Expect Matt Asiata to work as a backup running back for the Vikings again this season. Last year, he was in a similar spot and didn't score once. So long as Adrian Peterson and Jerick McKinnon are healthy, participating members of the Minnesota offense, Asiata doesn't deserve draft consideration.
The Vikings have re-signed Asiata. Asiata, who recorded 112 yards on 29 carries and added 19 receptions for 132 yards in 16 games in 2015, will reprise his depth running back role for the Vikings this coming season, though his path to fantasy utility is blocked by the presence of teammates Adrian Peterson and Jerick McKinnon.
Asiata ran the ball five times for 14 yards in Sunday's win over the Giants. Minnesota was in position to pound the ball and run out the clock for much of the second half after taking control of the game early. When those opportunities came behind Adrian Peterson, it was Jerick McKinnon who both got the bulk of the back-up opportunities, besting Asiata in touches nine to five, and made the most out of them, tallying 97 total yards and two scores. Minnesota has a division crown to play for in Week 17, meaning that Peterson will, again, be relied on to carry the load. When he needs a breather against Green Bay's so-so run defense, expect McKinnon, not Asiata, to be next in line.
Asiata carried the ball five times for 28 yards and added a six-yard catch in Sunday's win over the Bears. The six touches tied a season high for Asiata, who some fantasy owners may kick the tires on given the ankle injury Adrian Peterson is nursing. Anything more than kicking the tires would be a mistake, however. Though Peterson is not hogging the ball like he once was, failing to notch 20 touches three times over the past five weeks after reaching the mark every game since Week 2, he is unlikely to give away too many opportunities. Even if he were to, Jerick McKinnon should be the favorite to take most of them. Over the past five weeks, McKinnon's 26 touches outpace Asiata's 15.
Asiata caught one pass on two targets for nine yards in Sunday's loss to the Packers. Sunday was Asiata's second game of the season without a carry. While he has caught a pass in seven of 10 contests, he has failed to top 35 total yards in a game or score a touchdown this season. Asiata scored 10 total touchdowns with Adrian Peterson out of the lineup in 2014. There was some hope that he could at least take a series or two per game and a handful of touchdown from the aging Peterson in 2015, but that has not worked out. He is best served in the free agency pool.
Vikings running back Matt Asiata had one carry for 4 yards and two receptions for 25 yards in Monday's loss at San Francisco. Asiata got 12 snaps on offense, which was a mild surprise since he was thought to be relegated to a third-string role. It looks like he could get a few plays a game in the backfield when Adrian Peterson gets a break.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|2||09/19||Green Bay Packers||11||15.33|
|4||10/04||New York Giants||26||20.38|
|16||12/24||@Green Bay Packers||11||15.33|
|3 Year Avg||79||283||4||23||152||0||69|