Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer put forth a plan on Tuesday that could benefit running back Adrian Peterson , his team, and his fantasy owners.
Zimmer told reporters that he would like to see Peterson get the ball in open spaces more often so as not to expose him to so many hits at the line of scrimmage as defenders crowd the box to stop him.
"I'm watching a game the other day and the two safeties just kept creeping closer and closer," Zimmer said. "[Peterson] is getting hit a lot. He's a fantastic runner. If we can get him space, he can do a lot of damage."
Peterson underwent groin surgery in January but is expected to be ready for offseason workouts in April.
Notice that Zimmer didn't indicate that he wants the ball in Peterson's hands less, just different ways. The easy takeaway from that kind of statement is the Vikings would like to use Peterson more as a receiver out of the backfield. He has reached 40 receptions a couple of times, but he could surpass that with number ease if Zimmer and offensive coordinator Norv Turner get creative.
Peterson is entering the final season of his 20s. He's no longer the undisputed No. 1 RB in fantasy drafts, but he is still top five, and Zimmer's intent could give Peterson even extra value in PPR leagues while also increasing the chances that he plays a full 16 games.