Fantasy football rookies 2017: Knee rehab is Dalvin Cook’s top priority for 2018

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The Minnesota Vikings backfield looked very different at the start of the season. Rookie Dalvin Cook started the first four games for the Vikings and rushed for more than 350 yards on 74 carries and two touchdowns. Cook also had 11 catches for 90 yards before tearing his ACL in Week 4 against the Detroit Lions, ending his rookie campaign. He was on pace to rush for 1,000 yards and add another 360 yards in the passing game this season.
The Vikings were able to find a successful rushing balance in Cook’s absence. They used a tandem with Latavius Murray and Jerick McKinnon in the backfield, and each back gained over 900 total yards this season. They also finished the season with the best record in the NFC.
Looking ahead to 2018
Recovery is Cook’s top priority heading into 2018. He was placed on injured reserved Oct. 1 and has already had three months of recovery. The 41st pick should be available in plenty time for the 2018 opener, barring any setbacks. When Cook returns, the Vikings will have a crowded backfield. The situation will be interesting if Murray and McKinnon win the Super Bowl.
Fantasy slant
Cook was one of the hottest rookie running backs in 2017 fantasy drafts. He will be a high draft pick again in 2018. Cook rushed for at least 64 yards in every game he started, including Week 4 when he tore his ACL. The silver lining of Cook’s injury is it happened early in the season. He will have almost a year to recover before next season’s kickoff. Cook will be gone by the second round in most leagues.

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