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Alexander Mattison (RB, MIN) - Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Pickups

BALLER MOVE: Add in 14+ Team Leagues

OWNED IN: 29% of Leagues

ANALYSISDalvin Cook came out alive of Minnesota's MNF game. Barely, though, as he had to leave the field in the third quarter with a chest injury, supposedly for precautionary reasons. Keep in mind that Dalvin Cook has yet to complete a full season in the NFL. We can be this close to him getting injured for real. I’m not saying he will, as he might have been unlucky in past years, but the chances are there and we still have the whole playoffs to play in our fantasy leagues. Mattison backed-up Cook and rushed the ball four times for 22 yards while catching four of his five targets for an extra 51 yards through the air.

Mattison didn’t amount to much in his last game against Denver in Week 11 before the Vikings bye as he only played four snaps and could only rush the ball three times for five yards on the ground. That was more an outlier than anything, though, as Mattison has logged at least 12 carries in seven of his 11 games this season. He ranks among the top tailbacks in big runs and he is second in yards created per carry. Mattison is a pure rusher and has only been targeted five times in 11 games, but his work on the ground has been outstanding. Of tailbacks with 85 or fewer rushing attempts he ranks third in yardage through 11 games (394 yards, only behind Devin Singletary and LeSean McCoy), and has scored a touchdown.

With the Seahawks on the rear-view mirror, the Vikings will go against Detroit (31st in points allowed to opposing RBs), the Chargers (25th), and Green Bay (30th). Any potential blowout or need to run the clock (or the aforementioned Cook’s injury) will give Mattison a heavy workload in the following three fantasy-playoff weeks. There is still time to pseudo-stash Mattison just in case something happens, and if you happen to play in a really deep league you might even want to start him as your second-flex option during the playoffs hoping for a potential explosion in one of his few weekly touches.

Check out RotoBaller's famous fantasy football draft sleepers and waiver wire pickups list, updated regularly!