Justin Jefferson Fantasy Outlook Skyrockets Following Adam Thielen COVID Update

Jason Schandl
Justin Jefferson's fantasy outlook is set to skyrocket with Adam Thielen out due to COVID in Week 12.
Justin Jefferson's fantasy outlook is set to skyrocket with Adam Thielen out due to COVID in Week 12. / Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

The Baltimore Ravens aren't the only team dealing with COVID-19 issues this week. The Minnesota Vikings are set to enter a Week 12 matchup against the Carolina Panthers without star wideout Adam Thielen.

This is bad news for the Vikes, but it gives rookie Justin Jefferson's fantasy outlook a huge boost.

Adam Thielen has accounted for a huge 29.1% of the Vikings' targets in 2020 — the third-highest share for any player in the NFL. Minnesota isn't the most pass-heavy team in the world, but that has still meant an average of 7.6 targets per game have gone his way.

Justin Jefferson Fantasy Outlook

Second on the team in target share is Jefferson, who has averaged 6.6 targets per game since moving into the starting lineup in Week 3. He's already converted that volume to an average of 5.0 receptions, 0.5 touchdowns and 97.3 yards per game across those eight contests.

He's not going to simply absorb all of Thielen's looks, but the absence of the Vikings' No. 1 WR gives a huge boost to Jefferson's volume floor, making him an even stronger fantasy option than usual.

This is an especially sweet spot for Jefferson since he's against the Panthers, who check in at No. 21 in Football Outsiders' pass defense DVOA metric.

The other player who may get some increased run is Olabisi Johnson. He actually started over Jefferson in Week 1 and 2, but has since seen just a combined 4 targets. Even with a return to the starting lineup, Johnson shouldn't be considered unless you're really desperate at WR or playing in a deep fantasy league.

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Jason Schandl is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Jason Schandl also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username Jaymun. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.