houston (7 – 127 – 1TD) for 25.7 points, week 11 vs Arizona ( 5 – 65 – 1TD) for 17.5 points but Thielen saved his best for last. Winning many fantasy football owners a championship with his performance in Week 16 vs Green Bay (12 – 202 – 2TDs) with 44.6 points! I’m not gonna lie and say I’m not concerned about the Vikings offense. It’s not like the Vikings are a juggernaut in the passing game but I believe there’s enough to go around for Thielen to outperform that ADP.
The fact that Adam Thielen even made the active roster is a testament to his work ethic. Fantasy players love to speculate what NFL teams are going to do or what NFL teams should do. Mike Zimmer doesn’t give AF about what we think or want the Vikings to do. Mike Zimmer is a head coach that will start a player that contributes and follow team direction no matter when they were drafted. I think Adam Thielen has earned a starting spot on the Vikings. After last year I hope the coaching staff agrees. Adam Thielen personifies what true grit is and at that ADP I’m not sure what more we could ask for.