I just cannot understand how this guy is some people’s 15-20 best fantasy RB for this year. The guy missed four games last year, still finished as the 7th best fantasy RB and you’re going to tell me that there are 15 people better than him this year? Absolute craziness. AP is already up to 100 percent when it comes to running in a straight line, that alone still makes him a top 10 RB. Granted, his cuts aren’t going to be as effective during the first half of the year but there is absolutely no reason to think he can’t be an explosive threat anyways.
What I stated for Ponder remains true here; the offense is improved from last year and the schedule is favorable. The offensive line can’t be any worse at opening up running lanes than last year and you have to think Kalil will help it out at least a little. Add in some of the new playmakers at wideout and the line of scrimmage just got a lot less crowded. Even if the improvements on offense turn out to minimal, the schedule will help out AP regardless. The Vikings play IND (29th ranked run defense), DET twice (23rd), TEN (24th), WAS (18th), ARZ (21st), TB (32nd), SEA (15th), and STL (31st). You’re telling me AP can’t be a difference maker in those games even if he’s 80% of his normal self?
I’m not saying that AP is the number one fantasy RB this year; Rice, McCoy and Foster are unquestionably better choices, but after those three it’s anybody’s guess. Turner is another year older, Jones-Drew is probably going to miss time in camp due to his contract, Ryan Mathews can’t stay healthy for an entire year and Marshawn Lynch just got a hefty new contract. In other words, just about every RB has some sort of issue that might hold them back this year. Why not roll with someone who has been a consistent force for his entire career?
If you are in a PPR league Peterson’s value is a bit diminished due to the lack of receptions he receives (would it kill Musgrave to run some screens for #28?). Also, if there are no Viking fans in your league and your competitors tend to take advice from the media you might be able to steal Peterson in Round 3 (possibly later). I wouldn’t take Peterson in Round 1 (unless you’re in a 12+ team league) but would target him in the 2nd just to be safe. Overall Peterson is no more risky than the majority of the other running backs, he’s got a lot of things going for him this year and you’ll be able to get him outside the first round for the first time since his rookie year.