Breaking news in the NFL this morning with reports that the Minnesota Vikings are placing star wide receiver Justin Jefferson on injured reserve. With the latest Justin Jefferson injury update we know now that Jefferson will miss at least the next four weeks with his current hamstring injury. Fantasy football rankings and fantasy football player projections are going to be impacted as Jefferson was among the leaders in most receiving categories this season. With the fantasy football waiver wire running for most leagues this evening let's take a look at the fantasy football impact Jefferson will have and who on the team will likely be stepping up to fill the void.
Justin Jefferson Injury Impact
Through the first five weeks of the NFL season Jefferson had 36 receptions for 571 yards and three touchdowns. His absence in the Minnesota Vikings offense will now change the focus of who will be come the top option in the team's passing attack.
A notable and obvious choice here is rookie Jordan Addison. Taken in the first round this season, Addison has 19 catches for 249 yards and three touchdowns through the first five weeks of the NFL season. He finished with six catches on nine targets for 64 yards and a touchdown in Week 4 against the Chiefs. When it comes to top wide receivers it would make the most sense for Addison to step into this role on the offense.
Another obvious choice would be that of tight end T.J. Hockenson. The Vikings gave Hockenson a monster contract this offseason and he has delivered, having caught 30 passes for 254 yards and three touchdowns on the season. Hockenson was one of the best tight ends in football last season following his trade to the Vikings and with Jefferson out of the mix we should assume that Cousins will be looking for Hockenson a lot more over the next few weeks.
The team's current WR3 is K.J. Osborn. No doubt he is the clear cut choice to fill the void as the Vikings outside receiver in Jefferson's absence. Osborn has 13 catches for 166 yards and two touchdowns on the season and in Week 5 he had five catches on nine targets for 49 yards. He figures to be the highest rostered wide receiver on waivers this week.
After the top three we go a little deeper down the rabbit hole and find ourselves looking at Brandon Powell. Powell played 31% of the team's offensive snaps in Week 5 after having not played more than 5% of the offense snaps in any game this season. The injury to Jefferson most certainly opened up the playing time as everyone moved up the pecking order. Powell responded with his increased playing time by catching four of his six targets for 43 yards.
Looking for a dart throw? Take a look at Jalen Nailor. Currently on the injured reserve but eligible to return following the team's Week 6 matchup against the Bears. Nailor was ahead of Powell on the depth chart prior to his current injury and could be the guy to see increased playing time moving forward.