I am in the minority when it comes to Minnesota Vikings‘ Adrian Peterson this fantasy football season. As I evaluate players each fantasy season, I rely heavily on three things – history, statistical trends and gut feeling, with the latter being the overriding factor when all others sit on the proverbial fence.
Listen, I love the guy, he’s an NFL ambassador and he was arguably the best football storyline in 2012, but AP is a fantasy football bust in 2013.
There, I said it. Although I feel shame and a bit dirty saying anything negative about a Fantasy Football icon and all-around great guy, I stick firmly by my convictions. Here’s the thing: most folks are drafting AP with dreams of grandeur that includes the shattering of basically every single season rushing stat in NFL history.
And although I too am in the corner of the former Oklahoma Sooners running back, I simply see no way that those things see fruition in 2013.
I see AP’s ceiling as his traditional work load; borderline 300 carries, a bit over 1300 yards rushing and double digit touchdowns. Those are most certainly not numbers to scoff at, but they do fall well short of the record-breaking numbers expected by most.
Of course, these numbers could change based on health and endurance, which is something that you must consider if you draft Peterson this season.
Although AP certainly seems superhuman at times, the Vikings running back will turn 29 in March, encroaching that dreadful 30 years of age for NFL running backs. And there is plenty of wear and tear on the tires. The Vikings have not been shy in using their offensive workhorse through the years as the offensive weapon of choice.
Not only is Father Time working against AP, so too are the trends of fantasy football over the last five years.
To draft AP in 2013, you will need the no. 1 overall pick, which is historically a dangerous place to select. Of the projected no. 1 running backs in the last five years, not one finished the season ranked no. 1 statistically (and only two – Peterson and Arian Foster – finished in the top-five at season’s end).
In other words, the top overall pick in fantasy football drafts over the last five years has been a bust. Therefore, I’m simply playing the odds and rolling with the laws of probability with AP in 2013. There is a high probability that the publishing of this article will put me in poor graces with the proverbial Fantasy Gods for years to come, possibly casting doubt and failure on my future seasons.
Chalk it up as just one of the many pitfalls of writing about fantasy sports, and a simple declaration of the sacrifices that I unselfishly make to ensure all readers are informed all the time.
It’s not an easy job, but someone has to do it.