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Fantasy Impact: Dalvin Cook Injury

A torn labrum will sideline Dalvin Cook for a few weeks and Alexander Mattison becomes a potential league-winner off the waiver wire.

Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook will be out for the short-term after an MRI revealed a torn labrum. Cook dislocated his shoulder and was carted off the field during the Vikings' loss to the 49ers on Sunday.

It's not yet known specifically how long Cook will be out. If placed on injured reserve, he would need to miss three games, keeping him out until Week 16. There are also reports which suggest he could return by Week 15.

Fantasy Impact

With all due respect to the analysts here, Cook should be shelved for the year. He should be done and I'm done. Shoulders are the most frequently dislocated joints in the body—and in isolation, they alone are not a serious injury—but this isn't Cook's first rodeo with shoulder dislocations and surgeries. Even before he came in the league, his draft profile outlined that shoulder issues were something he was known for, unfortunately. This goes all the way back to high school and college.

The long and short of it is Cook will be back if the Vikings make a serious playoff push. He's a competitor and I don't expect him to want to miss time unless absolutely necessary. Remember, the NFL only gives one team a bye week. Seeds two through seven all play in the Wild Card round. For now, Minnesota is the seventh seed with the Falcons and Saints tied with the same record (5-6).

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But even with a return from this injury in a couple weeks, it will be very easy for Cook to dislocate the shoulder again, which is why I'll be very tentative in starting him again. I'd rather pivot to his backup, Alexander Mattison.

Minnesota Vikings Alexander Mattison

In the short term, the backfield leader is now Mattison. He's got a bit of a pedigree as a handcuff to Cook and played well when called upon. In both his starts this year in place of Cook, he posted over 100 total yards. He provided 20-plus fantasy points in both games. Consider Mattison a must-have waiver wire add if he's available in your league. We're talking about a league-winning roster addition.

I think another intriguing name you shouldn't ignore is rookie RB Kene Nwangwu, a fourth-round pick. He showed his big-play potential in Week 12 with a 99-yard kickoff return touchdown. That gives him two KO return TDs in eight tries this year. Very impressive and not someone to be taken lightly. In deeper formats, he should be rostered.

The rest of the passing attack should see a bit of work added to their plates as well. Tight end Tyler Conklin will have to pick up the slack in the short passing game. Wide receivers Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen should be expected to deliver more of the same as they're both as fantasy relevant as ever with the duo taking turns providing big stats for fantasy managers.