The Case For Adrian Peterson

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This article is part of the Fantasy Faceoff series, be sure to check out The Case Against Adrian Peterson.

Opening Statement

Adrian Peterson has been an elite running back in the NFL since entering the league in 2007. He was the number one running back drafted with the 7th overall pick from the Minnesota Vikings. He has been the most consistent running back in the last 10 years. Peterson has yet to show signs of slowing down and you can expect him to put up his usual, phenomenal fantasy numbers yet again in 2016.

Machine-Like Numbers

If we were to discover tomorrow that Adrian Peterson is not a human, it would not surprise me with the consistent numbers this elite back produces. To prove Adrian Peterson is on a different level than the rest of us humans, he tore his ACL & MCL in December 2011, then returned less than a year later in 2012 and had himself a career season, rushing the ball 348 times for 2,097 yards (9 yards shy of eclipsing the all-time single season rushing record) with 12 rushing touchdowns, and the NFL MVP title.

The Amazing Career of Adrian Peterson

If you take away his suspended season in 2014 where he played only 1 game and had 21 rushes for 75 yards, Peterson has been unstoppable. Over the course of his 8 seasons (subtracting 2014), Peterson has 11,600 yards on the ground and 97 touchdowns! That is an average of 1,450 yards and 12 touchdowns on the ground per season! If that isn’t enough, Peterson has 238 receptions for 1,937 yards and 5 touchdowns to add to his astonishing career. All of this while playing on a team where opposing defenses know it will be handed to Peterson more often than the ball will be thrown.

Season Games Started Carries Rushing Yards Rushing TDs
2015 16 327 1,485 11
2014 1 21 75 0
2013 14 279 1,266 10
2012 16 348 2,097 12
2011 12 208 970 12
2010 15 283 1,298 12
2009 16 314 1,383 18
2008 16 363 1,760 10
2007 14 238 1,341 12

Shortened 2011 Season

Games Played Rushing Yards TDs
11 970 12

In the 2011 season, he suffered a high ankle sprain in Week 11 vs the Oakland Raiders where he only recorded 6 rushes before the injury, however, still managed to find the end zone to add to his legacy. Peterson missed the remainder of that game after the injury and the next 3 games (Weeks 12, 13, 14). The last game of this injury filled season for Peterson, he suffered both an ACL & MCL tear after just 12 carries into the game and still scored a touchdown before exiting for the season. Even missing all of that time, Peterson was still ended with 970 yards and 12 rushing touchdowns that season.

Age is Just a Number

For those of you worried about Peterson’s age heading into 2016 at 31 years old, you can rest easy. Remember, this man is not human. Last season, at the “old” age of 30, Peterson had his second best season in rushing yards since 2008, when he was just 23 years old. He played all 16 games, rushed 327 times for 1,485 yards and 11 touchdowns. This should prove there is just no slowing this guy down. If we were talking about anyone else, I may concede here, but not with Peterson. With age comes beautiful fantasy production.

Consistent Fantasy Production

Devonta Freeman finished as the number one running back in fantasy last season. Second to Freeman was Adrian Peterson. If it weren’t for the receptions numbers from Freeman, Adrian Peterson would have blown Freeman out of the water. Peterson and Freeman finished 2015 with the same amount of rushing touchdowns (11), but Peterson had 429 more rushing yards. After crunching some numbers, here are some findings on Adrian Peterson’s fantasy football career numbers. Again, if we remove 2014, Peterson has amassed an astounding 1,951 fantasy points since 2007. He has an average of 243.9 points per season which equates to 15.24 fantasy points per game! It would be an amazing accomplishment to average 15.24 for one season, but to do it year in and year out over the course of 8 seasons is unthinkable.

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Conclusion

Adrian Peterson has run for over 1,200 yards in 7 of 8 seasons (again not counting his lost 2014 season of 1 game played). He has put up double-digit touchdowns in every season, including a monstrous 18 TDs in 2009. There is not much else I can say about this man other than he is not a man, he’s Superman. While he is currently the third back being drafted, he should be the first running back taken off the board in all fantasy formats in 2016, no question about it.

Check out where Andy, Mike, and Jason have Adrian Peterson ranked. Read the other cases in our other Fantasy Faceoff Series:

The Case For/Against Sammy Watkins

The Case For/Against Latavius Murray

The Case For/Against Josh Gordon

The Case For/ Against Matt Jones

The Case For/ Against Amari Cooper

 

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