Running back holdouts are becoming something of a yearly tradition in fantasy football. With so many top backs putting up huge numbers on their rookie deals, few want to take the risk of injuring themselves on the final year of a contract, instead wanting to lock up an extension before they handle the ball another 300-plus times.
Dalvin Cook is the latest back to contemplate a holdout, based on reports from Monday. If he does hold out, this would suddenly put Alexander Mattison and Mike Boone firmly on the fantasy football radar.
We got a glimpse of how big Mattison's workload could get last year when Cook was playing hurt late in the regular season. Cook averaged just 11.8 carries per game over his final four contests, and while Mattison got hurt himself, he did see 18 carries and 7 targets over his final two contests.
Once both Cook and Mattison went down, it was the Mike Boone show. Boone racked up 44 touches across the final three regular season games despite only playing more than 33 percent of the Vikes' offensive snaps once (Week 17, when he went off for 148 yards on the ground).
This team looks set on feeding whoever their lead back is, so if Cook's not around that would be a massive boost to both Mattison and Boone's fantasy outlook. That's especially true for Mattison, who looks like he'll get the first crack at the RB1 role based on the workloads last year.
Of course, a Cook holdout is still far from guaranteed.
It would be a complicated situation for Cook to actually hold out and get out of his contract, as he'll still owe the Minnesota Vikings a year of service if he doesn't show up for training camp.
If you're drafting this early in the offseason, this is definitely a slight blow to Cook's value and gives Mattison some increased upside. But it's also too early to react strongly to such speculative news. If you're not drafting until August, this is definitely going to be a situation to monitor.
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Jason Schandl is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Jason Schandl also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username Jaymun. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.