NFL News & Analysis

Minnesota Vikings RB Dalvin Cook ruled OUT in Week 3: Fantasy football options and advice

Glendale, Arizona, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook (33) runs the ball against the Arizona Cardinals in the second half at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Billy Hardiman-USA TODAY Sports

Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook is officially inactive for the team's Week 3 affair with the Seattle Seahawks, per NFL Media's Ian Rapoport.

Alexander Mattison is a low-end RB1 who should see a similar workload to Jonathan Taylor and Antonio Gibson with Cook ruled sidelined. I currently have him ranked RB15 for Week 3.

Editor's note: Click here for PFF's Week 3 fantasy football rankings

Mattison's utilization was substantial in the two games Cook missed last season — and that was with Mike Boone still on the roster stealing some of the short-down-and-distance snaps.

This game kicks off at 4:25 p.m. ET, so fantasy football managers need to be thinking ahead.

Prioritized late-game options:
  1. Mattison is available in roughly 50% of Yahoo leagues and 35% of ESPN leagues this morning, so be sure to grab him if available.
  2. Trey Sermon is ranked in my top 15 running backs and is available in 20-30% of home league formats.
  3. Sony Michel will start today for the Rams with Darrell Henderson out, and he is available in about 35% of leagues.
  4. Tony Pollard is available in 25% to 40% of home-league formats and provides a great pivot playing Monday night.
  5. Michael Carter expanded his role in Week 2 and could continue to do so in Week 3 and is available in 45% of leagues.
  6. Ronald Jones II doesn't get the workload we want from a starter in our lineup, but he gets enough to provide relief should you need it. He will handle about a third of the rushing opportunities and is always a hot-hand threat with Bruce Arians.
  7. Ty Johnson is splitting time with Carter, and Tevin Coleman won't play this week. Expect Johnson to handle a little under half of the work, but he is a plus in the receiving game. He is your guy in deeper formats – available 90% of the time.
  8. Kenneth Gainwell will handle about 30% of the rushing attempts and half of the passing-down work for the Eagles on Monday night. He is more widely available at 70% and could be one of the only options in deeper leagues.

If you are considering Mattison for your flex position, that opens up multiple additional doors in the late window with receivers in Tiers 4 through 6:

Tier 4: Corey Davis

Tier 5: DeVante Parker, Elijah Moore, Bryan Edwards, Henry Ruggs III, Jaylen Waddle, Jalen Reagor

Tier 6: Van Jefferson, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Tim Patrick, Cedrick Wilson, Brandon Aiyuk

The top two tiers are preferable, but Mattison offers enough upside to take on some risk with Tier 6 pivot plays if you are in a tough matchup.

For any start/sit questions versus other backs on your roster, refer to the rankings. I have Mattison over a lot of backs today, but you must have a pivot. If he is close to another back and you don't have a pivot, stand pat. Once you are into the RB20-range, that is where you may take on more risk.

Related content for you: McFarland's Week 3 Fantasy Football Rankings & Tiers via Dwain McFarland

 PFF Greenline uses exclusive game and player data to make projections on NFL game spreads, moneyline, and over/under.


The Minnesota Vikings are two-point underdogs at home to the Seattle Seahawks. PFF’s model predictions show value on a few different bets — click here for PFF Greenline’s cover probabilities for side, total and moneyline.

PFF's Darius Butler included this game in his weekly best bets article with the expectation that Cook would be unavailable. Click here for his expert prediction into this Week 3 game. 

Kirk Cousins‘ rushing prop (7.5 yards) could now have even more value. Be sure to check out PFF’s player props tool to find all the best bets before game time.

PFF's Player Props Tool leverages its one-of-a-kind fantasy football projections to reveal betting opportunities within player prop markets. Click here for access.
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