|CornerBack # 1:||Xavier Rhodes|
|CornerBack # 2:||Terrance Newman/Captain Munnerlyn|
|Strong Safety :||Robert Blanton|
|Free Safety :||Harrison Smith|
Total Fantasy Points Allowed to WR:335.68
Average Fantasy Points Per game against to WR:20.98
Total Receiving Touchdowns Allowed: 18
Total Receiving Yards Allowed:2,297
Average Receiving yards per game against: 143.56
In 2014 the Minnesota Vikings Defense took a huge step forward under first year head coach MIke Zimmer. Known for his successful defensive schemes in Cincinnati, Dallas and Atlanta, Zimmer wasted no time in implementing his successful 4-3 base defense in Minnesota.The Minnesota Vikings ranked as a top 10 defense against the Wide Receiver position in 2014. This was mainly due to Harrison Smith staying healthy the entire year and the huge step forward Xavier Rhodes took in his second year. Harrison Smith is coming into his own as one of the best if not the best free safety in the league. His range of coverage is second to none. He also always seems to be in the right place to make a play on the ball. Robert Blantons first full season as the full time starter at strong safety should also be ruled a success. He graded out as an average strong safety in coverage by ProFootballFocus. Their outlook for 2015 looks bright.
The one weak spot in the Vikings Defensive backfield position was at the other starting corner position manned by Captain Munnerlyn in 2014. He was the splashy offseason signing that did not live up to expectations. His run defense graded out positively but his pass coverage was below average. Because of this, the Vikings went out and signed Terrance Newman along with using their first round pick on cornerback Trae Waynes to compete for the 2nd starting cornerback position. Waynes is a big bodied man to man coverage expert who was the first corner off the board this past year. He has struggled mightily in training camp and through the preseason games. Any hope that he would win the starting corner position opposite Rhodes is out the window. He should only see time as the 4th corner in Dime packages starting off the year. It appears like Terrance Newman will win the job and allow Captain to move into the slot on nickel and dime packages. Newman is well past his prime but he does have some familiarity with Zimmer as they both spent time with the Bengals. How he holds up in the first part of the season will go a long way towards seeing if there is anyone worth focusing our DFS matchups to on this defensive backfield or not.
If all goes according to plan, Newman and Rhodes will form a formidable bump and run coverage on the outside with Harrison Smith using his ball hawking skills over the top. This will allow the rest of the defense to focus on stopping the run more and playing to Blantons strengths at strong safety. They will have tough matchups early on against the Lions and Broncos but smart DFS players should begin the season looking to avoid Wide Receivers against this defensive backfield until we have some more usage on how they are going to perform in 2015. This will be very dependent on how Newman looks in the first couple weeks. Right now they have the potential and coaching to be a top 5 defense in 2015 and one to avoid trying to roster Wide Receivers against.