Dalvin Cook – Don’t get too close or you might get burnt

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Five games in and Dalvin Cook appears to finally be delivering on the promise he showed in college. He is injury-free and delivering top 3 RB numbers in all formats. Dynasty players looking to buy should tread very carefully that they don’t get burnt buying Cook at his current peak price. Prior to this season, Cook showed flashes but also disappointed, this is without stating that he had missed more NFL games than he had played.

Dalvin Cook

Following a stellar career at Florida State, Dalvin Cook’s draft stock appeared to take a hit due to two shoulder surgeries he had in high school and college. He was selected with the 41st pick in the 2017 NFL draft by the Minnesota Vikings, the third running back off the board.

Cook’s NFL career began with a bang! He ended up with 127 rushing yards, surpassing the legendary Adrian Peterson for most yards by a Viking on debut.

Unfortunately, 3 games later he would tear his right ACL and his rookie season ended prematurely

The skeptics on his injury coming out of college were saying ‘I told you so’. After all, the truth is Cook did indeed once require shoulder surgery due to falling over on the stairs.


5 games into the season, Cook is averaging an astonishing 5.9 yards per carry. He is the RB2 (behind McCaffrey) in standard-scoring leagues and the RB3 (behind McCaffrey and Ekeler) across PPR formats.

With the Vikings under offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski clearly looking to get the ball and decision making out of Cousins’ hands as much as possible, Cook has been the major benefactor of the run first focus.

Cook has seen no less than 14 carries a game, and as high as 21. He has been averaging a snap count of 70% per game heading into week 5.

5 touchdowns in 5 games isn’t a bad stat either. These touchdowns have most Cook owners currently firmly in the playoff race.

Four 100-yard rushing games out of five, including the whopping 154 yards at 7.7 YPC in round 2 against the above-average Packers defense, has Cook averaging 108.8 yards rushing per game. Putting him on track for over 1,734 rushing yards at seasons end. This would likely see him win his first rushing yards title.

21 receptions and an additional 200 yards through the air brings Cook’s to a total of 752 scrimmage yards through 5 games.

Averaging a massive 5.9 YPC so far this season, you can see why everyone is so high on Cook, and why wouldn’t you be.

I feel for the 14% who would have sold

Injury History

As previously mentioned, Cook had shoulder surgery twice on the same shoulder (right) before entering the NFL.

Dalvin though had a very durable college career. He missed only 2 games in his entire 3-year career as a Seminole. Separate ankle and hamstring injuries caused him to miss 2 games of his Florida State career.

Cook appeared to come out of college with an injury label due to his history of shoulder surgeries.

However, this can be taken in two ways.

As a fallacy, as he didn’t miss any games due to it. He had a very durable college and has mentioned earlier only missed two games due to a separate injury.

Or there is the other way, the one where they say he is an injury-prone!

That the lack of college games missed was to do with the timing of the surgeries and not the severity of them.

Any time an athlete, especially a running back, has had two shoulder reconstructions must be a concern. Teams were clearly scared off during the draft process, causing him to fall into the second round.

We know about the ACL tear in his rookie year, but his sophomore season was also hampered by another hamstring injury. It initially caused him to miss 1 game and then he reinjured it, missing a further 4 games.

Out of a possible 32 games, Cook managed only 15 in his first two seasons. Cook was more likely to be on the sideline injured than start a game for your fantasy team.

Trade Madness

Through the past week, these are three examples of completed trades I have seen on my twitter feed.

DeAndre Hopkins and Kerryon Johnson for Dalvin Cook

Juju Smith-Schuster, Stefon Diggs and Leonard Fournette for Dalvin Cook

David Johnson, James Connor and 2020 first for Davlin Cook

This is a lot of capital to give up for Cook in any circumstance. Yes, Cook is in rich vein of form and it may continue for the entirety of the season but trading such proven commodities for the lone impressive but an often injured commodity is a massive, massive risk.

As seen above, Cook needs to continue working on his blocking.


I’m not telling you to avoid Dalvin Cook in dynasty, don’t be silly I want my shares too. I am merely advising you guys to tread carefully with a man with such an extensive injury history, who before this season had missed more games than he had played……

If you sell the farm for him and he gets injured, then you’re done. Sports injury predictor has Cook as a 56.8% chance to get injured this season.

Instead of a similar / slightly higher price, try to go out and get the likes of McCaffrey, Barkley or Elliott, safer bets to stay on the field and therefore, more importantly, win your fantasy games.

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