Rumors surrounding Dalvin Cook’s future in Minnesota have dominated offseason headlines. And for good reason — after failing to find a trade partner, the Vikings are expected to release the four-time Pro Bowl talent Friday, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Injuries have been a constant for Cook over his six seasons in Minnesota. Regardless, the former second-round pick has cleared 1,100 rushing yards for four straight campaigns. His involvement in the passing game (he has managed an average of three catches per game since 2019) has made him one of the few every-down backs in the modern NFL era.
Accordingly, he has been a star for fantasy purposes, finishing inside the top-15 producers at the position each year since 2019.
Cook has yet to officially sign with a new team, though he has been linked to Denver and Miami. Broncos GM George Paton was the Vikings vice president of player personnel when the team drafted Cook in 2017. With little depth behind Javonte Williams, it’s reasonable to expect Denver to add substantial backfield talent. That, however, would be a colossal headache for fantasy managers.
A move to Miami, on the other hand, would buoy Cook’s fantasy stock. Mike McDaniel’s scheme is a perfect fit for Cook’s skill set. The 27-year-old vet would be in line for upwards of 15 touches per game and could manage 1,300 scrimmage yards on the season if he lands in South Florida (where, coincidentally, he is reportedly working out).
While Cook’s future is yet to be settled, Alexander Mattison’s is coming into focus. Much to the delight of patient fantasy managers, the soon-to-be 25-year-old is about to step into a permanent role as the Vikes’ RB1.
Mattison’s legs are fresh, as he has recorded just 474 touches over his four-year career (118.5 per season). While he isn’t the fastest back, his yards per touch figures to soar in an up-tempo offense that features the field-stretching talents of Justin Jefferson and an improved offensive line.
Mattison averaged over 20 touches and 20 fantasy points in the six games he has previously subbed in for Cook. That makes him a relatively known and desirable addition to any fantasy football squad.
Assuming the Vikings don’t add legit competition as the position, Mattison figures to come off of draft boards in the fourth round as a solid RB2 option for fantasy purposes.
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