Adam Thielen
Adam Thielen
30-Year-Old Wide ReceiverWR
Minnesota Vikings
2021 Fantasy Outlook
With Stefon Diggs gone, Thielen appeared to be the only game in town for veteran QB Kirk Cousins last season. But in 15 games Thielen managed only 108 targets, tied for 27th, thanks to first-round pick Justin Jefferson (125 targets, 1,400 yards) setting the league ablaze as a rookie. All was not lost, however, as Thielen finished third in the league with 20 red-zone targets, 13 of which were from inside the 10 (3rd) and eight of which were from inside the five (T-3rd). Unsurprisingly, Thielen was also third in touchdown catches with a whopping 14. At 6-2, 200, with 4.49 speed, Thielen is tall, has excellent hands and runs solid routes. At 31, he’s no longer much of a downfield playmaker — only 11 catches of 20-plus last year and one for 40 — but his solid catch rate still netted him a respectable 8.6 YPT. Expect the more explosive and dynamic Jefferson to be Cousins’ top target again in 2021, but Thielen isn’t likely to disappear, as the Vikings have little receiving depth beyond those two and tight end Irv Smith. Read Past Outlooks
RANKS
$Signed a four-year, $64.2 million contract with the Vikings in April of 2019.
Leads young WR group
WRMinnesota Vikings
July 21, 2021
The Vikings appear to have open competition at wide receiver behind Thielen and Justin Jefferson, Lindsey Young of the team's official site reports.
ANALYSIS
Jefferson may have eclipsed Thielen for No. 1 billing, but the soon-to-be 31-year-old shouldn't lose many targets to other wide receivers, as the Vikings again have shaky depth at the position. Last year's No. 3 wideout, Chad Beebe, caught only 20 passes in 14 games, and his competition this spring will come from Bisi Johnson and rookie fifth-round pick Ihmir Smith-Marsette. Despite being the ostensible No. 2 receiver in a run-first offense, Thielen shouldn't land too far from his 2020 average of 7.2 targets per game, with the Vikings offense continuing to run through him, Jefferson and running back Dalvin Cook.
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NFL Stats
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Fantasy/Red Zone Stats
See red zone opportunities inside the 20, 10 and 5-yard lines along with the percentage of time they converted the opportunity into a touchdown.
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Advanced NFL Stats
How do Adam Thielen's 2020 advanced stats compare to other wide receivers?
This section compares his advanced stats with players at the same position. The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that metric and it would be considered average. The longer the bar, the better it is for the player.
  • Air Yards Per Game
    The number of air yards he is averaging per game. Air yards measure how far the ball was thrown downfield for both complete and incomplete passes. Air yards are recorded as a negative value when the pass is targeted behind the line of scrimmage. All air yards data is from Sports Info Solutions and does not include throwaways as targeted passes.
  • Air Yards Per Snap
    The number of air yards he is averaging per offensive snap.
  • % Team Air Yards
    The percentage of the team's total air yards he accounts for.
  • % Team Targets
    The percentage of the team's total targets he accounts for.
  • Avg Depth of Target
    Also known as aDOT, this stat measures the average distance down field he is being targeted at.
  • Catch Rate
    The number of catches made divided by the number of times he was targeted by the quarterback.
  • Drop Rate
    The number of passes he dropped divided by the number of times he was targeted by the quarterback.
  • Avg Yds After Catch
    The number of yards he gains after the catch on his receptions.
Air Yards Per Game
83.4
 
Air Yards Per Snap
1.35
 
% Team Air Yards
32.0%
 
% Team Targets
22.1%
 
Avg Depth of Target
11.6 Yds
 
Catch Rate
68.5%
 
Drop Rate
3.7%
 
Avg Yds After Catch
3.1
 
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2020
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2020 NFL Game Log
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2019 NFL Game Log
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2018 NFL Game Log
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Snap Distribution / Depth Chart
Snap Counts
Snap %
Minnesota VikingsVikings 2020 WR Snap Distribution See more data like this | See last season's snap counts
#% of Team Snaps

92686%
88682%
31429%
23922%
283%
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Receiving Alignment Breakdown
See where Adam Thielen lined up on the field and how he performed at each spot.
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2020 Adam Thielen Split Stats
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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Adam Thielen
SXM Highlights: Expectations For Adam Thielen
5 days ago
Chris Liss and Jeff Erickson discuss expectations for Vikings WR Adam Thielen. Hear their explanation from today's SiriusXM show.
2021 Football Draft Kit: Undervalued & Overvalued Players
8 days ago
We asked our football writers for their favorite undervalued and overvalued players heading into draft season. Here are the results.
NFL: Health and Opportunity-Neutral Rankings
19 days ago
Chris Liss ranks DK Metcalf No. 1 among receivers on a per-target basis.
Underdog Best Ball: 18th-Round Targets
27 days ago
One of nine tournament targets identified in the 18th round, Tyron Johnson makes a strong WR3 case with the Chargers.
Best Ball Journal: Underdog Fantasy
35 days ago
Josh Jacobs keeps sliding in the ADP as fantasy drafters react to Kenyan Drake's signing, and now Jacobs is an early-round bargain in Underdog best ball drafts.
Past Fantasy Outlooks
2020
2019
2018
2017
2016
2015
2014
2013
A hamstring injury ruined Thielen's 2019 season, but through six games he was more or less on track for his usual year, posting a 38-26-366-5 line, prorating to 101-69-976-13 over 16 games. Thielen proved he was back in the playoffs with a 9-7-129 line against the Saints, so the injury shouldn't concern us much heading into 2020. Thielen's been efficient for years - before his injury-plagued 2019 he had posted at least 9.0 YPT every season since 2016, and even last year was above that mark prior to the injury. At 6-2, 200, Thielen has decent size, runs crisp routes and rarely drops a pass. He also has above-average speed - he ran a 4.49 40 at his 2013 pro day and had eight catches for 40-plus yards in 2017-18. Thielen also saw plenty of red-zone use those two years, particularly targets from inside the 10-yard line (16 in that span), though that was with former offensive coordinator John DeFilippo, and last year the Vikings had Kevin Stefanski in that role. This season, Thielen and the Vikings offense will undergo more changes. Gary Kubiak, last year's assistant head coach, will take over as OC, likely adding his own twist to the zone-blocking West Coast offense. Stefon Diggs, Thielen's main competition for targets the last four years, left via free agency and was replaced by first-round pick Justin Jefferson. As such, Thielen is the probable target leader in what should be an above-average offense, though at age 30, his skills are probably slightly past their peak.
On the surface Thielen built on his 2017 breakout last year, cementing himself as one of the league's top receivers with a 153-113-1,373-9 line and 9.0 YPT (10th). But the shape of Thielen's efficiency and overall production changed under quarterback Kirk Cousins. Instead of making big plays, he simply caught a higher percentage of the passes thrown his way. Despite 11 extra targets, Thielen had two fewer catches of 40-plus yards and three fewer of 20-plus. And even though Thielen maintained his solid per-target efficiency, his YPC dropped from 14.0 in 2016-17 to 12.2 last year. In full PPR, perhaps this is for the best. Thielen's average depth of target was a modest 9.2 yards, helping him to a whopping 73.9 percent catch rate, the 17th-best mark of all time among 100-target wideouts. But the Vikings offense took a step back in 2018, and offensive coordinator John DeFilippo was replaced by Kevin Stefanski. While it's unclear how Stefanski might change the scheme - he's only 37 and previously the quarterbacks coach - the Vikings' dink-and-dunk style might have been dictated as much by a shaky offensive line as it was by coaching philosophy, i.e., we could see more big plays from Thielen if it holds up better in 2019. (To that end, the Vikings used their first draft pick on a center, their second on a tight end and their fourth on a guard. They also signed guard Josh Kline and get center/guard Pat Elflein back from injury.) At 6-2, 200, with 4.45 speed, Thielen is a good athlete who has excellent hands (only two drops all year) and strong route-running skills. He was also used a good deal in the red zone (21 targets, 6th), and inside the 10 (nine targets, T-8th), meaning his spike in TDs was no fluke. Stefon Diggs is once again Thielen's only major competition for targets, but tight end Kyle Rudolph does siphon away some red-zone looks.
Sam Bradford, Case Keenum - it didn't matter to Thielen, who built on his 2016 breakout and solidified himself as one of the league's better receivers. He averaged 9.0 YPT (7th among the league's 27 100-target receivers) en route to a 91-catch (8th), 1,276-yard (5th) season. The knock on him was the meager TD output - he had only four, all in a six-week span - but that's probably a fluke, as Thielen saw 16 red-zone looks and seven targets inside the 10, modest opportunity, but enough to score at least a couple more times than he did. At 6-2, 200, and running a 4.45 40, Thielen is tall and fast, has excellent hands, runs good routes and adjusts well to the ball in the air. He's also capable of stretching the field - his five catches of 40-plus yards were tied for seventh in the league. Heading into 2018, Thielen should reprise his role opposite Stefon Diggs, with tight end Kyle Rudolph (nine targets inside the 10, eight TDs) siphoning off some of the easy scores. But the departure of Keenum and offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur could shake things up. New OC John DeFilippo comes from a dynamic offense in Philadelphia, and new quarterback Kirk Cousins will be Thielen's third - and probably his best - in three seasons. Change always creates some added risk, but there's reward here too.
A former undrafted free agent, Thielen broke out during his third season in the league with 967 yards on only 92 targets. That comes out to 10.5 YPT, good for second among the league's 50 90-target WR. Thielen had only two catches for 40 yards, but 16 of 20 or more, despite the modest workload. At 6-2, 200 and with 4.45 speed, Thielen is just a notch below the typical NFL No. 1 receiver athletically, but he has excellent hands, runs crisp routes and makes good adjustments to the ball in the air. Thielen signed a three-year deal in March and enters the year as one of the Vikings' top targets along with third-year WR Stefon Diggs and TE Kyle Rudolph, who sees most of the red-zone work. Last year's disappointing first-rounder, Laquon Treadwell, is also in the mix, but Thielen is the only option who can occasionally stretch the field.
The former Minnesota State standout made 12 catches on 18 targets for 144 yards in 16 games during the 2015 season, and also racked up 89 yards on four carries. Thielen will be buried on the Vikings' wide receiver depth chart again in 2016, so he figures to spend most of his time on special teams during what will be his third season in the league.
Thielen had eight receptions last season as he made the roster as a reserve receiver and special teams player. He'll try to reprise that role for the Vikings again in 2015. He was used at times as both a punt and kick returner. It's hard to see him having a large role on offense without multiple injuries in the receiving corps.
An undrafted free agent from Minnesota State who is a long shot to make the active roster.
Thielen will attempt to crack the roster as a reserve at receiver in training camp.
More Fantasy News
Finishes 2020 with 14 touchdowns
WRMinnesota Vikings
January 6, 2021
Thielen caught four of five targets for 57 yards Sunday in the Vikings' 37-35 win over the Lions.
ANALYSIS
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Paces pass catchers in loss
WRMinnesota Vikings
December 25, 2020
Thielen brought in eight of nine targets for 97 yards and a touchdown in the Vikings' 52-33 loss to the Saints on Friday.
ANALYSIS
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Salvages line with touchdown
WRMinnesota Vikings
December 20, 2020
Thielen brought in two of three targets for 11 yards and a touchdown in the Vikings' 33-27 loss to the Bears on Sunday.
ANALYSIS
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Quieted in Week 14 loss
WRMinnesota Vikings
December 13, 2020
Thielen brought in three of four targets for 39 yards in the Vikings' 26-14 loss to the Buccaneers on Sunday.
ANALYSIS
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Scores 12th TD in OT win
WRMinnesota Vikings
December 6, 2020
Thielen caught eight of 11 targets for 75 yards and a touchdown in Sunday's 27-24 overtime win over Jacksonville.
ANALYSIS
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