Now that Dalvin Cook is on his way out of Minnesota, Ian Miller breaks down Alexander Mattison’s new value in Dynasty fantasy football. To close things out, Ryan Reynolds chips in his thoughts on Mattison in Best Ball.
Mattison’s Dynasty, Best Ball Value
Mattison’s Dynasty Value is Skyrocketing
All it took was this tweet from Adam Schefter to send Mattison’s dynasty value soaring.
Alexander Mattison is heading into his 5th Season and has NEVER eclipsed…
📍8.0 Fantasy PPG
📍35.0% Carry Percentage
📍8.0% Target Share
📍1.20 Yards per Team Rush Attempt
📍0.50 Yards per Team Pass Attempt
and for that reason…
i’m OUT on Alexander Mattison 🙅🏼♀️ pic.twitter.com/DnsWmTqVIJ
— DynastyIM (@dynasty_im) June 8, 2023
A few hours later, this tweet upset every dynasty player and their grandmother. In a nutshell, the tweet was written because we’re out on Mattison at top 20 running back prices.
Why We’re Out on Mattison at Current Costs
The tweet sent out that afternoon prefaced how Mattison, through four seasons in the NFL, had never eclipsed a 35.0 percent carry percentage, 1.20 yards per team rush attempt, 8.0 percent target share or 0.50 yards per team pass attempt.
That received a lot of criticism since Mattison was behind Cook his whole career. The issue with projecting Mattison for a high-end fantasy finish now that he’s atop the depth chart is he isn’t guaranteed high usage or production.
When looking at carry percentages from 2022, only 18 running backs eclipsed at least a 50 percent share. The running back atop the depth chart on 14 teams didn’t get handed a strong carry percentage.
There were 22 running backs to put up 12.0 fantasy PPG in 2022. That includes two pairs of teammates, meaning 12 NFL teams didn’t have a single running back put up at least 12.0 PPG. That’s more than a third of the league. Being atop the depth chart doesn’t mean anything without solid peripherals.
That leads us to Mattison’s profile. We know the volume-based peripherals aren’t strong, but that’s because he was behind Cook, correct?
Let’s start with Henry behind Murray the year before he sat atop the depth chart. It was Henry’s second season, and he still managed to put up a 39.7 percent carry percentage and 1.68 yards per team rush attempt to go along with a 3.4 percent target share.
Ekeler was in his third season behind Gordon on the depth chart the year before he sat atop. That season, Ekeler posted a 36.0 percent carry percentage and 1.52 yards per team rush attempt to go along with a whopping 18.1 percent target share.
Finally, Pollard was in his fourth season behind Elliott before now being Dallas’ RB1. He posted a 38.7 percent carry percentage and 2.02 yards per team rush attempt to pair with an adequate 10.5 percent target share.
So, we should expect something similar from Mattison in his fourth season behind Cook, according to the comparisons, right?
Well, what did Mattison put up? An 18.3 percent carry percentage and 0.70 yards per team rush attempt to go along with a 2.7 percent target share. It’s not even a close comparison.
Sure, there are similarities. We have a running back behind a proven workhorse who is now at the top of the depth chart. The difference is the projections were much easier with Henry, Ekeler and Pollard because they found a way to produce while being the second guy in line.
With Mattison, there’s a significant leap in projecting his peripherals forward just to get him into the RB2 range this fantasy season — a much larger leap than we made with Henry, Ekeler or Pollard.
Even if volume stats are meaningless, which they aren’t, we can look at Mattison’s efficiency within his profile.
We can take every running back below a 30 percent carry percentage in 2022, and Mattison’s 0.70 yards per team rush attempt still ranks 16th. That’s not ideal.
Bottom Line on Mattison
If Mattison were a cheap acquisition on the market, I would be all over a running back with the opportunity share up for grabs.
Mattison in Best Ball
It will be interesting to see if Mattison’s role expansion with Cook’s release was already baked into his current 76.5 ADP on Underdog Fantasy. He’s still in the same cluster as Cook and Cam Akers. It wouldn’t be a significant surprise if Mattison ended up somewhere between Joe Mixon’s 54.3 ADP and Pierce’s 64.3 ADP.
Regardless, the time of getting Mattison at a value in Best Ball is over. If his ADP ends up somewhere in that Mixon to Pierce range, he shouldn’t be completely faded for high-volume drafters, but he should not be actively targeted, either.
Cook’s departure makes Ty Chandler a more interesting dart throw at the end of drafts, but his ADP is already rising. The time of getting Chandler at a value is over, too, at least in the short term.