It won’t be easy for Minnesota Vikings fans to forget about Adrian Peterson, but the addition of Florida State RB Dalvin Cook should soften the blow—if he can stay out of trouble and avoid injury.
Here are five things fantasy football players need to know about Cook:
Talent. And lots of it. If it weren’t for the off-the-field concerns, he probably would have went in the first round of the NFL Draft. He has good size (5-foot-10, 210 pounds) and can be a difference maker in the backfield as a runner and a receiving option.
The good news: He’s explosive and capable of being an every-down back for the Vikings. His quick feet and balance have allowed him to turn on a dime and make lateral cuts with ease, which should work well with Vikings’ style of downhill running.
The bad news I: The Vikings have a crowded backfield. They added Latavius Murray (Oakland Raiders) via free agency, and Murray will be the primary back out of the gate baring something drastic happening between now and the start of the regular season. Jerick McKinnon is also in the fold, but he’ll likely be relegated to special teams work – or unemployment – with the addition of Cook. Cook is going to need to earn his touches.
The bad news II: Beyond off-the-field concerns of him finding trouble with the law, the next big issue is fumbles. He put the ball on the ground 13 times in his college career. If he doesn’t improve ball security, he won’t be on the field a lot. That’s coachable.
There will be a committee approach, which hurts Cook’s value in his rookie season. Consider him a low-range RB3 with upside this season in all league formats, while he could quickly become a low-end RB1 in 2018.