Vikings fans and fantasy owners everywhere felt their hearts’ plummet and had their throats overtaken by a 6’1” 220lblump, after star running back Adrian Peterson went down with a gruesome injury. When all was said and done, it was revealed that Peterson had torn his ACL in his left knee, and also had done damage to his MCL. While that is a devastating injury, many remain optimistic of a speedy return due to Peterson’s durability and freakish physique. On the other hand, there are still doubters out there that believe he will never be the same player again. To help settle this debate once and for all, and to determine if Peterson is still worthy of a first-round fantasy section, let’s look at the pros and cons.
Starting with the positives, Peterson is young, durable, and thus far has had a hall of fame-worthy career (if he continues to play at a high level). As far as Peterson’s age is concerned, this season will only be his 6th NFL season, and he turned 27 earlier this year. In regards to his durability, before this injury, Peterson has only missed three games total in his first four years, a pretty low number considering all the carriers he has had since entering the league (1198 in his first four seasons). Finally, taking a look at his body of work, his first five NFL seasons put him in a highly-regarded class as far as total TD in his first five seasons, with his stats only surpassed by such names as LaDainian Tomlinson , Emmitt Smith, Eric Dickerson, and Jerry Rice. In addition, Peterson also leads the league in rushing yards since his rookie season with 6,752.
Yet, as impressive as he has been, Peterson is not the first RB to go down with this injury, and history hasn’t boded well for the others. Such RB like Jamal Lewis, Ronnie Brown, and Edgerrin James have tried coming back
the following season from the same injury, only to see their stats rapidly decrease. That is not to say they didn’t have successful careers after, it just means the following seasons haven’t turned out the way people had hoped. In addition, Peterson is the franchise player for the Vikings, and they are not going to rush him back before he is ready. The last thing that franchise can afford is to lose him for even longer; therefore it is likely they will baby him until he is 100%.
Although it pains me to say this, Adrian Peterson is not worthy of a 1st round draft pick this year, it is just far too risky.
Yet, all you fantasy owners out there do not get too upset, as there is a
plethora of other talented RB out there who are due for a big season. Just to name a few who could replace him as a 1st round pick: Marshawn Lynch (finished 7th in rushing yards/game last season and 2nd in rush TD), DeMarco Murrary (only started 7 games last year and rushed for 900 yards), and Reggie Bush (first 1,000 rushing season last year, and all-around threat).