The Minnesota Vikings have caught a nasty case of the injury bug heading into November. First, All-Pro wide receiver Justin Jefferson went on the injured reserve with a hamstring injury. Then, only three games later, starting quarterback Kirk Cousins suffered a torn Achilles and is out for the remainder of the season. If Jefferson returns in a couple of weeks, what exactly is his value in fantasy football without Cousins under center? Let’s take a closer look.
Justin Jefferson’s Rest-of-Season Outlook
It goes without saying that Jefferson is one of the elite talents at the wide receiver position in the NFL. However, even immensely talented wideouts are capable of posting mediocre fantasy numbers with poor quarterback play. A great example of this in 2023 is Garrett Wilson, who could find himself as a top-10 player at the position every week if he had Aaron Rodgers throwing him the ball instead of Zach Wilson.
It is hard to know what to expect from Jefferson without Cousins because we only have a one-game sample size of that circumstance in Jefferson’s young career. For the record, he registered six receptions for 58 yards in that contest (Week 17, 2021, vs. Green Bay with Sean Mannion under center).
MORE: Grading the Joshua Dobbs Trade
We have no idea what to expect from Jaren Hall, Nick Mullens, or Joshua Dobbs in this offense. Jefferson’s quarterback play is a complete mystery at this point.
One would think that if Jefferson were to get back on the field for the Week 10 matchup against the New Orleans Saints, he would still be a top-10 play based on talent alone. However, the range of outcomes has certainly gotten much wider for Jefferson down the back half of the season.
Should You Trade for Jefferson?
Are you considering trading for Jefferson? Our Free Fantasy Football Trade Analyzer allows you to find the best trades to make in seconds! It also allows us to see trending searches, which we’ve compiled a few of the most popular below.
Should You Trade DJ Moore for Jefferson?
While Jefferson’s outlook is uncertain at the moment, DJ Moore’s value has been tough to pinpoint all season long. His arrow was trending in the right direction after a monster 230 yards and four scores against the Washington Commanders back in Week 5.
Unfortunately, he lost his starting quarterback the very next game and has failed to sniff a top-10 finish at the position since. Given that we don’t definitively know if Jefferson will return next week, it feels a bit risky to part ways with Moore at this very moment, seeing that Justin Fields could return to the starting lineup very soon.
Should You Trade Mike Evans for Jefferson?
Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Mike Evans has quickly reminded everyone who prematurely wrote him off just how good he is through the first eight weeks of the season. Evans is on pace for his 10th straight 1,000-yard receiving season to start a career, which would be extending his own NFL record.
If you could guarantee me Baker Mayfield was going to be the starting quarterback for the rest of the season, I would probably make this deal today because of Jefferson’s lack of a definitive timetable to return from injury and uncertainty at quarterback.
However, if Kyle Trask ends up getting a look from the organization as the starting quarterback over the last 10 games, I’d instantly rather roll the dice with Jefferson than Evans down the home stretch. I would keep Evans because of his consistency at this very moment, but it is very close.
Should You Trade Javonte Williams for Jefferson?
The usage of Denver Broncos RB Javonte Williams is certainly trending in the right direction over the last three games:
- Week 6: 10 total touches
- Week 7: 18
- Week 8: 30
Have the Broncos possibly turned the corner offensively after beating the defending Super Bowl champs heading into their bye? It’s possible, but are you willing to bet Jefferson on it? I don’t think so.
If you can get Jefferson in exchange for Williams, I would take that deal.
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