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Jerick McKinnon named Vikings starter, presents upside for fantasy owners

The Minnesota Vikings have named Jerick McKinnon as the starting running back for Week 3. We break down the fantasy implications.

Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer announced Wednesday that Jerick McKinnon will be his new starting running back, according to the team’s Twitter account. McKinnon was given the nod to replace Vikings star RB Adrian Peterson after it was announced Wednesday that Peterson will have to undergo surgery to repair a torn meniscus. McKinnon took the majority of the snaps in the backfield when Peterson went down in Minnesota’s win Sunday. Vikings beat writer Matt Vensel reports that the third-year RB is expected to share the workload with Matt Asiata in a rushing committee.

Fantasy Impact: McKinnon was not owned in very many leagues coming into Week 2. That is all about to change as he will probably be the top waiver pickup in many fantasy leagues this week. McKinnon should get good rushing numbers for owners, but he may not see the end zone like Peterson. If the Vikings choose to go with a by-committee, approach Asiata is likely to handle short-yardage and goal-line snaps. McKinnon could have a tough first start as the Vikings face the Carolina Panthers in Week 3.