When the Minnesota Vikings drafted wide receiver Justin Jefferson at No. 22 overall in the 2020 NFL Draft, many people thought he is the guy that will step in and absorb all of the targets Stefon Diggs left behind following his trade to the Buffalo Bills. However, as a rookie, Jefferson's role in the offense may not be as clear cut as people think.
For most of training camp, Jefferson has worked with the second-team offense, only recently starting to see work as a slot receiver on the first team offense. Feeling out Jefferson's skills may be due to the fact that without a preseason or essentially any offseason workouts, he has had to work quickly to learn the ins and outs of an NFL offense.
Justin Jefferson Fantasy Outlook
Jefferson excelled as a slot receiver during his years at LSU, especially in his final year when he helped lead the team to a National Championship as No. 1 pick Joe Burrow's top target. Jefferson hauled in 111 receptions, posted 1,540 receiving yards, and found the end zone 18 times to set multiple single-season records for LSU.
Playing alongside Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen, Jefferson may be able to work out a similar slot position on this team, but it will be tough to produce immediately as a rookie. The Vikings haven't been an offense known for featuring multiple starting wide receivers in fantasy football for quite some time. Just last year, wide receivers saw only 43.2 percent of the team's target share, which ranked as the fourth-lowest mark in the league.
The Vikings used a two wide receiver set throughout the most of last season, which does not bode well if Jefferson works out of the slot position. Bisi Johnson has consistently gotten work throughout training camp as the outside WR across from Thielen, and Jefferson may only see the field on three wide receiver sets.
Jefferson is currently being drafted as the No. 48 wide receiver in fantasy football, per FantasyPros, but most of his value for the 2020 season will be as a valuable handcuff in case Thielen goes down with an injury or is forced to miss a few games here and there. Other rookies being drafted around him, such as Jerry Jeudy and Brandon Aiyuk, have a much better opportunity to put up points as a rookie.
Jefferson is ranked as the No. 166 overall player in our 2020 fantasy football rankings and does not crack the top 50 wide receivers.
Larry Rupp is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Larry Rupp also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username phillyfan424. 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.