Alexander Mattison Released by the Vikings: What Does This Mean for Ty Chandler Moving Forward?

With Alexander Mattison being released by the Minnesota Vikings, Ty Chandler's stock is on the rise -- what can you expect from him in 2024?

The Minnesota Vikings elected to move on from Alexander Mattison, a move that leaves a bell-cow role open for the taking. Ty Chandler is positioned to walk right into that vacated featured role. Should fantasy football managers feel comfortable in counting on him as a weekly starter?

Ty Chandler’s 2024 Fantasy Outlook

Before we evaluate the player, it’s important to evaluate his presumptive role. Mattison averaged 13.1 carries per game before phasing out a bit after the bye week — a viable count that is likely on the low end of what we can expect for Chandler in 2024.

The Vikings lost six of seven games to round out the 2023 regular season and were an offense that lacked consistency through the passing game after losing Kirk Cousins for the second half of the season. That naturally led to fewer rushing attempts, and Mattison’s limited upside didn’t help that cause either.

  • Oct. 10, 2021

That was the last time Mattison ripped off a run that picked up more than 21 yards. In short, this backfield, led by Mattison, gave Kevin O’Connell no reason to feel good about committing to the ground game in a significant way.

We learned in 2022, a much more competitive season for the Vikes, that O’Connell not only was interested in shortening games with the ground game but that he was all-in on a single back leading the way (Dalvin Cook handled 74.8% of their running back carries, a clear part of the plan given that he had 17+ carries in four of five games to open the season).

You can question Chandler all you want (108 career NFL carries as a fifth-round pick out of North Carolina), but the volume is a good bet, especially if you’re buying a rebound season from the Vikings as a whole.

How impactful is that role? More now than ever before. With backfield committees becoming the way of the league, situations like the one Chandler is currently in are rare. Last season, only seven running backs reached 250 carries, and only four ran for 1,100 yards.

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If we are projecting today for September, I’d give Chandler a good shot at reaching one, if not both, of those thresholds, and that lands him a spot just inside of my top 20 at the position.

In his last three games with 10+ carries, Chandler overcame the offensive limitations around him and produced.

  • 241 rush yards
  • 8 catches for 69 yards
  • 5.8 yards per touch

Do I think he sustains that level of efficiency? Of course not, but the Vikings get a third-place schedule that includes a favorable divisional matchup (NFC West), giving his volume a good chance to offset any per-touch production regression.

There were three running backs last season with 150+ carries that failed to average 0.6 half-PPR points per touch and Mattison (Chuba Hubbard and AJ Dillon the others). We can agree that Mattison’s skill set played a big role in that, but he didn’t get a ton of help from the offensive line.

We aren’t projecting Minnesota to address the offensive line with their first-round pick (No. 11 overall), and it stands to reason that this unit will continue to cap the upside of this role.

If Cousins remains on this roster, I’ll continue to be bullish on Chandler and have him ranked as a weekly starter, given the clarity of his role after releasing of Mattison. My optimism will fade if their QB situation is unsettled with Cousins moving on, as I worry that he won’t be put in a scoring position often enough to be reliable.

Remember that there is no shortage of moving pieces at the running back position as we prepare for free agency.

If all of the reportedly available running backs join new teams, Chandler’s ranking will fall, as those stars will not only project as lead backs (Derrick Henry and Josh Jacobs for example), but their backups are higher pedigree options than Chandler with a similar path to meaningful work.

KEEP READING: Dynasty Fantasy Football Trade Value Chart

When it comes to Mattison, I’m not labeling him as likely to land a lead role and thus isn’t someone redraft managers need to worry about right now. Could he land on a roster where he is a legitimate handcuff option?

I’m not ruling it out, but I’d rather take a flier on incoming talent from the collegiate ranks than a player who has failed to produce when given the opportunity through five career seasons.

With the fantasy football season behind us, why not start preparing for your rookie drafts with our dynasty rookie rankings? Additionally, as you look to improve your team heading into 2024, our dynasty trade calculator can help you find the perfect deal to boost your championship chances.

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