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RB Adrian Peterson - Minnesota Vikings

6-0, 220Born: 3-21-1985College: OklahomaDrafted: Round 1, pick 7

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Photo: Jeff Curry, US Presswire

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News you need to know

From the upgrade/downgrade report (Mon Nov 23): Peterson ran into trouble against the Packers, but he still scored, and the majority of the remaining matchups are positive for fantasy.

Week 12: at Atlanta Falcons

All RB vs ATL

Mark and Joe say: Good matchup. Adrian Peterson was limited to 13/45/1 rushing and 2/16/0 receiving vs. Green Bay last week, after blowing up for 26/203/1 rushing with 2/13/0 receiving vs. Oakland two weeks ago. He's one of the elite running backs in the NFL with the capability to break games wide open at any time. The Falcons' rush D is first in the NFL averaging 87.4 yards allowed per game, but they've given up slightly more than one rushing TD per game on average this year with 11 surrendered. Over the past four weeks, the Falcons are ranked 17th in the NFL averaging 16.9 fantasy points given out to opposing running backs - the Colts posted just 27/74/0 rushing last week but Ahmad Bradshaw (9/32/0 rushing with 4/20/2 receiving) caught two TD passes; two games ago San Francisco posted 38/133/0 rushing vs. the Falcons before they went on bye. This looks like an attractive matchup for a dual-threat back like Peterson.

Recent Stats and Projections

8 at CHI 38 20 103 0 2 2 6 0 0 10.9
9 vs STL 54 29 125 1 2 2 18 0 0 18.3
10 at OAK 45 26 203 1 3 2 13 0 0 27.6
11 vs GB 39 13 45 1 2 2 16 0 1 11.1
12 at ATL PROJ-Dodds * 22 * * 2 * * * *
12 at ATL PROJ-Tremblay * 23 * * 2 * * * *
12 at ATL PROJ-Bloom * 22 * * 2 * * * *

Recent Game Summaries

2015 Week 11 vs GB (13 / 45 / 1 rush, 2 / 2 / 16 / 0 rec)

The solution to the offensive line woes the last few weeks has been to feed the all to Adrian Peterson, but that didn't quite go to plan this weekend. At first, Peterson looked like he had the Packers' number, with runs like the one he bounced outside late in the first quarter, where he looked as quick and nimble as he ever has. However, the Green Bay defensive line started imposing their will upon the offensive line of the Vikings, and Peterson started to see a lot of traffic in the backfield before he could react or find his hole. Peterson did have a nice touchdown in the late third quarter as he took the ball off-tackle, jukes the linebacker and dragged another defender into the end zone. The problem became, the Packers took a huge lead and Peterson just stopped being effective because of the offensive line issues, so Peterson didn't see much work after the half.

2015 Week 10 vs OAK (26 / 203 / 1 rush, 3 / 2 / 13 / 0 rec)

Even at age 30, Adrian Peterson is relentless, highly motivated and plays with a chip (maybe a whole 2 by 4) on his shoulder. Peterson was the main weapon in this offense, especially as the Raiders worked were able to shut down the receivers and limit where Teddy Bridgewater could throw. Peterson continues to show tremendous speed, a first-rate jump-cut and the ability to see the seams in a defensive front which allows him to break free and gain yards regardless of how many guys are in the "box." Once the Vikings decided to grind the clock down with Peterson, the Raiders focused on stepping up the safeties to play the run and stack the front line with as many defenders as they could. The problem with that is, if a running back like Peterson gets behind that front seven, it's a disaster. That's exactly what happened with 1:50 left in the game with the Vikings trying to kill the clock, up 23-14. On the play, the Raiders had seven men in the "box," with a safety just a shade back from the front, but who stepped up immediately when he saw Peterson with the ball. The result was nine players at the line of scrimmage after the snap, with one cornerback on a receiver and another playing contain on the opposite side. Peterson took the snap and went off the right tackle, moving too quickly for the corner to react and leaving him grasping at air. Once Peterson was past that guy, it was over--there was nobody left to even come close to tackling him and he was gone for an 80-yard touchdown.

2015 Week 9 vs STL (29 / 125 / 1 rush, 2 / 2 / 18 / 0 rec)

It was a record-setting kind of day for Adrian Peterson as as this was the 100th game he has led the team in rushing yards, became only the sixth player to have 90 rushing touchdowns in his first nine NFL seasons and moves into ninth place All-Time for most 100 yard rushing games in the first nine NFL seasons as well with 46 (all per Vikings PR/Game Notes). The Vikings took an interesting approach on Sunday, one which they haven't really tried before. Rather than pound with Peterson early, wearing the defense down and hopefully opening passing lanes for the offense, they threw the ball often early on in an effort to take advantage of the stacked fronts Peterson tends to face. The idea was to 'throw the lanes open' and force the defense to respect the pass in order to help Peterson get more room to run. For the most part, it worked and Peterson was able to gain yards at an average of 4.3 yards a carry. His touchdown was very straightforward, as Peterson took the ball deep in the backfield and ran to the edge on the right side of the line. The offensive line did a nice job of blocking for him and he was easily able to zip into the end zone untouched. Peterson ended up basically having his way against a defensive front missing Robert Quinn, Chris Long and TJ McDonald. While he would have likely still had a solid day, the lack of those playmakers made his life a lot easier, especially down the stretch. When Teddy Bridgewater left the game with a concussion, the Rams once again tried to stack the box against Peterson, but he put the offense on his back and kept the chains moving.

2015 Week 8 vs CHI (20 / 103 / 0 rush, 2 / 2 / 6 / 0 rec)

A lot has been said in media and on Twitter about how Peterson doesn't look the same and isn't as good as he used to be. After three sub-100 yard efforts in a row with only one touchdown, perhaps that's understandable, though Kansas City is ranked 13 in DVOA against the run at Football Outsiders and Denver is, well Denver. Still if you were worried Peterson didn't have 'it' anymore, you might be graying your hair for no reason. Peterson looked as good as ever against an admittedly awful run defense, averaging 5.2 yards per carry, hitting the holes hard and slipping past defenders with ease. One of his better runs was a 12-yard effort in the second quarter. Peterson's prior two carries were for 9 yards and 11 yards, and the offense was lined up with a fullback and Peterson in the backfield, so it was fairly obvious this was going to be a run play. The Bears rushed four and then brought the outside linebackers on a delayed rush to contain the outside. Peterson got the ball and made one defender who had gotten into the backfield already, miss. He then broke right to the outside edge, only to see the linebacker and corner lurking. Stopping and changing direction on a dime, Peterson cut back inside as he made another defender miss then accelerated through the hole there. Peterson made another player miss with a nice cut, then got a few more yards before he was brought down. It was a classic Peterson play--it showed speed, vision and quickness and resulted in a large gain. No matter how many defenders the Bears brought into the box, Peterson pushed them back and he only had one negative yards carry (a loss of two in the second quarter) all day. Peterson did most of his damage in the second quarter where he ran for an average of 7.1 yards per carry, though he also broke off a nice 9-yard run just before the Vikings kicked a game winning field goal in the fourth quarter.

2015 Week 7 vs DET (19 / 98 / 0 rush, 3 / 3 / 12 / 0 rec)

The offensive line which gave the passing offense some issues caused problems for Adrian Peterson as well on Sunday. While his final stats were OK, the majority of the day saw him getting hammered at--or more often, behind--the line of scrimmage. Statistically, his day was saved by a 75-yard run in the third quarter, though you can argue that this was the result of the constant runs which wore the defense down. On the play, Peterson took the ball in the backfield and made the defensive end miss with a nice jump-cut. He then ran to the left sideline and accelerated along it. After making Lions safety Glover Quin miss, he was hauled down by Ziggy Ansah just short of the touchdown. Peterson also caught the ball and several times was lined up as a wide receiver.

2015 Week 6 vs KC (26 / 60 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / -3 / 0 rec)

The Kansas City Chiefs decided it was Teddy Bridgewater or nobody who beat them Sunday and as that was the plan, they stacked the line to stop Adrian Peterson. The Chiefs lined up five men at the line of scrimmage on any play they suspected might involve Peterson, and usually had another two or three men in the box as well. On top of this, the offensive line struggled especially on the right side. So there were often defenders in the backfield as Bridgewater was handing Peterson the ball. All in all, it was a long day for Peterson, though he has adjusted and overcome such things before. For his own part, Peterson was satisfied that he could free things up for the passing game. "That's what it's all about," he said according to the team's PR department release. "Forcing the team to pick their poison. You're either going to stop the run or the pass, and they chose the run today. It opened it up for us in the passing game, and we were able to be productive and get some points on the board." As long as the Vikings can keep taking advantage of that, Peterson will continue to be a weapon.

2015 Week 4 vs DEN (16 / 81 / 1 rush, 6 / 4 / 13 / 0 rec)

Adrian Peterson struggled for most of the game, until he broke free for a 48-yard touchdown run. The play was almost too easy, as the Broncos crowded the line with nine players on 4th and 1. Peterson ran through the '1' hole without being touched and was immediately in open space, as all the defenders were caught at the line. He swiftly blew past the safety and ran the rest of the way for a score. On the downside, Peterson continues to be hit or miss in pass protection, and on the last offensive play of the game it cost the Vikings. On the play, quarterback Teddy Bridgewater dropped back and was blindsided by Denver safety TJ Ward. There was some debate as to whether Peterson, who started the play in the backfield, should have picked up Ward. In the end, ESPN's Ben Goessling tweeted out that it was Peterson's responsibility. By letting Ward by without touching him, he allowed Bridgewater to get hammered, fumbling the ball and effectively sealing the loss. Offensive coordinator Norv Turner has wanted to keep Peterson on the field for passing downs, but if he cannot be counted on to block--especially behind a patchwork offensive line--then he cannot be on the field.

2015 Week 3 vs SD (20 / 126 / 2 rush, 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)

Peterson was everything his owners could have hoped for in this game. The Vikings used him heavily on early downs to keep the offense on schedule, he was running with great power, conviction, and downhill cuts, and Peterson generally kept the Chargers defense on their heels as the game went on. Peterson's piece de resistance in this game was a 40+ yard touchdown run that included a stiff arm, a broken tackle, a cut back against the grain from the sideline and the final kick to score. He also finished a drive in the first half with short score and was barely short of a third score in the second half. He seems to be the centerpiece of the offense and an elite RB1 going forward.

2015 Week 2 vs DET (29 / 134 / 0 rush, 2 / 2 / 58 / 0 rec)

The first notable difference between this game and the Week 1 debacle against the San Francisco 49ers was how offensive coordinator Norv Turner and head coach Mike Zimmer moved away from having Adrian Peterson take handoffs in the shotgun. Last week that caused issues for Peterson, so they went back to the old way of doing things to get him into a rhythm during his first four carries. The result on those runs totaled 38 yards and got him warmed up, so when he took some carries out of the shotgun formation, he didn't lose momentum. He looked far more comfortable on those carries as well, though the Detroit Lions seemed to have an easier time getting through the offensive line and slowing Peterson down when the Vikings were in that formation. Overall, Peterson looked much closer to the player we expected than he did last week. He showed good vision, speed and strength in his runs and seemed much more comfortable than he did in Week 1. One of his best runs came with two minutes left in the first and Minnesota leading 7-0 and the offense on a 2nd-1 at Detroit's 42. The play called for Peterson to run up the middle, but it was instantaneously clear that there was no room there. Peterson immediately bounced out of the middle and ran off the right tackle, getting North-South as soon as possible to get the first. The run showed all the savvy and field awareness we've come to expect from him. Peterson also helped quarterback Teddy Bridgewater turn a disaster into a great play, though his poor block was part of the reason Bridgewater was almost sacked. On the play, Peterson held up defensive tackle Tyrunn Walker only briefly and the tackle quickly moved to take down Bridgewater. While trying not to fall, Bridgewater tossed a little underhand throw to Peterson who then took the ball 49 yards. The team has tried to get Peterson more involved in the pass game as a receiver, but he's going to have to improve his blocking or else the team will need a better blocker in there on passing downs. He's also got to protect the ball a little better as he had it knocked loose in the early third quarter. Luckily, the Lions were so inept on offense Sunday that they did nothing with the opportunity.

2015 Week 1 vs SF (10 / 31 / 0 rush, 3 / 3 / 21 / 0 rec)

As was the case with quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, Adrian Peterson clearly suffered because of poor play along the offensive line. He was frequently met at or behind the line of scrimmage by one or more defenders, and rarely seemed to be able to get up to full speed. Normally, this wouldn't slow Peterson down--certainly he has played behind bad offensive lines before--however, he is also dealing with a new offense, one focused on the quarterback not Peterson. That was certainly an issue according to Mark Craig of the Star-Tribune, who reported that Peterson didn't feel right taking handoffs in the shotgun formation. When things went smoothly, Peterson looked just as effective as he has in years past--those moments were just few and far between. Peterson had no carries in the fourth quarter.


Latest News

Vikings | Adrian Peterson leads in fumbles (Mon Nov 23, 01:09 PM) - Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson leads all running backs with six fumbles on the season.

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Vikings | Adrian Peterson held in check (Sun Nov 22, 09:25 PM) - Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson had 13 carries for 45 yards and a touchdown and lost a fumble in a 30-13 loss to the Green Bay Packers in Week 11.

Our View: Peterson never got in a rhythm as the Vikings rarely got drives strung together against an inspired Packers defense. He's still a top 3 RB going into Atlanta this week.
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Vikings | Adrian Peterson expected to play (Fri Nov 20, 03:34 PM) - Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson (hamstring) fully participated in practice Friday, Nov. 20, and is listed as probable for the Week 11 game against the Green Bay Packers.

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Vikings | Adrian Peterson listed as limited (Thu Nov 19, 06:29 PM) - Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson (hamstring) was limited during practice Thursday, Nov. 19.

Our View: They're going to ride Peterson this week and every week going forward, so he should be a solid RB1 this week against the Packers and most weeks from here on out.

Vikings | Minnesota favors power-running game (Thu Nov 19, 12:20 PM) - The Minnesota Vikings have become a power-running team once again with RB Adrian Peterson back, and they include a lot of two-tight end sets. Last year they mainly had QB Teddy Bridgewater in shotgun formation in the absence of Peterson, and Bridgewater ran 64.8% of the plays out of the shotgun or pistol formation. Bridgewater has been under center in 2015 52.6% of the time and have the best rushing attack in the NFC.

Our View: The team has become much more conservative as they have taken over the NFC North. With more to lose, they have decided to protect Bridgewater by running Adrian Peterson and limiting Bridgewater's chances to make a mistake. While this will stunt Bridgewater's development, it is good for the Vikings' playoff chances. It's also good for Peterson owners, as he is a solid RB1 again this weekend. Bridgewater remains a shaky QB2.
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