Justin Jefferson

Minnesota Vikings
Wide Receiver #18
Minnesota Vikings
Wide Receiver #18

Justin Jefferson News

Modest yardage total in loss

Jefferson secured six of 12 targets for 48 yards in the Vikings' 24-7 loss to the Eagles on Monday night.

Analysis: Jefferson once again paced the Vikings in targets and receptions while checking in a close second behind Adam Thielen's 52 for the lead in that category. The star wideout, like quarterback Kirk Cousins, saw a significant drop-off from his Week 1 numbers, but the fact he continued to be targeted at such a robust rate should be of comfort for fantasy managers. Another reason for optimism lies in a Week 3 NFC North home matchup against the Lions, which have allowed 580 yards passing to Jalen Hurts and Carson Wentz during their first two games.

Sep 19, 2022 8:47 PM EST

Scores twice, sets career high

Jefferson caught 9 of 11 targets for 184 yards and two touchdowns in Sunday's 23-7 win over the Packers.

Analysis: Jefferson had a field day in his first game under new head coach Kevin O'Connell, being featured in a variety of ways as a pass-catcher. In fact, Jefferson's yardage total marked a new career high. The star wideout began by scoring a five-yard touchdown, before finding pay dirt from 36 yards just before halftime. As he kicks off his third NFL season, Jefferson is already established as one of the league's premier players at his position, as he displayed once again Sunday.

Sep 11, 2022 4:35 PM EST

Rested ahead of Week 1

Jefferson and other starters aren't expected to play in Saturday's preseason game at Denver, with coach Kevin O'Connell prioritizing health ahead of Week 1 against Green Bay, Andrew Krammer of the Star Tribune reports.

Analysis: The Vikings have a new coaching staff and playbook but largely return the same group of offensive players from last year. The top guys, including Jefferson, were all held out this preseason, and it appears all besides TE Irv Smith (thumb) will make it to the opener healthy. A difficult matchup awaits them with CB Jaire Alexander and OLB Rashan Gary headlining one of the NFL's more talented defenses, and the Vikings also have trips to Philadelphia and New Orleans within the first four weeks. Jefferson tends to be up to the challenge, and just last year he roasted Green Bay for 8-169-2 in the first of two matchups, albeit with Alexander out of action on account of a shoulder injury. Jefferson and Alexander should see plenty of one another during the Week 1 contest.

Aug 26, 2022 10:49 AM EST

DNP on Saturday

Jefferson didn't play in Saturday's preseason defeat to the 49ers, Lindsey Young of the Vikings' official site reports.

Analysis: Jefferson is among a number of Vikings starting skill-position players that have yet to suit up during exhibition season (along with quarterback Kirk Cousins, running back Dalvin Cook and fellow wide receiver Adam Thielen. While Jefferson doesn't necessarily need the reps to be ready for the regular season after racking up 3,016 receiving yards and 17 touchdowns in his first two pro campaigns, he will have one more chance to make an appearance before Week 1 next Saturday at Denver.

Aug 20, 2022 8:01 PM EST

Not in line to play Sunday

Jefferson is not in line to play in Sunday's preseason opener against the Raiders.

Analysis: Other key Minnesota skill players who are also not slated to play in Sunday's contest include QB Kirk Cousins (illness), RB Dalvin Cook, fellow WR Adam Thielen and TE Irv Smith (thumb). In that context, look for the focus of the team's coaching staff to be on evaluating those battling for battling for depth chart slotting ahead of Week 1.

Aug 14, 2022 12:10 PM EST

Expects more pass plays this year

Jefferson told NFL Network's Patrick Clayborn that the Vikings offense isn't run-first anymore under new coach Kevin O'Connell, NFL.com's Kevin Patra reports. "Our offensive style, it's not a run-first offense anymore," Jefferson said. "I'm so excited in this offense."

Analysis: O'Connell previously was offensive coordinator in Los Angeles under Sean McVay, who likes to play uptempo and leans pass over run in close games. McVay and O'Connell also built a solid run game focused on outside zone, which shouldn't be too much of an adjustment for Vikings RB Dalvin Cook after years spent in Kubiak-led offenses centered on zone runs and play-action passes. A system similar to the Rams' would also seem to be a good fit for Jefferson, one of the few players in the league with potential to produce the kind of dominant season Cooper Kupp enjoyed in Los Angeles last year. Jefferson was the only player to finish within 350 receiving yards of Kupp in 2021, tallying 1,616 and 10 touchdowns on 108 catches (167 targets, fourth most). They're the first two WRs taken in most fantasy drafts this summer, with Kupp typically going first, Jefferson second and Bengals WR Ja'Marr Chase third.

Jul 10, 2022 6:45 PM EST

Another 100-yard effort

Jefferson recorded five receptions on seven targets for 107 yards in Sunday's 31-17 win over the Bears.

Analysis: The Vikings possessed the ball for only 23 minutes in the game, which limited volume for all of their skill-position players. Even so, Jefferson tore through the Bears' secondary to record big gains of 45, 26 and 25 yards -- the first of which went for his 10th touchdown of the season. Jefferson concluded the campaign with 1,616 receiving yards on 110 receptions, solidifying his status as one of the top receivers in the league.

Jan 9, 2022 3:05 PM EST

Sees 11 targets in blowout loss

Jefferson had six receptions (11 targets) for 58 yards in Sunday's 37-10 loss to Green Bay.

Analysis: The lack of Kirk Cousins (illness) really hurt the entire offense, as the Packers' defense keyed in on the Vikings' top offensive weapons with the unproven Sean Mannion under center. Jefferson still produced a usable fantasy line, but this was on the lower end of his usual production. The 22-year-old phenom now has 103 receptions, 1,509 yards and nine touchdowns through 16 games. The Vikings were eliminated from playoff contention, so it will be interesting to see if Cousins is able to return for a Week 18 matchup against Chicago with no playoff implications.

Jan 2, 2022 10:14 PM EST

Tops 100 yards

Jefferson recorded eight receptions on 12 targets for 116 yards in Sunday's 30-23 loss to the Rams.

Analysis: Even with Adam Thielen back in the mix, Jefferson managed to record double-digit targets for the fourth consecutive game. He recorded a number of big catches that went for gains of 34, 21, 16 and 16 yards to record his sixth 100-yard performance of the season. The only thing missing from the effort was a touchdown, though Jefferson had found the end zone in each of the team's last three contests. Jefferson will enter the team's Week 17 matchup against Green Bay only four receptions short of the century mark.

Dec 26, 2021 2:42 PM EST

Salvages night with touchdown

Jefferson brought in four of 10 targets for 47 yards and a touchdown in the Vikings' 17-9 win over the Bears on Monday night.

Analysis: Jefferson was seemingly set up for another busy night with Adam Thielen (ankle) sitting out the contest, but the second-year star had one of his more pedestrian performances. With Kirk Cousins frequently under duress and only dropping back 24 times overall, Jefferson was still targeted very heavily but found the going surprisingly difficult against a very short-handed Bears secondary. Nevertheless, he did extend his streak of double-digit target games to three, and his 12-yard scoring grab in the latter portion of the first quarter also gave him three consecutive contests with a touchdown. Jefferson has another tough assignment awaiting in Week 16 against a talented Rams secondary.

Dec 20, 2021 8:47 PM EST

Finds end zone in win

Jefferson brought in seven of 15 targets for 79 yards and lost four yards on one rush in the Vikings' 36-28 win over the Steelers on Thursday night.

Analysis: Jefferson logged a team-high amount of targets with Adam Thielen (ankle) unavailable, and although he wasn't at his most efficient with them, he still found a way to make a sizable fantasy impact. The second-year wideout's 14-yard touchdown grab late in the first quarter pushed his season total to eight, a new career high. Jefferson has also now logged double-digit targets in four of the last five games, supporting the notion Thursday's heavy workload wasn't strictly due to Thielen's absence. Jefferson should once again have a prominent role in a Week 15 Monday night clash against the Bears on Dec. 21.

Dec 9, 2021 9:21 PM EST

Continues torrid pace

Jefferson corralled 11 of 14 targets for 182 yards and a touchdown Sunday, adding four yards on one carry and an incomplete pass on a failed trick play in a 29-27 loss to Detroit.

Analysis: Adam Thielen (ankle) was knocked out of the contest on the Vikings' first offensive possession, leaving Jefferson to shoulder the majority of the receiving workload. The 22-year-old continued his recent run of elite production, averaging an impressive 144.3 yards per game with three total touchdowns over his last four contests. Thielen's status for Thursday's matchup against the Steelers is currently unclear, but given the quick turnaround, Jefferson may be asked to carry the receiving unit yet again.

Dec 5, 2021 1:56 PM EST

Leading receiver in loss

Jefferson caught four of nine passes for 83 yards in Sunday's 34-28 loss to the 49ers.

Analysis: While it wasn't the cleanest performance, Jefferson still led the Vikings in receiving yards, although he took a back seat to Adam Thielen (two TDs on the day) in the red zone. Jefferson has topped 80 yards in seven of his last nine games, giving him a very solid floor to complement his sky-high ceiling heading into a Week 13 clash with the Lions.

Nov 28, 2021 7:37 PM EST

Goes off against GB

Jefferson posted eight receptions (10 targets) for 169 yards and two touchdowns in Sunday's 34-31 win over the Packers.

Analysis: Fresh off of setting a new season high in receiving yards last week, Jefferson wasted no time in raising his personal high-water mark yet again. It was also the 22-year-old's first multi-score game of the season, bringing his totals up to 63 receptions, 944 yards and six touchdowns through 10 contests. The red-hot Jefferson will be the beneficiary of a favorable matchup against the 49ers next Sunday.

Nov 21, 2021 1:49 PM EST

Huge day against Chargers

Jefferson caught nine of 11 targets for 143 yards in Sunday's 27-20 win over the Chargers.

Analysis: The second-year receiver set a new season high in receiving yards while leading the Vikings in yards, catches and targets by a wide margin, but it was Tyler Conklin who wound up on the end of both of Kirk Cousins' touchdowns. Jefferson will look to keep rolling in Week 11 against the Packers.

Nov 14, 2021 6:11 PM EST

Finds end zone in OT loss

Jefferson secured three of five targets for 69 yards and a touchdown in the Vikings' 34-31 overtime loss to the Ravens on Sunday. He also rushed once for 11 yards.

Analysis: Jefferson looked like he might be on his way to a prolific performance when he hauled in a 50-yard touchdown pass from Kirk Cousins early in the first quarter, but he disappointingly produced just a 2-19 line the rest of the way. Jefferson is now in a two-game funk that's seen him post just a combined five receptions for 90 yards and no touchdowns, and he'll have an uphill battle to snap out of it against a stingy Chargers secondary in a Week 10 road matchup.

Nov 7, 2021 2:33 PM EST

Turns in dud on SNF

Jefferson had just two receptions (four targets) for 21 yards in Sunday's 20-16 loss to Dallas.

Analysis: This was Jefferson's worst performance of the 2021 campaign by far. The lack of production was likely tied to the fact that he had to deal with rookie phenom corner, Trevon Diggs, for the majority of the night as Minnesota's top outside threat. The second-year wideout has otherwise been a strong fantasy contributor this season, with 41 receptions, 542 yards and three touchdowns in the six games prior to Sunday's dud. Luckily for Jefferson's managers, the wideout will get a prime opportunity to bounce back in a big way against the Ravens' 32nd-ranked pass defense next week.

Oct 31, 2021 10:40 PM EST

Mixed results in win

Jefferson (ankle) had eight receptions (14 targets) for 80 yards while losing a fumble in Sunday's 34-28 overtime victory over the Panthers.

Analysis: Both of Minnesota's top wideouts were dealing with lower-body injuries during practice this week, but Jefferson and Adam Thielen (foot) were both cleared for action just in time for a wild contest in Carolina. The latter posted the better fantasy line for the first time in weeks, while Jefferson turned in his worst catch rate (57 percent) since Week 1 while also coughing up a fumble. It still wasn't a terrible fantasy day, all things considered, and the extra week of rest coming up should help Minnesota's most consistent fantasy performer when the team returns to face the Cowboys in Week 8.

Oct 17, 2021 3:15 PM EST

Good to go

Jefferson (ankle) doesn't have an injury designation for Sunday's game against the Panthers, Courtney Cronin of ESPN.com reports.

Analysis: There was some concern about Jefferson and Adam Thielen (foot) after both missed practice Wednesday and Thursday, but it turns out the Vikings offense is in good shape for Sunday with all 11 starters set to play. Jefferson has mostly seemed indifferent to matchups to this point in his career, but he does get a decent challenge this weekend against a Panther defense that ranks second in DVOA against the pass (albeit with a downward trent in recent weeks).

Oct 15, 2021 10:17 AM EST

Goes down as non-participant

Jefferson (ankle) was listed as a non-participant at Thursday's practice.

Analysis: Though Chad Graff of The Athletic reported earlier Thursday that Jefferson was present at the facility and expected to turn in a limited practice after he wasn't in attendance for Wednesday's session, the wideout ultimately went down as a non-participant on the Vikings' official report for the second day in a row. The Vikings may have just been exercising some extra caution with Jefferson, who expressed confidence that he'll be ready to play Sunday in Carolina. The extent of Jefferson's involvement in Friday's practice will likely dictate what designation -- if any -- he carries into the weekend.

Oct 14, 2021 1:55 PM EST

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