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RB Bishop Sankey - Minnesota Vikings

5-9, 209Born: 9-15-1992College: WashingtonDrafted: Round 2

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Photo: Geoff Burke, US Presswire

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Week 7: vs Baltimore Ravens

All RB vs BAL

FBG says: Neutral matchup. Maybe it's the rebuilt offensive line, but for whatever reason, Jerick McKinnon finally looks truly explosive. The SPARQ superstar has picked up nicely where rookie sensation Dalvin Cook left off, racking up 164 yards and 2 touchdowns on 36 carries over the past 2 weeks. That said, this still isn't a very consistent unit, and it tends to rely on chunk runs for its productivity. If we look past McKinnon's 58-yard Week 5 scamper - that's not fair, but it's pragmatic - he's totaled a ho-hum 106 yards on 31 rushes (3.42 per) over those 2 games. (Both came against mediocre run defenses.) The line is improved from 2016 but is still coming together, and McKinnon will see suboptimal defensive fronts with wideout Stefon Diggs on the shelf. That makes him look a bit riskier, though it's fair to point out that, for the freakish McKinnon (a 97th-percentile burst score and 92nd-percentile agility score), long runs aren't weird or unpredictable. Latavius Murray sees change-of-pace duties, but he's yet to show any kind of desirable pace, gaining just 2.37 yards per rush. He hasn't been productive on the goal line, either, which once looked like it would be his primary role in Minnesota. Almost certainly, the productivity of this unit will rely on McKinnon's big-play ability every week. It's a risky proposition against stout run defenses but seems fairly dependable against weaker and/or injury-depleted units like Baltimore's. He could put on an open-field clinic against the Ravens' overmatched linebackers and safeties. With nose tackle Brandon Williams out, the Ravens run defense has officially become a liability. Since Williams' injury, they've allowed each of their last 4 opponents to top 107 yards, and 3 of them have topped 165. His absence exposes their subpar linebacking corps, which shuffles around and doesn't look capable in pursuit. That said, they're not being gashed on a per-attempt basis. Over that stretch, lead backs Leonard Fournette, LeVeon Bell, Marshawn Lynch, and Jordan Howard have averaged a ho-hum 4.13 yards per carry. There's a good chance they'll continue to keep opposing runners from huge chunk plays. But regardless, offenses are grinding them down consistently. Any time they find themselves in negative game script, we can confidently assume the Ravens will be worn down with volume, even if Williams returns this week.

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7vs Baltimore Ravens
8@ Cleveland Browns
9--- BYE WEEK ---
10@ Washington Redskins
11vs Los Angeles Rams
12@ Detroit Lions
13@ Atlanta Falcons
14@ Carolina Panthers
15vs Cincinnati Bengals
16@ Green Bay Packers
17vs Chicago Bears