By Brad Berreman @bradberreman24 on July 22, 2014
When 1,266 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns looks like a disappointing season, you know you're good. That's what Adrian Peterson did in 2013, and he finished fifth in the league in rushing yards and was a top-10 fantasy running back once again.
Peterson's time as a top running back is winding down, but here are five reasons he's worth considering with the No. 1 overall pick in fantasy drafts this year.
The Vikings' defense has nowhere to go but up after last season, and new head coach Mike Zimmer along with some offseason additions virtually guarantees improvement this year. A defense that can simply get off the field more frequently on third down will open the door for Peterson to see more carries.
The Vikings still don't have an elite quarterback, at least until rookie Teddy Bridgewater has an opportunity to show he can be one. But the removal of Christian Ponder from the mix to be Minnesota's starting quarterback is great news for Peterson.
Peterson has double-digit rushing touchdowns in all seven seasons of his career, and the only season he has not rushed for at least 1,200 yards was 2011, when he played a career-low 12 games.
Offensive coordinator Norv Turner has said he intends to get Peterson more involved as a pass receiver this year, which would help him take less punishment and allow him to use his skills in space.
Turner deserves criticism for his dismal record as a head coach, but his track record as an offensive mind remains notable. Turner's history with running backs, ranging from elite (Emmitt Smith, LaDainian Tomlinson) to not quite at that level (LaMont Jordan, Stephen Davis), bodes well for Peterson maintaining a high level of production at age 29.
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