Fantasy Football: 5 Things We Learned in Week 9
Dalvin Cook Is Back Up to Speed
It took a while, but I think we can safely say the Dalvin Cook is back up to speed.
Cook ripped off a 70-yard run in his first legitimate return from a debilitating hamstring injury, notching the top speed of any ball carrier this year at 22.07 miles per hour.
That's crazy fast, especially for someone who's been injured for the last roughly seven weeks. For those of you who haven't kept up with the second-year back, he frustratingly tried to play through the injury in Week 4, only to re-aggravate it. That move sidelined him until this week, when it seemed a little odd that he'd try to play just one week before the Minnesota Vikings' bye. However, it seems we can rest those fears as Cook managed to demonstrate an elite top speed and escaped that game with suffering any setbacks.
Starting in Week 11, we can start expecting Cook to take back some work from teammate Latavius Murray. Cook out-touched Murray 35-15 when he was healthy at the start of the season, and Cook dominated touches in the passing game. Cook handled 14 touches in his return to the field this week, including 4 targets.
Those targets will be especially valuable for fantasy as the Vikings' offensive line has been less than stellar this year -- Cook is averaging more than twice as many yards per reception (9.8) than per carry (4.1). The team has a tough slate of run defenses in the coming weeks, but according to SharpFootballStats.com, four of their next six opponents rank in the bottom half of the league in defending passes to running backs. The Vikings should be able to scheme their explosive running back into space, and his pass-catching chops will help them do that.
One of the fastest young running backs in the league is finally healthy again, and he could be a huge difference maker down the stretch in fantasy.