Minnesota Vikings quarterback Matt Cassel took the majority of the team's snaps in practice Wednesday, according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, increasing the chances that he starts this weekend when the team takes on the Pittsburgh Steelers in England. The team's normal starter, Christian Ponder, has been dealing with a rib injury and was limited in practice.
In three games this season, Ponder has completed 59 percent of his passes for 691 yards. He has two touchdowns and five interceptions, plus one lost fumble. Cassel, after good seasons in New England in 2008 and in Kansas City in 2010, has struggled mightily the last two seasons, limited to nine games apiece in 2011 and 2012 and throwing only 16 touchdowns to go with 21 interceptions. The Vikings signed him as a backup to Ponder in the offseason.
Fantasy impact: Speculation has been rampant that the team is using Ponder's injury as more of an excuse to see if they have anything in Cassel. The Vikings are 0-3 right now, and Ponder has pretty clearly not been the answer in Minnesota. Head coach Leslie Frazier said "We want Christian to play... But we signed Matt Cassel for occasions just like this, if something were to happen with Christian."
Regardless of who starts, there's not much to like in the Vikings' passing game. Running back Adrian Peterson is always a must-start, of course, but wide receivers Cordarrelle Patterson, Jerome Simpson, and Greg Jennings and tight end Kyle Rudolph won't see much of a bump of reduction in fantasy value if Cassel goes. They're starting options only in deeper leagues.