See How the Minnesota Vikings Could Split the Carries in Week 13

See How the Minnesota Vikings Could Split the Carries in Week 13

With Minnesota Vikings rookie running back Jerick McKinnon listed as doubtful for the Week 13 game against the Carolina Panthers, the Vikings will have to resort to using a multi-back blend tomorrow.

It is speculated that the Vikings will likely start Matt Asiata, however, he is returning from having a concussion and really only displays his best play in the goal line situations.

Newly signed Ben Tate didn’t see any action last week, but has now had a week to learn the system and could be used as a between-the tackles, one-cut runner who could challenge the Panthers’ struggling defense.

The back with the most upside is Joe Banyard, however who has the best shot for explosive plays as he showed last week splitting time with McKinnon. Coach Mike Zimmer had this to say regarding Banyard to the Pioneer Press (via NFL.com).

He extended drives, he caught the ball and extended drives and made plays. I thought he showed some juice getting to the perimeter a couple of plays and was explosive hitting holes.

Banyard finished last week with 26 yards on five carries. He also had three catches for 19 yards. Playing 30 snaps last week to McKinnon’s 39 shows that the Vikings are comfortable using Banyard in a running back by committee role. So, look for the carries to be split between both Banyard and Tate, with Asiata stealing those goal line carries.

What does this all mean from a fantasy standpoint? The three-headed running back situation is never ideal, so I wouldn’t even start Asiata. As for Banyard and Tate, it sounds like Banyard has more upside, but only as a flex if you must.

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