Ben Tate could not survive in Cleveland, don't expect him to light it up in Minnesota.
Ben Tate could not survive in Cleveland, don’t expect him to light it up in Minnesota.

The Minnesota Vikings claimed former Browns running back Ben Tate off of waivers on Wednesday, to the surprise of some NFL insiders.  While the initial reaction was that Tate would impact Jerick McKinnon’s fantasy value, that does not look like it will be the case.  There are a couple reasons not to worry in you own the rookie running back McKinnon:

1. It takes a while for a running back to learn a new offense.  Remember the Trent Richardson trade last year? Richardson looked lost on the field in the Colts offense, because he simply did not understand the system.  Tate is coming in on a short week, and not only has to learn the verbiage of the Vikings system, but also blitz pickups and blocking assignments.  Tate will not be trusted enough yet to put a dent in McKinnon’s touches or production.

2. Vikings offensive coordinator Norv Turner came out today and reiterated that McKinnon is “our back” and the Tate claim was due to a lack of running back depth on the team.  Both McKinnon and Matt Asiata have missed practice this week due to injury (McKinnon is expected to play, Asiata looks iffy due to a concussion). 

Jerick is still the number one back for the Vikings.
Jerick is still the number one back for the Vikings.

The rookie McKinnon has performed very well since the opportunity for playing time arose, rushing for 498 yards with an average of five yards per carry, not bad for a rookie who was a quarterback in college. If you are a McKinnon owner he is a must start this week against a Packers defense that allows the fifth most rushing yards per game.

Dan SchalkFF AnalysisFootballMinnesota VikingsThe Minnesota Vikings claimed former Browns running back Ben Tate off of waivers on Wednesday, to the surprise of some NFL insiders.  While the initial reaction was that Tate would impact Jerick McKinnon's fantasy value, that does not look like it will be the case.  There are a couple...Why go anywhere else for sports and entertainment?