Back in the saddle despite plague (ok, a cold), freezing conditions (well, to a California guy maybe) and rain (yesterday) with this week’s edition of Trendspotting and this week we take a look at what some folks thought woudl be the Big Dude in the Wide Receiver corps, Bernard Berrian.
Berrian has been marginally productive in the past few seasons but this year he has completely tumbled off the map. So much so that he almost became the poster boy for the inaugeral ‘Milk Box’ article here at the Blurb.
Rather than merely write him off, I decided that it might be worth looking more closely at his descent into obscurity and in that way, also look at the Vikings offense as it stands now.
After flirting with 1000 yards for two seasons, Berrian certainly looks to fall short again.
One thing that certainly isn’t helping is the drop in targets. In 2007, Berrian was top on the team with 54. This year he is behind Sidney Rice (48 total) with just 41 targets.
You don’t lose 13 targets without it hurting your production. Adding in rookie Percy Harvin and his 39 targets hurts as well.
Then you still have Chester Taylor and Visanthe Shiancoe getting their targets in.
Frankly, it’s crowded and Berrian went from being pretty much the only option to being one of many.
On top of it, while Berrian has as many red zone targets as Rice (both have seven) Rice’s are more consistent with one nearly every game whereas Berrian’s mostly came in weeks two (three targets) and five (two targets).
Which just goes to point that Favre is looking towards the younger wideout more often when it counts.
Of course, this is still Adrian Peterson’s team and he gets far more red zone looks than anyone.
So the simple fact is – Berrian is getting less targets and those targets he does get are not often in the red zone.
Will this change?
Well with the Vikings winning mopre often than not, with the Favre-to-Rice connection working very well, not to mention the lesser traveled but still viable Favre-to-Harvin and Favre-to-Shiancoe routes, it’s hard to imagine Childress (or Favre for that matter) rocking the boat.
Berrian still has ability – when he gets targets he can make things happen. But Rice has finally flourished and has a very solid connection to Favre.
While Berrian will occasionally have a decent game, he cannot be counted on as more than a WR4 in most formats – and if his reception total continues to stay low, in a PPR he may not even be that.