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Fantasy football: Target Bridgewater in keeper leagues

Vince Lombardi once said: “Winning is not a sometime thing, it’s an all the time thing.”

But for many of you – yours truly included – winning is no longer an option during the 2017 fantasy football season.

And with only a few weeks left before 2017 free agency ends, too, we turn our attention to the 2018 fantasy football season (where winning is still possible) and the 2018 Minnesota Vikings season.

They do overlap a bit, you know.

The Vikings have a major decision to make on their quarterback situation this offseason – a decision that will greatly impact fantasy football, too.

With Sam Bradford, Teddy Bridgewater and Case Keenum all set for free agency – Kyle Sloter is, too, for the record, making it a clean sweep off the roster – who do they roll the dice with?

That’s not an issue we’re going to tackle here.

Here we are focused on one thing: making sure Bridgewater is owned in all fantasy football leagues with a keeper ingredient to them.

The Vikings once – and maybe still do – viewed the 2014 first-round pick as their franchise quarterback and, if nothing else, a beloved member of the organization.

“Zimmer loves [Bridgewater],” Chip Scoggins wrote in August 2016 after the injury. “Bridgewater’s teammates love him just as much. There’s not a more well-liked player in the locker room.”  

Bridgewater, who will just be 25 years old to start the 2018 season, will get the opportunity to start somewhere.

With possible quarterback needs with both New York teams, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Arizona, Buffalo, Miami and Washington to just name a few, if it’s not in Minnesota, some NFL team will call Bridgewater and give him an opportunity to at least compete for a starting gig.

And in his brief two years in the NFL, he showed the potential as a drop back passer and as an above average mobile quarterback – both key ingredients to fantasy football success. No one will ever confuse him with Deshaun Watson, Cam Newton or Russell Wilson, but the guy can maneuver, remember the Rams game of 2015? No controversy that game if Bridgewater is more like Tom Brady.

Yes, Bridgewater has posted more games with 158 passing yards or fewer (nine) than with 300-plus yards passing (five).

But that was also in an offense handcuffed to Adrian Peterson and his needs.

Release the Kraken, if you will, and the Louisville product has a shot at becoming a breakout star.

There’s a reason the Vikings were so coy about the starting quarterback situation even during their eight-game win streak with Keenum on a roll. They’ve seen the upside with Bridgewater and know big things are possible for him.

Even if he’s not with the Vikings, you shouldn’t take the risk of letting his talent flourish on another fantasy football team in 2018. Get your hands on him, if you still can.

Want to talk more fantasy football? E-mail Mike at mike.nelson@startribune.com or heckle him on Twitter @mike_e_nelson.

Burn! Towns roasted — twice — on social media by Embiid

Joel Embiid, the Philadelphia center named Sports Illustrated's Rising Star of the Year for 2017, is also a known social media troll to players and teams alike. He was at it again Wednesday night.

Not quite 24 hours after the 76ers defeated the Timberwolves in overtime, Embiid posted to his social media accounts a photo of him "Euro stepping our way through Minnesota and we ended up raising the cat last night #TheProcess"

The cat in this case was actually KAT - as in Karl-Anthony Towns - who had a response which of course Embiid fired back a retort.

The two young NBA big men have verbally sparred before and it's fun to imagine these two doing battle on and off the court for years to come.