30-Year-Old Running Back – Minnesota Vikings
2015 Fantasy Football Outlook
For the second time in four years, Peterson missed a significant portion of the season, but this time injury wasn't to blame. Peterson played one game last year before being sidelined the rest of the ...
Adrian Peterson Contract Information:
Agreed to re-structure his six-year extension worth $96 million that he signed in 2011, gaining $20 million in guaranteed money. He gets $13 million guaranteed in 2015 and $7 million guarantee of his $7.75 million base salary in 2016 if he suffers a catastrophic injury, according to ESPN 1500 am Twin Cities. His $7.75 million base salary becomes guaranteed and he earns a $5 million roster bonus if the Vikings don't release by the third day of the 2016 league year. Peterson will get paid $2 million less in 2016 as a result, but he can make that money back with performance bonuses. His 2016 and 2017 salaries are not guaranteed as a result.
Peterson is expected to get a heavy workload this season, Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer told USA Today. "As much as he can take, and as much as he can handle in all the things that we're doing. Obviously, we're going to have to spell him at times like you do a lot of guys. But we get down on the goal line, and we're probably not pulling him out, you know? He's our best player, and we're going to continue to use him," Zimmer said.
To instantly reveal our fantasy analysis of every player – including Adrian Peterson – simply subscribe now.
|Rushing||Rush Distance||Big Rush Games||Receiving||Kick Ret||Punt Ret||Fumbles|
|2015 Proj||30||MIN||Subscribe now to see our 2013 projections for Adrian Peterson|
Age is determined on September 1st of each season.
|Fantasy Points Per Game||Rushing Stats||Red Zone Runs||Receiving Stats||Red Zone Targets|
|2015 Proj||30||MIN||Subscribe now to see our 2015 projections for Adrian Peterson|
Age is determined on September 1st of each season.
|Snap Count||Rushing||Rush Distance||Receiving||Fumbles||Kick Ret||Punt Ret||Red Zone Runs||Red Zone Targets|
A blank stat line is used above whenever a player was not on the field for any plays in the game that week.
Adrian Peterson: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
Exclusive Fantasy Analysis (FREE PREVIEW)Details on the restructuring were not announced, but the agreement continues to strengthen the relationship between the two parties that appeared fractured last winter when Peterson wanted a new contract and was upset about Minnesota's role in last season's suspension. (Peterson missed 15 games due to him ultimately pleading no contest to a misdemeanor charge of reckless assault for disciplining his child with a switch). Peterson had three years left on this contract, but only this season's salary ($13 million) was guaranteed. Peterson's quote saying he got added "security" would appear to imply he's getting more guaranteed money as part of the restructuring with likely lower annual salaries to help Minnesota's salary cap.
Exclusive Fantasy Analysis (FREE PREVIEW)Peterson hasn't had a carry in the preseason since 2011 and there's no reason for the team to risk the 30-year old's health in a preseason game. However, this shows the team is confident Peterson will be set as the team's starter since he ended any questions about a holdout over his contract after reporting to last week's OTAs. Zimmer has said Peterson looks in top shape in practice, so he's not worried about getting the running back some work in a preseason game despite missing the final 15 games of last season.
Exclusive Fantasy AnalysisSubscribe to RotoWire now to instantly reveal our analysis.
Exclusive Fantasy Analysis (FREE PREVIEW)It looks like Peterson's decision to attend this week's OTAs ends any questions of whether he'll hold out or decide not to play this season. It sounds like he's kept himself in good shape considering he hasn't had any workouts with the team since he was suspended last September.
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
While Peterson delivered his seventh double-digit touchdown total in his seven NFL seasons last year, there are some cracks starting to appear in the facade for the 6-1, 217-pound ballcarrier, who's entering his age-29 season. With a major knee surgery in his medical history, plus nagging foot and groin issues (the latter of which required surgery in January) that ruined the fantasy playoffs for many of his owners, AP may no longer be the lock he once was. That said, AP is a fixture atop the Vikings' depth chart and remains one of the most talented backs in the game. Despite his injury issues, he certainly hasn't experienced any lingering effects from his 2011 ACL and MCL surgery, and the recovery from his groin surgery seems to be going well. Nonetheless, more than a few stats point to cracks in the faÁade. Though Peterson remains a physical, downhill runner Ė he finished 2013 with the NFL's third-most broken tackles (42) Ė last year's 4.5 YPC was the second-lowest mark of Peterson's career, he sat out two games with injury, and he uncharacteristically put the ball on the ground five times. Further, PPR owners who enjoyed his 11 catches in the season's first three games suffered through a meager five receptions in his final five contests of the year, wrapping up a second consecutive season in which he averaged under six yards per reception. Of course, pass-catching has never truly been AP's calling card even though he's posted reliable catch rates throughout his career. The Vikings will enter 2014 with continued issues at quarterback and a fairly mediocre receiving corps aside from the electric Cordarrelle Patterson (who'll steal rushing opportunities from AP here and there). Although subpar QB play has never held the superhuman Peterson back, and Minnesota owns one of the better offensive lines in the league, it's worth wondering whether his parade of injuries has reduced him to merely human Ė and whether that humanity will affect his goal-line work, as he rushed just seven times from inside the five-yard line last year.
After an MVP year in which he fell just nine yards shy of breaking Eric Dickerson's single-season rushing record, Peterson set the bar high even for him. That he was able to do so barely eight months removed from reconstructive knee surgery bordered on the miraculous. And his 10-game romp to end the season during which he piled up 1,598 rushing yards at a whopping 6.8 YPC and 11 total scores might have been the greatest stretch by a back in modern NFL history. While the lack of a viable Vikings passing game ensured defenses stacked the box against Peterson, he rendered the tactic impotent with a league-leading 1,047 yards after contact. Now 28 and with 1,754 career carries, Peterson has some mileage on his body, but it's hard to get overly concerned about that when Peterson only got stronger as the year wore on. And he's now 20 months removed from his knee surgery, so the joint should be back to full strength. While Peterson is a competent pass catcher Ė he caught 40 balls last year, the second-highest total of his career Ė he doesn't excel in that area and will likely give up production to most of the other top backs, particularly in PPR formats.
Peterson was having his typical productive season until injuries struck last year. The first was an ankle sprain in Week 11 that cost him three games followed by a much more serious torn left ACL and MCL and meniscus damage. Moreover, the injury occurred so late in the year he didnít have surgery until December 31. Most mortals would be a near lock to start 2012 on PUP, but Peterson plans on being ready for Week 1. All reports had his rehab going extremely well, and he even finished first running wind sprints with teammates in late April. A best-case scenario would still likely be a scaled down workload over the beginning of the season, especially with Toby Gerhart emerging as a capable alternative. Peterson remained the NFLís best running back before going down, and while offseason reports have been positive, and heís still in his prime, there are obvious concerns about an RB coming off major knee surgery such a short time ago. Consider Peterson a high-risk, high-reward pick.
Petersonís numbers were down last season, when he finished with a career-low 1,298 rushing yards. Still, his YPC bounced back, and his ball security issues were corrected in a big way. Most of the drop in production can be pointed to a leg injury that cost him one game and decreased his usage, as he was given more than 17 carries in just one of the seasonís final nine contests. Peterson has battled the injury-prone label since entering the league, but last seasonís missed game was his first in the last three years. While nagging injuries plagued him over the second half, Peterson sill finished as the No. 3 fantasy back. Peterson remains the leagueís most elite back, as he led the NFL in broken tackles for the second year in a row (he finished second in 2008), and his continued development as a receiver is terrific news for his fantasy value. His conversion rate at the goal line (9-for-18) was also third best in football. There was reason to worry about Minnesotaís quarterback situation until the team traded two sixth-round draft picks for Donovan McNabb. Nevertheless, the Vikings will continue to rely on Peterson to carry the offense, which is why he is both the safest and highest upside pick on the board.
Despite a big upgrade at quarterback, Petersonís YPC dropped to a career-low 4.4 last season, but he more than made up for it by improving greatly as a receiver and getting more work at the goal line. Peterson scored an NFL (and career) high 18 touchdowns, and he more than doubled his previous-high with 43 catches. Moreover, his 10.1 yards-per-catch tied for second-best in the league among running backs and was a huge improvement from his previous year. Peterson saw his big plays (rushes for 20- plus yards) drop from 20 in 2008 to 12 last season, but he remains plenty explosive, and his strength was utilized plenty, as his 42 carries inside the 10-yard line and 30 goal-line rushes both led the NFL. However, fumbling remains a problem, as Peterson had the most lost (six) in the league for the second straight season. The good news for Peterson is that Minnesota has a handful of offensive weapons, so defenses can no longer stack eight men in the box to slow Peterson down. One area of concern is the fact that Minnesota used its second-round pick to draft Toby Gerhart, who immediately becomes the teamís RB2 with Chester Taylor out of town. While Gerhart is a threat to steal some goal-line work, Peterson figures to be given even more responsibilities on third downs, so increased numbers in the passing game should be expected. While Taylorís workload continued to decline, he still racked up 44 catches last season, and the rookie Gerhart is unlikely to be trusted in passing situations. While itís safe to assume the offense would take a step back should Brett Favre decide to retire, the Vikings still have one of the better offensive lines in football, and the defense is among the elite as well, so Peterson will be surrounded by good teammates regardless. He should once again dominate carries, and the fact heís becoming a complete back means a career-high in yards from scrimmage could be in store, especially if last yearís 4.4 YPC mark can creep back up toward his career level (4.9).
Last year Peterson stayed healthy for all 16 games and led the NFL in rushing, yet it somehow all felt like a disappointment. Thatís what happens when you follow a rookie campaign as impressive as Petersonís. He saw his YPC drop from 5.6 to 4.8 and his touchdowns decline from 13 to 10 despite seeing 127 more touches. Still, 1,885 total yards with 10 scores is pretty good for what can be considered a letdown, and most encouraging of all was Petersonís ability to stay healthy even with a full workload. Peterson is a rare talent who might be both the fastest and strongest running back in the NFL. Heís almost never brought down at first contact and is lethal in the open field with tremendous breakaway speed. He easily led the league with 20 carries for 20-plus yards in 2008 while also converting a remarkable five of his nine goal-line attempts for scores. However, Peterson struggled mightily as a receiver, as he gained a paltry 6.0 yards per catch on his 21 receptions last season. He also needs to work on ball security Ė his nine fumbles were by far the most in the league. The Vikingsí offensive line took a small step backward last season, but part of the problem was Bryant McKinnie opening the year with a four-game suspension. Chester Taylor is still around to spell Peterson, but heís become nothing more than your typical backup, as this is clearly Petersonís backfield. With Bernard Berrian, a healthy Sidney Rice and exciting rookie Percy Harvin, thereís talent in the receiving corps, but quarterback remains the big question on offense. Tarvaris Jackson impressed at times last season, but after he failed spectacularly during a loss to the Eagles in the Wild Card round, Minnesota traded for Sage Rosenfels, whoís the favorite to start Week 1. Rosenfels figures to be an upgrade, but heís turnover-prone and is hardly a Pro Bowler. Meanwhile, there remains the possibility that Brett Favre could be brought into the mix. Peterson is entering just his third year in the league and still has room to grow. He has fresh legs and plays for a team with a strong offensive line, solid defense and an improving passing attack. Petersonís lack of receiving ability limits his upside somewhat, but there isnít a bigger threat to rush for 2,000 yards in football, and itís safe to expect more than nine goal-line carries in 2009 and hence more touchdowns. Thereís still some risk for injury, but he made it through a 363-carry campaign last year relatively unscathed, and Minnesota will once again rely heavily on him in 2009.
Peterson took the league by storm in 2007, totaling more than 1,600 yards with 13 touchdowns in just 14 games. He finished second in the league with 1,341 rushing yards despite starting only nine contests, and his 5.6 YPC ranked only behind situational rusher Jerious Norwood among ballcarriers with more than 100 rushes. Of some concern is Peterson's feast-or-famine nature, as he went eight games with fewer than 80 yards rushing while averaging 159 rushing yards in the six others, including setting the single game NFL rushing record with 296 yards against the Chargers. Peterson's also in a great spot Ė the Vikings have quite possibly the league's best offensive line and improved their offense with the addition of Bernard Berrian at wide receiver. Quarterback Tarvaris Jackson is a question mark, as his subpar 9:12 TD:INT ratio often allows opposing defenses to focus on stopping the running game. For all his upside, however, Peterson's not without risk. Heís been injury-prone since college and suffered a torn LCL last year, which cost him two games and limited him the rest of the season Ė he averaged just 2.7 YPC over the final four contests while wearing a cumbersome knee brace. Itís also disconcerting Peterson received just six goal-line carries last season, but Chester Taylor only converted two of his nine rushes from in close and has a success rate of just 24 percent at the goal line over the past three years, so Peterson should see the majority of touches near paydirt. Additionally, Peterson's success rate on red-zone rushes (7-of-20) was easily the best in football. It also reveals massive touchdown potential, considering Peterson scored 13 times when given so few chances from in close. And for those worried about Peterson's health issues, having a clear-cut backup in Taylor can actually be a positive, as that situation is muddled in San Diego and Indianapolis.
Thereís no doubting Petersonís talent. He ran for 4,045 yards and 41 touchdowns in 31 games at Oklahoma and has the potential to be a franchise back with his combination of size, speed and strength. He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.37 seconds, yet is 6-2, 217, and doesnít shy away from contact. In fact, he invites it. Petersonís aggressiveness is often compared to Eric Dickersonís, but the upright style has also raised durability concerns. He dislocated his shoulder in 2004 (no games missed), suffered a high ankle sprain in 2005 (missed parts of three games) and endured a broken collarbone in 2006, forcing him out of action for the final seven weeks. He still finished with 1,012 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns last season, showing just how productive he can be when on the field. Peterson set an NCAA freshman single-season rushing record with 339 carries, suggesting these past couple of injuries might be flukes, and doctors elected to let his broken collarbone heal on its own rather than opting for an additional surgery. Peterson joins a fairly crowded backfield and could begin the year as Chester Taylorís backup. Merely an average running back (4.0 YPC), Taylor had 345 touches last season, but his backups averaged 5.0 behind a solid offensive line anchored by Steve Hutchinson, Matt Birk and Bryant McKinnie. As such, Peterson should be heavily involved from the start and will almost certainly take over the starting job at some point during the season.