Jerick McKinnon probably isn't playing as much as he'd like to (or as much as his Fantasy fans would like him to), but he's still a tantalizing rusher for the Vikings. Last season, as he watched Adrian Peterson return to glory, McKinnon racked up just 271 yards on 52 carries (5.2 yards per run) with two touchdowns and 21 catches for 173 yards (8.2 yards per grab) with a score. Truth is, McKinnon is an explosive runner stuck behind one of the league's all-time greats. Until he is featured more, Fantasy owners won't get much out of him, thus keeping his Fantasy value relatively low. The only Fantasy owners who would spend a pick on McKinnon in Round 10 or 11 are those who spend a first-round choice on Peterson. But if he's still hanging around in Round 12 or later, anyone should grab him and stick him on the bench. Peterson is 31 years old with over 2,700 career touches, after all.
McKinnon could see an increased role in the passing game during 2016, the Vikings' official site reports. The third-year tailback recorded just 27 and 21 receptions during his first and second seasons, respectively, but was noticeably more involved in Minnesota's offensive attack during the final five weeks of 2015. Across said stretch, McKinnon corralled at least three balls on three separate occasions. Prior, McKinnon had gathered just eight receptions across 11 total games. With fellow RB Adrian Peterson the unquestioned centerpiece of this offense, McKinnon may not see many more opportunities on the ground than he did last year (52), but if he can remain as involved in the passing game as he was to end the 2015 campaign, McKinnon could conceivably surpass 100 total touches in 2016, should he stay healthy.
McKinnon carried the ball twice for seven yards and caught three passes off of five targets for 22 yards in Sunday's loss to Seattle. McKinnon may not have made any big plays during Sunday's loss, but it is important to note when he played. Following Adrian Peterson's fumble, McKinnon stepped in for Minnesota's second-to-last drive while they were trying to regain the lead. For years, being the No. 2 back to Peterson has been like backing up Peyton Manning or Tom Brady - opportunities are few and far between. However, with Peterson slowed late in the year, McKinnon had his best three games of the season in Weeks 15 through 17, averaging nine touches per game for 77 total yards per game and three touchdowns. As Peterson enters his age-31 season in 2016, don't be surprised if McKinnon is given a larger share of the load, particularly on passing downs.
McKinnon caught three of four targets for 33 yards and added 15 yards on the ground off of four carries in Sunday's win over Green Bay. The game wasn't close to McKinnon's two-touchdown performance in Week 16, but his four targets led the team. Now, Minnesota gets a rematch against Seattle as reward for winning the division. In Week 13, Seattle stuffed Adrian Peterson and harrassed Teddy Bridgewater, while McKinnon led the team with six targets. With pocket time likely in short supply, passes out to McKinnon may be a staple of Minnesota's offense during Wild Card Weekend.
McKinnon (hamstring) had seven carries for 89 yards and two touchdowns, adding two catches for eight yards on three targets, in Sunday's 49-17 win over the Giants. McKinnon put up gaudy garbage-time numbers for a second straight week, with nearly all of his rushing production coming after Adrian Peterson was done for the night. The second-year runner displayed patience and elite speed on a 68-yard touchdown, but the defense was so bad that he didn't even need to break a tackle. A third straight blowout is unlikely with the Vikings facing the Packers for the NFC North title in Week 17, meaning that McKinnon will likely fall back to his usual workload.
McKinnon (hamstring) is active for Sunday's game against the Giants. McKinnon logged a full practice Friday and was listed as probable on the final injury report. Adrian Peterson (ankle) is also active, but there's some chance his workload could be scaled back if the Seahawks overcome a fourth-quarter deficit to beat the Rams, thereby rendering Sunday night's game meaningless to the NFC playoff picture.
|* 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||82||404||1||24||154||0||61|