Indeed, Thielen is bedfellows with DeVonta Smith from the Philadelphia Eagles and rookie Treylon Burks from the Tennessee Titans.
And even stranger, no one seems to have a reasonable explanation for Thielen’s curiously low stock. Thielen will be 32 in August, so it’s not like his 2022 outlook is totally geriatric. Still, his fantasy forecast across the board is lower than folks – particularly Vikings fans – would expect.
Thielen also isn’t taking a demotion. Once again in Minnesota, he’ll snatch the franchise’s WR2 duties behind Justin Jefferson but remains firmly ahead of KJ Osborn, who blossomed as WR3 in 2021. In fairness to fantasy heads, Thielen hasn’t accrued 1,000+ receiving yards in a season since 2018. Yet, when Thielen’s yardage production slowed for unknown reasons, his redzone exposure and subsequent touchdowns spiked – almost like a seesaw.
Since the start of 2020, Thielen has caught a touchdown in 55% of Vikings games and 64% of games in which he personally played. His 18 games with a touchdown-scored rank third in the NFL since 2020 behind Davante Adams (19) and Mike Evans (19).
Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sally from Minneapolis. His Viking fandom dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).