A lot of the intrigue surrounding Dalvin Cook's fantasy outlook for 2018 is dependent on how well he can bounce back from his ACL injury. The early reports are that Cook has looked great in training camp. He was held out of the first preseason game as a precaution (given the number of injuries that have already occurred in the preseason, this seems like a smart idea). However, he will likely get some playing time, and he should be ready to go for Week 1.
2017 Season Recap
In Week 4 last season, Cook went down with a torn ACL. His rookie season, which had looked very promising, came to an abrupt end. He ended the 2017 season with 354 rushing yards and two touchdowns, to go along with 11 receptions for 90 more yards. The sample size is small, but with double-digit carries in each game, he was the primary back for a Minnesota Vikings team that has been searching for a replacement ever since Adrian Peterson started his downfall in 2016. Cook’s receiving yards primarily came in one game (Week 3, where he had five receptions for 72 yards). If the Vikings will continue using him as a pass catcher, his value will be even higher.
The expectation for 2018 is that Cook will be fully recovered and the starter for Minnesota. The offense will look slightly different, but it shouldn’t affect Cook. He will be the every-down back and get the goal-line work as well. With Kirk Cousins at quarterback, the offense should be balanced, which is good for Cook. He should continue to be involved in the passing game as well.
Where to Draft
Dalvin Cook is a RB1 and should be drafted as such. He’s currently being drafted as the 10th running back off the board, usually at the beginning of the second round. This is the right place for him, as the injury does make fantasy owners a bit nervous. Most players can come back from an ACL injury, but sometimes they are more prone to additional injuries.
-- Written by Sarah Lewis, who is part of the Athlon Contributor network and lives, eats, and breathes fantasy football. Have a fantasy football question? Send it to her on Twitter @Sarah_Lewis32.
And don’t forget to pick up your copy of Athlon Sports’ 2018 Fantasy Football magazine, available for purchase online and at newsstands everywhere.
(Top photo courtesy of www.vikings.com)