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44 Matt Asiata RB
Height/Weight: 6-0/234 | Birthdate: 7/24/1987 | Birthplace: Garden Grove, CA, USA | Team: Minnesota | College: Utah | NFL Experience: 3 | Owned/Started%: 59/12 | Average Draft Position: 151.00
MIN

Latest Updates

 

Norv Turner says Jerick McKinnon is 'our running back'


by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(1:59 pm ET) Vikings offensive coordinator Norv Turner clarified the team's backfield situation Thursday, and it was good news for rookie Jerick McKinnon. Turner said the team claimed running back Ben Tate because of injuries at the position and that Tate was not brought in to take McKinnon's job.

"Obviously, we're in a situation where [Wednesday] we had one back that could practice, so the timing of [Tate] being released and the opportunity for us to add a back, certainly it was good timing," Turner told the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

"We're excited about Jerick and what he's done, and I see him as our running back," Turner added.

McKinnon did not practice Wednesday due to a back injury, but is expected to be fine for Sunday's game against the Packers. Running back Matt Asiata's status is in doubt after he suffered a concussion Week 11, Turner told the paper.


Matt Asiata, Jerick McKinnon sit for Vikings Wednesday


by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(11/19/2014) Vikings running backs Matt Asiata and Jerick McKinnon did not practice on Wednesday.

Asiata is dealing with a concussion. McKinnon has a back injury. The team also claimed Ben Tate off waivers Wednesday, which could signal the team is concerned about the current injuries to Asiata and McKinnon. The status of both players will be determined based on how much work they can put in over the next two days. 


Waiting on Adrian Peterson probably won't pay off


by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(11/18/2014) Fantasy owners who stashed Adrian Peterson in hopes of getting a boost late in the season received a body blow Tuesday, with the league's announcement that Peterson has been suspended for the remainder of the season.

Peterson, who had been on the league's Exempt/Commissioner's Permission list since Sept. 17, was hoping to return for the final six weeks of the season after accepting a plea deal in his case last week. However, the announcement of Peterson's suspension and the Vikings' statement of non-support for Peterson seems to indicate that his chances of seeing the field this season are essentially gone.

The NFLPA has already announced it will appeal the suspension, but is there any reason at this point to think the Vikings would welcome Peterson back into the fold with open arms? "We respect the league's decision and will have no further comment at this time," hardly sounds like the statement of a team that is going to fight to get Peterson back on the field, does it? Even if he is reinstated, will the Vikings be willing to make him active every week, especially when reports have indicated he may not be a long-term part of their plans beyond this season anyways?

Though there is a slim chance Peterson could still return, it probably isn't something you want to pin your hopes on. If you can spare the roster spot, it probably isn't hurting you to keep him on the end of your bench, but don't expect much out of it. At this point, both Jerick McKinnon (79 percent owned) and Matt Asiata (73 percent) should both be valued over Peterson.


Vikings backup rushers manage little Week 11


by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(11/16/2014) The Vikings backup rushers didn't do much Week 11 against the Bears.

Free safety Andrew Sendejo actually did make a difference, leading the team in rushing. He gained 48 yards on a fake punt. It was his only rush of the game. 

Jerome Felton got one carry, gaining 3 yards. Matt Asiata also had one carry, but gained 2 yards. Asiata also had three receptions for 12 yards.

They'll look for more Week 12 against the Packers. 


Asiata on fellow Vikings RB Peterson: 'He can't wait to play'


by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(11/13/2014) Vikings running back Matt Asiata revealed Thursday that he's been exchanging texts with suspended Adrian Peterson and that the latter is optimistic about soon rejoining the team.

Peterson was indicted in Texas in September to a felony charge of child abuse and will miss his ninth straight game Sunday. He remains on the NFL exempt list and will have a hearing Monday with an arbitrator over an NFLPA grievance that seeks to have him reinstated.

"He can't wait to play," Asiata reported to the St. Paul Pioneer Press. "He's staying on the grind and just waiting for the call to come back. ... He's so competitive."


Matt Asiata still a goal-line vulture for Jerick McKinnon


by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(11/2/2014) Vikings running back Jerick McKinnon remains the top option in the running game, but Matt Asiata just won't go away, as he showed yet again in Week 9's win over the Redskins Sunday.

McKinnon was once again the top option in the rushing game, picking up 54 rushing yards on 14 carries, while adding three receptions for 14 yards. Asiata, on the other hand, had just 26 yards on 10 carries, but got the bulk of the goal-line work en route to three more touchdowns.

The Vikings clearly trust McKinnon for a big role between the 20's, and he has mostly answered the call, averaging 73.2 rushing yards per game on 5.2 yards per carry since his Week four breakout. However, he has yet to score a touchdown in that time, while Asiata has six touchdowns in that same time span, on the strength of a pair of three-score games.

If McKinnon was to get more goal-line work, there is no guarantee he would be successful with it. However, that would probably be the best outcome for Fantasy owners, who can't feel comfortable trusting Asiata either. At this point, McKinnon is clearly the best option here, but there is a ceiling on his Fantasy potential as long as Asiata is around. Consider him more of a second running back option down the stretch, with the Vikings on a bye in Week 10.  


Vikings RB Matt Asiata tallies three TDs in Week 9 win


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(11/2/2014) Vikings running back Matt Asiata rushed for three touchdowns, helping Minnesota to a 29-26 win Week 9 vs. Washington. He finished with 26 rushing yards on 10 carries, while adding four catches for 31 yards.

Asiata gave Minnesota a 14-10 lead at 10:44 of the second quarter with a 1-yard touchdown run. He put Minnesota ahead again, 21-20, with a 7-yard touchdown run early in the third quarter. Finally, Asiata's last touchdown stood as the game-winner, as his 1-yard score with 3:27 left gave Minnesota a 27-26 lead. He extended the lead to 29-26 with a two-point conversion.

Sunday was the second time Asiata had three rushing touchdowns in a game this season. He also had three rushing touchdowns in a 41-28 win Week 4 against the Falcons.

The Vikings are on a bye Week 10 before returning to action Week 11 at Chicago.


Vikings get offensive contributions in OT win


by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(10/26/2014) The Vikings got several offensive contributions in their 19-13 overtime win at Tampa Bay. Among them, running back Matt Asiata caught four of five targets for 26 yards and rushed four times for 1 yard.

Wideout Charles Johnson caught two passes for 18 yards, and receiver Jarius Wright made two catches for 13 yards. They'll all face the Redskins in Week 9.


Jerick McKinnon's role only growing


by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(10/19/2014) Jerick McKinnon has looked like a better option for the Vikings than Matt Asiata, and it seems like the team is ready to hand the running game over to him full time.

McKinnon has seen his role grow greatly over the last four games, but was still splitting carries with Asiata up until two weeks ago.McKinnon was clearly the top option in Week 7 against the Bills, however, as he received 19 carries to Asiata's six. More importantly, he looked like a back who is worthy of that kind of role, as he paced the team with 103 yards on the ground.

Asiata is not going away, and could end up stealing some goal-line carries from McKinnon, who has yet to score this season. However, if you could only own one back in Minnesota, McKinnon has to be the guy. Especially with a matchup against the ever-vulnerable Buccaneers' defense on the way in Week 8. 


Vikings' Matt Asiata continues to be a backup


by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(10/19/2014) Vikings running back Matt Asiata was used as a backup Week 7.

Asiata again watched as Jerick McKinnon received the bulk of the carries. Asiata was average when he got the ball, gaining 24 yards on six carries. Asiata did have a reception, picking up 13 yards. 

He'll look for more Week 8 against the Buccaneers. 


Better to avoid Vikings running backs this week


by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(10/16/2014) Though no announcement was ever made (except to refute the claim in the days that followed), Jerick McKinnon appeared to overtake Matt Asiata as the Vikings' top running back Week 6 against Detroit, getting each of the team's first six carries and 17 total touches to Asiata's three.

But since coach Mike Zimmer is saying he prefers a more even distribution between the two, this situation is far from settled, and with the matchup the Vikings have in Week 7, it would need to be for you to gamble on either player.

The Vikings visit the Bills, who rank first against the run. They've allowed 67.5 yards per game and an astonishing 2.8 yards per carry. They also have yet to surrender a touchdown on the ground.

As you might expect, they've allowed the fewest Fantasy points per game to running backs. Two unproven options in an uncertain timeshare aren't the best bets to reverse the trend. Better to sit back and watch what develops this week than to try something sneaky.


Mike Zimmer wants backfield touches to even out


by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(10/15/2014) Vikings coach Mike Zimmer told reporters he'd like to get running back Matt Asiata more touches and running back Jerick McKinnon fewer touches than last week, reports WGR in Buffalo. Asiata got three touches to McKinnon's 17 in the home loss to Detroit.

Minnesota visits the Bills on Sunday.


Jerick McKinnon inching ahead of Matt Asiata?


by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(10/12/2014) Matt Asiata, who has been the Vikings' primary ball carrier since the start of Adrian Peterson's off-the-field issues, took a back seat to Jerick McKinnon Week 6 against Detroit. In fact, Asiata didn't touch the ball until midway through the second quarter, with McKinnon getting each of the Vikings' first six carries.

In all, Asiata got just three touches, losing 5 yards on two carries and gaining 18 on a catch. He was targeted one other time in the passing game but had the ball deflect off his hands for an interception. That was in the second quarter. He made only one statistical contribution after that.

True, he was probable coming into the game with a groin injury, so it's possible his workload was adjusted for his health. Also, McKinnon may not have put the dilemma to rest with his performance, gaining 40 yards on 11 carries. But the rookie is clearly the more explosive of the two and proved viable in the passing game as well, actually leading the Vikings with 42 yards on six receptions.

If you own both in Fantasy, you should probably lean more toward starting McKinnon than Asiata at the Bills in Week 7, but both do need to be owned until we have more clarity here.


Vikings' Matt Asiata doesn't get much work Week 6


by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(10/12/2014) Vikings running back Matt Asiata didn't get much work Week 6.

Asiata only had two rushes for -5 yards. He caught one pass for 18 yards during the contest. The team opted to feature Jerick McKinnon during the game, putting Asiata in a backup role. He'll look for more Week 7 against the Bills. 


Matt Asiata, Jerick McKinnon good to go for Vikings


by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(10/12/2014) The Vikings will have both Matt Asiata and Jerick McKinnon available Week 6 against the Lions.

Both players entered the week listed as probable, so the moves aren't a surprise. Asiata was listed with a groin issue, while McKinnon is battling an ankle injury. 


Vikings fairly healthy as they prepare for Week 6 game


by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(10/10/2014) Only three injured Vikings are possibilities to be inactive for the Sunday game against Detroit. Included is tight end Kyle Rudolph, who has already been ruled out with an abdomen issue.

The others are linebacker Chad Greenway, who is doubtful with a hand injury, and safety Harrison Smith (ankle), who is questionable.

There are several big games among the probables, which include running backs Jerick McKinnon (ankle) and Matt Asiata (groin), quarterback Teddy Bridgewater (ankle), linebacker Michael Mauti (foot), defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd (elbow) and wideout Cordarrelle Patterson (hip).


Matt Asiata running into tough matchup


by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(10/8/2014) With the exception of Week 5 against the Falcons, when he broke out for three touchdowns, Vikings running back Matt Asiata has failed to stand out as the team's starter. That is unlikely to change in Week 6, with the Lions on the way.

Asiata has failed to reach double figures in two of his four games as the starter, and it wouldn't be a surprise to see him make it three after this Sunday. Running backs are averaging just 13.6 Fantasy points overall against the Lions this season, and though four backs have reached double figures, No. 1 backs are averaging just 9.4 points per game.

Asiata gets a healthy workload every week -- averaging 17.8 touches per week -- but he has been pretty underwhelming even with that work. He makes for a useful Fantasy option against a tough matchup, but is more of a low-end starter. 


Vikings RB Matt Asiata average during blowout


by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(10/2/2014) Vikings running back Matt Asiata had an average start during the team's blowout Thursday.

Asiata only had 15 carries, but picked up 72 yards. He averaged 4.8 yards per carry during the start. Asiata was also targeted three times in the passing game, but failed to come up with any catches. The Vikings fell behind fairly early, meaning Asiata couldn't get a lot of work during the game. Asiata received just three carries after halftime. Asiata also lost a fumble during the contest, but was not benched despite the turnover.

Asiata will take on the Lions Week 6. 


Jerick McKinnon shows more upside than Matt Asiata Sunday


by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(9/30/2014) If you just look at the raw snap counts for Matt Asiata and Jerick McKinnon in Week 4 against the Falcons, you might come away thinking Asiata was the workhorse and McKinnon is a change of pace back. After all, Asiata was on the field for 58 percent of the team's offensive plays, while McKinnon played the understudy role, with 42 percent of the work.

However, the numbers are a bit skewed by the first two drives, when Asiata played 13 consecutive snaps to open the game. It seemed like Asiata was in line for a huge workload Sunday, but McKinnon appears to have forced a change in the game plan. McKinnon opened the third drive with a 55-yard run, and the workload changed from that point on.

The Vikings played 63 offensive snaps from the start of the third drive, and McKinnon played 32 of them, with Asiata taking on 31. McKinnon touched the ball on 59.4 percent of his snaps as well, while Asiata touched the ball on just 48.4 percent of his snaps from that point on -- after getting eight touches on his first 13 plays.

Asiata seems likely to continue working as the primary ball carrier for the Vikings, but he just has not been particularly impressive, even accounting for his three-touchdown showing Sunday. McKinnon is less of a sure thing in this backfield given his workload, but he seems to have a much higher upside; even if you remove his 55-yard scamper, he averaged 4.7 yards per carry to Asiata's 3.9.

If you have to own one player in Minnesota, it should be Asiata. He is the starter, and it seems like the team is going to keep going back to him. However, McKinnon is the lottery ticket here. The Georgia Southern product has the higher upside in this backfield, and he might keep forcing the Vikings to change their plans moving forward. 

At the Fantasy Football Today blog, I snagged video from the game Sunday to compare how McKinnon and Asiata played. 


Vikings to keep using committee at running back


by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(9/30/2014) Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said he'll keep using running backs Matt Asiata and Jerick McKinnon as a committee, with McKinnon as the "change-of-pace back," reports the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

"I hope we can continue to grow his role, but I don't think he's going to be an every-down player right now," Zimmer said of McKinnon, who exploded for 135 rushing yards on 18 carries Sunday.

Asiata will continue to start after running for 78 yards and three touchdowns on 20 carries.


Matt Asiata has company in Jerick McKinnon


by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(9/28/2014) It was a strange afternoon for the Vikings' Matt Asiata Week 4 against Atlanta. While on the one hand, he had a career-best performance, scoring three times on runs of 1, 3 and 6 yards, he was only the Vikings second-leading rusher on the day, outperformed by rookie Jerick McKinnon.

Granted, Asiata's rushing was a drastic improvement from his previous two games, when he averaged 2.8 yards per carry. The Vikings saw fit to give him 20 carries, and he gained 78 yards with them. But while Asiata's longest run was 12 yards, McKinnon broke free for 55 yards early in the second quarter en route to 135.  He nearly had a touchdown of his own just before halftime, but it was overturned by an official review.

McKinnon was clearly the more explosive of the two backs and probably earned a larger share of the workload as a result. And if Asiata goes back to doing what he had been doing against defenses better equipped to stop him, I could see McKinnon overtaking him outright.

For now, Asiata remains the better choice for Week 5 at Green Bay, but you'll want to handcuff him in Fantasy.


Matt Asiata becomes acquainted with the end zone Week 4


by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(9/28/2014) Vikings running back Matt Asiata made a couple trips to the end zone Week 4.

Asiata led the team with 20 carries, though he was overshadowed in yardage by rookie Jerick McKinnon. Asiata made his carries count, though, plunging in three scores during the contest. Asiata was truly a short-yardage battering ram, scoring from 1, 3 and 6 yards. He also hauled in three passes for 22 yards. 

Asiata will take on the Packers Week 5. 


Falcons' troubles could spell good things for Vikings backs


by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(9/24/2014) Neither Matt Asiata nor Jerick McKinnon has taken advantage of their increased playing time since the opportunity presented itself for the Vikings, but Week 4 against the Falcons might be their best chance yet.

Asiata and McKinnon were targeted a combined nine times in Week 3 once Teddy Bridgewater took over under center, and that could work out well against the Falcons. Only two teams have allowed more receiving yards to running backs through three games than the Falcons, who have been diced for 224 yards on 23 receptions out of the backfield.

Asiata is likely to see the majority of the work yet again this week, and is the better Fantasy option of the two. His underwhelming numbers might make you want to stay away, but the Falcons have surrendered 25.7 Fantasy points per game to opposing running backs so far, the third-highest total in the league.

Asiata should be considered a decent starting option for Week 4, perhaps as a No. 2 Fantasy running back. McKinnon makes for a much less glamorous option, and should be looked at only as a desperation play in PPR leagues. 


Who was Teddy Bridgewater throwing to?


by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(9/22/2014) Teddy Bridgewater did not elicit as much excitement coming out of college as his fellow draft peers, and his NFL debut Sunday against the Saints reflected that. While Blake Bortles was tossing two touchdowns -- and two interceptions -- and Johnny Manziel was being used as a wide receiver on trick plays, Bridgewater came in did a solid, unspectacular job for the Vikings after Matt Cassel's injury Sunday.

Bridgewater put together a professional performance, though he didn't give the team enough to mount a comeback in the 20-9 loss. He completed 12 of 20 passes for 150 yards and added 27 on six carries, without recording a touchdown or turnover.

Bridgewater was not asked to do much, but he has plenty of weapons in this Minnesota offense, so that should change moving forward as he gets more comfortable. He targeted six players Sunday, and a breakdown of that could give Fantasy owners an idea of how he might spread the ball around moving forward:

Greg Jennings: six targets, four receptions; Cordarrelle Patterson: three targets, three receptions; Jerick McKinnon: five targets, two receptions; Matt Asiata: four targets, two receptions; Kyle Rudolph: one target, one reception; Rhett Ellison: one target, no receptions


Matt Asiata's one big play as receiver


by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(9/21/2014) Vikings running back Matt Asiata, making his second start in place of Adrian Peterson, didn't do anything show-stopping Week 3 at New Orleans. His one big play was a 41-yard reception in the second quarter, but he netted minus-5 yards on his other two catches. He was the Vikings second-most targeted receiver with six looks.

As a rusher, he never gained more than 8 yards, though he had just 12 carries total, still twice as many as any other Viking. He ran for 35 yards in all.

Asiata's opportunities were limited in the second half, when the Vikings had only three possessions. They were forced to throw mostly on the third one, trailing by multiple scores.

The Vikings host the Falcons in Week 4.