Leonard Fournette vs. Dalvin Cook
Fantasy Football Draft Duels are back for the 2018 fantasy football draft season! This year, we're focusing on the major decisions fantasy football drafters have to face when they're picking their fantasy football teams.
For these Duels, assume typical 12-team, point-per-perception (PPR) fantasy football leagues.
Which running back would you rather have?
Leonard Fournette, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars
Cook truthers assume too much and remember details incorrectly. They point to the way Cook dominated touches when healthy in 2017 while conveniently ignoring the fact Latavius Murray was nursing his way back slowly from an offseason ankle surgery.
Cook was clearly the better talent pre-ACL tear. However, it's overly presumptive to expect a 230-pound back who has 22 rushing scores in his last 29 games without Cook in the lineup will suddenly disappear while his second-year teammate attempts to regain his pre-injury explosiveness.
Meanwhile, the argument against Fournette centers on concern that the 23-year-old human stiff-arm machine has chronically bad ankles after missing six games in two years due to injury. The reality, though, is that any between-the-tackles bruiser can turn an ankle navigating through trash. And despite an ankle setback last year, Fournette was still fed a whopping 338 carries and 43 catches over 16 games (counting playoffs, 23.8 touches per).
The Jaguars tapped into free agency to add Andrew Norwell, Pro Football Focus' third-rated guard, and with Fournette ready to play at a nimble 223 pounds, he's as good a bet as any to lead the league in carries while improving on his 3.8 YPC. -Luke Hoover
Dalvin Cook, RB, Minnesota Vikings
Cook and Fournette both have the advantage of playing on teams expected to win a ton of games, which should lead to both seeing plenty of carries each week – including the bulk of goal line work.
However, that's where the similarities end. Cook won't have to deal with stacked boxes, as the Vikings have excellent weapons at all other skill positions. He'll often see six- and seven-man fronts while Fournette will routinely see eight.
Also, with Jerick McKinnon gone, Cook will be the clear third-down back while Fournette will cede work to T.J. Yeldon and Corey Grant in those situations. And for those worried about injuries, Cook has already been cleared from last year's ACL tear. Aside from that, both have the typical RB injury risk, and Fournette has actually dealt with foot issues two years in a row – not good for his position.
In terms of talent, Fournette may be the more powerful runner, but give me Cook in terms of elusiveness. Not only will Cook likely see more touches, but he'll benefit from the entirety of his offense, making him an easy choice in fantasy drafts. -Jim Coventry
Now, it's your turn to vote: