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TGIF: Is Adrian Peterson Overrated?

Adrian Peterson is not worthy of a first round pick. First of all, he plays for the Chicago Bears and they have not had an established running game in years…kidding. Yeah, I was going to waste space on THAT Adrian Peterson. Oh, its fun to laugh.

Don’t confuse this piece with my man KC’s literary work of art about Kevin Garnett. However, the vibe is similar. Adrian Peterson burst onto the NFL scene and sent shockwaves through the game of football that have not been seen before. As a rookie, he rushed for 1,341 yds and scored 13 total TD’s. His season included a pair of 200+ yd rushing games including an NFL record 296 yds in week 9 against the San Diego Chargers. He was named the AP Offensive Rookie of the Year and made the NFL Pro Bowl where he was named the MVP. Whew, that is quite the resume to have.

As fantasy football drafts are going on now, Adrian Peterson is being taken either 1st or 2nd overall (with LaDainian Tomlinson being the other player being decided between). However, is this man going to the hype and surpass an amazing rookie season? Unfortunately he has factors working against him that just may cause you to stray away from taking him in the top two.

INJURY HISTORY

It is no secret that Peterson is the not the healthiest horse in the barn (kind of an odd metaphor). His college career was plagued with injuries. During his freshman year he suffered a dislocated shoulder. In his sophomore year he had a high ankle sprain and in his junior year he broke his collarbone. Due to his injury history, he fell to the 7th overall pick in the 2007 draft. If it had not been for the injuries he surely would have gone in the top 3.

In the NFL during Week 10 against the Packers, Peterson suffered a knee injury that caused him to miss two games. He then returned in Week 13, less than a month after the injury occurred.

Running backs are always prone to injury and Peterson has clearly displayed that. If you break it down from college to the pros, then Adrian Peterson has been injured and has missed time in every single season he has played from 2004 to 2007.

INCONSISTENT NUMBERS

Yes, we all know how Peterson’s entire season was statistically impressive. He had two games where he rushed for more than 200 yds and four games where he rushed for more than 100 yds. So out of the 14 games he played, Peterson passed the century mark just 6 times.

One important aspect of a fantasy team’s draft preparation is how well a player will do during playoff time. A playoff time in a fantasy league can last anywhere from weeks 14-17. Down the stretch, where it really mattered to fantasy owners, Peterson seemed to hit a wall. During weeks 14-17, Peterson averaged just 2.7 YPC. This string of bad games included a horrible 14 rush, 3 yd effort against San Francisco. He may have been unstoppable early on, but when it mattered most to fantasy owners, Peterson fell flat on his face.

CHESTER TAYLOR

In his first season as a Viking, Chester Taylor compiled over 1,500 total yards and 6 TD’s. He averaged 4.0 YPC and caught 42 passes out of the backfield. The point is simply that Peterson is not the only back in Minnesota.

Despite having to share and give away most of the carries, Taylor still ran for 844 yds on just 157 attempts (5.4 YPC). He also had 281 receiving yds on 29 receptions. Filling in for Peterson in week 11, Taylor ran for 164 yds and 3 TD’s. He also impressively had another 100+ yd game in week 14 (the week Peterson ran for 3 yds) with 101 yds and a TD on just 8 carries.

If and/or when Peterson goes down, Taylor is more than ready to step up and carry the load. The fact that Peterson splits carries will keep him from carrying the ball close to 300 times. When it is draft day, drafting Taylor should be essential if you draft Peterson.

Nobody is saying that Adrian Peterson is not worthy of a first round pick. I am not saying that he is not a gifted athlete. However, when you break it all down, Peterson is an injury certainty and he is not getting every single carry on that field. If you are looking for a guaranteed performer and you have the first pick in your draft, take the sure thing and draft LT.

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Discussion

2 comments for “TGIF: Is Adrian Peterson Overrated?”

  1. [...] few weeks ago¬†I¬†mentioned how I thought Adrian Peterson was overrated. Again, I’d like to point out that I know he is an incredible athlete, I was just pointing [...]

    Posted by TGIF: OK, Who Else is Overrated? QB and RB Edition | Sports of Boston | August 15, 2008, 6:03 am
  2. [...] This is the second part of my two-part series that I started last week. Now, being considered an overrated player takes into account how a player has done in the past, who is the supporting cast, and where they should be drafted in your leagues. So, to clarify once more, Adrian Peterson is a great player, just don’t take him 2nd overall in your league. [...]

    Posted by TGIF: OK, Who Else is Overrated? WR Edition | Sports of Boston | August 23, 2008, 8:28 am

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