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Adam Thielen Disregarded in One Major Area by NFL Brains

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Aug 27, 2021; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen (19) on the sidelines through the game against the Kansas City Chiefs at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

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Aug 27, 2021; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen (19) on the sidelines through the game against the Kansas City Chiefs at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Adam Thielen is quite unpopular in a really outstanding football arena leading as much as the 2022 session — fantasy football.

Within the last two seasons, despite missing 15% of all Minnesota Vikings football games, Thielen ranks third within the NFL in receiving touchdowns. Should be a significant indicator for fantasy football managers, right?

Unsuitable.

In accordance with ESPN, Thielen is ‘WR38’ amongst all NFL receivers heading into late-summer fantasy drafts, a head-scratching position because the Vikings spent the offseason hiring an offense-first coaching staff. For those unfamiliar with fantasy football, the ESPN rating implies that fantasy brains perceive 37 higher WRs than Thielen on tap for the 2022 season.

Image from ESPN.com

Indeed, Thielen is bedfellows with DeVonta Smith from the Philadelphia Eagles and rookie Treylon Burks from the Tennessee Titans.

And even stranger, nobody seems to have an inexpensive explanation for Thielen’s curiously low stock. Thielen can be 32 in August, so it’s not like his 2022 outlook is completely 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 more in Minnesota, he’ll snatch the franchise’s WR2 duties behind Justin Jefferson but stays firmly ahead of K.J. 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.

Because the start of 2020, Thielen has caught a touchdown in 55% of Vikings games and 64% of games during which he personally played. His 18 games with a touchdown-scored rank third within the NFL since 2020 behind Davante Adams (19) and Mike Evans (19).

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).

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