Will Adrian Peterson Revive His Career in New Orleans?

Last year, Adrian Peterson had an awful season. He rushed 39 times for a laughable 72 yards and zero touchdowns. He's 32 years old and past the ideal age for RB's. He's on a depth chart where both Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara are expected to get looks.

Ingram, the former starter, has never rushed for more than 1,064 yards. The offense is clearly built around Drew Brees, and AP is certainly not known for his pass catching abilities. Why should you take Peterson?

One word: UPSIDE. 

At his current ADP, Peterson would (hopefully) not be drafted as a starter. That means your RB position is already solidified with two top 20 RB's, at least. What this essentially means is that you are not trusting Peterson for fantasy points, but would benefit greatly from his success. Despite being in a crowded backfield, he's in a good place.

As stated by Matthew Berry in his "100 facts to consider for the 2017 season" segment, the Minnesota Vikings ranked dead last in YPC, at 3.2. On the other hand, the New Orleans Saints were at the top of the list with 4.3 YPC. After the 2016 season, Pro Football Focus ranked the New Orleans offensive line as 12th overall in their NFL rankings. The Vikings, however, ranked 29th.

The Saints will be without LT Terron Armstead until the end of November, early December.  However, they got themselves Detroit's top run blocking offensive lineman in Larry Warford and drafted Ryan Ramczyk.

There are just as many reasons to hate on Peterson as well.

AP hasn't even gained 2,000 total receiving yards in his career, something David Johnson will achieve midway through next year. He's also a terrible protection RB, something that might limit his touches in a pass happy Saints offense.
One of his most incredible feats is how he came back to the NFL just seven months after tearing his ACL. Now that he's barely played in the past two years, it's definitely possible that the injuries are catching up to the former Oklahoma star.

Overall, Peterson can help you a lot more than he can hurt you. There's a very real possibility that he can be an RB1, but there's also reason to advise against drafting him at all. If you're drafting Peterson, DO NOT DRAFT HIM TO START. Also, be sure to add your 4th or 5th RB soon after, like Tevin Coleman, Frank Gore, or Danny Woodhead.

Last year, I used this same approach and took Jimmy Graham as a backup in the majority of my drafts. At the end of the year, I found myself with a top tier TE1. Could Peterson have the same fate? I think he could.

We ranked Peterson as the 32nd RB in our initial rankings.


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