Fantasy Football 2013: Should You Trade Adrian Peterson?

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I know what you’re probably thinking.

Adrian Peterson is far and away the best running back in all of football. He’s flirted with history, he’s set records and he’s been a unanimous number one fantasy back. I love him, he’s awesome, and he can probably run through a brick wall.

That’s on fire.

However, as awesome as he is, could the star runner see his fantasy value dwindle down the stretch? It’s possible, and if your league’s trade deadline hasn’t passed just yet, I would strongly consider trading him for better value if you are serious in your attempts of a playoff push.

Excuse me while I take cover.

Look, I get it. It’s difficult to trade someone with the name value of a guy like Peterson. But Peterson has a few things going against him for the rest of the season, and it’s that same name value that can allow you to get something good in return. Perhaps even a two-for-one type of move. Again, it may sound crazy, but you may also be better off.

Schedule

You may feel bad watching Peterson potentially destroy his next two matchups, but it gets pretty tough right after, which is a contributing factor to sell him in itself. Keep in mind that the Vikings offense is extremely one dimensional, having switched starting quarterbacks too many times. It may not matter, but opposing defenses should continue to stack the box and force whoever is under center to beat them with his arm. Here is a look at the rest of Peterson’s opponents this season:

Opponent

FPPG To RB

Rank

Green Bay 18.62 16th-most
Chicago 23.10 8th-most
Baltimore 15.27 2nd-fewest
Philadelphia 20.44 13th-most
Cincinnati 16.66 4th-fewest
Detroit 18.32 20th-most

 

Baltimore has allowed just one running back to rush for a touchdown against them this season, and are currently surrendering just 3.7 yards per rushing attempt, which is the sixth-fewest in the league. Meanwhile, both Detroit and and Cincinnati rank inside the top-10 in rushing yards allowed per contest. Of course, Peterson can succeed against anyone, but after two strong matchups, it’ll be tougher than usual for the machine that is, Adrian Peterson.

The Situation

In case you haven’t noticed, the Vikings are one of the worst teams in football, and at 2-8, they have nothing else to play for this year. Having said that, it wouldn’t surprise me to see them limit Peterson’s workload a bit, especially considering he is currently dealing with groin injury, and hasn’t been practicing this week. Over the last two weeks, backup Toby Gerhart has seen 33 snaps, as Peterson rested during a blowout against the Seahawks last week. Like I said, Minnesota is bad, and they could be behind in a fair share of games the rest of the way. Why risk an injury to your franchise running back in a lost season? I mean, I’m sure the Vikings don’t want to see a repeat of the 2011 season where Peterson tore both his ACL and MCL during a Week 17 game against the Redskins.

The Vikings offense also has trouble consistently moving up and down the field. They currently rank 23rd in red zone attempts per game with 2.8, 14th in points per game, and because the offense doesn’t have a lot of playmakers, Peterson doesn’t get a ton of looks from up close. He only has 26 red zone rushing attempts this season, and seven of his nine rushing scores have come from that area. Simply, there may be more (and better) opportunity for other top rushers for the rest of the season.

Guys To Target

If you are planning on selling Peterson, first off, try to get a two-for-one. That name mesmerizes opposing fantasy owners sometimes, and they will often surrender a lot more than the asking price generally is. Obviously, you will need a running back in return, but try to get a WR2 or possibly a tight end in the process.

Alfred Morris

I’m not quite sure why Morris continues to get so little recognition. Perhaps it’s because he isn’t as versatile as some of these other backs, but it needs to stop. Again, the sophomore is following his historic rookie campaign with a heck of a 2013 season, currently third in the league in rushing yards (918). Washington is 5th in the league in rushing attempts per game (30.7), and Morris gets Atlanta and Dallas in the fantasy playoffs. Sign me up.

Dez Bryant

Bryant has been pretty quiet as of late, but if you can get him and a smaller piece in return for Peterson, I’d do it. Bryant plays on one of the pass-heaviest teams in the league, and considering the Cowboys tend to often abandon the running game, Bryant should get plenty of opportunity. Let’s just hope he gets the necessary targets to warrant a top fantasy wideout. His schedule is strong, getting the Giants, Raiders, Bears, Packers, Redskins and Eagles.

Other notable guys: Matt Forte, Brandon Marshall, Zac Stacy, Wes Welker

Adam Pfeifer is a featured fantasy sports columnist for Rant Sports.

You can follow him on Twitter @aPfeiferRS.


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