Written by Dalvin Cook and Alexander Mattison

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Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook has been one of the best rushers of the last three years, both in fantasy and in reality.

His 2020 season in particular was memorable: 312 carries, 1,557 yards, 16 touchdowns to go with 44 catches for 361 yards and another score.

He’s been in the top five options in the first round of the fantasy draft for some time now, and at just 26 (he’ll be 27 at the start of the season), he’s the fourth running back by consensus and the highest-ranked player general by our fancy. football analysts. The sky seems to be the limit for Cook on a Vikings offense that has been productive for fantasy managers.

Of course, when discussing Cook’s fantastic outlook, we have to talk about the elephant in the room. Or rather the elephant out of the room – emphasis on “OUT”.

Injuries prevent Dalvin Cook from being the cream of fantasy running back culture

You see, Cook has missed at least two or three games every season of his career. Whether it’s a recalcitrant hamstring or regular wear and tear, missed games have unfortunately become a predictable event. And sometimes those games come late in the season when the fantasy managers need him the most.

Of course, the Vikings themselves fare a little better when Cook misses games – because they have Alexander Mattison.

Alexander Mattison has serious fantasy value even though he’s a substitute. (Photo by Stephen Maturity/Getty Images)

Cook’s first backup Mattison, soon to be 24, is extremely talented, averaging 4.2 yards per carry throughout his career in limited work. When he takes over from Cook – when the latter is running out of time – however, that’s when he really shines. In fact, Mattison rushed for 90+ yards in the three games he received a starting workload for in 2021.

So, is it a viable 2022 fantasy football draft strategy to select BOTH Cook and Mattison, or does it provide for something that might not happen?

Liz Loza and Dalton del Don discuss in the video above.

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