Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen entered the 2021 season looking to get back to his days of being a 1,000-yard receiver. Instead, he was hindered by injuries again and missed several games due to nagging injuries. When on the field, Thielen wasn’t as productive as he hasn’t been in previous years, which could be a sign of him hitting a downturn.
The Vikings brought in Kevin O’Connell from the Los Angeles Rams to be their new head coach. He should bring in a new philosophy that could bode well for Thielen as he tries to get back to his normal self. From most accounts, he is healthy this year and making plays during training camp, so it sounds as if he’s healed and ready to go.
2021 season statistics & fantasy finish
Fantasy: Thielen scored 199.8 fantasy points for an average of 15.4 points in a PPR league. In a standard scoring league he scored 132.8 points for an average of 10.2 per game.
Stats: Thielen caught 67 passes for 726 yards and 10 touchdowns. He was targeted 95 time by quarterback Kirk Cousins on the year.
Vikings offseason moves
The Vikings beefed up their defense with the additions of cornerbacks Patrick Peterson and Chandon Sullivan. They also signed former Packers linebacker Za’Darius Smith and used a first-round pick on former Georgia safety Lewis Cine. The biggest move the team made was locking Cousins up on a one-year deal for a guaranteed 35 million dollars.
2022 best case scenario
The best-case scenario for him this year is getting back to being a 1,000-yard receiver. With Justin Jefferson now the Vikings WR.1 and drawing the majority of the attention from the defenses it makes life easier for others. If Thielen can stay healthy again, he should see a rise in his numbers this year.
2022 worst case scenario
Thielen can’t avoid the injury bug this season, and he has to miss more games. If that’s the case, he will have similar numbers to the ones he did in 2021. Another thing that would hurt Thielen is the Vikings’ dedication to the running game. If they decide to pound the rock with Dalvin Cook, it takes away potental targets.
Thielen hasn’t had 1,000 yards receiving since 2018, when he caught 113 yards for 1,373 yards and nine touchdowns. He should be able to achieve those numbers again this year with a new offensive philosophy in town. Jefferson should take another leap this year, which aids Thielen as well. He isn’t a WR. 1 anymore but should prove to be a good WR. 2 this season.