I'm here to remind you of the little changes that can make a big difference in performance year over year. The What’s Changing Up Top series of articles covers the highest projected Running Backs and just one or two points that might change your perspective on their 2020 outlook.
Brace Hemmelgarn, USA Today
292.4 Points//20.9 PPG// June 15th ADP of 6.1
Forget that injury stigma Dalvin Cook had after the 2018 season! He’s invulnerable and ready for the Vikings to pay him huge! Okay, so Cook still missed 2 games, but when he was on the field, he found the kitchen and was second amongst RB's in PPG. All of these stats include a reduced snap share in his last few games, as he was fighting through a shoulder injury.
The Cleveland Browns awarded Kevin Stefanski for his big 2019 season by hiring him as their Head Coach. In Minnesota, Stefanski is being replaced with Gary Kubiak, but it's worth noting Stefanski is known for his 2 tight ends sets. Kubiak is a good Offensive Coordinator, but the change could impact Cook more than we expect. In 2019, the Vikings ran 54% of plays with at least 2 tight ends on the field. They finished with the 2nd highest rate of plays ran with 12 Personnel, 2nd with 13 Personnel, and 4th with 22 Personnel. **If you don't know what this means, the first number represents RB's on the field, and the second number is TEs on the field. So 22 Personnel means 2 RBs and 2 TEs, while 13 Personnel means 1 RB and 3 TEs.** Overall, these numbers will likely decrease in 2020, and that means one less blocker when he has the ball in his hand.
Cook's 2020 has a super high ceiling. He's one of the few RB's that could legitimately finish as THE Running Back 1. There's also a world where he continues to hold-out into 2020, or he has to fight off another pesky injury. If you want Cook, you must use your first-round pick on him, and I don't like that much risk around my first pick…I likely won't have any shares of Cook in 2020.