Dalvin Cook, RB Minnesota Vikings

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Giants Beat: team evaluating backup RB roles

Sunday, August 12, 2018, 8:58am

NJ.com - [Full Article]

The Giants have been coy about the plan for the other running backs, declining to discuss even the possibility of roles such as third-down back or short-yardage back. If Barkley is going to join the ranks of workhorses LeVeon Bell, Melvin Gordon, Todd Gurley and LeSean McCoy, it won't leave much opportunity for anyone else.

But Jonathan Stewart has been the clear No. 2 running back all training camp, not just filling in for short-yardage but spelling Barkley as needed. Shurmur didn't care much about resumes last year, when he played rookie Dalvin Cook and Jerick McKinnon over Latavius Murray with the Vikings.

Related players: Wayne Gallman, Jalen Simmons, Robert Martin

Fantasy Impact:

A few weeks ago, a beat reporter noted that Stewart hasn't looked great in the offseason, while Gallman has improved and seems like the better choice for the team's No. 2 RB. Looks like Simmons could also be battling for playing time, as the story said. However, this beat writer feels like Stewart may be able to negate some of Barkley's negative runs, a knock on the rookie to this point, especially around the end zone. Obviously, taking the ball out of Barkley's hands near the goal line will hurt his fantasy value if things do pan out that way.

Scouting Report

Fantasy Upside

Dalvin Cook got off to a great start in his 2017 rookie season, averaging over 100 scrimmage yards per game in the first four weeks. It was a small sample size, but he showed he could be effective as an every-down back. And with Jerick McKinnon leaving in free agency, it leaves a pass-catching role open in the offense, which Cook can fill. Minnesota was already giving Cook plenty of touches as a rookie, and if that keeps up in 2018 then we could see a lot of production in his second season.

Fantasy Downside

We only mentioned four games in Cook’s upside from his rookie season, because that’s all he played before suffering a torn ACL. He’s healthy now, but the injury is a bit worrisome. He also no longer has Pat Shurmur calling plays, so that could lead to fewer touches under new offensive coordinator John DeFilippo.

2018 Bottom Line

Cook appears to be healthy, and gets to start for a great team. Minnesota has a strong defense, which often leads to more opportunities on the ground for a back like Cook. If he can keep up the production from last season, he’ll easily end the year as an RB1. You can expect to take him from the early to late second round in fantasy drafts.

2018 Strength of Schedule - MIN
W1W2W3W4W5W6W7W8W9W10W11W12W13W14W15W16W17
26
SF
21
@GB
24
BUF
32
@LAR
3
@PHI
4
ARI
20
@NYJ
10
NO
29
DET
BYE14
@CHI
21
GB
16
@NE
12
@SEA
25
MIA
29
@DET
14
CHI

Schedule difficulty based on schedule-adjusted, positional defensive ranking. Top DEF = 1, bottom DEF = 32.

2017 Game Stats
WeekOppRuAttRuYdsRuTDFumYPCRecRecYdsRecTDTgtsYPRSTDPPRSnaps%
1NO22127005.77310053.3313.716.751/6578.5%
2@PIT1264005.3320030.006.48.437/6656.1%
3TB2797103.595720514.4022.927.954/7473.0%
4DET1366115.0818038.0011.412.427/5648.2%
5@CHI--------------
6GB--------------
7BAL--------------
8@CLE--------------
9BYE--------------
10@WAS--------------
11LAR--------------
12@DET--------------
13@ATL--------------
14@CAR--------------
15CIN--------------
16@GB--------------
17CHI--------------
Per game18.5088.500.500.254.782.7522.5004.008.1813.6016.3542.25/65.2563.93%
Totals74354214.7811900168.1854.465.4169/26163.93%