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The Lowdown: Jerick McKinnon’s Back Surgery, Adrian Peterson’s Return, and Brandin Cooks’ Recovery


Jerick McKinnon

Jerick McKinnon was able to play in 11 games for the Vikings during the 2014 NFL season. Six of those 11 games were games that McKinnon got to start following an odd turn of events with Adrian Peterson earlier in the year. According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, McKinnon has been doing well since recovering from his back surgery earlier in the year.

“It’s been pretty good. It’s been a long process, but that’s just the way it goes after surgery. I’ve been here all offseason working really hard,” McKinnon said last week in a phone interview. “I’ve just been in the training room with [assistant athletic trainer] Tom Hunkele pushing myself to the limit and just trying to get back ready. It’s been a long grind but it’s definitely working.”

Looking at the RotoViz fantasy efficiency app, we can see that McKinnon was decently efficient with the opportunities that he was given.

Matt Asiata1640.42592.2118.790.11
Jerick McKinnon1130.40843.1210.680.09
Jerome Felton40.0331.361.340.33
Joe Banyard210.1147.840.960.05
Adrian Peterson210.7008.42-0.92-0.04
Ben Tate130.1785.17-1.37-0.11

McKinnon led the team in rushing with 538 rushing yards on 113 carries, while also adding 27 receptions for 135 receiving yards. Not scoring a single touchdown is one of the things that held McKinnon back from having the monster game some of DFS players expected throughout the season once Peterson was gone. From Week 3 to Week 12 (McKinnon’s season ended there), Matt Asiata produced 19 red zone touches to McKinnon’s eight. McKinnon’s 4.8 yards per carry tied for eighth-best in NFL with Arian Foster and third-best among rookie running backs. McKinnon’s value next season will be heavily tied into what happens to Adrian Peterson during the off-season.

Adrian Peterson

Early whispers out of the Vikings organization are that they’re wanting Peterson back in purple for the 2015 season. Per Ben Goessling from ESPN, Vikings president Mark Wilf has expressed that he fully supports Peterson returning next season.

“Adrian’s done a lot of good in this community,” Wilf said. “He’s done a lot for us on the football field, as well. Of course, he’s a Minnesota Viking, and we’d love to have him back. And of course, a lot depends on the NFL and steps he’s making in his own personal journey. That’s where we’re at with it.”

Currently in MFL10 drafts on My Fantasy League, Peterson has an average draft position of 19.98, which puts him towards the end of the second round. I’d expect that number to fluctuate throughout the year based on the rumblings coming out of Minnesota. If anything, I imagine it’ll only increase as the year goes on. Fantasy Douche has a list of players that some of the high volume MFL 10 players are taking a liking to and Justin Winn has some advice about rookie RBs in the MFL 10 format.

Brandin Cooks

Saints rookie WR, Brandin Cooks was lost about half way through the 2014 NFL season in mid-November due to thumb surgery. Back in January, Cooks told Fox Sports that he had been cleared for three weeks to resume weight training and other football activities.

“I’ve been cleared for three weeks,” Cooks told in a telephone interview. “I’ve been catching balls, lifting weights and getting back into it. I’m looking forward to hitting it really hard right after the Super Bowl ends.”


Prior to going on to season-ending IR, Cooks was on pace to finish the year with 180 fantasy points (half PPR) and 138 points in standard leagues. Had that trend continued, Cooks would’ve been WR18 in standard leagues.

Jimmy Graham780.19097.1936.610.47
Kenny Stills420.11446.7523.850.57
Brandin Cooks690.16877.7621.740.32
Josh Hill130.04020.9913.711.05
Marques Colston590.15965.2811.320.19
Joe Morgan40.0484.16-2.96-0.74
Ben Watson190.05620.52-6.12-0.32
Robert Meachem170.05818.08-7.08-0.42

This table is from the fantasy efficiency app is from Week 1 to Week 11, when Cooks was active. He was heavily involved in this offense as Drew Brees had targeted him the second-most, just behind Jimmy Graham. There’s a chance Mark Ingram won’t re-sign with the Saints this off-season, which I believe, would make Cooks even more appealing next season. He’s someone I’ll be heavily targeting for the upcoming fantasy season.

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