As we head deeper into the NFL offseason, the ever-changing NFL landscape has player fantasy values constantly on the move, with key events like free agency continuing to roll on and the 2023 NFL Draft still to come. Whether you’re used to the dynasty platform or are still learning the rules, let’s dive into the latest dynasty fantasy football value of RB Alexander Mattison.
Update 06/08/2023: ESPN’s Adam Schefter is reporting that Vikings starting running back Dalvin Cook will likely be released if the team cannot find a trade partner. This would propel Mattison into the starting role. We will update this article accordingly.
Alexander Mattison’s Dynasty Outlook and Value
While his production hasn’t entirely lived up to the draft capital (pick No. 102 in 2019), Mattison has spent his entire career behind one of the best RBs in the league. Although his career stats don’t blow you away, Mattison shined for the Vikings and dynasty managers when given an opportunity.
Unfortunately, those were also the only times you knew what you would get from Mattison. When Cook was inactive, Mattison was a must-start, averaging 19.5 rushing attempts, 4.5 targets, 115.5 total yards, 0.8 TDs, and 20.38 PPR in his six games as the lead back. But in the vast majority (53 games), Mattison struggled for relevancy, averaging 4.74 PPR/g with a reduced workload of 5.4 attempts, 1.08 targets, and 28.36 total yards.
Mattison has been regarded as one of the best handcuffs or No. 2s in the NFL. That’s why it was a bit of a surprise that rather than signing elsewhere for a larger role, Mattison returned to Minnesota on a two-year, $7 million contract with $6.35 guaranteed at signing.
However, as we have come to learn many times over, teams have a plan, and the Vikings are no such exception. On June 8, the franchise parted ways with long-time starter Dalvin Cook. Although Cook was locked into a deal for the 2025 season, there was an opt-out in his contract for 2023, and as time went on, it became more and more apparent Cook would likely play elsewhere this season.
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It was worth noting Cook underwent surgery this offseason to repair his injured shoulder, meaning the Vikings couldn’t do anything with him until he cleared his physical. Many speculated Cook was a potential cut candidate. The 27-year-old had a $14.1 million cap figure for 2023, which would be the third highest in the league amongst RBs.
Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell in May was already hyping up Mattison‘s role this season and further stoked the flames that Cook would be on the move.
“This spring has been really good to see Mattison take a few more reps and really show that three-down ownership that he’s been capable of for a long time.”
In the 14 games that Mattison has seen at least 10 carries, he’s averaged 18.1 touches for 88 yards and 0.57 touchdowns. Those 13 half-PPR points per game were right on par with Jamaal Williams and Aaron Jones, who were low-end RB1s for the bulk of last season.
Although Kene Nwangwu and Ty Chandler will be around, they are in a competition amongst themselves, with Mattison finally in the role that many dynasty managers I’ve always wanted to see.
Alexander Mattison Dynasty Fantasy Ranking
With Cook out of the picture, Mattison is one of the biggest winners of the dynasty offseason, even though it’s already June. The price for Mattison has skyrocketed, but that has been occurring gradually over the offseason as more managers were treating him as if the move had already happened, and that was showing up in his value.
Currently, I have Mattison ranked as approximately the RB18 in PPR formats due to his age and the production we know that can come from this role. The player we have seen on the field is far closer to an RB1, but for someone who has never had that type of rushing load volume, we need to see Mattison receive that role before immediately valuing him as someone who can handle it.
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That said, if Mattison does come out and have a 1,300-yard season with 40 receptions, which is absolutely possible in 2023, any investment will make him become even stronger due to the likelihood of Mattison earning himself at least one extra year as the starting running back for the Vikings.
I would not get wild and overpay for him, but he has yet to turn 25, and when given opportunities, he’s returned RB1 value. Throw in Mattison’s three-down capabilities, and I would be working the trade lines to see what someone is looking for in return for him.