Preseason Week 1 Fantasy Football Game Recap: Minnesota Vikings vs. Seattle Seahawks

2RGNAR0 Seattle Seahawks running back DeeJay Dallas, foreground, runs against Minnesota Vikings linebacker Troy Reeder during the second half of an NFL preseason football game in Seattle, Thursday, Aug. 10, 2023. (AP Photo/Lindsey Wasson)

  • Jordan Addison made multiple highlight-worthy catches: The Minnesota Vikings rested their starters, but Addison was an impressive member of the Minnesota backups.
  • Jaxon Smith-Njigba sees a limited role: He only played in 11 personnel Thursday night, which is an indication he might only play in 11 personnel early in the regular season.
  • Zach Charbonnet sees valuable time: Charbonnet was the only one of the Seattle Seahawks‘ three young running backs to play Thursday night and could earn significant playing time early in the season.
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Minnesota Vikings @ Seattle Seahawks

Jordan Addison makes his debut with the Vikings: Addison started the game and played the vast majority of snaps with the “starters”.

  • Both Justin Jefferson and K.J. Osborn were among the veterans who had the night off while Jalen Nailor missed the game, as he’s been dealing with a leg injury. 
  • He’s among the top four on the depth chart, but this game gave no indication of where he is among those four.
  • He made a highlight-worthy catch on the sideline, but it was ruled incomplete and the play wasn’t reviewed. He made his first official catch to start the second quarter, which went for 22 yards.
  • His night was over after the Vikings’ first three drives, which was earlier than other players who started the game for Minnesota.
  • He consistently lined up as an outside receiver with Brandon Powell taking the snaps in the slot.
  • Addison is expected to essentially take Adam Thielen‘s role, and Thielen played 28.6% of his snaps in the slot.
  • The Vikings likely want Addison to focus on the outside for now, so he will likely eventually see some time in the slot, but for now, this could mean more slot snaps for Jefferson and Osborn.
  • Ultimately, the big catches were a good thing, but ideally, he gets some experience in the slot before the preseason is over.

Jaxon Smith-Njigba makes his debut with the Seahawks: Smith-Njigba started the game but was limited to snaps in 11 personnel.

  • Smith-Njigba was Dre Lock’s favorite target, catching three passes for 25 yards.
  • The Seahawks similarly rested most of their starters, including D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett.
  • Cody Thompson was in street clothes for the game, which was a surprise, and Dee Eskridge was injured on the opening kickoff.
  • Seattle came into the game planning to play Smith-Njigba in 11 personnel, as players like undrafted rookie Jake Bobo played in 12 personnel instead of Smith-Njigba.
  • The Seahawks ran three plays from 12 personnel on their second drive, and Smith-Njigba was off the field for all of them.
  • His night was done after the Seahawks' third drive.
  • This likely means Metcalf and Lockett’s playing time isn’t in danger, at least early in the season.
  • There is certainly a chance that Seattle expands Smith-Njigba’s role as the season progresses, but if the Seahawks wanted him to play in 12 personnel Week 1, this would have been a perfect time to get some practice.

Zach Charbonnet makes his debut for the Seahawks: The second-round rookie didn’t start the game but saw playing time early in the game.

  • Ken Walker III and Kenny McIntosh missed the game due to injuries.
  • DeeJay Dallas started the game. Charbonnet had missed some time during training camp due to injury, so we shouldn’t worry about Dallas starting above Charbonnet at this point.
  • Dallas took each of the first eight offensive snaps before his night was done.
  • Seattle had the same running back take several snaps in a row rather than rotating by situation. The Seahawks typically have a specific third-down back in the regular season, but this allowed their backs to get exposed to more situations.
  • Ideally, Charbonnet can get the start by the end of training camp assuming the other running backs remain injured. 

Miscellaneous Notes

  • Ty Chandler started the game at running back for the Vikings. Alexander Mattison was a veteran resting while Kene Nwangwu missed the game due to an injury. Nwangwu was listed ahead of Chandler on the “official” depth chart, but Chandler may have played well enough to earn the backup job.
  • Vikings tight end T.J. Hockenson was another veteran resting. It was surprising to see Johnny Mundt play ahead of Josh Oliver in 21 personnel after Oliver gained a three-year, $21 million contract. Mundt has more experience in the offense, which may have contributed to their playing time.
  • Noah Fant and Will Dissly were the Seahawks tight ends who had the night off. It was slightly surprising Colby Parkinson didn’t also have the night off after playing 441 offensive snaps last season. This is a sign he is still clearly third on the depth chart.

Table Notes
  • Snaps include plays called back due to penalties, including offensive holding or defensive pass interference. The other three stats have these plays removed.
  • Targets may differ from official NFL sources. The most likely discrepancy would be from a clear thrown-away pass, where the NFL may give the target to the nearest receiver, while this data will not.
  • Carries are only on designed plays. Quarterback scrambles won’t count for the total number of carries in the game.

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