The Minnesota Vikings landed their biggest free agent target on Wednesday and set history in the process. Minnesota and quarterback Kirk Cousins have agreed to a three-year, $86 million deal that is fully guaranteed. It marks the first fully guaranteed contract for a free agent, in what should usher in a new wave of fully guaranteed contracts.
While the fully guaranteed contract is monumental in itself and Minnesota's addition of a top-12 quarterback even further shakes up the NFL hierarchy, the focus here is on the fantasy implications from the signing.
Long rumored to be a connection, the official pairing of Cousins and the Vikings will serve as a nice fantasy boost for an offense that already achieved great success in 2017. While Minnesota lost offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur this offseason, they brought in offensive mind John DeFilippo to work with Cousins and handle the play calling. DeFilippo, one of the hottest names for offensive coordinator spots and likely a future head coach, chose Minnesota over a potential promotion with the Philadelphia Eagles.
Last season in Washington, Cousins passed for over 4,000 yards for the third consecutive season and threw 27 touchdown passes. He did this in a Washington offense with a much more reduced core of weapons to throw to and still managed to finish as the sixth-highest scoring quarterback in standard ESPN scoring.
While Case Keenum heavily preferred Adam Thielen last season, we could see a role reversal with Cousins at quarterback that allows Stefon Diggs to become the primary receiver in this offense given he is the more gifted player at the position. But both wide receivers offer the ability to post 1,100-plus yards next season with the Vikings and Diggs ability to create big plays deep down the field should allow Cousins to throw some deep balls for home run plays.
Cousins should once again finish as a top-10 quarterback in fantasy with all the help he has around him and will spread the ball around to help Kyle Rudolph sustain a fantasy impact and make Dalvin Cook a dual threat back who should become a consensus top-10 running back in fantasy circles for next season. While there was risk of a fantasy hit if Minnesota lost Keenum, they've now upgraded at the quarterback position and fantasy owners should be thrilled about it.