Vikings Playmaker Listed as One NFL’s Top Risers

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The Minnesota Vikings made a somewhat unexpected switch at RB1 this offseason, showing longtime runner Dalvin Cook the off-ramp on June 9th while extending Alexander Mattison for two extra seasons.

Mattison is tentatively on tap for RB1 duty this September.

Vikings Playmaker Listed as One NFL’s Top Risers

And behind Mattison, the Vikings will support the 25-year-old with three other tailbacks: Ty Chandler, Kene Nwangwu, and DeWayne McBride. Vikings fans are accustomed to a bellcow workload for an RB1 — they’ve employed an Adrian Peterson or Dalvin Cook since the start of 2007 — but it is unclear if Mattison will step in and earn RB1 carries akin to Cook. We shall see.

Vikings Playmaker Listed
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Moreover, according to CBS Sports, Mattison is also considered a fantasy football’ riser,’ especially in Dynasty leagues. Heath Cummings from CBS Sports outlined 10 dynasty risers this week, and Mattison made the cut at running back.

“Mattison is another obvious winner now that Dalvin Cook is out in Minnesota. He’s also another sell candidate if you can get a 2024 first-round pick for him. The Vikings had the fourth-highest situational pass rate in Kevin O’Connell’s first season, which led to 672 pass attempts in a season they won 13 games,” Cummings explained.

Apparently 1/3 of the NFL Wants Alexander Mattison
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The Boise State alumnus tabulated 374 yards from scrimmage and 6 touchdowns last year on 89 touches.

Cummings continued, “They’re retooling on the fly and expected to be playing from behind far more often, which could easily lead to 700-plus pass attempts. With Justin Jefferson, Jordan Addison, and T.J. Hockenson on the roster, don’t expect many of those passes to go to Mattison. I would expect Ty Chandler or DeWayne McBride to cut into Mattison’s workload more than he cut into Dalvin Cook’s.”

The Vikings 2021 Offense by the Numbers: After Week 1
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Mattison certainly has a chance to emerge as a fantasy and dynasty riser, but there’s no guarantee he will grab and maintain a Cook-like RB1 target assignment. Increasingly, NFL teams are leaning into RB committees in the backfield, and in fact, the last 10+ Super Bowl winners have not employed a bellcow tailback.

In many ways, utilizing an expensive or workhorse running back is what not to do.

Starters in 2023
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Still, Mattison might procure a touch load like Cook. It’s a maybe. At mandatory minicamp in June, Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell said, “I feel really good about our running back room and Alex Mattison is a huge reason why. I think he’s proven that he can, whether over the past few years when he stepped in there, handling a really good workload and producing and also just in our short term together, his ability to handle the roles and responsibilities of that position in our offense, so I feel great about where Alex is at.”

O’Connell also added, “It’s been really good to see Alex Mattison take a few more reps and really show that all three-down kinda ownership that he’s been capable of for a long time.”

Other dynasty ‘risers’ defined by Cummings included Brock Purdy (QB, 49ers), Miles Sanders (RB, Panthers), Treylon Burks (WR, Titans), and Skyy Moore (WR, Chiefs), among others.

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).

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