As a lifetime of bleeding purple being a Minnesota Viking fan, I heard a big gasp (and several curse words) after Adrian Peterson got injured in week 16 last year against the Washington Redskins. There is no denying that the tackle looked extremely painful. As it was, being a Viking fan the past couple of years has been painful enough. Let me rephrase that, it has been painful my entire life. How many teams can you name to have lost four Super Bowls? We also lost two NFC Championship games in the past 14 years when many experts thought we had the best team in football. Lets face it, you need to be really strong and committed (or should be??) to be a Viking fan. Peterson is one of a few players that we as Viking fans could string our hopes onto. Many fantasy players have done the same thing with him since his standout rookie season of 2007. Let us examine where we can rightfully place him to start the NFL season for fantasy purposes.
When a running back suffers an injury like AP did, the normal time frame is about 1 year. That would put "Purple Jesus" out for the 2012 season. But the athletic freak that he is does not make it considered impossible. The media circus has kept everybody here in Minnesota up with his incredible and remarkable recovery. He reportedly has beaten several teammates in wind sprints this summer, including Percy Harvin . All-Day has also already practiced with the Vikings, though no contact has been the rule. It was rumored that if you hit him, you would be cut on the spot. Adrian has been begging for more at practice and to allow him to be hit and maybe even play in a pre-season game. The big queston is "can he cut?" I saw the tape of him running the pylons and it looked like he could. But what about getting hit?? The coaches (and ownership) has not budged, they don't want to push it. Toby Gerhart is the backup and has looked very good both in stints last year and so far this year. They also have Percy Harvin to help run the ball. He far and away led all wide receivers last year in carries and has shown he can do it on a regular basis like he did in college at Florida. Why risk it when you have another good running back (and wide receiver) , let him get to full health first.
Did you know that Adrian Peterson did not even start his rookie season?? It was Chester Taylor, who was coming off of a 1,000 year, who was starting. Not many guys can say that they made headlines in their first game, but AP did. He has done it ever since and has been a top 3 pick in fantasy every year since. I guess when you score 64 touchdowns in 5 years will help do that. Peterson has also averaged over 80 yards a game and has exceeded 100 yards on 27 different occasions. That is what makes fantasy football owners drool. I own two Adrian Peterson jerseys because I have seen the guy work in person. I was at the game when he broke the record for most rushing yards in a game. It was against San Diego in 2007 with 296 rushing yards during the game. The rookie was an absolute beast!!!
During the off-season many players found themselves in legal trouble. Adrain was among them. He was arrested in Houston for staying in a night club after hours amd shoving an officer amd resisting arrest in July. The case has been pushed back to gather more evidence. It is reported to be a non-serious incident and nothing more then a fine is expected from the courts. It has not been a great season from NFL standards however and a great number of players have been arrested. Does Roger Goddell make a stand and punish all of them?? More on this will come.
Last year was very frustrating for fantasy football players as a great deal of injuries impacted the outcome of their teams. High profile, high draft pick players went down or guys having great season went down and little was there to help replace them. Beside the Oklahoma Sooner you had: Jamaal Charles, Matt Forte, F. Jackson, Darren McFadden, Rashard Mendenhall, and DeMarco Murray go down. This year so far we have also had injuries to Trent Richardson and Ryan Mathews suffer injuries. We also have to worry about a suspension to Marshawn Lynch for another run-in with the law, that is about 200 for him. With so many questions at running back, who can you trust after the top 3??
FFToolbox currently projects Peterson to have 250 rushes, 1200 rushing yards, 10 TD's rushing and 27 catches for 208 yards and 1 touchdown receiving. Those numbers indicate using a high pick on him and don't look back. We currently have him as the #11 running back and #21 overall. The ADP is currently at #9 running back and #18 overall. I think I may trust him more then others on the list that were injured because he doesn't have a history like McFadden and Murray do. He should be a top ten back for you and should be gone by #15. Do you trust me??