We know two things about Adrian Peterson heading into the 2015 fantasy football season. The league will actually let him play and he’s probably stuck with the Minnesota Vikings. Now that we know a guy who usually is a legit threat to be the best running back in fantasy land, what do we make of it?
Perhaps the more important question is, why are we trying so hard to deny the obvious? The obvious being, that Adrian Peterson is a skull-crushing fiend that is probably pretty pissed about being suspended for 15 games a year ago.
For some reason, trusting or not trusting the best running back we’ve seen in forever, is a thing. So, let’s tackle every issue fantasy owners have with Peterson and see where he fulls on our trust radar.
A.D. is Old as Balls
Adrian Peterson is 30 years old, but that doesn’t mean we need to freak out just yet. He only turned 30 in March, should be refreshed after sitting out 15 games last year and he’s kind of not a normal human being. Logic suggests Peterson will see a sharp regression at some point, but the speed, bulk, strength, physicality and explosiveness are all still there. In fact, with over a year to train and a chip on his shoulder, it’s quite possible Peterson will enter 2015 in the best shape of his life. His age is the only viable concern, in my opinion, but with no clear signs of him slowing down, I’m not buying it as a reason not to draft him.
Dude Has Too Many Carries
Not really, brah. He’s had a few big seasons with carries (363, 348 and 315) but he hasn’t topped 300 totes in any other season. He has proven over time he’s not really all that injury prone (eight total games missed due to injury in eight seasons) and a heavy workload doesn’t really break him down. That doesn’t mean it couldn’t, but he had only 21 carries in one game last year and 279 in 2013. If you’re worried about carry numbers he had before then, you’re just getting weird with it.
He Wasn’t Great in 2014
No kidding. He played one freaking game. Sure, he was average in that lone game (93 total yards on 23 total touches) but that came against a vicious St. Louis Rams defense that ended up being pretty darn good. It was on the road, too. I think we can forgive Peterson for the 9.3 points in standard leagues.
Time Off Will Hurt Him
It’s stupid to suggest it’s impossible for that to be the case. But it’s just as stupid to completely buy that and ignore the odds of what amounts to an entire year off giving Peterson fresh legs and extra motivation to murder every defender in his path.
He Plays For the Vikings
That’s not a bad thing anymore. Jerick McKinnon and something called a Matt Asiata had big fantasy days for lucky owners in 2014 and that’s because the Vikes have a balanced offense that likes to run the ball. Minnesota is a rising team, and while they’re not elite, they have solid talent around Peterson on offense now and also have a solid defense backing them. Peterson could be playing for worse teams.
There Are Other/Better Options
Maybe, but there aren’t many. You could make a strong argument for Le’Veon Bell or Jamaal Charles (for the moment I do prefer Charles as the first running back off the board), but everyone has their skeletons and not a single option is “for sure” better than Peterson.
His ADP is Pretty Much the Worst
I’ll give in to this one. The dude misses basically an entire year and his end to 2013 was less than appealing, and here he’s being drafted as the third overall pick in fantasy football drafts. That’s not ideal. Ideal would be Peterson somehow sliding to you at the end of round one or even in round two and then he slaps the NFL around like it owes him money. But that’s going to happen, regardless, so just bite the bullet on this one and draft the guy.
He’s Slowing Down
Is he, now? Says who? I’d love to see the evidence of this dramatic crashing down to earth Peterson has suffered, because from where I’m sitting, it just doesn’t exist. Peterson was completely fine in his last normal season in 2013, where he finished as fantasy’s 8th best running back despite missing two games and getting nicked up down the stretch. Yeah, he got a little hurt to end that year and he didn’t win you your title. So, he sucks now? Please.
Yes, Peterson is aging. Yes, he’s been out of the league for pretty much a year. But he’s Adrian freaking Peterson. And he’s pissed. And he can still ball. And he’s in the NFC North where an awful Bears defense, a beatable Packers defense (which he has always owned) and a Lions defense sans Ndamukong Suh all reside.
If you’re worried about Peterson being your top pick or you’re first round selection due to injury, you’re playing the wrong fantasy sport. The reality is anyone can get hurt, anyone can get suspended and anyone can randomly suck the soul out of your body (I’m looking at you, Doug Martin). But this is Adrian Peterson, and he’s going to be fine. Check that, he’s going to be awesome.