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Mattison signing shouldn't hurt Zamir

I'm not sure how I feel about Zamir White for next season. As a rookie, the fourth-rounder couldn't get on the field. Last year, it was Week 15 before he finally did something noteworthy. But I know for a fact I'm not concerned about Alexander Mattison.

Las Vegas signed the former Vikings back yesterday. No contract details available yet, which is telling in itself -- if it were an attractive deal, Mattison's agent would be trumpeting it to the high hills immediately after it was agreed to. It's probably a small money deal, and while he'll have a chance to earn some playing time, there's little to suggest he'll be much of a threat to White's starting job. He flopped pretty hard as Minnesota's starter last year.

Mattison appeared in 16 games last year, starting 13 of them. He didn't score any rushing touchdowns, impressive in itself. He caught 30 passes and 3 TDs, so there's that. But among running backs who started more than half the season, it was hard to find a more disappointing player.

There were 34 running backs who either started or had at least a half-the-time role for 9-plus games a year ago. (The "half-the-time" qualifier is to include guys who had a starter-type role when healthy without actually starting: Jaylen Warren, DeVon Achane, Jahmyr Gibbs.) Nobody was less productive in fantasy leagues than Mattison.

Table shows the per-game numbers last year for all of those backs, sorted by fantasy points (PPR).

Christian McCaffrey, S.F.1691.24.235.3126.41.3124.7
Kyren Williams, LAR1199.32.918.5117.81.2122.0
Raheem Mostert, Mia.1567.51.711.779.11.4018.0
Alvin Kamara, N.O.1353.45.835.889.2.5417.9
DeVon Achane, Mia.1172.72.517.990.61.0017.5
Breece Hall, NYJ1758.54.534.893.2.5517.1
Travis Etienne, Jac.1759.33.428.087.3.7516.6
Jahmyr Gibbs, Det.1563.03.521.184.1.7316.3
Saquon Barkley, NYG1468.72.920.088.7.7416.2
Rachaad White, T.B.1758.23.832.390.5.5316.0
Bijan Robinson, Atl.1660.83.630.491.3.5015.8
Joe Mixon, Cin.1760.
James Conner, Ari.1380.02.112.792.7.6915.5
Isiah Pacheco, K.C.1466.83.117.484.2.6415.4
David Montgomery, Det.1472.51.18.480.9.9514.9
Josh Jacobs, L.V.1361.92.822.884.7.4614.1
Derrick Henry, Ten.1768.61.612.681.2.7114.0
James Cook, Buff.1766.02.626.292.2.3513.9
Austin Ekeler, LAC1444.93.631.176.0.4313.8
Brian Robinson, Was.1548.92.424.573.4.6213.5
Devin Singletary, Hou.1071.52.315.186.6.4013.4
D'Andre Swift, Phil.1569.72.514.384.0.4013.3
Kenneth Walker, Sea.1560.31.917.377.6.6013.3
Tony Pollard, Dall.1759.13.218.377.4.3713.2
Chuba Hubbard, Car.1262.32.314.777.0.4212.5
Aaron Jones, G.B.1159.62.721.280.8.2712.4
Jerome Ford, Cle.1544.72.719.664.3.5312.4
Rhamondre Stevenson, N.E.1251.63.219.871.4.3312.3
Jaylen Warren, Pitt.1746.13.621.867.9.2411.8
Khalil Herbert, Chi.962.21.913.876.0.3711.7
Najee Harris, Pitt.1760.91.710.070.9.4711.6
Javonte Williams, Den.1648.42.914.362.6.3511.3
Gus Edwards, Balt.1747.6.710.658.2.7811.2
Alexander Mattison, Min.1350.82.113.464.2.239.9

White didn't play enough to make the table, but in his four starts the final month of the season, he averaged 99 rushing yards and 15 receiving yards, with 1 TD. That works out to 15 points per game in PPR leagues, which would have been 15th on the table, just behind Isiah Pacheco. Small sample set, but he'll get the opportunity to build on that in 2024. Mattison looks more likely to be a change-of-pace and insurance starter; not a real threat to White's outlook.

An additional note on the table. I notice that the two running backs only marginally better than Mattison last year also play for AFC West teams. Javonte Williams in Denver, and newest Charger Gus Edwards. Williams doesn't score, while Edwards is a non-factor in the passing game. Maybe Williams will be better a year removed from his ACL injury, and maybe Edwards will get some work as a receiver in Jim Harbaugh's offense (though more likely it will be a different back, perhaps one who starts over Edwards). In any case, neither guy looks particularly exciting at the moment.

--Andy Richardson

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