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Favre's effect on Vikings receivers

Be sure to temper your expectation for both Brett Favre and Bernard Berrian.
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - With reports that Brett Favre has put a deposit down on a condo in the Minnesota area, it seems all but assured that Favre will be the starting quarterback for the Minnesota Vikings this year.

So what effect will having the Hall-of-Fame quarterback behind center have on the Minnesota wide receivers and how can the fantasy owner evaluate/benefit from the information?

When Favre joined the New York Jets last season, he was coming off one of his best seasons ever. His 2007 statistical season, his final year in Green Bay, were 356-for-535, 4,155 yards and 28 TDs versus just 15 INTs. His interception total was the lowest in a decade and his yards-per-attempt was the highest of his career (7.8). He led his team to a 13-3 regular season and the NFC Championship game.

After a summer of drama, Favre came to New York with great expectations. So did his fantasy owners and owners of his two primary targets - Jerricho Cotchery and Laveranues Coles.

Unfortunately, after a quick start, Favre and his receivers ended up disappointing their fans and fantasy owners.

Now it appears Favre will begin anew in Minnesota and fans and fantasy owners in the Land of 10,000 Lakes are getting excited - just as New York fans were in 2008. The big question is which Favre will show up - the star of 2007 or the sore-armed quarterback of 2008?

Considering his off-season shoulder problems, one has to be concerned about Favre's ability to throw the long ball. This directly effects Bernard Berrian, who's 2008 yards-per-catch was a stunning 20.1, best in the league for those with at least 40 receptions. Cotchery was the Jets' deep threat in 2008, but his numbers dropped significantly with Favre behind center. Cotchery's yardage dropped 24% (1,130 to 858) and his yards-per-catch dipped from 13.8 to 12.1 (12%).

On the other hand, Coles, the team's "possession" receiver, grabbed more balls (70 vs. 55) for more yards (850 vs. 646). In addition, Favre used his backs as receivers more than the combination of Chad Pennington and Kellen Clemens had in 2007. Running backs Thomas Jones and Leon Washington collected 83 receptions for 562 yards and four scores, up from 64-430-1 the previous season.

Using this as our guide, one would look for Berrian's numbers to slip a bit and Chester Taylor to be very active in the team's passing game. It will also be interesting to see how the team uses rookie Percy Harvin. His ability to make tacklers miss might help turn short passes into long gainers.

And that's what I think Favre will be in Minnesota. He'll throw a lot of short (read safe) passes and hand the ball of to the team's No.1 weapon - Adrian Peterson. Those expecting the Favre of 2007 will be disappointed, so be sure to temper your expectation for both Favre and Berrian.

Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Steve Schwarz at sschwarz@sportsnetwork.com.

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