RB Adrian Peterson, Washington Redskins

HT: 6-0, WT: 220, Born: 3-21-1985, College: Oklahoma, Drafted: Round 1, Pick 7

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2014 Projections

David Dodds15.0290.013494.712.034.02316.81.0236
Bob Henry15.0300.013804.612.042.02906.91.0245
Jason Wood16.0310.014004.512.035.02306.61.0241
Maurile Tremblay16.0301.013754.69.038.02727.21.0225

Average draft position

Current as of August 25th. [Full ADP list]

Overall: J Charles (1), L McCoy (2), Adrian Peterson (3), M Forte (4), C Johnson (5)
Position: J Charles (1-RB1), L McCoy (2-RB2), Adrian Peterson (3 - RB3), M Forte (4-RB4), E Lacy (6-RB5)
Click here for a comparison of these players.

PPR Average draft position

Current as of August 25th. [Full PPR ADP list]

Overall: J Charles (1), L McCoy (2), Adrian Peterson (3), M Forte (4), C Johnson (5)
Position: J Charles (1-RB1), L McCoy (2-RB2), Adrian Peterson (3 - RB3), M Forte (4-RB4), E Lacy (6-RB5)
Click here for a comparison of these players.

Best Case

Peterson finally has a quarterback that can keep defenses from stacking the box against him. Peterson will still be the focus of the offense, but if defenses try to game plan against him, Teddy Bridgwater can make them pay. Under Norv Turner, Peterson is never going to be far from the ball, and Peterson will once again post top ten fantasy numbers. As more and more teams switch to a dual back system, Peterson could easily return to his status as a top five fantasy back this year.

Worst Case

The people predicting that Peterson will lose a step are correct. He’s still the workhorse back for the Vikings this season, but his reduced YPC start to catch up with him. He’s posted double digit touchdown in each of his first seven seasons, but at some point that streak is going to end. If Peterson is ‘just’ a 1200 yard, eight touchdown back, there will be a lot of disappointed fantasy owners this year.


Peterson is going to get his fair share of carries this season. Norv Turner will make sure of that. But the hopes that ADP will post another 2000 yards rushing are probably gone. Peterson has piled up a lot of miles in his career and it started to show last season. His 4.5 YPC were his lowest in last four seasons and he posted his lowest rushing TD total since his second season. It’s hard to think of Peterson as anything other than a top five fantasy back, but he may be slowing down a bit. He’ll still be a top fantasy back this season, but he might be closer to the bottom of the bottom of the RB1s than the top.

Latest News

Lions | Two touchdowns for Adrian Peterson (Thu Nov 26, 04:29 PM) - Detroit Lions RB Adrian Peterson rushed for 55 yards and two touchdowns on 15 carries against the Houston Texans in Week 12.

link to story   

Lions | Adrian Peterson struggles in Week 11 (Sun Nov 22, 04:26 PM) - Detroit Lions RB Adrian Peterson rushed for 18 yards on seven carries against the Carolina Panthers in Week 11.

Our View: The Panthers had been surrendering some huge fantasy games to running backs this year, but the Lions run blocking could not open any holes for Peterson. He's only a deep desperation play against the Texans even if D'Andre Swift isn't cleared to play.
link to story   

Lions | Adrian Peterson, Kerryon Johnson to share time (Sun Nov 22, 11:04 AM) - Detroit Lions RBs Adrian Peterson and Kerryon Johnson are expected to split carries for Week 11's game versus the Carolina Panthers, with Peterson serving as the starter.

Our View: Peterson still has a high ceiling because of the suspect Panthers run defense and his ability to get in a groove when he is fed. Johnson has a little what the heck flex appeal in PPR leagues.
link to story   

2014 Schedule

1at Houston Texans
2 Jacksonville Jaguars
3at Philadelphia Eagles
4 New York Giants
5 Seattle Seahawks
6at Arizona Cardinals
7 Tennessee Titans
8at Dallas Cowboys
9at Minnesota Vikings
Bye week
11 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
12at San Francisco 49ers
13at Indianapolis Colts
14 St. Louis Rams
15at New York Giants
16 Philadelphia Eagles
17 Dallas Cowboys

2013 Game Summaries

Week 1 - Adrian Peterson had a very deceptive game. Statistically you can't complain about a 93 yard, two touchdown game. However for most of the day he had very little success gaining traction against a tough Detroit Lions defensive line. Naturally his first carry was a 78 yard touchdown run. The offensive line gave him a huge hole, which he hit fast, then he made one jump cut, dodged some trash at the second level and showed off his speed as he ran for the score. After that, though, Peterson found himself hit and taken down behind the line of scrimmage too often. When he gets a head of steam, it's hard to take him down, but if you hit him right after he gets the ball, you have a chance. He second touchdown at 12:22 in the second quarter showed that. Peterson did a great job there as well bouncing the ball outside when he found his lanes clogged. But he also had momentum and while several Lions got a hand on him, they couldn't take him down. Peterson also had some nice catches, scoring on a shovel pass and shedding a tackle on his way to a touchdown. Overall it was a tough day for Peterson as the Lions' defensive line did an outstanding job,something Peterson himself praised them for.The fullback had one catch, a little dump off down the middle. Otherwise Line was in just as a blocker in replacement for the suspended Jerome Felton.

Week 2 - While the offensive line struggled to open lanes again for parts of the game, Adrian Peterson looked much better this week. After the very first carry which saw the line act like a sieve and allow multiple defenders in the backfield to tackle Peterson for a loss, the next four carries for Peterson resulted in positive yards and he didn't lose any yards the rest of the quarter. The second quarter was where Peterson really found his groove with two runs for eight yards and one 36 yard run. On the long run, the defense bit and over-pursued into the backfield while Peterson found a huge hole and quickly got to the second level. At that point he is very hard to bring down, as evidenced by the three defenders who failed as he ran by them. Along with two blockers, Peterson got to the sideline but was knocked out of bounds shortly thereafter. The low point for Peterson's day came on a third quarter fumble. The Vikings had first-and-ten, and Peterson took the ball into the "Two hole" (between the center and right guard) where he was immediately engulfed by defensive tackle Nate Collins who stripped the ball. It's not all that common to see Peterson cough the ball up and luckily, it didn't result in any points as the Bears offense stalled on its own drive. Despite this, Peterson came back later and continued to run hard and gain positive yards on nearly all the rest of his carries. There were a few times when Peterson found everything clogged up because the offensive line was overwhelmed (as when he was tackled for a 13 yard loss in the fourth quarter) but more often than not he was able to overcome the issue. Peterson has had a so-so start to his season and one wonders if he's missing the suspended Jerome Felton cleaning up the line's messes.

Week 3 - In the first half, Adrian Peterson looked a lot more like the 2012 Peterson than what we’ve seen this year. He was getting good blocking for the most part, only having to dodge tacklers in the backfield a few times. One run where he did have some defenders in his space early turned into a display of how hard it can be to take “All Day” down. The handoff was a delay and the Peterson was past the oncoming defensive line before they could react. He then slipped by a trailing linebacker at about the line of scrimmage, ducked underneath another defender’s outstretched arms and then dragged the last two defenders across the first down line. In the first half, Peterson ran the ball 14 times and only had one negative yardage play and one no gain. Then, on an early carry of the second half, Peterson took the ball up the middle and had it stripped by linebacker D’Qwell Jackson. Peterson didn’t look like he was holding the ball particularly loosely but Jackson just hit him directly on the ball and out it popped. That is the second fumble in as many games for Peterson, who struggled to hold onto the ball several years back. Peterson bounced back though and showed some really nice moves on a five yard gain later in the fourth quarter. On the play, Peterson took the ball off the left tackle and quickly found the lane jammed. He then dodged a tackler and cut all the way outside, only to discover nowhere to go there either. While the run only netted five yards, Peterson pulled that five out of thin air, as he does so often. He still seems to miss the blocking of Jerome Felton, who sprung him for some of his longest runs in 2012. One more block here or there seems to often be the difference between a small and a big gain. Felton returns next week.

Week 4 - Over the first three weeks of the season we’ve noticed two things about Adrian Peterson. First, he was very involved in the pass game. Eleven catches over three weeks is a pretty good start to the season and we wanted to see if that trend would continue, especially with a new quarterback in Matt Cassel. Secondly, his average yards per carry was down to just over 4 yards per carry from 6 yards per carry last season. The offensive line play was definitely an issue, but we also wondered how much he might have missed fullback Jerome Felton, who had served a three game suspension for violating the NFL drug policy. With those two questions in mind, Sunday’s game in London was an interesting shift for Peterson. He was targeted just once in the passing game, though he did contribute several nice blocks while Cassel waited for his receivers to get open. Cassel was looking downfield a lot and looking to stretch the field much more than Christian Ponder had been. We’ll have to see if that was by design or choice, but it’s safe to say that Peterson may see a lot less passes going forward. As for missing Felton, Peterson has said in the past he prefers to line up solo in the backfield but the first two carries Peterson had in this game had Felton lined up as a lead blocker. Those both went for four yards each, while the first solo carry only went for two. On that play the line simply didn’t open up the gap for Peterson. While the previous two plays were, for the most part, better blocked by the offensive line, Felton picked up an extra defender in both cases and it made a big difference. That wasn’t always the case because at times the offensive line just couldn’t hold up. Case in point a second and ten play late in the first where Felton picked up his block, but the middle of the line let two players through. Peterson had to shift away from the hole Felton opened up and was caught just past the line of scrimmage. Felton also threw a key block on Peterson’s 60 yard touchdown run, though most of the run facilitated by Peterson’s ridiculous running ability. The play took place early in the second quarter on a first and ten at the Vikings’ 40 yard line with Peterson deep in the backfield and Felton and receiver Joe Webb on the right side of the line, just behind the tackle and guard. Right tackle Phil Loadholt did an excellent job sealing off his man while Webb and Jerome Felton cleared their guy out the other way. This opened a huge gap at the six hole, which Peterson was through in an instant. He hopped over a diving defender, stiff armed a linebacker and was at the second level where there was nobody to stop him. After that it was a footrace nobody but Peterson was winning. Felton threw another key block on Peterson’s second touchdown, a seven yard run which saw Peterson gash through the defensive line. On the play, linebacker Jarvis Jones got into the backfield quickly but was picked up and knocked down by Felton. Peterson ran right by then into a massive hole on the right side of the line and crossed the goal line untouched. The difference between having Felton on the field and not having him was pretty clear. The Vikings ran the ball 18 times with the fullback in front of Peterson and averaged 7.64 yards per carry for 130 of his 140 yards. On the five carries without Felton (one of which had John Carlson unsuccessfully blocking instead) Peterson averaged just 1.66. While the numbers skew heavily due to the total of carries which Felton led on, it was very clear all game that having him in there means fabulous things for Peterson the rest of the year.

Week 6 - In what must have been the most difficult game of Adrian Peterson’s career, Peterson found himself hit early and often behind the line of scrimmage. The key to the Vikings getting a big day out of their stud running back is to clear the trash off the line and allow him to hit the second level at full speed and when they did that—such as on one 11 yard run early in the second quarter—he can break off big chunks of yardage. On that play, the line did an adequate job of opening up a small lane for Peterson, who slipped through and accelerated into the open field. Unfortunately, rookie Cordarelle Patterson picks the wrong defender to block, heading upfield and leaving Peterson to deal with cornerback Josh Thomas. Peterson had to slow down to try and cut around Thomas, which allowed the corner to break down and hit him, as well as the rest of the defense to catch up. Overall the Vikings didn’t lean on Peterson since they fell behind so completely, though they did use him as a receiver several times and he added yards that way. The Carolina Panthers continue to be one of only five teams (the others being Washington, New Orleans, San Francisco and Dallas) against whom Peterson has never had a game where he rushed for 100 yards.

Week 7 - When you have, arguably, the best running back in the NFL and a brand new quarterback only sort of familiar with your playbook, the smart thing would be to run the ball a lot. The Vikings were not smart. Adrian Peterson saw his second lowest carries in a game this year—it’s the second week in a row where Peterson has seen less than 15 carries. That’s a disturbing trend, though at least you could say the game in Carolina was a lost cause by the midpoint of the third quarter. No such excuse here, as the Vikings were in the game for at least three quarters. Peterson did struggle against a stacked front which got surprising amounts of penetration into the backfield, hitting him often right after he received the ball. Even his normally stout lead blocker, Jerome Felton, had trouble clearing the way. When Peterson did find a hole, he was often one leg tackle away from breaking a long run, but that never came because he had so few chances. Yes, the lack of holes were a problem, but he’s already overcome that this season. And sure, the stacked fronts are tough to run on but he’s seen those for his whole career and was wildly successful against it last year. But in 2013 the Vikings have run the ball just 138 times including quarterback runs—that’s 29th in the NFL. Peterson is a back who gets better as the game progresses, breaks off his big runs after he’s carried the ball 15-20 times. Which brings us back to the burning question going forward—if you’re not running your all-world back when you have a quarterback desperately in need of a run game, when will you?

Week 8 - Adrian Peterson did a lot of dodging and cutting in his backfield as the Vikings offensive line struggled to open holes for him, especially early in the game. The truly baffling things about the Vikings’ use of Peterson right now are 1) why not run him more? And 2) why is fullback Jerome Felton only on the field for 10 snaps? The first has been an issue for weeks as the Vikings chose to throw the ball 50+ times with Josh Freeman. With Ponder back in the fold, it was almost more of a matter of the defense not getting off the field and limiting offensive opportunities. The Packers had the ball for 40 minutes while the Vikings had it just under 20. Still, when you struggle at quarterback, why not focus on running the ball? It worked last year despite stacked fronts. Which leads into question No. 2: where is Felton? Felton was a terrific help for Adrian Peterson last season and he got paid for it too. So why is he on the field for so few snaps? Especially with a struggling offensive line? Felton was instrumental in Peterson’s longest run of 17 yards. On the play, Peterson took the ball off-tackle to the right, with Felton leading the way by sealing off the oncoming defenders in the “A” gap. He then cut up to the second level to seal off two more defenders to spring Peterson for another seven yards. This isn’t to say Peterson is incapable of running for yardage on his own. He can, as evidenced by his eight yard touchdown run. On that play, Peterson lined up solo in the backfield and Ponder handed it off to him immediately. Peterson bounced to the right out of the “B” gap and then got very low, submarining one tackler and then stretching for the touchdown. The truth is, though, that it would be much smoother sailing for Peterson if Felton was on the field more. For some reason, that’s just not happening and it seems to show in the overall stats Peterson is accumulating.

Week 9 - Unlike the last few weeks, the Minnesota Vikings offensive line did a great job early of opening up holes for their lead running back. While Adrian Peterson is the type of back who can break tackles even in the backfield, that’s not optimal. Peterson did his own heavy lifting at times of course—on one play near the end of the first quarter, Peterson got to the line of scrimmage and found nothing but clogged running lanes. So he simply bounced outside, turned upfield and gained four yards where many running backs would have grabbed one or two at most. Sometimes though, even when the line does its job, Peterson has to will himself a few more yards anyway. His 11-yard touchdown near the end of the fourth quarter was one of those moments. On the play, Jerome Felton cleaned out the running lane the offensive line had opened up and Peterson blew through the gap at full speed. Dallas strong safety Jeff Heath met him at the five—the only Cowboy between AD and the end zone. He did what few have done before—hit Peterson hard enough that the running back nearly stopped. He then briefly lifted Peterson off the ground, though Peterson kept moving forward somehow. By the time Peterson’s feet hit the turf, two more defenders had joined the tackle, but Peterson would still not go down. He kept his legs churning and broke two of the tackles, stretching for the end zone as tight end Chase Ford appeared to be pushing him along. Peterson dragging three defenders and Ford, crossed the end zone and put the Vikings in the lead. While the lead didn’t stand up, Peterson once again showed why he is one of the most dominant backs in the NFL.

Week 10 - The Vikings finally gave Adrian Peterson his full load of carries against Washington and while he didn’t crack 100-yards, he still put together a great performance. He was helped by consistent blocking up front, which just makes his job a whole lot easier. The key to Peterson is to get him to the second level where he is very difficult to stop. On his 18-yard touchdown run late in the first quarter, he was sprung by a key block by center John Sullivan. Sullivan snapped the ball, then fired out to engage the defender in front of him. However, he didn’t just hold that block, but passed the defender off to right guard Brandon Fusco and then steps up to engage Washington linebacker Perry Riley. Meanwhile, left tackle Matt Kalil and left guard Joe Berger do a fantastic job of sealing off the incoming defenders on the left side. The result is a clear run lane for Peterson to get him to the second level where he turns the run outside, floors the accelerator, sidesteps a tackler and scores his eight touchdown of the season. The interesting thing about the blocking on Thursday was the absence of fullback Jerome Felton. Felton was key in Peterson’s huge 2012, but has largely been reduced to only occasionally being on the field for Peterson’s runs. This week, that didn’t seem to make a difference and most of Peterson’s longer runs didn’t have him involved. There were still times when Peterson needed to make something out of nothing, where he was hopping around tacklers in the backfield. Still, this was one of the better blocked games by the offensive line and while Peterson didn’t have the yards we generally expect, it was one of the better games he has had this season.

Week 11 - This was about the worst game you will see from Adrian Peterson, though he didn’t practice last Thursday or Friday and complained after the game that his groin was bothering him. As always, he faced stacked fronts of eight players very frequently, and as has been the case frequently this season, his offensive line wasn’t very good. Early on, Peterson was hit behind the line of scrimmage very frequently, and even when he got outside—as he did on his second carry of the game—there always seemed to be a Seahawk defender there to stop him. This might be where the groin injury he mentioned comes into play as he might have had a better chance to gain some more yards if he wasn’t in pain. "There were a couple plays in the first half, oh man, I knew if I was able to explode the way I normally do I could have gotten some big chunks, even taken it to the house," he told the Pioneer Press. Near the end of the game, Peterson hit the bench, more than likely so that his injury won’t worsen. Indications are he will play against Green Bay, but we won’t know until much later in the week.

Week 12 - More often than not, when Adrian Peterson goes up against the Green Bay Packers, he has a solid day. That was certainly the case on Sunday as he was able gash the Packers defense early and often throughout the day. This was a day when the Vikings offensive line was on point blocking for him as well and it all started off on the right foot with an 11-yard gain on Peterson’s very first carry. On the play, the line opened up some space for Peterson along the right side, and the running back quickly hit the hole. He slipped a tackler but was brought down a few yards later by a trio of Packers. Even more impressive was a 22-yard carry in the second quarter. On the play, Peterson found no room at the line of scrimmage and decided to shuffle-step to his right, stretching the play to the outside. He broke one tackle and then hit the sideline and accelerated. The Packers secondary had a good angle on him and he slowed down again to make one miss, but was eventually overwhelmed. The run showed that while he may be dealing with a groin injury, his vision, strength and overall talent remain unaffected.

Week 13 - The Chicago Bears had very little luck containing Adrian Peterson on Sunday, even when they stacked the box or hit him in the backfield. Peterson ran hard Sunday, often gaining yards after contact at or behind the line of scrimmage and being his usual difficult-to-tackle-self. While a lot of Peterson’s yards came in four or six yard dribs and drabs, he broke multiple longer runs, the biggest being a 23-yard run in the first quarter. On the play, the Bears stacked nine men in the box—a pretty standard tactic for stopping running backs. The problem is, if you let Peterson get outside—as they did on this run—there aren’t many players to contain him. With a great block by left tackle Matt Kalil and a second by tight end Johns Carlson, Peterson got out to the left side of the line and the only thing stopping the run from being truly devastating is a well-timed tackle by safety Chris Conte. Throughout the day, Peterson kept hammering at the Bears defense, wearing them down bit by bit and moving the chains, making it a little easier for Matt Cassel (who replaced starter Christian Ponder at the half) to throw the ball and bring the Vikings back from a 10-point deficit.

Week 14 - Peterson was forced from the game in the early second quarter when he was tackled after a catch just out of bounds. It appeared as though his right was turned and then landed on by Baltimore linebacker Arthur Brown. Reports as of Monday were that X-Rays were negative, but an MRI was also scheduled and as of Monday afternoon, he was still being examined. Peterson got to run in a lot of snow early on, when it was coming down heaviest and he had a hard time getting going before his injury.

Week 16 - While he had some success against the sixth best run defense in the NFL, he was clearly still battling the foot and groin injuries which have hampered him at times the last few weeks. He only saw one carry in the second half before the team pulled him when the game was completely out of hand. It wouldn’t be a shock to see Peterson in street clothes come next Sunday. With Peterson out, the Vikings barely ran the ball for the rest of the game.