Former Viking Called ‘Overvalued’

Dalvin Cook Uses Chalkboard Treatment for Fine
Jun 8, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen (19) and running back Dalvin Cook (4) react during mandatory mini camp at TCO Performance Center. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Disclaimer: Everything in this article pertains to fantasy football.

The Minnesota Vikings showed Dalvin Cook the door to free agency on June 9th, a move long expected by Vikings fans and NFL pundits if the team could not trade the 27-year-old.

Former Viking Called ‘Overvalued’

Cook was scheduled for a meaty $14.1 million cap hit against the Vikings books in 2023, a sum Minnesota’s brass basically declined with the release. Now, Cook can sign anywhere in the business and may wait until training camp to evaluate the NFL’s lay of the land.

Viking Called
Dec 24, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook (4) warms up before the game against the New York Giants at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

But no matter where Cook lands — probably with the Miami Dolphins, New York Jets, Dallas Cowboys, Buffalo Bills, or Denver Broncos — some folks warn that his fantasy football value may be overstated. That’s the word from Bleacher Report, anyway.

BR’s David Kenyon outlined five NFLers overvalued in fantasy dollars and cents, and Cook made the cut. Kenyon explained, “The unknown is an appeal, no? Since he’s a free agent, Dalvin Cook might find an offense that still showcases him as the featured runner. Given that the former Minnesota Vikings back has four straight years of 1,100-plus yards, it’s not a surprise he sits at RB17 with an overall ADP of 44.”

about Dalvin Cook
Nov 21, 2021; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook (33) and offensive tackle Christian Darrisaw (71) and wide receiver Justin Jefferson (18) and guard Ezra Cleveland (72) in action against the Green Bay Packers at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Cook ranked sixth leaguewide in rushing yards last year and places third all-time in Vikings history via the same metric behind Adrian Peterson and Robert Smith.

“However, those numbers feel awfully high for a player who’s unlikely to realize that best-case scenario. Barring an injury to a current top runner, no title contender has a need of that level […] Cook is a quality player, but he’s not a top-20 option right now,” Kenyon surmised.

Jan 8, 2023; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook (4) runs the ball and is tackled by Chicago Bears defensive tackle Justin Jones (93) during the first quarter at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Bartel-USA TODAY Sports.

Anyone who would even contemplate selecting Cook high in a fantasy draft now at this point is off his rocker. The man isn’t employed, turns 28 in August, and may not be featured as an RB1. Via the favored landing spots like the Dolphins and Jets, Cook likely won’t command the RB1 workload he enjoyed in Minnesota. The Vikings were an NFL outlier, for the most part, in allotting Cook so many carries.

When Cook’s free agency gets down to brass tacks, he’s probably headed to a team where he’ll split carries. For example, if Cook joins the Jets — he appears interested in that landing spot — he won’t edge Breece Hall for touches. Hall is trending up in his career, and Cook, well, isn’t.

Dalvin Cook Has 1
Dec 17, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook (4) runs with the ball for a touchdown against the Indianapolis Colts during the fourth quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Cook’s eventual destination will inspire intrigue from Vikings fans and NFL heads merely for the spectacle of ‘Who’s it gonna be?’ But by now, most teams have solidified RB plans for the season that’s afoot, and Cook will serve as roster sweetener.

Don’t draft Cook early in fantasy drafts. This should be a no-brainer.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by