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An RB1 sans Dalvin Cook

Fantasy managers certainly don’t need me or anyone else to tell them to grab Minnesota Vikings RB Alexander Mattison off the waiver wire if he’s out there. Dalvin Cook is likely out multiple weeks due to a dislocated shoulder and possibly a torn labrum. As a result, Mattison is set to be a difference-maker during the most important weeks of the fantasy football season.

Alexander Mattison is the top waiver wire add

Surprisingly, Mattison remains available in half of Yahoo leagues. Expect that number to be closer to zero after the waivers process Wednesday morning.

Fantasy managers know the drill when it comes to Mattison. Whenever Cook is out, Mattison is an RB1. It will be exactly the same this time around.

Alexander Mattison’s performance without Dalvin Cook

Up until this point, Cook has only missed two games this season (Weeks 3 and 5). In those contests, Mattison played 67% of the offensive snaps and gave fantasy managers 23 and 26 PPR fantasy points, respectively.

We know Mattison’s status is one of the most valuable handcuffs in all of fantasy football. Fantasy managers are aware of Mattison’s matchup-winning potential — he’s a guaranteed RB1 when anything happens to Cook.

How aggressively should fantasy managers target Mattison on the waiver wire?

With just two weeks remaining in the fantasy regular season, Mattison is going to make at least a couple of starts. He could certainly swing playoff positioning in many leagues.

Fantasy managers should do whatever it takes to get Mattison if he’s available. Burn the top waiver priority. Spend every FAAB dollar you have left. Finding an RB1 on the waiver this late in the season is like stumbling upon Mewtwo in the wild. When that GameBoy screen read, “Wild Mewtwo appeared!” you made sure you captured him. Mattison is Mewtwo.

What about Kene Nwangwu?

Kene Nwangwu is a fourth-round rookie with blazing 4.37 speed. He’s an elite athlete that has showcased his ability on special teams with 2 kick-return touchdowns on the season.

If you’re in a deeper league or have an open roster spot, Nwangwu might be worth a speculative stash. We know how rampant injuries are in the NFL, especially at the running back position.

Just a couple of years ago, this exact scenario played out where Cook got hurt, and Mattison went down shortly afterward. It paved the way for Mike Boone to be a potential league-winner in the fantasy playoffs.

We don’t have a clear timetable on how long Cook is expected to be out, but Nwangwu would be the primary beneficiary of a potential Mattison injury. This late in the season, true home run lottery tickets are nearly impossible to find. If you have the ability to stash Nwangwu, it could pay off the same way stashing Mattison is about to pay off for the teams that rostered him.

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