Jerick McKinnon has Serious Fantasy Football Upside in Minnesota

by _tim______ ·

Jerick McKinnon is the back to own in Minnesota based on advanced stats, metrics, and analytics. Let’s dig deeper.

Elite Athlete

Jerick McKinnon is an exceptional athlete, evidenced by a 92nd percentile or above score in every workout metric from 40-time to Agility Score to bench press. Furthermore, athleticism matters most for running back prospects. Using’s Data Analysis Tool, McKinnon is the most athletic running back in the NFL based on measured speed, burst, agility and power.

Professional Resumé

Jerick McKinnon has experienced a snakebitten tenure in Minnesota. After the Vikings selected him in the third round of the 2014 NFL Draft, he was immediately thrust into a major role in the wake of  an Adrian Peterson suspension. Though he was new to the running back position, McKinnon posted 538 yards on 4.8 yards per carry in his first NFL season.


Jerick McKinnon Advanced Stats & Metrics Profile

In 2016, After finishing near the top of the league in yards per carry and yard per touch during his first two seasons, his 3.9 yards per touch checked in near league-bottom as he managed just two breakaway runs all season. While McKinnon’s 2016 campaign appeared abominable c on the surface, it was not a total disaster. Last season, Minnesota’s offensive line suffered a litany of major injuries and finished No. 32 in run blocking efficiency. Reviewing McKinnon’s efficiency apart from the offensive line, his 26.2-percent Juke Rate was No. 26 among NFL running backs and his 81.1-percent Catch Rate was No. 10.

2017 Outlook

The 2017 Vikings offense looks nothing like the 2016 Vikings offense. In 2016, behind an injury-shattered offensive line, Minnesota was near the bottom of the NFL in total run plays. Regardless of their play-calling philosophy, the Vikings were constantly playing from behind, evidenced by the negative game script. This year, the Vikings are enjoying positive game script. Based on the Vikings’ 27 run plays per game, the team is implementing a run-first philosophy, fertile ground for Jerick McKinnon to flourish.

Vikings Running Game Year-Over-Year
  2016 2017
Run Plays Per Game 23 27
Game Script -1.56 +2.09
Run Blocking Efficiency #32 #5

During his final two years in Oakland, Latavius Murray flopped despite perfect conditions for an NFL breakout. On the other hand, Jerick McKinnon has persevered through challenging conditions during his brief time in the league. McKinnon is a prototypically satellite back-plus (a great receiver with an every-down skill set) and is better than Murray back in all phases, from interior running to pass blocking to receiving passes. Rising again up the Vikings depth chart, McKinnon now has a golden opportunity to prove his true believers right. Like Bilal Powell and Tim Hightower before him, McKinnon is well-equipped to help fantasy football enthusiasts win a championship.